Libraries go above and beyond for the communities they serve, providing far more than just free access to books and databases. One powerful recent example: staff at Ipswich County Library in Suffolk, UK recorded their own audiobook version of an out-of-print novel so that a local senior could relive cherished childhood memories.

Like many librarians, Ipswich County Library staff have been placing regular phone calls to members of their communities during the pandemic, providing much-needed companionship in this time of social distancing. During one call with a librarian, 102-year-old Ipswich resident Doris Bugg reminisced about her father reading aloud Portrait of Clare, a 1927 novel by Francis Brett Young.

Library staff...

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Being read to is crucial for early childhood development, but many low-income families have limited access to books to share with their kids. That’s why Michigan’s Wayne State University Library System is teaming up with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to distribute free books to Detroit families with children under five.

Over the past three decades, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has mailed more than 90 million free books to kids across the English-speaking world. Now, the Wayne State library is bringing the program to their local community. Any child in the 48201 and 48202 ZIP codes can opt to receive a free book in the mail every month from birth until their fifth birthday.

The program kicked off with a...

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Each June, readers across the country observe Rainbow Book Month, an opportunity to celebrate the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s also a time to advocate for free and widespread access to queer literature, which is censored all too frequently in libraries and schools.

An overwhelming proportion of the censorship attempts that the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked...

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Summer reading helps kids stay engaged when school isn’t in session, ensuring that students are prepared and ready to learn when they return to the classroom in the fall. Libraries have long played a key role in hosting summer reading programs that are free and accessible to everyone in their communities, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events aren’t possible this season. Still, libraries across the country are offering virtual summer reading programs that allow students to safely participate while maintaining social distancing.

Readers can stock up on free eBooks and audiobooks from their libraries’ websites to enjoy over the summer. Many libraries are using online systems that allow community members to track their...

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Screenshot: Stacey Abrams video, Libraries champion access an opportunity for all.
American Library Association Youth Media Awards, Check out the 2020 winners!

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