By Steve Zalusky

Libraries are central to civic engagement, something that is especially apparent during the inevitable election cycle.  On Feb. 1, the voting cycle in the American Presidential election officially began with the Iowa caucuses, as Republican and Democrat voters flocked to have the first word on the candidates.

Libraries not only served as caucus sites. They also provided valuable information to voters, both on the day of the vote as well as in advance of it.  The public library in Decorah, Iowa, created a large poster and placed it at the front desk, informing people about their precincts, as well as locations where Republicans and Democrats can caucus.

“We try and provide information on both sides. It...


by Conor Kennedy, courtesy of The Technician

NCSU (North Carolina State University) Libraries have recently collected more than 1.2 million tweets from more than 380,000 Twitter accounts as part of its “New Voices and Fresh Perspectives: Collecting Social Media” initiative.

This type of archiving can be used to supplement traditional data collection methods. With standard practices, a historian might use personal notes, correspondence or intellectual papers to...


Courtesy of American Libraries

Three Essex County (N.J.) libraries—Bloomfield, Montclair, and South Orange—have joined together to provide literacy assistance to all county residents.

Located just outside Newark and New York City, the county’s libraries serve a population diverse in background, ethnicity, economic status, and education. Roughly one-third of its population speaks a language other than English. In recent years, South Orange has seen an influx of Haitian immigrants actively seeking English-language learning opportunities.

Working with Literacy Volunteers of America, the public libraries of Essex County provided publicity and space for volunteer training,...


by Steve Zalusky

Shugana Williams is the ideal community college librarian, because of what community means to her.

As, Deanne Nuwer, her nominator for the 2015 I Love Librarian Award, wrote, Williams, who heads the library at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Perkinston Campus, is a people person who understands the importance of “bridging student/community involvement with the broader definition of a library that includes resources and personnel in an ever-changing world.”

Williams approaches her position holistically.  “She understands the importance of community involvement and her role as a facilitator in that engagement,” Nuwer said, citing several projects, including...



One of the more recent big changes that we are implementing is the incorporation of more Brooklyn-based documentaries into our media collection. The Ursula C. Schwerin Library, serving the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York (CUNY), is located in downtown Brooklyn. It’s a melting pot within a melting pot of sorts. By incorporating films and cinema highlighting local happenings, I feel that students are exposed to issues and events happening in their own backyard that they may be unaware of....READ MORE

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"Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "Libraries are what water is to fish."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "Libraries are what water is to fish."

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Review of the Day

Buckley, Gail Lumet (author).
Feb. 2016. 352p. Atlantic Monthly, hardcover, $26 (9780802124548); e-book, $26 (9780802190697). 973.
REVIEW. First published February 1, 2016 (Booklist). Although it was illegal to teach a slave to read and write, Dr. Andrew Bonaparte Calhoun wanted a “sophisticated” butler, and so Moses Calhoun, Buckley’s great-great-grandfather, became literate and, upon emancipation, a highly successful Atlanta businessman. Lacing her assiduously researched and gracefully written family history into the very fabric of the Republic, Buckley captures the brief sense of possibility for African Americans after the Civil War and the vicious backlash that spawned the Ku Klux Klan...