I Love Libraries

Features

Celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month 

Library Card Sign-up Month is a celebration held each September during which librarians across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all. 

This year, Stan Lee, comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-men, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, joins us as Honorary Chair.

A library card is a key resource in achieving academic success, and the library is the perfect place to spend quality family time together.

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Four Public Libraries to Follow on Instagram

In honor of TechSoup's StoryMakers challenge kicking off in a few weeks, I wanted to help you get inspired by other libraries. Instagram is a great tool for exploring how other libraries tell their story. Yup, I'm telling you to go lurk some other libraries! Here are a few of my new follows...

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Extremism @ the Library 

Bring up the subject of extremist literature and hate propaganda, and the first mental image most people are likely to have is of waves of protesters, livid Holocaust deniers, and the ACLU defending free speech. Curating such material takes a special brand of fortitude.

Radical literature that calls for destroying the status quo and hate speech that assaults various demographic groups may well be uncomfortable to read, but study of the human condition wouldn’t be honest or complete if it didn’t take a hard, thorough look into humanity’s darker corners. On the other hand, maintaining collections for that kind of scholarship without providing free publicity to precisely the wrong element can be a tricky thing.

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Take Action

The American Library Association's Legislative Action Center

Who can be a library advocate?  Anyone who cares about America's libraries!  Library advocates play a key role in educating our communities about why libraries and librarians are essential in an information society.  Read more...


Mobile Commons

Mobile Commons allows ALA to send text messages to a mobile list.  From there, advocates can connect directly to their legislators simply by responding to the text.  Mobile Commons also enables ALA to post click-to-call alerts on our webpages.  The alert connects advocates, whether they're on the mobile list or not, to their legislator's office simply by entering their phone number on our page and clicking "call."  Read more...

Showcase

How a Virginia City Came Together to Build a New Library 

Like a lot of the South’s once-segregated cities, Petersburg, Va., is beset by challenges. A quarter of adults do not have a high school diploma; a third of its high school kids don’t graduate on time; unemployment is high; jobs are scarce; and health problems like diabetes and heart disease are too common. Indeed, in a recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin, Petersburg ranked as the least healthy place to live among 131 Virginia communities.

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News

Earthquake knocks books off Napa library shelves

Early on August 24, the Northern California city of Napa was hit by a 6.0 earthquake, the largest in the region since 1989’s destructive Loma Prieta quake. The temblor caused books to be knocked off the shelves at all four branches of theNapa County Library, which reopened after cleanup on August 27 (except for the Calistoga branch). Library Director Danis Kreimeier (right) said there was no structural damage to the main library, but the district attorney’s staff is setting up in the library’s meeting room, as their office was completely trashed, including water damage to files and records....

Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Aug. 25; ALA Think Tank, Aug. 26; Napa County Library


Pastor wants vampire books removed

A minister is leading a petition to have certain books removed from the shelves of the teen section at Austin Memorial Library in Cleveland, Texas. The books include Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, the House of Night series by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast, and other YA books that have a theme of vampires in relationships with young teens. Phillip Missick, pastor of King of Saints Tabernacle, is concerned that these books do not build a teen’s character in a positive way....

Cleveland (Tex.) Advocate, Aug. 21


LC acquires unique Civil War image

Michael E. Ruane writes: “This striking 150-year old tintype (right), one of the most enigmatic images from the Civil War, was just donated to the Library of Congress by a collector who bought it to give to the library. It can be found in the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photos. The 1861 photograph shows Sgt. Andrew Martin Chandler of the 44th Mississippi Regiment and his ‘servant,’ Silas Chandler, who was one of 36 slaves owned by the soldier’s mother. The photograph presents modern Americans with an enduring image of the role of race in the US.”...

Washington Post, Aug. 24


Panel approves California State Librarian choice

The son of a former California Supreme Court justice won approval August 20 from a state senate panel as the new California State Librarian after initial concerns that he had never worked in the field and had no formal training as a librarian when he was nominated. Gov. Jerry Brown had named Greg Lucas (right) of Sacramento to the $143,000-a-year post in March. Lucas said he began studying for an online MLS degree from San Jose State University in August....

Associated Press, Aug. 20


Oldest US public library in danger of closing

The oldest continuously operating free library in the United States is faced with another cash crunch, which could cause the facility to close its doors for good before the end of the year. The Darby (Pa.) Free Library (right) has been around for 271 years, but officials say they may have to radically change their operations if they can’t find money for their everyday expenses and some capital improvements....

KYW-TV, Philadelphia, Aug. 27


Montgomery library staff take the ALS challenge

At the end of 12-month training with Auburn Montgomery’s Alabama Training Institute on becoming a next-generation library, employees of the Montgomery (Ala.) City County Public Library celebrated on August 21 by taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at the Morgan Branch Library downtown. The group has challenged all other library systems in the state. Watch the video (0:16). Other library folk getting under the ice bucket include Noyes Children’s Library in Kensington, Maryland; Boone Area Library in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania;Dean B. Ellis Library at Arkansas State University; Niles (Ill.) Public Library; and EBSCO....

Huntsville (Ala.) Times, Aug. 21; Bethesda (Md.) Magazine, Aug. 25; Southern Berks (Pa.) News, Aug. 23; YouTube, Aug. 21, 24; Vimeo, Aug. 22


The loss of public libraries in the UK

The remorseless destruction of our national public library system continues. Librarians are sacked, books sold or thrown away, and buildings closed. Unison estimates that nearly 500 of the country’s 3,100 libraries are being cut. No one expects things to get better, or even to stop getting worse. But it did not need to happen like this. The collapse marks a failure of will and imagination, not an inevitability....

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 25; Liverpool (UK) Echo, Aug. 15