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Page 18 • Cognotes 2012 Midwinter Meeting HIGHLIGHTS—Dallas

AASL President Carl Harvey, third from right, gathers with Jaclyn Finneke, Veronda Pitchford, Marci Merola, ALA President Molly Raphael, Susan Ballard, and Patricia Tumulty, at a kiosk outside the exhibit hall to encourage attendees to sign Harvey's White House petition. Sign the petition by February 4 at

Look for These Upcoming Events

AASL will offer three preconferences in Anaheim, during the ALA 2012 Annual Conference. The pre-conferences will be held Friday, June 22. For more information, visit

ACRL is taking scholarly communication on the road once again. The 2012 road shows are full-day programs that provide in-depth training for developing and building scholarly communication programs. Applications to host a workshop at your institution are due by February 7, 2012. Complete details are on the ACRL website at

ALCTS is offering a variety of continuing education offerings. All of the ALCTS courses are valuable for librarians and support staff. The web courses are approved for the library support staff certification. Find more information on all of the online continuing education on the ALCTS web-site under Conferences and Events (

ALSC committee members are busy year-round evaluating and recommending books and websites forchildren 14-years-old and younger. Targeted book lists on specific topics are at; click on Communications & Publications.

Registration and housing for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color will open March 1, 2012. More information may be found at

Please join hundreds of library advocates in attending this year's National Library Legislative Day events. Go to o t find your state coordinator and other important information.

At 1:00 p.m. CST on February 23, PLA will offer an hour-long webinar, "Creating Dynamic Library Atmospheres." Attend the webinar to see how one professional and a couple of amateurs made a big impact – for very little money. Plan to leave with at least one idea you can implement immediately. Register at

YALSA's winter online course and webinars will help you stay on top of the latest in teen library services, without leaving your desk! Learn more and register at

Participants Discuss Library Programs And Services to Baby Boomers

By Frederick J. Augustyn, Jr.
The Library of Congress

The Reference and User Services Association, Reference Services Section (RUSA RSS) on Saturday, January 21 sponsored a free-flowing exchange of ideas on current and prospective programs addressing the needs of a particular section of maturing adults, those born between 1945 and 1964, a group that frequently does not view itself as old. Participants discovered that members of the graying demographic often seek and will attend library-sponsored lectures and classes geared to their own particular needs and learning styles. Among these are: sessions on healthy aging presented by physicians as a community service and presentations on topics such as the American Civil War, genealogy, urban chicken farming, art, literature, finances, computing, and exercise programs.

Many seasoned adults do not want to be mainstreamed with younger people seeking computer training because they might feel intimidated by their lack of knowledge. Senior centers as well as libraries can conduct computer classes although baby boomers may not want to go to a center so labeled. Nevertheless, partnering with other institutions in today's economic climate allows libraries to do more. Librarians serving seniors should be aware that Area Agencies on Aging provide help with tax forms and information on meals on wheels. Elementary eBook instruction is a welcome assistance for those who have recently received them as gifts. Webmaster volunteers furnishing one-on-one training in libraries work well, often entailing intergenerational interaction, a desirable byproduct. Libraries can encourage high school students in either a formal program such as in the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project to interview adults or in similar community history ventures, also achieving the social benefit of bringing the generations together.

Libraries can suggest adults to engage in physical fitness safely through: Wii simulated sports and exercises; Tai Chi; and ballroom and line dancing. Many boomers benefit from job-seeking classes, but are more likely to attend them if they are designated as "mid-life career changes" rather than as "lost your job" sessions. Institutions might consider electronic ads on multiple websites, such as a page for "more to explore" as well as "employment assistance."

There will be a full program at ALA Annual in Anaheim on library services to an aging population.


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can conduct expert searches when life saving is the goal. With frequent reorganizations and reconceptualization of the meaning of what a librarian is, accompanied by fewer employees (and little real prospect of many new hires) adaptability is essential. Patrons' expectations vs. time constraints present challenges to an attenuated staff. The reduction of the workforce due to budget cuts often adversely affects morale, for gaps appear in what had formerly been well-functioning work groups. But academic libraries can draw upon student assistance, especially for technical support. With proper techniques, librarians can still fulfill their historic roles of serving as more than gatekeepers, but also as those who anticipate as well as respond to demands, creating and curating knowledge housed in their institutions.

Another topic addressed was the position of the Ph.D. in library or information science, what it entails and provides. The consensus was that it supplies the recipient with employment possibilities in the fields of research, teaching, and administration in addition to lending prestige and a sense of personal fulfillment that doctorates in other fields also give. Proceeding through the Ph.D. program can provide connections. Its completion gives a library administratorcredibility with those administered, that is, other librarians with MLS degrees while academics might be more impressed by someone who holds another type of doctorate (preferably in their own field). The challenges of the pursuer of the Ph.D. are finding funding for a long-term goal and willingness to drive to and possibly string together several adjunct positions. A faculty advisor who knows the procedures and is interested in the selected research topic can sometimes make all the difference in a student's completion and eventual placement.

Effective mobile services are important contemporary methods in how libraries promote themselves. As gateway tools, electronic services can justify institutions seeking adequate funding. Associates of public library consortia might consider going out to the locales frequented by those with mobile devices, such as grocery stores and beaches, to advertise library services. These repositories often face the challenge of furnishing more elementary services and instruction. More specialized libraries with particular client bases need to have personnel who know which apps can be accessed by particular platforms and be aware of legitimate privacy concerns. Recognizing the appropriateness of various devices is key, with smart phones best for quick reference searches (such as dialing up a library's catalog when one is in the stacks) while laptops or personal computers are better for more involved research.

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