Professional Media | Social Sciences Reviews

Phillips, Faye. Creating a Local History Archive at Your Public Library. ALA. Aug. 2017. 176p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838915660. pap. $57. PRO MEDIA

This manual provides both theory for shaping local history archive policies and practical guidelines for processing local history material for public access. The book is, in part, a response to national surveys that called for guidance in starting local history archives. By addressing a wide range of topics, including collection priorities, appraising, deaccessioning, digitization, reference service, and preservation, Phillips (lib. srvcs., V.F. Phillips Consulting; Local History Collections in Libraries) thoroughly presents the elements of a successful archive. Carol Kammen’s and Bob Beatty’s Zen and the Art of Local History provides a real-world supplement with input from practitioners concerning the scope and challenges of local historians. Rhonda Clark and Nicole Miller’s Fostering Family History Services focuses on genealogical material, which is just one component to consider. Phillips’s thorough guide, with its emphasis on current processing technology, is a useful addition to the literature. VERDICT Recommended for librarians or museum staff who deal with local history resources.—Betty J. Glass, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno

Taylor, Nick D. Raising the Tech Bar at Your Library: Improving Services To Meet User Needs. Libraries Unlimited: Teacher Ideas. May 2017. 117p. illus. index. ISBN 9781440844966. pap. $50; ebk. ISBN 9781440844973. PRO MEDIA

This isn’t yet another ode to Maker spaces. Taylor (tech experience supervisor, Arapahoe Libs., CO) shows public librarians how to develop technology support services, beyond the old standbys of public computers, ebooks, and Wi-Fi. Reference librarians have long taught and troubleshot technologies commonly used by patrons—think Outlook or Overdrive—but Taylor envisions libraries developing tech hubs staffed by specialists, like community Apple Stores, while maintaining focus on current user needs. What must librarians know and do to make this vision a reality? Seven chapters focus on assessing needs, recruiting tech specialists, and optimizing performance, designing spaces and marketing services, teaching users, evaluating programs, and identifying growth opportunities. The author draws from his experiences at the Arapahoe Libraries and the Denver Public Libraries in Colorado, as well as gold standards such as the New York Public Library’s TechConnect program. Additional case studies from public libraries with more diverse and distinctive user populations would have strengthened this otherwise excellent contribution to the literature. Simple and succinct but never simplistic, this title raises the bar for professional development monographs as it guides libraries toward sustainable futures. VERDICT Required reading for public library staff and administrators looking to build better technology support services.—Michael Rodriguez, Univ. of Connecticut

Using Social Media To Build Library Communities: A LITA Guide. Rowman & Littlefield. Sept. 2017. 176p. ed. by Scott W.H. Young & Doralyn Rossmann. index. ISBN 9781442270503. $75; pap. ISBN 9781442270510. $45; ebk. ISBN 9781442270527. PRO MEDIA

Titles on social media and libraries are abundant, but most focus on marketing and outreach. Young (digital initiatives librarian, Montana State Univ. Lib.) and Rossman (administrative director of data infrastructure & scholarly communication, head of collection development, Montana State Univ.) take a slightly different approach—using social media to foster conversations and build communities. In three distinct sections (developing communities of users, creating communities of professionals, and transforming communities into action for social justice), the editors highlight voices from a range of library types—public, four- and two-year college, health sciences, and school libraries, as well as archives. While each chapter presents valuable information, this book makes its mark with its final section. Here, Jarrett M. Drake examines how Princeton University documented its students’ #OccupyNassau movement, and April M. Hathcock discusses relying on Twitter to spark discussions of critical librarianship. The volume ends abruptly; a conclusion that ties the content together or compares it to existing literature would have been beneficial. VERDICT This selection will be helpful to librarians and staff considering delving into social media, as well as those looking to harness it in new ways.—Amanda Folk, Ohio State Univ. Libs.

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