May 2021 — New Titles in the ALS Professional Collection

Arrowhead Library System (ALS) has a long-standing commitment to maintaining a collection of current publication titles of interest to librarians, library staff and library trustees.  The collection is housed at the ALS Headquarters in Mountain Iron, but all titles can be requested via the online catalog (if you have a borrower’s card from an ALS library) or via the statewide MnLINK catalog (if you have a borrower’s card from Duluth Public Library).  If you have questions about borrowing titles from the ALS Professional Collection, feel free to call ALS staff!  Here are the latest additions to the ALS collection: 

Launching Large Scale Library Initiatives: Innovation and Collaboration
Valerie Horton
ALA Editions, 2021
025.1 HOR 2021

The necessity for library leaders to demonstrate that libraries are innovative, collaborative, and can provide eye-catching, transformational services and programs to their communities cannot be understated. But libraries do not suffer from a lack of big ideas. What library workers really need is a roadmap for making those big, impactful ideas become reality. Based in part on her extensive experience coordinating large-scale initiatives, this guide from ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award-winning consultant Horton will walk you through formulating and shaping your ideas into sellable, actionable projects. You’ll learn

  • techniques drawn from project management experts and researchers from many fields;
  • why Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) are worth your time and effort;
  • guidance on upscaling your idea into a project or service that can be launched at a statewide, community wide, or library consortia level;
  • several case studies of large-scale library projects, with analysis of why they were successful;
  • how to successfully combine foundational principles of innovation with practical methods for collaboration;
  • methods for extending your reach beyond your usual sphere to partner with other libraries and organizations;
  • how to sharpen your skills of persuasion;
  • no-nonsense advice on leading teams of disparate individuals; and
  • evaluative tips for affirming the project is on the right track and correcting course as needed.

Spreadsheets for Librarians: Getting Results with Excel and Google Sheets
Bruce White
Libraries Unlimited, 2021
025.1 WHI 2021

Work smarter and save time with the librarian’s guide to the hidden-in-plain-sight secrets of Excel, Sheets, and other types of spreadsheets.  While some librarians have become very skilled at using the full power of Excel and Sheets to turn data into useful and valuable information, for many librarians the relevance of spreadsheets―and how to use them―is not necessarily obvious.  This book demystifies Excel and other spreadsheets. Starting from basic concepts, the book progresses to advanced implementations important to librarians in such areas as collection management, including evaluation and benchmarking; research assessment through the creation of sophisticated bibliometric measures; and library design based on an analysis of patron behavior or the creation of a keyword map of physical collections. Real-life examples highlight a variety of techniques and shortcuts that can be immediately applied to libraries of all kinds.

Spreadsheets for Librarians is a book for the desk, not only the library shelves. No prior knowledge of spreadsheets is needed, and readers can expect to learn skills that will enhance their reputation as information and data professionals.

  • Illustrates spreadsheet techniques that are immediately applicable in a wide variety of library contexts
  • Explains the potential of readily available data as a means to enhance individual and institutional performance in the library and information sector
  • Helps librarians think like data and information specialists
  • Showcases skills that are portable and independent of more narrowly-focused software packages
  • Shows how to communicate more effectively with IT specialists

Going Virtual: Programs and Insights from a Time of Crisis
Sarah Ostman
ALA Editions, 2021
025.5 OST 2021

From the moment the pandemic took hold in Spring 2020, libraries and library workers have demonstrated their fortitude and flexibility by adapting to physical closures, social distancing guidelines, and a host of other challenges. Despite the obstacles, they’ve been able to stay connected to their communities―and helped connect the people in their communities to each other, as well as to the information and services they need and enjoy. Ostman and ALA’s Public Programs Office (PPO) here present a handpicked cross-section of successful programs, most of them virtual, from a range of different libraries. Featuring events designed to support learning, spark conversation, create connection, or simply entertain, the ideas here will inspire programming staff to try similar offerings at their own libraries. Showcasing innovation in action as well as lessons learned, programs include

  • COVID-19 Misinformation Challenge, featuring an email quiz, to encourage participants to separate fact from fiction;
  • weekly virtual storytimes;
  • community cooking demonstrations via Zoom;
  • an online grocery store tour, complete with tips about shopping healthy on a budget;
  • a virtual beer tasting that boasted 80 attendees;
  • socially distanced “creativity crates” for summer reading;
  • an online Minecraft club for kids ages 6 and up;
  • a Zoom presentation about grieving and funerals during COVID, featuring the director of a local funeral home;
  • Art Talk Tuesday, a one-hour, docent-led program;
  • a virtual lecture on the history of witchcraft, presented by a public library in partnership with a university rare book room, that drew thousands of viewers;
  • “knitting for knewbies” kits for curbside pickup;
  • Songs from the Stacks, an ongoing virtual concert series in the style of NPR’s “Tiny Desk”; and
  • a pink supermoon viewing party that included people howling at the moon together from their homes on Facebook Live.

Maker Literacies for Academic Libraries: Integration into Curriculum
Edited by Katie Musick Peery
ALA Editions, 2021
025.5 PEE 2021

Melding universities’ strategic goals with libraries’ teaching and learning mission, the academic library makerspace can be a powerful catalyst for information literacy, offering faculty partners a place for interdisciplinary, experiential learning. If you’re pondering what it takes to get your makerspace into the curriculum, this volume’s relatable, first-hand accounts from librarians, makerspace staff, and faculty partners will give you the confidence to make the leap. Contributors, drawn from the IMLS-funded Maker Literacies project, describe pilots and assessment for a variety of demographics, course subjects, and makerspace equipment. Guided by their experiences, you’ll be ready to fully partner with faculty through the course integration and assessment process. Inside, you’ll learn

  • why academic librarians are uniquely situated to be leaders in the realm of makerspaces and makerspace literacy;
  • how the ACRL Framework informs maker competencies;
  • methods for using competencies and assessment in designing course assignments;
  • 5 steps for guiding faculty in creating assignments for makerspaces;
  • advice on developing a new staffing and service model to handle course-wide use of the makerspace;
  • steps for taking students through concept, design, prototype, and final product in a project management course;
  • how an ethical perspective engaged a women’s history course toward the “In Her Shoes” project;
  • pedagogical strategies for integrating the makerspace into fine arts classes; and
  • ways to showcase makerspace outputs to generate excitement around campus.

This book will empower academic librarians and makerspace staff to partner with faculty in their curriculum development, and to recognize the significant role they play in bridging the gap between the subject-based content students acquire in their courses and the interdisciplinary knowledge they can gain through making.

Learning Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in Information Literacy through Co-Curricular Activities
Edited by Silvia Vong and Manda Vrkljan
Association of College and Research Libraries, 2020
027.2 VON 2020

Co-curricular learning is an approach to teaching experiential learning using activities or programs for students outside of their coursework that include intentional learning and development. Co-curricular learning benefits from having clear learning outcomes as well as helping develop competencies that connect to students’ academic or career goals. It can be a way to engage students in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and have them begin to apply its concepts to all areas of their life and studies.

Learning Beyond the Classroom explores activities that can help develop students’; IL knowledge, stimulate them academically and creatively, and help them develop new skills. In four sections—Campus Connections, Employment Experiences, Innovative Initiatives, and Assessment Approaches—chapters illustrate different approaches to incorporating the ACRL Framework concepts and how best to measure a student’s success to demonstrate the value of the co-curricular activities.

A student’s development within their chosen discipline prepares them for a future career, but it is the transferable skills they acquire through experiential activities that demonstrate their full understanding of the concepts taught. Learning Beyond the Classroom can help librarians include information literacy concepts within co-curricular activities and prepare their students to apply critical thinking to everyday pursuits.

The Ultimate Book of Scavenger Hunts: 42 Outdoor Adventures to Conquer with Your Family
Stacy Tornio
Falcon Guides, 2020
796.14 TOR 2020

The Ultimate Book of Scavenger Hunts will help turn every outdoor outing into a scavenger hunt, with plenty of things for your family to look for, discover, and learn about. Geared towards families with kids ages 4-10, the hunts are geared to just about any location—from city to farm to beach to mountains. The book includes a leveled difficulty rating system so you can find both easy and difficult items within each hunt (1 being easy, 2 medium, 3 hard).  Each hunt comes complete with factoids and information about the items on the list, and each item is accompanied by a colorful spot illustration so that the hunter can easily identify what they are looking for.

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