Tag Archives: newsletter

Unveiling library newsletter redesign

I’m really happy to finally be able to share online the redesign of Lafayette College’s Library newsletter, Bytes & Books. As I wrote in my letter from the editor:

“Bytes & Books began in 1987 with an article about the automation of the Library Catalog. While the stories have changed through the years to reflect the advent of networked information,  organizational restructuring, new media formats and collecting initiatives, and building projects, the black-and-white format has stayed remarkably the same. The color and lightness of the revamped Bytes & Books is more representative of the modern and renovated Skillman Library…”

I am very much indebted to Kevin Hardy in Lafayette College’s Communications Division for his design. I’ve heard from a lot of faculty about the newsletter, so I know I accomplished what I wanted, which was to make it pop in people’s mailboxes enough for them to pay attention and read it.

You can view the new Bytes & Books(Spring 2012) at http://dspace.lafayette.edu/bitstream/handle/10385/936/BB-v26-n01.pdf

You can view the old Bytes & Books(Fall 2011) at http://dspace.lafayette.edu/bitstream/handle/10385/935/BB-v25-n02.pdf


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Capturing stories

I just started reading a really interesting article that appears in the January 2012 issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy: “Research Papers Have Always Seemed Very Daunting”: Information Literacy Narratives and the Student Research Experience” by Robert Detmering and Anna Marie Johnson. I love narrative.  It personally speaks to me a lot more than numbers. As they write, “In the face of assessment literature on information literacy, student voices have been missing for the most part.”

What I’m especially interested in is how those narratives can then be harnessed to make improvements or how they can be shared to promote services. Project Information Literacy just announced the release of a new “Practical PIL” page on their web site that showcases how schools have been using PIL findings to develop new sites, sources, and materials. I really like it.

Over the past few years, I’ve started a few different interview series–one with faculty about ways in which they are incorporating information literacy into the classroom and another with honors students about the process of researching and writing a thesis. The goal of the information literacy interviews–which are published in our biannual faculty newsletter–is to encourage more faculty to build information literacy into their courses and to collaborate with librarians on information literacy instruction. It’s a lot more powerful for faculty to hear from each other than it is for them to hear from librarians. The honors thesis interviews are also meant to showcase librarians’ work, but also to offer support to thesis students by capturing the stories of those that have gone before them.

I’d love to hear more from others about narratives and stories that you are capturing, and how you’re using them.


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Winter break in academia

It’s winter break in academia, which is prime time for librarians like me to reflect on the past semester, get through the to-do list that built up during busy times, browse & read, experiment with new programs, take time off, meet with colleagues and faculty, file, and start planning for the coming semester. I’m really enjoying stepping out of my day-to-day work to let ideas percolate. I increasingly believe in turning off the computer every once in a while (I do every Saturday) to just let the dust settle. Here’s my (partial) list of things to do or try over the winter break:

  1. Play around with Mendeley. I’m dissatisfied with RefWorks 2.0 and intrigued by Mendeley’s faculty focus (with its pdf ingestion), the social/sharing aspect, as well as the free price tag. I took an online workshop but need to just spend some time playing with it in both its desktop and web versions.
  2. Work on Bytes & Books, the biannual faculty/staff/Friends newsletter I produce. This is an exciting time for me because I’m working with the College’s Communications Division (thanks, Kevin Hardy!) on an image rehaul. I’m excited to share the before-and-after with you when it’s all done.
  3. Prep for my third time teaching “Marketing Your Library” for the online continuing education program at Simmons GSLIS. I would like to tighten up the readings and assignments in weeks 3 & 4, which focus too broadly on emotional branding, designing messages, word-of-mouth marketing, value, and statistics. This involves doing some reading — on my list are Listening to the Customer and College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know and making some tough decisions about paring down.
  4. Plan my first library web site video. Yesterday, I had a tutorial on iMovie with an instructional technologist on campus (thanks, Jason Alley!) to prepare me to conquer a longstanding goal to produce short videos for the library web site. I took some footage of the (alas, empty) library on a Flip camera that my library dean bought me and was surprised to learn how easy  iMovie is. The hard part for me will be coming up with tight ideas and editing the voice and images into something interesting to look at since I’m not a particularly visual person.
  5. Read, read, read, and come up with a schedule to do more reading. How do you fit blog, magazine, article and book reading into your weekly schedule? My pile of old Library Journals has gotten out of hand.

What are you working on over winter break?



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