New Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden




Carla Hayden has recently been sworn in as only the 14th Librarian of Congress in history. Most reports emphasize that she is the first woman and the first African-American to hold that position. Those are important milestones to be sure, but attention to them obscures some others. Carla Hayden is The first Librarian of Congress with a limited term of appointment Only the third professional librarian appointed to the position. Fully backed by the American Library Association (ALA), which opposed some of her predecessors. … Continue reading






The school librarian: an endangered species?




Every good school has a library. And a school librarian. Too many school districts have decided that having good schools is too expensive. School librarians, like other librarians, have a master’s in library science They must also have a valid teaching certificate. Unfortunately, many school districts are getting rid of their librarians. I wrote earlier specifically about Chicago, but the problem is nationwide and has been building for years. … Continue reading






22 ways to use the library




Do you know what’s going on at the library? Even if you’re a regular library user, you may may be missing something interesting. Libraries represent a kind of “third space,” which is neither home nor work. Unlike many others, they are not a business. They don’t carry with them the expectation that you will pay for something. Of course, libraries offer numerous services you can use. You’re paying for public library services with tax dollars. You’re paying for academic library services if you are part of a college/university community. For most purposes, then, you never have to dig out cash … Continue reading






Raucous good times at the library




I hope the stereotype of a librarian as a frumpy woman with no friends and a fetish for quiet had a decent burial long ago. Librarians are very creative people who enjoy having fun as much as anyone else. A few years ago, I presented some videos of library book cart drill teams! You might find similar shenanigans at a parade. Some librarian conferences have regular drill team competitions. But what about singing, dancing, running, riding book carts, and even laughing aloud in the library itself? At the reference desk and circulation desk! Even in the stacks!! Librarians do all … Continue reading






The Library of Congress Turns a Page




The Librarian of Congress is not an official who makes the news often, but the current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, announced his retirement last June. President Obama will appoint the next Librarian of Congress, becoming only the 10th President in history to have that opportunity. Billington was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987. You know that the Library of Congress is the library, well, of Congress. Congress created a library for its own use very early in the nation’s history. But it has become more than that. It’s America’s unofficial national library. It affects the workings of every other … Continue reading