Category Archives: publications

Call for Chapter Contributions for the Library Innovation Cookbook

Call for Chapter Contributions for the Library Innovation Cookbook

Chapters sought for an anthology by practicing academic, public, school,
special librarians, LIS faculty, and library staff sharing practical how-to chapters on: library innovation.

Book Publisher: ALA Editions

Dr. Anthony Molaro is an imaginarian and information activist and is the Associate Dean of Library and Instructional Technology at Prairie State College.

Leah White is a Reader Services Librarian and creator of Books on Tap, Northbrook Public Library’s first book club in a pub.

Recent conferences have highlighted the importance of innovation in libraries, and it is a term often heard in library circles. But what is innovation? Innovation is an incremental process. It is the creation of effective, efficient, and better products, services, technologies, programs or structures to help libraries meet the needs of 21st century library patrons.

How does your library engage in an innovation process? What innovations can your library adopt today? Who can suggest, plan, implement and assess ideas? The Library Innovation Cookbook: Bite-Sized Ideas to Fuel Growth in Your Library is designed to answer those questions with quick morsels that your library can apply immediately.

The Library Innovation Cookbook is packed with case studies and practical recipes for success from library innovation experts across the field. It is organized into six sections that focus on current trends in the library world. It does not matter where you are in your organization, each idea can be suggested and implemented by anyone. Each recipe is designed to be implemented quickly in most libraries. This book provides readers with necessary innovation strategies to spur creative growth in libraries, and to best equip their library for the next century.

Library Innovation is occurring throughout libraries of all type, however, many of us don’t hear about the great stuff we are all doing. The Library Innovation Cookbook provides concise, how-to chapters based on experience to help colleagues. Your
nuts and bolts article should total 2500-3500 words. No previously published or
simultaneously submitted material. One or two authors per chapter;
complimentary copy as compensation, discount on more.

Topics of interest for proposed chapters can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Broad Categories (examples)

Introduction to Innovation
What is Innovation
How Do Library’s Achieve Innovation
Professional Courage
The Role of Team
Rapid Prototyping
Innovation Champions
80/20 Rule
Chief Innovation Officer
Leading from the Middle
Professional Development
Staff Training
Library Lab
Library as Kitchen
Idea Box
Adult Services
Youth Services
Technical Services
Responsive Web Design
Fab Lab
Digital Media Labs
New Library Spaces
Staff Spaces
Marketing and Brand Building
Marketing Campaigns
Branding Strategies

Proposals can be in the form of an abstract (summary) and an outline. Please also include a writing sample.
Please submit chapter proposals and writing samples to both Editors
Questions and comments should be submitted via e-mail to us.

The due dates are:
For chapter proposal outlines: December 1, 2012
For first drafts of chapters: March 1 , 2013
For final drafts of chapters after receipt of editorial comments: June 1, 2013


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Arizona Library Association Annual Conference

The Information Activist Librarian will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Arizona Library Association’s Annual Conference.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Date: Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Time: 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Title: Pushing it Forward: Social Justice, Civic Librarianship and Information Activism

Description: While libraries and library staff contribute to the profession and the world, we sometimes forget about our own communities.  Anthony Molaro will share his story and ideas on how libraries and librarians can create a more just world.  If knowledge is power, but inaccessible, what good is it?  It is time for us to reunite information and people.

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Information Activist

This is the paper that started this blog:

By Anthony Molaro

On a recent and blistering cold Sunday evening I found myself flipping through the cable channels.  As I surfed the channels, I landed on the USA cable network.  During a commercial break the cable channel ran a brief blip on their Characters Approved Awards.  These awards are given to defining characters that “are changing the face of American Culture,” people who “surprise and inspire us with fresh ideas.”

The focus of this particular message was Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.  I leave the debate over the merits or lack thereof of Wikipedia to other authors and articles.  However, Wale’s goal of creating a system that gives access to “the sum of human knowledge” is noble and lofty, one that few librarians would dispute.  The philosophical undercurrent that is the foundation of Wikipedia is to make information freely accessible to all.

The cable network described Jimmy Wales as an information activist, a person who is “giving the power of knowledge back to the people…”  The old adage is true, knowledge is power.  Librarians have been doing this for centuries, and few would debate that issue.  However, I was surprised that he is described as an information activist.  Wales stated that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right and that Wikipedia’s goal is to remove the filter of old white men to information.

“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge,” Wales said.  He wants Wikipedia to be a “sledgehammer to break down the barriers of censorship, of ignorance, of apathy about the state of the world.”

Are we librarians information activists?  Just what is an information activist?  The Random House Dictionary defines information as the “knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.”  It defines activist as “an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause.”  Thus an information activist is a vigorous advocate of knowledge gained through study, communication, research or instruction.

Another cable network recognized the type of information activist just described above, but this time it was a bona fide librarian.  CNN’s Heroes for 2008 included a librarian, Ethiopian native Yohannes Gebregeorgis.  Gebregeorgis was working for an American library, and he was charged with the acquisition of children’s literature in foreign languages.  He found that no books were written in Amharic, and that no books represented people or places of Ethiopia, prompting him to write the first bilingual children’s book, “Silly Mammo”.  The proceeds of the book’s profit were used to fund and create a library in Ethiopia.  At one point, Gebregeorgis left his job and family to bring 15,000 books from the San Francisco’s Children’s Library to Ethiopia.  He also started the Ethiopia Reads program. He even opened a library in an extremely poor area in Ethiopia, which provided children with their first safe place for both reading and fun.  Gebregeorgis is truly an information activist.

While the notion that an information activist as a “fresh idea” is not entirely true, it an inspiring idea.  Librarians and the libraries they work in have always valued the access to information.  We have strived to remove barriers between the users and the information.  But maybe we have let that message, that grand and noble truth, take a back seat.  I don’t know if we are information activists or not, but I believe that we should be.

What would the world, and Libraryland, look like if we pursued vigorous advocacy of knowledge gained through study, communication, research or instruction?  How would the world views us differently if we hold this truth to be self-evident, that all persons are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the free access to the sum of human knowledge so that we may attain Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?  What would the world look like if we succeed in giving every single person access to the sum of human knowledge?  How many of the world’s problem would be solved by such a movement?  If that threshold was reached how much would the world’s GDP increase?  How much faster would knowledge grow?  How much would poverty and starvation decrease?  How many new technological and medical breakthroughs would occur?

There is little doubt that the attainment of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness would be far easier to attain if the sum of human knowledge were within any person’s grasp.  Did the Characters Approved award succeed?  I, for one, am deeply inspired, and I hope that you are too.  I hope that if we ever meet we introduce ourselves as librarians and information activists, and that we live up to that noble truth that access to knowledge is a fundamental right of all people.

Anthony Molaro is a liaison librarian and information activist at Grand Valley State University and a Doctoral student at Dominican University, Graduate School of Information and Library Science.

The videos are availble from USA

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