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Laura O'Grady Author Archive


Email: lauraogrady@derrytownship.org   Twitter: @@LibrisLaura

Laura is the Director of Library Services at the Hershey Public Library in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She received her MLIS from Pratt Institute in 2008 with a focus on Public Library Services. Laura's previous positions include Children's Librarian at Martin Library in York, Pennsylvania, and Director of Development for York County Libraries.


person speaking into a phone microphone

New Expectations for Search Functionality Bring Challenges

In the past few weeks I’ve come across two articles that predict the imminent rise of voice-searching as the preferred method to seek information. My immediate reaction was a sinking feeling of discouragement when I consider how clunky searching for library materials already feels, let alone how it would feel if this new expectation comes […]

signpost with one sign pointing in opposite directions one reads changes and the other stagnation

We Are Never Not Changing

As soon as we give up on change, we run the risk of falling behind. Therefore, instead of change management we should embrace change readiness.

people having a meeting

Shifting Expectations for Staff in a 21st Century Library

To stay competitive in the today’s attention economy, it’s imperative that we pay attention.   

Masked face behind laptop

People Don’t Care About Privacy 

When user data is king, libraries get left behind.

enthusiastic group

Our North Star: Finding Our Way Back To What We Love

Gaining access to the magic enthusiasm fosters is a key strategy to building effective teams and sustainable libraries. The good news is that its not hard to replicate once you’ve found it. I encourage you to go and do just that.

librarian

Our Noble Cause: Reflecting On All We Do Right

The existence of public libraries is not guaranteed. In fact, public libraries continue to operate against a mountain of odds that would suffocate a lesser field. Doors continue to open each day due to the hard scrabble administrators, local officials, front line staff, and librarians who are driven by a sense of mission far greater than paychecks or pensions.

illustration of a diploma

The MLS Catch-22

In library-land we’re aware that the MLS is the key to professional achievements. It is rare that anyone can attain leadership positions within libraries if they don’t carry this key designation. Over the past few years however, a combination of student loan debt, low salaries, and the actual job requirements of these positions make pursuing an MLS a little less desirable. Is there a future for the profession if we begin to accept a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science as sufficient training? Or perhaps rather than an MLS, we begin to require a Master’s of Public Administration for those pursuing a Public Library leadership position. Is our commitment to the MLS an example of an industry struggling to adapt to change?

information symbol

Rebranding Reference

No matter what you may hear, reference isn’t dead. It sure looks a whole lot different than it did ten, twenty or fifty years ago but I assure you it is alive and well. Next to material circulation, I believe reference help is the most popular library service. If you don’t believe me it’s because […]

chairs in a meeting room

Gathering Space: Meeting Room Policies in the Age of Charlottesville

If the library of the future is a gathering space, who will be allowed to gather?