A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Su Epstein Author Archive


Email: sepstein@columbiactlibrary.org  

Su Epstein holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Connecticut and began her career teaching Criminology, before changing careers to Libraryland.  She is currently the Library Director at Saxton B. Little Free Library in Columbia, CT.  Su is currently reading Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz.


art gallery

Behind the Scenes at the Library Gallery

Our gallery space has now completed three cycles.  My library board and the public love the space; they are thrilled to see original art work in the library.  However, I am now learning that I was not as prepared as I believed.

hand typing on keyboard

Share, Write, Publish

It is both a blessing and a curse of public library librarians that we are busy. Whatever our title or job description, most of us wear many hats and juggle multiple and diverse responsibilities. For many, we consider ourselves lucky when we find time to go to a conference, read a list exchange, or even visit pages such as this.  Unlike our academic counterparts, most of us have no direct mandate to share our experiences, to present, or to publish. 

change

To Fine or Not To Fine

Fines are a tangible reminder of the patron’s responsibility, the library’s importance, and the consideration of others.

illustration of person at podicum

Making Social Change: Promote Civility

The public library by our mission and place within communities across the country is in a position to help facilitate positive social change. 

We Are The Second Responders

In my view, librarians are second responders; a later role that is much needed and of significant importance.  We are the group that enters the picture during the second wave of disaster relief, when many others have forgotten or grown weary of hearing of the situation.

hand in red circle indicating stop

The Value of No

Saying no does not mean being rude or mean. Sometimes saying no is necessary.

illustration of an eye

Big Brother Through the Library

On Monday April 3, 2017 President Trump signed a bill repealing internet privacy rules.

men working at computers in libraries

The Importance of Understanding and Evaluating Research

As librarians we are not only on the front line of information sharing, we are also its guardians. I believe we need to hold creators accountable. If you don’t know or understand research methods – learn them! If a source or organization will not provide or support the process, don’t support it. We need to start treating data with respect or all information will soon become meaningless.

Man selecting book from shelf in library

Amazon Books – Another Turn in the Spiral?

If you have not heard, book-selling giant Amazon currently has book*stores* in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland with plans for more stores near Chicago and Boston. With Amazon also initiating a cashier-free grocery store, many have been speculating both why and what next.

photograph of a hand writing in a notebook

How Keeping Records Paid Off

When my library was renovated, the moving process involved notifying vendors, changing utilities, and managing our accounts. From the start, I kept copious notes of who I talked to and the content of our conversations. Here’s how it paid off.

lights

Why I Do Not Decorate the Library for Christmas

Back in January, I wrote on Leading Tolerance. Leading tolerance is moving beyond the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism and engaging in actions that demonstrate a willingness to coexist with those opinions and behaviors different from one’s own. It does not mean agreement with a differing perspective, but respect for that alternative perspective

stack of paper

The Paper Conundrum

Every day I see people in the library printing out electronic communications so they can review and have the information on paper: bank statements, emails, receipts, coupons, directions. People like paper, which brings me to a conundrum for my library.

image of emergency route red back ground white stick figure running down stairs

Don’t Forget Your Emergency Plan

Every October fire departments remind us to change our smoke detector batteries. This is the perfect time to update your emergency plan.

library sign

Librarians and Social Activism

By choice or circumstance, librarians are social activists, and with this comes responsibility.

question marks

What Makes an Expert?

An expert is generally considered someone with extensive knowledge or experience in a given area. But in today’s society of information available instantly at one’s fingertips, literally, the concept and role of the expert has shifted. Still, many people desire expert advice and actively seek out others outside their circle for confirmation or information.