The Creative Library

It’s rare that I’ll write about one of my personal projects – maybe a casual link here and there – but today I want to share with you the link to a recent project that I’m particularly proud to bring to your attention. This past spring semester I engaged in a unique experience. For the first time in my career I served as the guest editor of a journal issue. A good friend and colleague, Lisa Finder, a librarian at Hunter College and current co-editor of Urban Library Journal, invited me to serve as the guest editor of the spring 2008 issue. When she said I could choose any theme I liked that sealed the deal. After some careful thought I decided to assemble a collection of articles that would showcase the creative abilities of librarians. We call this issue “The Creative Library“. Lauren Yannotta, also a librarian at Hunter College, is ULI’s other co-editor.

If you are new to Urban Library Journal you should know:

Urban Library Journal is an open access, refereed journal of research and discussion dealing with all aspects of urban libraries and librarianship, welcomes articles dealing with academic, research, public, school, and special libraries in an urban setting.

The editors and I were amazed at the number of quality manuscripts we received in response to our call for papers. Choosing those to include was quite difficult. I think you will find the articles in this issue offer great examples of creative librarians at their best. For an overview of what’s included take a look at my introduction to the issue. Here’s a snippet from that overview:

That’s why this special issue about creativity in libraries is just right for the times. First, it’s important to celebrate the many creative minds working in this profession. Libraries have traditionally worked with restrained resource pools. To have come so far with so many successes is owing to the high levels of creative thinking in our libraries. Second, as we find ourselves in times of rapid change our most valuable asset is our ability to master the art of adaptation. If one program fails, if users seem to be going elsewhere for their information, if user expectations shift unexpectedly, then library workers must use their creativity to quickly adapt. By understanding our user communities, we can create new programs that leverage our skill sets to deliver new services and new ideas that will continue to make the library a community destination, both physical and virtual. We have compiled here a set of dynamic articles that demonstrate that there is no lack of creativity in the world of librarianship. But you probably already knew that. Anyone who has worked in this field for any length of time knows there are many creative people attracted to the field of librarianship. Yet we rarely use our journal literature to promote the many acts of creativity happening at our libraries. This special issue of Urban Library Journal changes that.

Did I say that this is a free, open access journal. So it’s free. What are you waiting for?

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