by Talbot Fisher, courtesy of The Register-Mail

What do you think of when you think of a small-town library? Maybe a small brick building full of musty books? Perhaps there is not a computer in sight, with no internet, no automation and an unfriendly old librarian who is unwilling to change with the times? Three area libraries defy that stereotype and bring a variety of modern services to their patrons. Maquon District Public Library, Village of Avon Public Library and Greig Memorial Library in Oneida (IL) have much in common, while having their own unique characteristics.

The Maquon library is a district library, and serves a...


by Katie O'Reilly, courtesy of American Libraries

With a dash of the board game Clue, an element of theater, and a guaranteed adrenaline rush, escape rooms have taken off in a big way. According to a July 2015 MarketWatch article, at least 2,800 have sprung up across the globe since 2010. As a team-building exercise that encourages participants to flex their logic muscles, escape rooms are a hit with corporate organizers. It’s also why youth librarians are getting into the spirit of escapism.

“Anytime I experience something cool in my real life, I think, ‘How could I bring this to the library?’ says Karissa Alcox,...


by Claire Aronson, courtesy of Bradenton Herald

Inability to physically get to a Manatee County (FL) library branch will no longer stop residents from accessing the library system’s materials.

This summer, Manatee libraries launched its new Books by Mail program, which allows Manatee County residents to be mailed materials if they are physically unable to travel to one of the county’s libraries.

“It is important because this is an underserved population that often gets forgotten about in libraries,” said Rachel Suntop, a county librarian who is running the program. “As librarians, we believe in everyone getting equal access to our...


by Steve Zalusky

In August, the city council of Pleasant Hill, California, voted unanimously to place on the November ballot a measure that would raise the sales tax from 8.5 percent to 9 percent.  The increase would fund, among other things, a new Pleasant Hill Library.

Chronicling the decision for the Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library was blogger Julie McPherson, whose passionate posts have not only spurred advocacy efforts, but also spread her enthusiasm about the power of libraries to transform lives.

In her post, “Misty-eyed at City Hall,” she reported that several spoke on behalf of the library, including Friends director at large, a professional librarian named Crystal Schimpf, who “pointed out that ‘a modern...


Review of the Day

Roe, Robin (author).
Jan. 2017. 320p. Hyperion, hardcover, $17.99 (9781484763803). Grades 9-12.
REVIEW. First published October 15, 2016 (Booklist). Fourteen-year-old Julian is a damaged boy, taciturn and withdrawn, painfully shy and still bereft from the death of his parents when he was a child. A poor student with illegible handwriting, he is often the subject of teachers’ scorn and classmates’ teasing. As a result, he regularly skips classes to hide in a secret room he has found. His home life is even worse: he is the ward of his uncle by marriage, a cold, distant, dangerous man who often punishes Julian cruelly, whipping him with a switch and lacerating the skin on his torso. Things begin to...
Legislative Action Center: Take action for libraries

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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