Just a few hours before a snowstorm was forecasted to barrel into South Jersey on Monday, Janet Arabia, of Linwood, was getting prepared.  She wasn’t buying a shovel or milk, though — she was checking out James Patterson’s novel “Private Vegas” from the Somers Point branch of the Atlantic County Library System.“We’re ready,” she said of herself and her father, Jay, who was taking out a book about woodworking. “I’ve got my flashlight and my book.”  Kevin McCabe, who manages the Somers Point branch, said that when snow is in the forecast, many people will come to the library looking for DVDs and children’s books to keep their kids occupied for the upcoming snow day, or a book for themselves.But in major storm events, such Hurricanes Sandy and Irene or summer derechos, the libraries around Atlantic County get the busiest in the days after — almost turning into community centers for people without power or Internet access. To McCabe, the library offers a safe, solid building for residents. READ MORE
For one week, libraries will be taking their cue from Frank Sinatra in the song “New York, New York.” Much like the Big Apple in the song, the library is a place where, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”“Libraries are for making” is the theme of this year’s Teen Tech Week (March 8-14), an initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. READ MORE
A handful of big-ticket private donations helped the Pitkin County Library absorb the rising cost of its expansion project, which is now estimated at as much as $13.5 million.  Voters rejected a tax increase that would have funded a larger, $10.5 million expansion in 2012. Going into that election, the library had about $5.5 million in the bank that had been donated to support an expansion.Since then, construction costs have increased as the economy bounces back out of the recession, said head librarian Kathy Chandler.  “Everyone is facing inflation for construction projects in the valley,” she said.The expansion that the library is about to build was redesigned after the failure at the polls. It is now scaled back in size from two stories and 7,000 square feet to a one-story, 5,100-square-foot project.  It is also only projected to require about $600,000 in taxpayer dollars, Chandler said.  That’s possible because the library has raised around $5 million in the last two years for the project. A significant portion of that came from the family of the late Aspen Times editor and publisher Bil Dunaway, whose name will grace the expansion’s community meeting room. READ MORE
The house at 4 Woodford St., Worcester, Mass., was the boyhood home of poet Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006). Speakers at the Literary Landmark dedication included event organizer Judith Ferrara, who gave the history of the project, the house, and the neighborhood; Kevin M. Dowd, president of the Worcester Public Library board of directors; Carle Johnson, president of the Stanley Kunitz Society, and Michael True, co-founder of the Worcester County Poetry Association. The plaque was unveiled by Carol Stockmal, current resident of 4 Woodford St., and Gretchen Kunitz, Stanley Kunitz's daughter. READ MORE
Library supporters packed Shaler Area School Board's meeting to speak out against a recent reorganizations of the district's school librarians and library aides.More than 50 people overflowed from the board's conference room earlier this month into a reception area outside, and about 10 of them spoke during the meeting.“I know that all of you care about education, but we can't have a strong school district without information and media centers that are staffed by devoted, caring, enthusiastic information professionals,” said Ingrid Kalchthaler, a 1989 Shaler Area graduate and librarian at Shaler North Hills Library. “All that means is school libraries matter, and school librarians matter even more.” READ MORE
Greenwood County, South Carolina’s roots date back to the late 1800s, when it established its blue-collar identity. When Greenwood County Library System Director Prudence Taylor arrived at the library in 1997, the unemployment rate was 4 percent. But that changed when the mills, which had been sustaining the community, closed after 2000.  As a result, at one point, unemployment was as high as 11 percent.“People had planned to work for the mills all their lives, as their fathers and grandfathers had done,” said Taylor. READ MORE
The Waterville (Maine) Public Library may occupy a building that dates back to 1896. But there is nothing stuffy or old-fashioned about its library director, Sarah Sugden.Her sparkling personality and innovative mind helped earn her a 2014 I Love My Librarian Award. READ MORE
Amid the tumult in Ferguson, Missouri that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson last year, one local institution stepped up to provide a refuge for a community torn by social divisions – the Ferguson Public Library.During the two-month period that encompassed the shooting and the rioting following the announcement that Wilson would not face charges, the library stood apart as an oasis that provided art programming and tutoring for students whose classes were canceled.A sign posted in the library said it all. It read, “During difficult times, the library is a quiet oasis where we can catch our breath, learn, and think about what to do next. Please help keep our oasis peaceful and serene. Thank you!” READ MORE
Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. READ MORE
View the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference held during the ALA Midwinter Meetings in Chicago, IL. READ MORE