Thinking Outside the Stacks
by Dick Kaser
The articles in this issue explore some of the outside-the-box projects that today’s librarians are spearheading, as they expand the role that libraries play in their communities.
Take equipment loans, for example. Sure, many libraries have mastered the art of lending laptops to patrons, but have you ever considered how you might share this arcane knowledge outside the library? In this issue, Brian Johnstone (Bucks County Community College) tells how he helped another academic department manage its equipment loans using the library’s ILS.
Librarians are also adept at maintaining the software that keeps the library’s public access computers up-to-date, but what happens when a piece of software needs to be deployed well outside the library’s cubicles? Librarians from St. Olaf College share their configuration tips for keeping the popular citation tool EndNote up-to-date on computers scattered across campus.
Libraries have traditionally served not only as a repository of knowledge, but as a place where facts were built upon and new knowledge was created. Today’s makerspaces extend the traditional role of libraries as knowledge incubators. In this issue, librarians at Northern Arizona University share what they learned while creating a mega makerspace. You can too.
In their timeless role as champions of literacy, librarians may have their work cut out for them this year. Ben Johnson points this out in an eloquent essay on the role of libraries in a world in which facts may take a backseat to beliefs.
Let’s keep the conversation going this month, in person, at Computers in Libraries 2017. The theme is Upping Our Game, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor