7 Jun 2023

Libfocus Link-out for June, 2023

Welcome to the June edition of the Libfocus link-out, an assemblage of library-related things we have found informative, educational, thought-provoking and insightful on the Web over the past while.

AI Tools for Libraries
AI continues to expand its influence in academia, business, and culture. Libraries are not exempt from this. While many institutions fear AI disruption, libraries that leverage this new suite of tools can streamline daily tasks, enhance outreach efforts, and more. This article identifies some popular AI tools in the current landscape and explores how librarians can use them to serve foundational objectives.

Handling historic collections: The gloves are still off
The use of gloves in handling historic collections is a question that arises frequently and certainly divides opinion.

Documenting the Ephemeral: Burning Man
For Library Journal, Elisa Shoenberger dives into what it means to document an ephemeral event: Burning Man. Counterintuitive as it may be to create an archive from an event where participants are asked to leave nothing behind, and quite literally burn an effigy to close out the festival, Burning Man's core principle of gifting contributes to archival collecting.

Please Don't Call My Job a Calling
This NYT opinion piece by Simone Stolzoff looks at the framing of jobs as passions or callings, that then "obscures the facts that jobs are, first and foremost, economic contracts." This article covers the concept of 'vocational awe' a term coined in 2018 by then librarian Fobazi Ettarh, looking at how that same framing affects librarianship.

Putting Chat GPT to the test: will it help your library with promotions?
Angela Hursh examines the role that AI might play in the creation of library marketing materials. While certainly not perfect, is there space for it as a tool libraries can use in promotion of services?

UX Insights for Library Website Content
Ned Potter discusses his approach to a complete redesign of the University of York Library website and shares helpful hints and tips for others to follow.

Libraries install fridges to address food insecurity
Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL) has introduced community fridges in three of its libraries to make free fresh fruit and vegetables available in areas with high levels of need.

The cost of librarianship: Relocating for work and finding community
Annie Pho and Dustin Fife talk about the effects moving for work can have on a library worker's professional and personal life in the U.S.

Why You Need to Think for Yourself
Wherein Michael Ignatieff reflects on the fact that thinking for yourself is essential but far from easy (a longer version of this essay originally appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of Liberties).

The Curious Case of Open Source in (Academic) Libraries in the Nordics
Open Source ILS/LSP software (Koha) features strongly in the Nordics (Finland and Sweden). Andreas Mace argues that whatever about the influence of community, philosophical ideas are the overriding deciding factor for some libraries in moving away from proprietary solutions.