Circulating Ideas

By Steve Thomas

Circulating Ideas facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

Circulating Ideas facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

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The Privatization of Everything

Ben Franklin's Library Company, which charged subscriptions to borrowers, is generally regarded as the foundation for the public library as we know it. This evolved into the open stacks and public library systems we know today, but lurking in the corners is t…


Circulating Ideas - 3 November 2021

Being a pragmatic optimist means understanding that while we don't live in a perfect world, good work can still be accomplished and hope can triumph over despair. It’s recognizing that “two steps forward, one step back” is still forward movement. Sometimes co…


Circulating Ideas - 19 October 2021

Coffee and dessert.When I think of getting to know Paul Signorelli, I think about the numerous times we met for coffee and dessert at conferences. Our conversations would begin as we were in route – and perhaps lost – and continue while we ate and reviewed th…


Circulating Ideas - 6 October 2021

Back in 2015, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund transcripts of the show's archive, up to that point. It was successful, and I had hours and hours of audio transcribed. The only issue was that my transcriber was a non-librarian from New Zealand, which means…


Circulating Ideas - 21 September 2021

Virtual conferences are great for accessibility issues and all conferences should contain a virtual element, but I do miss in-person conferences because they were the only time I get to see some of my favorite people in the profession (you know who you are). …


Circulating Ideas - 9 September 2021

Guest hosts have been a lifeline for me many times, and I appreciate all of my librarian friends and colleagues who have pitched in over the years. Since 2017, Troy Swanson has been guest hosting with a focus on misinformation, disinformation, and “fake news.…


Circulating Ideas - 25 August 2021

Many library workers are familiar with Becky Spratford, creator of the RA for All blog, due to her enthusiasm for professional readers' advisory training and her promotion of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of library work. If they haven't had the plea…


Circulating Ideas - 11 August 2021

Outreach, getting out of our buildings, is such an essential part of modern libraries, and it's been one of the biggest services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to get out of the building, to go to where our patrons are, but it's not safe to have t…


Circulating Ideas - 27 July 2021

As a lifelong book lover and library user, I have always been enchanted by the Morgan Library and its collections. Biographical novels and early twentieth century history are also favorites of mine so when I saw the announcement for The Personal Librarian, I …


Circulating Ideas - 14 July 2021

In elementary school, my school librarian helped me write a letter to James Howe, author of my then-favorite book, Bunnicula. As fun as that was, I had no idea that he would actually write me back! He wrote a note on a bookmark that I used for the longest tim…


Circulating Ideas - 29 June 2021

Hi, I am Maurice Coleman. I am a fellow podcaster and happen to know (and like) both Steve and this episode's guest Gene Ambaum. Gene and I have been friends for 15 years. I started out a fanboy and we slowly grew on each other after a few conference adventur…


Circulating Ideas - 15 June 2021

My first thought when I received my copy of The Atlas of New Librarianship back in 2011 was, "Oh, man, this book is HEAVY!"A few weeks earlier, I had watched and livetweeted a virtual session with Dr. R. David Lankes for some conference / webinar / whatever a…


Circulating Ideas - 1 June 2021

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Circulating Ideas - Issue #0

I am in a multi-year project (going back many many years) to provide transcripts for each episode of the show. This makes the content of the episodes more accessible, searchable, and findable!