Equity, diversity and inclusion may seem incongruous in a community as homogenous as Portland, Oregon, but Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehkle knows the work is necessary, especially when, as she says, public libraries have historically created systems that have privileged some people over others.  READ MORE
By Diana Panuncial, courtesy of American Libraries.What do the following have in common: space-themed escape rooms, coding sessions with robot caterpillars, rocket workshops, and a phone call from astronauts in space?They’re some of the activities that thousands of libraries across the country are putting together to celebrate space exploration in their summer reading programs, with “A Universe of Stories” as the slogan.And the sky’s the limit. READ MORE
Lindsey, the first winner from Illinois, was nominated by teens from two states–Illinois and Nebraska. She is commended for inspiring youth by creating welcoming environments that help them to learn and grow.One teen nominator said, “I remember what Lindsey said to us during the first [Teen Advisory Board] meeting–we could make the library anything we wanted it to be. That’s empowering.”Working with Teen Advisory Boards, Lindsey encouraged teens to develop programs that reflected their interests. Together, they have taken field trips to plays, concerts and comic book conventions to pursue their collective passions. She also helps them establish groups and activities such as the bacon club, a makerspace and teen storytime.   READ MORE
Inclusion and accessibility are at the very heart of libraries' mission, and librarians are playing an essential role in facilitating the full participation of people with disabilities in society.No one exemplifies this mission more than JJ Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University Library of the University of Illinois.  We recently spoke with him about the value of embedding the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into his work and learned more about projects he’s undertaken, including the development of a series of disability libguides, the creation of reflection rooms for students, and his work with special populations, like veterans. READ MORE
According to an Associated Press analysis of census data, an estimated 17 percent of U.S. students do not have access to computers at home and 18 percent do not have home access to broadband internet.In Portage, about 10.47 percent of households do not have internet; 11.47 percent do not have computers, tablets or smartphones; and 22.76 percent do not have broadband, including cellular data plans, cable, fiber optic or DSL. District-level data did not differentiate between households that had school-age children and those that did not.“Is access a problem? Yes, and it’s not just our district. I’m sure all districts have the same issue,” Kent City Schools Superintendent George Joseph said. READ MORE
On June 15, the District of Columbia will kick off a series of events where residents and businesses can recycle their used electronics at public libraries. The Benning/Dorothy I. Height Library at 3935 Benning Road NE and the Chevy Chase Library at 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW will accept old computers, TVs, and related equipment from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first events. Others local libraries will host similar collections through December as part of “eCycle DC.” The program is spearheaded by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) in partnership with D.C. Public Library (DCPL). In a statement, DOEE Director Tommy Wells says eCycle DC “increases access to the proper handling of these common household items that unfortunately have easy potential to become toxic materials that harm our health and environment.” READ MORE
Jennifer Patterson loves libraries. She always has, she says.Now, she’s Oregon’s state librarian — the person in charge of supporting every library in the state, as well as managing the State Library and helping legislators and state agencies with research, reference materials and anything else a library can provide.“What I love about libraries is that they provide access,” Patterson said. “They’re all about providing access to everyone … and to anyone who is interested in either the entertainment value that libraries can bring, the educational impact they can bring, the career opportunities that libraries bring by providing access to information and resources.” READ MORE
If there is a librarian who has made a difference in your life or made an impact on your community, now is your chance to honor their contributions by nominating them for the national l Love My Librarian Award.The I Love My Librarian Award invites library users across the country to recognize their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries for transforming lives and improving communities. Nominations are being accepted online now through October 21, 2019. READ MORE
Erika Long, school librarian at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee, knows that giving students a space that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive helps them succeed in the library and beyond.As a first year librarian at TMMS, Erika has grounded her work in the interpersonal relationships she has built with fellow teachers, administrators, and students.Representation is one of her primary goals. She shares: “I was 34 years old the first time I could actually say, ‘That's me,’ in a book. READ MORE
A public library is using a robot to teach kids and adults coding, among other job duties. Pepper, a new member of the crew at Carroll County Public Library in Maryland, is a "humanoid," a human-like robot, who can strike up a conversation, dance or tell a story. The humans around Pepper control "her" actions using Choregraphe, a drag-and-drop interface.The robot includes a lot of sensors and mechanical degrees of freedom delivered through 20 motors. She rolls around and communicates through WiFi. Her battery lasts up to 12 hours. She sports a tablet on her chest, two high-definition cameras in her head, a 3D depth sensor behind her eyes and loudspeakers in her ears. READ MORE