General Articles

Down but Not Out: Rebuilding the NYU Health Sciences Library


By Ashley Curran

The stairs leading to the library post-Sandy.

The stairs leading to the library post-Sandy.

In October of 2012, when all seemed right with the world and the New York University Health Sciences Library was in the midst of strategic planning to develop new data management services and prepare for a much needed renovation, disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Sandy. The Health Sciences Library along with the entire NYU Medical Center was hit with a fourteen foot storm surge that completely flooded the lower level of the library and partially flooded the upper level. Virtually everything was destroyed in the library and in prioritizing patient needs the library came fairly low on the list of renovations, which explains why the expected opening is spring 2016, three and half years after the closing.

Almost immediately the faculty and staff set up shop across the road from the medical center and in order to maintain continued service, librarians went online. Within the space of two weeks the library became a virtual library, expanding already robust online resources and offering most if not all of the services it had been providing. Continue reading


A Whirlwind of Transitions

WillseTabletsAppsLibrariesBy Elizabeth Willse

I squeaked this submission for the Bridge to Excellence in just barely on deadline (thanks to the editors for being so understanding!) I had trouble getting it written, but not for any lack of material. The chance to write about transitions couldn’t come at a better time. It’s been quite a year so far!

The sheer number of transitions this year has included doesn’t feel huge until I have the chance to catch up with friends and fellow librarians I haven’t seen in a while. Or until I have to write them all down for a B2E article about transitions. Here’s a brief recap: Continue reading


The Forgotten World of Masonic Libraries

By Scott Bisogni

The world of Special Libraries is a wonderful and informative place. Researchers over the years have come to learn to navigate these unique collections to unlock the knowledge within. Many libraries have become well known in the research community and are frequently used. However, one group of libraries remains mostly forgotten and rarely visited by those outside their membership community. These are the libraries of the Freemasons. Continue reading


Mentoring: The road to professional development and success

By Stephanie Gross

My perspective on professional development is that one can almost never get too much. Successful professionals understand that achieving a college diploma is only the beginning of one’s career. I have been involved with mentoring for the past six years through both local and national library groups and one of the main goals I hope to achieve through mentoring is that my mentee develop an increased appreciation of career development and continuing education in the library field.  Oftentimes I’ve found that this has been a rather hard sell. People wonder “How will I make the time?” “How will I afford the tuition?” I explain that it is an investment that almost always bears fruit. For example, one mentee took on added training in the summer and won both a challenge grant and a promotion at her current place of work. Continue reading


Networking Like a Pro at the SLA Expo

By Elizabeth Willse

We’re counting down the days until the SLA NY Conference and Expo.

Throughout the panels and exhibits scheduled for the day, there will be plenty of opportunities for networking. No matter where you are in your career, whether you need a library job, or are attending the Expo for insights to use in your current position, we hope you’ll take full advantage of the opportunity to network. To that end, here are a few useful tips and tricks that have worked for me: Continue reading


The Value of Cataloging Zines & Zine Libraries

By Julia Lipscomb

A zine (/ˈziːn/ZEEN; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulationself-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.

A popular definition includes that circulation must be 1,000 or fewer, although in practice the majority are produced in editions of less than 100, and profit is not the primary intent of publication. They are informed by anarchopunk and DIY ethos. – Wikipedia

People have been self-publishing for centuries, in the form of pamphlets, broadsheets, and flyers, to name just a few of many formats. Even as technology evolves—and our expectations for quick delivery of information grow apace—and new opportunities to exploit mass media outlets and platforms emerge, one format of self-publishing has stuck to its Luddite, self-publishing roots: the zine. Continue reading


UX in Libraries with a Case Study at NYU Libraries

By April Ibarra-Siqueiros

The field of User Experience (UX) deals with meeting exact user needs and focuses on facilitating a seamless customer or patron experience. It takes account of the emotional aspects of how users interact with a service or product and measures the quality of the experience. Much UX work is done for online interfaces, such as websites and mobile apps, but holistic UX includes other aspects of a service, such as physical space and marketing. As a broader concept, UX encompasses various approaches, such as usability testing (determining ease of use), information architecture (categorizing information and creating a meaningful structure for it), and interaction design (imagining and continually re-evaluating the interaction between a customer and a product or service). Continue reading


Omeka Workshop at the Bard Graduate Center

By Chris Lillis Meatto

On June 18, the New York City Digital Humanities group (NYCDH), Bard Graduate Center (BGC), and the Metropolitan New York Library Council hosted a workshop training attendees on Omeka, a content management system used to build online spaces for digital collections. Developed and maintained by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media of George Mason University, Omeka’s straightforward user experience and Dublin Core-driven publishing platform has earned it acclaim among academic and non-profit communities. In attendance were area librarians, archivists, scholars, and technologists of varied familiarity with Omeka, all interested in using it for their own institutional projects. The day-long event showed that in addition to Omeka’s ease of use, part of its appeal lies in its flexibility and scalability: starting with only basic technical aptitude or experience, administrators can create elegant, user-friendly sites using simple themes as end products or the starting points for highly-customized interfaces. Continue reading


A Chat with Diversity Committee Chairs Clara Cabrera and Lisa Lopez-Terrones

By Rachel Finn

Difference matters–recognizing, accepting, acknowledging, celebrating–and there is little room in our field, or any other, for that matter, to ignore it. In the spirit of this, SLA NY’s Diversity Committee, co-chaired by Lisa Lopez-Terrones and Clara Cabrera, led chapter efforts to celebrate diversity through a series of events around the city. In the fall of 2013, at the start of their shared tenure, along with other members of the committee, the two surveyed Chapter members in order to gain useful insights for the direction and future planning of the committee. Continue reading