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Kristin Whitehair Author Archive

Email: kristin.whitehair@gmail.com  
Facebook: Kristin Whitehair   Twitter: @kwhit14

Kristin Whitehair is the e-resources librarian at Johnson County Library in Kansas. In the last decade Whitehair has worked in both public and academic libraries. Whitehair earned a MLIS from Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. At the moment Whitehair is reading The Human Body by Paolo Giordano and watching The Man in the High Castle.


Getting Your Makerspace Off the Ground

In all types of libraries, services, collections, and spaces are being redesigned as a response to changing patron needs and preferences. Advancement in technology is fueling these changes. Outside of libraries, these changes are causing businesses to rethink their products, services, and delivery methods. All of this together is changing how the modern workforce performs its work and the skill sets it needs in the dynamic modern workplace. At Johnson County Library, located in the Kansas suburbs surrounding Kansas City, these factors combined, led to the creation of a makerspace.[1] As the library re-evaluated its approach to traditional business reference services, a redesign of the central library was also in the planning stages. Moreover, a flexible approach to programming allowed these three forces to combine, creating fertile grounds for the launch of a makerspace.

keyboard with red help key

E-Product Management

Managing electronic resources can be complex. Every decision has multiple internal stakeholders, and each vendor is unique.

glasses and a pen on top of a paper report

Insights From the Core Customer Intelligence Report

CIVICTechnologies’ March 2016 white paper, “Core Customer Intelligence: Public Library Reach, Relevance and Resilience” report findings from a one-year study of ten public library systems in the United States. The findings provide insight into commonalities of public library patrons and their behavior across the nation. The Core Customer Intelligence report is based on analysis a […]

keyboard with red help key

Reaching Across the Digital Divide

A recent New York Times article by Cecilia Kang profiled a Detroit, Michigan, community struggling with Internet access. The article highlights how residents without broadband access struggle to participate in Detroit’s economic recovery and reports that “Detroit has the worst rate of Internet access of any big American city, with four in ten of its 689,000 residents lacking broadband, according to the Federal Communications Commission.”

person typing info from a card into a laptop

The Pirate Library Controversy

Until recently the term “pirate library” was fairly unknown. As the popularity of these websites has grown, however, primarily among academic researchers, and a major publisher has taken legal action, pirate libraries are a growing force in the information ecosystem. The pirate libraries I’m exploring are not libraries with collections about pirates. Instead, pirate libraries are offer a collection of content provided freely to users regardless of, and usually in violation of, copyright restrictions.

data graph in hand

More than Buzz Words: Big Data and Data Science

Data science isn’t a common term. So let’s start with an increasingly popular term: big data. Big data earned buzz word status with employers several years ago, and numerous vendors are now talking about big data in libraries. Big data generally refers to the storage and management of large data sets. In this field, it would not be uncommon to work with a sizable datasets of five terabytes or larger. By comparison, five terabytes would hold approximately one million music tracks (85,000 hours of music).

group of people - two are shaking hands

Helping Vendors Help Us

Managing vendor relationships can be an uncomfortable task for some library staff. Given the general collaborative nature of library staff, working with vendors can feel competitive and unnatural. In my current position, I manage e-content for a public library system where vendors are my allies in helping my library better serve the community. Based on my experience, here are some tips for making the most in working with vendors.

image of a person on a color chart

Inspired by Infographics

Infographics have infiltrated our lives in the last few years. They pop up anywhere—as politically themed graphics on social media, on organizational websites, in print brochures for charities, and, of course, in the library world. In an age of information overload, infographics attempt to make sense of all this information. (Side note: Here’s an infographic about information overload.)

computers in libraries

Libraries in an Artificially Intelligent World

Artificial intelligence (AI) is perhaps most familiar to the general public thanks to Hollywood’s generous incorporation of this concept into movie plots—Blade Runner, Chappie, and Transcendence are just a few examples. We see artificial intelligence in novels too (many of which are later adapted for the big screen). For example, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an artificial being with intuition, while Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot by explores the relationship between AI and humans.

Net Neutrality

Welcoming Unwelcome News

Some news is easy to share. Some isn’t.