By Theresa Walker and Sarah de Cresenzo, courtesy of the Orange County Register

There's this word that librarians are using a lot these days. And it’s not “shush.”  More and more, public libraries are being referred to as “hubs.” They attract people in their communities for reasons that go beyond a book on a shelf.  A hub is the kind of place Irvine Mayor Steven Choi has in mind when he suggests his city should build a library at the Great Park – at a cost estimated around $200 million.

“It has become the social gathering community center,” Choi says of the 21st-century public library.  “It’s not just a quiet place. I want to have a quiet place for study, but I want...

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People are walking into the library these days with different expectations than they did even one generation ago. The world is changing quickly, and libraries are not only changing with it, but are also in the vanguard of those changes.

Not that today’s library visitor isn’t looking for books. The shelves remain, and they are continually being filled and refilled with printed material. But you will see that visitor also wander to the computer area to access the Internet. And thanks to the continual innovation of libraries, which are increasingly offering makerspaces and other new technological infrastructure, the library user can engage in crafting, use a 3D printer, edit a video, or record their own music on software provided by the...

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The childhood home of author Maud Hart Lovelace was dedicated a Literary Landmark, along with the childhood home of Lovelace's best friend, Frances "Bick" Kenney. Lovelace was the author of the Betsy-Tacy book series, which was set at the turn of the 20th century in Mankato. Born Maud Palmer Hart on April 25, 1892, she and her family lived in the house from 1892 to 1906.

It was there that she met her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney, who moved into the house across the street in 1898. Maud (“Betsy”) and Bick (“Tacy”) were lifelong friends, and the tales of their childhood in Mankato later became the Betsy-Tacy...

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By Leeta-Rose Ballester, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News

The San Jose Public Library has secured prototype funding for a program that seeks to help residents understand online privacy and their Internet insecurities.  One of 22 libraries to receive a grant from the Knight Foundation, San Jose's library system will get $35,000 to create an all-ages Internet privacy education platform.

"This is a new direction," said Erin Berman, community programs administrator for technology and innovation for San Jose Public Library. "We've done programmatic things before, but we're trying to broaden the scope and have a real understanding of privacy."  The goal of Berman and...

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Review of the Day


Wein, Elizabeth (author).
Mar. 2015. 368p. Disney/Hyperion, hardcover, $17.99 (9781423183105). Grades 8-11.
REVIEW. First published March 15, 2015 (Booklist).

A good piece of historical fiction is a taut balancing act, and Wein walks a high-wire in her latest. Deftly weaving in details about the Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935, she traces the stunning story of Teo and Emilia, not related by blood but as good as brother and sister, who came to live in Ethiopia in 1930, just as tensions begin to build between the free African nation and the Italians occupying neighboring Eritrea and Somaliland. Told through their essays, journal entries, flight logs, and a series of adventure stories they...

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