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Rightsizing Your Collection

Illustration: ©cristinn/Adobe Stock Academic librarians have long grappled with issues of collection size, quality versus quantity, and maintaining a core collection. In previous eras, libraries provided access to content by acquiring and owning print copies of titles to allow immediate access to users. From a national perspective, we now understand that collections are hugely redundant […]

Saving Afghanistan’s At-Risk W

The Afghanistan Ministry of Education homepage, as captured on August 16, 2021. Information about then–­Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi (pictured), a women’s rights advocate, has since been removed from the website. When the Taliban breached the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, Liladhar R. Pendse knew he had to do something. Pendse, librarian […]

Collecting Coronavirus Stories

Patrons at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, submitted photos that include images of daily jokes, Zoom meeting signs, protests, and jigsaw puzzles. Photos: Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) coronavirus archiving project started with a cat. Monique Sugimoto, archivist and local history […]

Bookend: Conjuring a Collectio...

Amy Schindler, director of archives and special collections at University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Libraries, holds a magic book from the Omaha (Neb.) Magical Society collection. Photo: University of Nebraska at Omaha One day, the magic collection vanished—and then reappeared. That is, the Omaha (Neb.) Magical Society moved its 1,200 magic-related books and materials […]

Drawing the Line

University of Kentucky in Lexington is attempting to remove a 1934 mural by artist Ann Rice O’Hanlon (detail shown here). Photo: Mark Cornelison In the 1930s and 1940s, federal programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) paid artists and artisans to create thousands of artworks. Some of those works ended up on display in […]

Using 3D to Make PPE

Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, donated 100 3D-printed protective face shields to Beaumont Hospital in nearby Troy. Photo: Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, including face shields, surgical masks, and N95 respirator masks, is in critically short supply. To mitigate the ongoing crisis, some public and […]

Bookend: Libraries over the Ai...

Ameet Doshi (right), director of innovation and program design and subject librarian at Georgia Tech’s (GT) School of Public Policy and Law, and Charlie Bennett, public engagement librarian and subject librarian for GT’s School of Economics, in GT’s campus radio station. Photo: Allison Carter/Georgia Institute of Technology Listeners of WREK-FM 91.1 radio station in Atlanta […]

Bumpy Inroads

When I completed my library degree at University of Toronto last year, I kept a spreadsheet to track jobs I applied to. Looking through those listings now—part- and full-time jobs across North America in public, academic, and government libraries and archives—I see that all were somehow precarious, with assignment durations ranging from four months to […]