I want passion! I want excitement! I want bold and inspiring statements and ideas from human beings! This month, Library Journal delivered in THREE ways. Here they are. Read them, share them, and be inspired to be a great positive force in your world.

Adversary or Ally? The trouble with fines and fees by Rebecca T. Miller


COPY AND PASTE all text by Rebecca because this is very important: Ultimately, we must reflect upon our bond with the people libraries are designed to serve. Interactions with patrons can become about the fine or fee, instead of the need addressed by the service. This risks turning librarians and clerks into cops and collection agents and diverting backroom capacity to fee and fine maintenance. In the process, it can set up an adversarial relationship between the library and its users rather than forging an alliance that supports a vibrant interchange. I vote for the library as ally rather than as adversary. Read the full article here. Good job Rebecca.

Barbie Bod Mods by Lisa Mudrakoff and Sasha Schertzer


A program that is not only FUN but a program that engages youth and gets them to think is a library program that I love and want to sing about from the rooftops.

Over the course of the program, we witnessed participants building a community of young people from all over the city, with relationships developing naturally as the teens worked on their dolls side by side. Some older teens, still working through their own identities, nevertheless found themselves mentoring the younger teens as they talked about their questions and struggles.

FANTASTIC JOB Lisa and Sasha. Read the full article here.

Speak of the Devil by Michael Stephens


The term devil’s advocate is defined as a role meant to encourage discussion of an issue from all sides by taking an unpopular approach. However, I fear it’s become something different. Many have come to understand that when we say “play devil’s advocate,” it’s a passive-aggressive way of bringing a point up without it looking like it’s our own. Same goes for those who blanket their opinions with, “Others are saying this about that….”

Michael is spot on here (he usually is with his ideas. I enjoy him very much). Don’t be the person that brings negativity into an otherwise healthy situation. I believe in debate and discussion and openness, but it doesn’t have to happen all of the time. Roll with the positive.





  1. In the college setting…man, I so wish we didn’t charge for printing! It really is the printing costs for us. We very rarely deal with fees and fines related to our print books. We have 2,000 students, and 1/4 take just one class. Most use our online journal and magazine articles, so that’s really why we don’t deal with it often.

    That Barbie program seriously makes me want to ask my former colleagues at the public library to do one, so I can attend as a library user. 🙂 That is awesome.

    Stephens, just the best as always. I spent 20 months on the full-time job hunt. At one point, I had four library jobs, and I was exhausted when I started my first full-time professional position. The Hyperlinked MOOC he did with Kyle Jones really helped me get excited again. Because of that experience, I ended up taking User Experience with Aaron Schmidt through SJSU’s iSchool Open classes the following summer. (I did my MLIS through San José.)

    • Lindsay! I like talking to you on the internet!

      -I think over the next 20 years (yes that long!) we will start to see a shift away from fines and other things that create barriers to access. Or at least I hope so. This is the positive change that the library world needs to see!

      -I sometimes miss being a Youth Services Librarian because of programs like this, but then I see this and realize that things are in much better hands with people like Lisa and Sasha.

      -Michael is a great human being. He’s been such a nice friend to me over the years who has challenged me to think positively. He is a wonderful person and the world is a better place because he’s here.

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