From Reference Shelves to Help Desks
by Dick Kaser
Ever since the days when manuscripts were chained down to monastic desks, libraries have served as the places where users could freely interact with the latest information technology. The tools that today’s library visitors want to use for their intellectual pursuits may have changed dramatically from back in the day, but the library’s mission remains clear: Support the tools patrons want and need.
In this issue, librarians from MIT trace the evolution of what has become known as its personal content management team, a unit that helps faculty members and students properly use more than a dozen citation and research writing tools the college makes available to them, including collaborative writing platforms and personal file management software.
Librarians from Ryerson University discuss the equipment lending program at its Digital Media Experience Lab, a makerspace that also lends out high-tech gear—with every intention of getting it back. The equipment includes kits to support everything from digital photography to virtual reality and wearable tech.
Public librarians from Georgia share their experience in teaching family historians how to digitize important documents, photos, home movies, audio recordings, and other memorabilia associated with the increasingly popular field of genealogical research.
And a library advocate from Mozilla shares her tips for hosting a Maker Party in your library.
Times and tools may change, but librarians have proven, generation after generation, that if they are one thing—it’s malleable, especially when it comes to mastering and making accessible media of all kinds.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor