by Erika Aguilar, courtesy of KPCCThe homeless use public libraries like many patrons do — to access information, use the Internet and learn, but they come with everyday needs that the average library user does not have.Homeless people visit the libraries to escape harsh weather, get fresh drinking water, and use the bathroom and electricity, which push libraries to provide services that are not part of their intended mission. READ MORE
by Steve ZaluskyAs parents and caregivers strive to give their children the best education, they are finding valuable support from their library. This is especially true for children living in poverty or from low-income homes.But libraries are also involving the entire family in the journey of lifelong learning. READ MORE
by Patti Verbanas, courtesy of Rutgers TodayMegan Lotts is not a “shushing” librarian.In fact, the Rutgers University librarian rather delights in the noise, conversation and mess at the Lego playing station she installed in the center of the university’s Art Library: It means that people are solving problems and learning to work as a team. READ MORE
by Steve ZaluskyIf you’re a student at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, chances are you have met Doug the Librarian.Perhaps you have seen the posters splashed with his bearded visage, accompanied by the slogan, “Go see Doug.” Or perhaps you have encountered him in your dormitory.As his colleague Sheri Broyles wrote about Campbell, librarian at the school’s Willis Library, when she nominated him for the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award, “Doug isn’t just any librarian. He’s ‘Doug the Librarian,’ an affectionate title bestowed upon him by students across our 37,000-student campus. His passion is helping students solve problems, and he’s the trusted guide our students go to when they’re lost.”For Campbell, it isn’t enough to connect with students – he has gone out of his way to share his life with them – he spent a year living in a dorm as the Resident Librarian.  His commitment to the students Doug is embedded in his very skin – his first tattoo displays the Beta Phi Mu symbol along with the legend “ALIIS INSERVIENDO CONSUMOR,” Latin for “Consumed in the Service of Others.” READ MORE
by Kaitlyn Krasselt, courtesy of The HourMary Ann MacLachlan considers herself a bit of a “library rat.”  When she’s not working or taking classes, the Norwalk woman said she often visits libraries in communities along Connecticut’s Gold Coast, depending where her errands take her. READ MORE
This isn’t the library’s first venture into Rikers: they’ve been distributing books there since 1984, circulating more than 22,000 last year alone, said NYPL president Tony Marx. But this goes further than the book cart ever could.“Everyone is always welcomed at the library. Free books, free use of computers, educational programs,” he said, speaking directly to several of the inmates gathered for the library’s opening Tuesday. “We do not want people locked up. We want everyone — everyone — to have the opportunity to read, to learn, to create, to gain skills and to contribute.” READ MORE
Reading and walking might not seem like two interconnected hobbies, but at Municipal Park they are.  That is because the park annually plays host to a story trail.The trail, which stands next to the paved multi-purpose path that winds through the park, contains an illustrated story.  Each year, third graders from Pataskala Elementary (NJ) create the story as part of an effort backed by the Pataskala Public Library and the city. READ MORE
Crazy looking bees. Flying hearts. Oh, and skulls - lots of skulls.  Those are just a few of the tattoos from those of a literary bent posted on the Multnomah County (OR) Library’s Twitter account for their #books4tats campaign.Steve Roskoski, a library assistant, said he and his fellow librarians (some with their own tattoos) came up with the idea to match readers with books based on their tats. It’s Portland after all. READ MORE
Today’s libraries are changing to fulfill the needs of a digital society.  This is no less true for the nation’s oldest cultural institution, the Library of Congress, a fact verified by the confirmation of Dr. Carla Hayden as the 14th librarian of Congress.Hayden, former president of the American Library Association and director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, is the first female and the first African American to lead the Library of Congress.She also is the first professional librarian to be confirmed in more than 60 years, a distinction she bears with pride.  “Of all the titles I have had in my professional career, I am most proud to be called a librarian. And it would be my honor to have the opportunity to be the librarian of the oldest cultural institution in the nation, the Library of Congress,” she told senators during her confirmation hearing. READ MORE
Homemade concert fliers printed from an unguarded copy machine. Custom jean jacket patches for bands Transilvia, You and I, and The Degenerics. A set list from a 1982 Smithereens show stored away with a torn ticket stub. It’s the ephemera of a bygone era, before the internet or social networking, when building a fan base in a local music scene was a band’s best chance at getting broader recognition.The do-it-yourself ethos of the local music scene tells a story of dissent from mainstream culture, says Rutgers University media studies doctoral student Frank Bridges, who played in bands and ran his own record label in the 1980s and 1990s near the New Brunswick, New Jersey, campus. He thinks it’s a story worth preserving. Bridges’s dissertation explores the scene as a pocket of resistance to the decline of vinyl—a scene which he argues was due in part to the proliferation of independent record labels in the area. He’s amassed a fledgling archive of material in his research, but he didn’t have to look far to find a place to preserve it. The Rutgers School of Communication and Information is right next door to the Special Collections and University Archives section of the Archibald Stevens Alexander Library. READ MORE