Stepping Up Career Development at Your Library

| By Mary Kelly |

Just recently I had an age crisis at work. A young teen girl asked to borrow the phone on my desk. I pushed the desk phone toward her and said “sure, help yourself, dial 8 to get an outside line.” She stared at me and asked for a “real phone” since she didn’t know how to work those desk phones. I actually had to teach someone how to use a regular desktop phone. This was a first for me, as a librarian. This young teen had never used a traditional phone. In her world, the only kind of phone is a smartphone.

As I am chewing on this little fact, I realize that in my library career of nearly 20 years, I have seen an insane amount of change in technology. It really doesn’t seem all that long ago that computers were a “new” tool in libraries. I remember teaching my first computer class for library patrons and we had standing room only. Without a doubt, computers were an integral part of our daily practice as librarians.

Even as late as 2009 and 2010, my partner and I were regularly presenting a program to other librarians called “Tech Support is Reference” through conferences and other library training. The message of this program was that librarians had a duty to assist patrons regardless of what kind of questions they asked. At the time, there was significant resistance in the profession to assist patrons who asked “tech support” type questions. More than one library professional thought computers would ruin library reference service. (Part of me wants to be petty and say “I told you so” to those librarians who all but accused me of ruining the profession. Luckily, this is published on a website and since they hated computers so much, they will probably not notice my remark.)

The modern library professional isn’t going to last long in a library setting if they don’t embrace change in a very real way. Not only must librarians be knowledgeable, but we also must be able to communicate that knowledge through a variety of mediums. The implication is huge.  It is expected that a modern librarian will be knowledgeable about technology and that we be able to fashion that knowledge into usable content for a variety of learning styles. Regular and consistent training on new technologies, emerging topics and other subjects need to be ingrained as a regular part of the job. Combined with limited budgets and time for professional development means that most of us will have to do this without support.

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Books Bring People Together

| By Lisa Joyce, acquisitions editor, Thorndike Press | “I live with some of the most interesting people, but never know until I read their obituary.” I always remember this comment from a senior patron. As the Outreach Librarian at Portland Public Library (Maine) for nearly 25 years, I spent a great deal of time making deliveries at a senior residence and … Read more

Empowering Newsmakers

| By Brian Risse, Vice President, Public Library, Wholesale, and Large Print Sales | As I think about the impact that libraries have on the community, it’s hard not to reflect on the 2018 federal budget that proposed to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the advocacy efforts needed to defend … Read more

More Enhancements to Gale eBooks on GVRL

Last month, Gale eBooks on GVRL underwent quite a few improvements. From visual and accessibility enhancements to options for homepage customization (read the full blog), our goal is to continuously update the platform based on our users’ needs. Below are three, additional enhancements users can expect to find in product: Search within custom collections. Previously users … Read more

Customize Gale eBooks on GVRL for Your Needs

Every GVRL customer has a unique eBook collection of hand-selected titles, and we recognize the importance of aligning that collection to your library’s goals and initiatives.  That’s why, we’ve added customization options for admin users of Gale eBooks on GVRL. What Does This Mean? It means that your collection will be supported by a superior … Read more

Science Videos Added to Research and Science In Context

Recently, Gale partnered with Visual Learning Systems, an educational science publisher whose mission is to provide high quality, visual-based content that instructs, challenges, and inspires young learners. Nearly 900 high-quality educational videos on concepts essential to STEM learning have been added to Gale’s Research In Context and Science In Context. Approximately 750 videos, including videos on topics frequently studied in … Read more

You’re Invited! Geeking Over Google and eBooks Webinar

What: Geeking Over Google and eBooks Date: Thursday, October 06, 2016 Time: 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Duration: 1 hour A webinar presented by Gale & Library Journal How do you save costs, increase shelf space, and boost usage in the 21st Century? Meeting the research needs of the 21st century library patron isn’t the simplest of endeavors. You have … Read more

Kids are Resilient…Until They’re Not

Posted on June 29, 2016 Well-child visits are a great time for parents to gather information from doctors to help their children remain healthy and injury free. Pediatricians review safety measures, administer vaccines, and discuss ongoing medical information.  But sometimes the information comes fast and furious, and parents don’t remember the details. Or maybe they … Read more

What My Seventh Grader Taught Me About Google Classroom

Posted on June 15, 2016

By Traci Cothran

“Kids these days don’t know how good they have it.”  It’s an old adage, but I swear these days it really is true.  Long gone are the days of Wite-Out, word processors, having to visit the library to see if a book for class is available, and walking five miles through snow (barefoot!) to get to school.

The Google Classroom integration with Gale products only provides more fodder for this truism – as it makes life much more manageable for students.  Middle-grade students on up use Google Classroom to seamlessly to connect from home – or any other location via cellphone or tablet – to view classroom assignments, post their homework documents (in Word, Prezi or other software), and much more.  Kids can also access e-learning texts this way, along with reference databases from their library’s collection, and our Gale databases can easily be highlighted, cut and pasted, and cited, then uploaded to the student’s Google Drive account.  Easy-peasy!  Sure, my daughter still has print text books, but they are no longer the primary guide to classroom activities – teachers can (and do) easily use multiple sources for lessons.  It’s a Brave New World out there in education.

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