Articles

Veterans Day marks the centennial of the end of hostilities in World War I, and libraries across the US are commemorating this anniversary through programming, events, and displays that highlight the impact that the Great War had on the service members who fought, the family members who remained at home, and society as a whole. For some of these libraries, the WWI centennial provides more than an opportunity to remember an important historical moment. It also offers a chance to consider how the effects of that war both parallel and diverge from those associated with contemporary military conflicts.Beginning in 2016, Library of America (LOA) awarded grants to 120 libraries around the country as part of its World War I and America program. The grants were created to support library programming that would bring together US veterans and their communities through shared exploration of firsthand writings from WWI.To establish the connection between WWI and today’s service members, some library workers have developed programming to help transcend the boundaries of specific conflicts. READ MORE
"I am in the shade, under a tree, on the side of a mountain, above a rippling brook, overlooking the town, in sight of three thousand troops, writing on the head of a drum. My health is good, so are the boys - we are all in fine spirits."Civil War Gen. Thomas J. Harrison of Howard County was quite descriptive, and at times, poetic, when writing to his wife. In a letter dated June 17, 1861, Harrison wrote to his wife from Kentucky:  "Were it not for being absent from you and the children I should be very happy - the life is an active and exciting one and you know with what energy I prosecute anything of that kind."Among those 3,000 troops was Kokomo resident John N. Underwood, who served under Harrison's command in the 39th Indiana Infantry, 8th Indiana Cavalry. Underwood - who later became the treasurer of Howard County before his untimely death - had a very different view of the war as detailed in his original 90-page diary. READ MORE
LibrarianStone Child College LibraryBox Elder, MontanaJoy’s devotion to her community shines through her workBridwell-Joy-headshot300.jJoy’s devotion to her community shines through her workJoy is commended for engaging students, many of whom may not be familiar with library resources and services. She also works to continually extend the role of the library to meet the needs of the community of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation as well as the surrounding areas.She provides library literacy training for students. To make it more fun and engaging, Joy holds scavenger hunts with prizes. And she hosts library tours and trainings for community members who live nearby to introduce them to resources and services that are available through the school.  READ MORE
Marc Girdler was a frustrated film fanatic.In Decatur, Illinois, where he lives, there are three movie theaters serving 80,000 residents. Two of them are AMC franchises. One is an independent theater but, somehow, runs the same movies as the AMC, he said.“I have been trying for years to try to get a place even once a month I could go to show independent films or classics or just something different, because I want to go and see things on the big screen, but I can’t afford to drive an hour out of town consistently,” he said.It was a much shorter trip to the Decatur Public Library.“I knew that they were running a movie program,” he said. “I have a friend that works there, and I knew no one could devote the time that they wanted to the film program.” READ MORE
“Who’s collecting San Diego’s beer history?” This question—asked by Char Booth, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Library associate dean, during a brewing science certificate proposal review in 2016—launched what would become the Brewchive at CSUSM Library. In 2018, the archive received the American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award.San Diego County (CA) is an epicenter for the craft beer movement, with more than 150 large and small craft breweries. But how did we get here? Relatively few materials exist from pre-Prohibition San Diego breweries. Some breweries were established post-Prohibition, but they were unable to compete with larger national breweries and closed by 1953. A resurgence in the mid-1980s grew into the industry that thrives today. READ MORE
STEM (which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is all the rage in education circles these days and no wonder. In our ultra-competitive economy, students with strong STEM backgrounds are far more likely than their peers in the humanities to get into elite colleges and, afterward, to get jobs that pay a living wage (not to mention having a deeper understanding of how the physical world works).So it shouldn’t be surprising to see STEM popping up in all sorts of unlikely places, like at the local library’s children’s fairy tale hour.What do fairy tales have to do with STEM? Ask librarian Courtney Klein; she’s been offering STEM Story Time at the Sebastopol Library (CA) for a year now. She started last fall with a series of story books, introducing children to the solar system and other astronomy concepts. This fall, she’s been focusing on fairy tales, using classics like “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” “Three Little Pigs” and “Rapunzel” to introduce children in kindergarten through third grade to basic engineering concepts. READ MORE
Ginny is an invaluable resource for instructors and learners alikeBlackson-Ginny-headshot-lg.jpgGinny is an invaluable resource for instructors and learners alikeDue to her deep commitment to service, Ginny has turned the library into a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students, particularly those with diverse backgrounds and needs.She established the Family Study Space, a dedicated area in the library that welcomes community members with young children.Ginny has also expanded the library’s collections to be more inclusive. Through a grant, she acquired library materials dealing with LGBTQ issues. She received additional funding to purchase resources representing Hispanic history and culture. READ MORE
Each year, users of all types of libraries – public, school, academic and special – get to express their appreciation for their favorite librarians.Up to ten librarians are selected annually for this prestigious honor: each one receives a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by the award's co-sponsors Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Public Library, and The New York Times. This year, four academic librarians, three public librarians and three school librarians were chosen from more than 1,000 total nominations.The following winners enjoyed a well deserved chance to share the spotlight: READ MORE
When you think about the most valuable cards in your wallet, you probably envision your credit and ATM cards. Here’s another one that should come to mind: your library card. These days, the nation’s 9,057 library systems let you check out a lot more than books.Need a power tool, kayak, 3D printer or Ninja Turtle-shaped cake pan? Your library might have one you can borrow. What about crafting or studio space? It might have you covered there, too. Some libraries provide access to courses on computers or graphic design. Many will let you borrow passes to local attractions such as zoos and museums. Others provide seeds and cuttings to check out; you can grow your own, then return seeds or cuttings to share with others.Bottom line: If you don’t have a library card, you should get one. If you do, it may be time to dust it off. READ MORE
Once upon a time there was a lonely caboose, fenced off and neglected for years until the day it was befriended by humans, given a fresh paint job and a new purpose in life: making children happy — through books.It’s not a fairly tale: The newly refurbished caboose in Brownsville’s (TX) Linear Park will begin a new chapter as a children’s library early next year, possibly by March.Donated to the city of Brownsville by the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway through the efforts of the Raul “Mr. B” Besteiro Jr. family, the caboose was placed in Linear Park in 2007. It weathered the elements behind a chain-link fence, largely ignored, until early this year when the city and Brownsville Preservation Society teamed up to restore it.The city budgeted $40,000 for the restoration, while BPS coordinated the project, which involved sandblasting, painting, construction of a new platform and getting rid of the fence. Almost the only thing left is to put up signs denoting the historical significance and recognizing those who contributed, BPS President Trey Mendez said.“ I would say it’s 95 to 98 percent complete,” he said. “It’s been substantially complete since the summer.” READ MORE

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