Spring is finally here! At least, according to the calendar, it is. As I write this it is cloudy and 45 degrees, so it doesn't really feel like spring, though it is starting to look like it. The daffodils have been blooming for weeks, the Bradford pear trees are out (like it or not), and the tulips are about to open up. The days are lengthening, soccer and softball practices have started, the lawn finally needs mowing ... we are all kind of waking up from our winter naps. My 5-year-old daughter recently asked me if spring is the first season. I started to tell her that they go in a continual cycle, so that there really is no first or last, but when I thought about it from the standpoint of a flower, I said that yes, I guess it is.
This issue of Tennessee Libraries features the work of three current graduate students at the School of Information Science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. At the risk of sounding trite, I'll suggest that they are in the spring of their library careers, but if they are flowers, they have fully bloomed. Truly, I am very proud to present their work here.
Blake Galbreath makes a compelling argument that academic libraries stil have much work to do to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. As the webmaster for my library, I have taken his findings to heart and used the tools he suggests to find errors on my pages. As he concludes, most of them were easy fixes.
Frances Nichols, along with Dr. Edwin Cortez, Director of the School of Information Science at UTK, present a framework for developing empathetic ontologies for disenfranchised patron groups for use in public library OPACs. Specifically, they focus on the needs of homeless LGBTQ youth, whose only reliable source of technology is often the public library. This pilot program for the Libraries as Models for Building Diversity Achievements (LAMBDA) project is a joint effort of libraries within the cities of San Francisco, CA and Knoxville, TN.
And speaking of Knoxville, Dhaval Mehta describes a very pleasant afternoon in the Lawson McGhee public library.
Other non-student contributions -- I suppose these authors are in the summers of their careers -- include Cara Huweiler's interview with Kevin Reynolds, Assistant University Librarian at the University of the South. This interview marks the first in a series of interviews with UTK-SIS alumni. Charlie Remy from UT Chattanooga gives us an interview piece of a different sort. He spoke with several librarians and vendor representatives to give us a thorough and balanced overview of Zinio, a magazine-viewing platform for libraries. We really enjoyed reading this piece and would like to encourage more reviews of vendors and products.
To finish, I would like to offer special thanks to the wonderful peer reviewers who -- to extend this tired metaphor one last time -- acted as bees, pollinating the scholarly submissions for this issue and helping to bring them to fruition. This was my first time coordinating peer review, and it was quite a learning experience!