Writing for the programming librarian

I’ve started writing for the ALA’s Programming Librarian website. My first two posts are up.

Collaborating with Galleries: A Blessed Match

“One of my first planning meetings as the new outreach and communications librarian for the William H. Hannon Library was with the director and curator of the Laband Art Gallery, an on-campus exhibition space in the College of Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University. Over the past few years, the Hannon Library and the Laband Gallery have developed a synergistic relationship built on shared vision and trust, a relationship that has increased the impact we could achieve as single institutions.” Read more.

When Library Student Workers Take Over Instagram

“Since I began managing Instagram accounts for academic libraries three years ago, I’ve discovered there are two types of posts that attract the most engagement from students: idyllic photos of the library and pictures of other students. We are privileged in that our building’s unique architecture and proximity to a near-ocean bluff provides endless opportunities for the former. So, to leverage the successful nature of the latter, this year the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University invited our student employees to “take over” the library’s Instagram account for a day and use the platform to tell our followers about their work and what they find useful about the library.” Read more.

Dancing in the library lobby

The Roesch Library at the University of Dayton is doing some amazing outreach work to engage students with library services. Communications and Outreach librarian Katy Kelly recently wrote about their new library tour photo hunt for the ALA’s Programming Librarian blog:

“Another clue that is entertaining to watch is, ‘Every year during final exams, the library offers FREE chair massages, free pizza, free taxi rides, free coffee and tea, visits from therapy dogs, and sometimes a midnight dance party in the lobby. Take a photo of a group member dancing in the first-floor lobby.'”

Back in 2012, Kelly also wrote about how the programming team monitors social media to design relevant and timely finals activities:

“My daily interactions on Twitter via the library’s account show students that someone is listening. We’re also able to make an impact by making some of their comments, suggestions, and ideas into realities. I think a lot of students are really clever and have funny and important things to say. Twitter is a great way to see what students are saying and an outlet for finding creative programming ideas by students.”

Katy’s creativity doesn’t stop there. If this inspires you, check out some of her recent posts in the ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach group [Facebook].

Serializing student work in digital displays

Brian Mathews’s blog The Ubiquitous Librarian has come to an end with the impending closure of the Chronicle’s blog network. I will miss reading Brian’s thoughts on leadership and possible futures for academic libraries (though, he will no doubt continue to write). In one of his final posts, he talks about highlighting student scholarship in the library. I particularly like this idea:

“I really want to explore serialized content. For example, take a design or architecture  course with a semester long project. Week by week I want to display their sketches and renderings so we can follow the progression and perhaps provide feedback via a social media channel.”

Let’s keep going with this: we could highlight student writing by projecting lines of poetry onto the floor; we could have a scrolling feed of students’ thesis topics/titles to show what students are currently writing about; we could have a live feed from any classes using Twitter; we could display the cover of the last book checked out (or returned); we could play songs based on usage stats from our streaming music database; we could show a live dashboard of the number of users in the library, or using our discovery service, or connected to our wifi network. There are so many possibilities!

I am not sure what will happen to all of Brian’s posts, but it’s been a pleasure seeing his posts in my feed reader each week. Best of luck with your new projects, soldier!

Program or be programmed? meh.

As someone who has neglected his Codecademy account for months now, I can sympathize with the idea. As much as I love the idea of coding, I’d much rather be focusing on other types of problems (some of which may require a talented coder to conquer).

“Look, I love programming. I also believe programming is important … in the right context, for some people. But so are a lot of skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn programming than I would urge everyone to learn plumbing.”

Source: Coding Horror