Dispatches from Library Land: November 2016

Welcome to our monthly open love letter to libraries. Our librarian staff and contributors have hand-picked some of the most interesting topics affecting libraries at this very moment — cool projects, important news, innovative programs, awesome people — and gathered them here in a handy roundup for everyone who hearts libraries as much as we do.

This month we talk about 25 jobs you can do with a library degree, a rad librarian who’s speaking up about the disability community in librarieshappy birthday to the Library of Congress, and more.

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Kelly Jensen —

The Story: The Disability Community in the Library

What It’s About: Librarian S. Bryce Kozla has been speaking on issues of disability and accessibility in the library for years, and she’s putting together a nice blog series about these topics.

Why I’m Talking About It: We need to talk far more about accessibility in libraries, as well as what it is — and what it is not. Bryce has been writing about this and talking on the topic for a long time, and I know this series will be enlightening. What makes it even more exciting is that she got funding (!) to pay contributors, so it’s going to be a nice swath of compensated writers talking about issues in the library we are too eager to not think about. I cannot wait, and thus, I want it on everyone’s radars now.

Alison Peters —

The Story: So You Want to Be a Librarian: 25 Librarian Job Titles to Inspire You

What It’s About: All of the amazing things you can do with the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree.

Why I’m Talking About It: Because I’m a full fledged MLIS-holding librarian now, and I love knowing what types of awesome jobs I can aspire to! And I’m over the tired librarian stereotype, all buttoned down glasses shushing people and being mean. Design a Maker(Space)Ship! Head to the top as CEO! Find your niche in dance, music, museums, and become the go-to authority as the organization’s librarian! Honestly, the possibilities are just about endless, and are constantly evolving as the library world keeps up with cutting edge technology and community needs. I dare you to not find a job you’d like.

Liberty Hardy —

The Story: Happy 119th Anniversary, Library of Congress Building!

What It’s About: “On this day in 1897, the Library of Congress building on First Street and Independence Avenue Southeast, built in the style of the Italian Renaissance, opened its doors to the public. Previously, the library had been housed in the Congressional Reading Room in the U.S. Capitol. In preparation for the event, the library’s collections were transported across the east plaza of the Capitol to the new library in horse-drawn wagons. Approximately 800 tons of material were moved.”

Why I’m Talking About It: What book lover doesn’t grow up in serious awe of the Library of Congress? (And doesn’t get teared up thinking about the Royal Library of Alexandria? TOO SOON.) The Library of Congress holds ALL THE BOOKS. Or, close to all of them. And what is maybe even more exciting for book lovers: It was visited by LeVar Burton on an episode of Reading Rainbow. (Cue angels’ revered singing.) And the Library of Congress is cooler than ever, making history this year by appointing Carla Hayden the 14th librarian of Congress, who is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position.

Jessica Pryde —

The Story: A New Home Page for loc.gov

What It’s About: The Library of Congress has a new look! On the anniversary of the opening of the Jefferson Building, America’s Library introduced a new home page on its website.

Why I’m Talking About It: The Library of Congress, in the digital age, has not always been the place to go to see…innovation. While it was never behind in regards to access, some of the more cosmetic features, like the website, left much to be desired, having the same dated, tired look for several years. But the web team has been working on a new look for the past three years, and it went live today! While Carla Hayden was not involved in the process, this is the start of a great tenure for her as the innovation Librarian of Congress. Also, we get to see what the LOC really has to offer, and easier plunge into the depths of its digital collections! (Cue nerdsquee moment.)

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