By Steve Zalusky

Cynthia Shutts has an omnivorous passion for Young Adult literature.

She said she logs between 300 and 400 books per year. Her favorites include “Gabi, a Girl in Pieces,” by Isabel Quintero.  “I felt like it was just so realistic, because you could feel that you were actually in California and you could feel what the characters were feeling,” she said.

Shutts is not a teen. But as a librarian, she passes on her love of YA literature to the teens who patronize the White Oak Library District.  Her library will be among those celebrating Teen Read Week, an annual celebration that promotes the many ways librarians encourage all teens to be regular readers and...


by Alan S. Inouye, courtesy of American Libraries

One of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy’s (OITP) major projects is preparing for the next presidential administration, and one of the issues on which we’re focusing—veterans and military families—is a stated priority for both the Trump and Clinton campaigns. OITP is developing a three-page document to brief the campaigns and transition staffs as well as national policy advocates about how and why libraries can help reach and provide assistance to veterans.

While collecting information for this document last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a...


by Tammy Keith, courtesy of River Valley & Ozark

Sean Ott, the first garden programmer for the Faulkner County Library in Conway (AR), was wrangling some raspberries “that were getting kind of gnarly” onto a trellis, he said.  He’s come a long way for someone who said he grew up “a total city kid.”

“I grew up a military brat,” the 26-year-old said. He said most of his family is in Pittsburgh, but he moved with his parents to Gravel Ridge in about 1996.  “I can’t say I’m an Arkansan, but I would definitely say Arkansas is home,” Ott said.

Ott started the new part-time job in August. He will help the...


By Steve Zalusky

Libraries not only transform communities – they are, in turn, transformed by them.  This is certainly true as it applies to Friends of the Library groups.

Friends groups have been instrumental in helping sustain libraries – and historically have played an important role in their creation as well. In the late 19th and early 20th Century, among the requirements for securing a Carnegie grant was a commitment by community members to raise funds and support a new library.

“The Carnegie grants, I think, really lit the fire. It totally changed the American landscape for libraries and public libraries in particular, because up until the Carnegie grants, libraries were few and far between,”...


Review of the Day

Shusterman, Neal (author).
Nov. 2016. 448p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $17.99 (9781442472426). Grades 9-12.
REVIEW. First published October 1, 2016 (Booklist).

In the year 2042, humans conquered death. Now, in the postmortal society of MidMerica, people can live for millennia, either reanimated from fatal accidents or “turning the corner” when they get old by resetting themselves to a younger age. But Earth remains the only habitable planet and so exist the Scythes, tasked with keeping the population in check: those who a Scythe gleans stay dead.

Citra and Rowan are two teenagers in this world, chosen to apprentice the Honorable Scythe Faraday (Scythes abandon their own...

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A Disadvantaged Neighborhood Finds its Voice at the Library

After learning residents from a disadvantaged neighborhood felt underserved and misrepresented, the Hartford Public Library jumped at the chance to strengthen the neighborhood’s bond to the rest of the city...READ MORE

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