Featured Stories Archive
July 18, 2014: Singapore bans gay penguin book
Singapore has ordered the destruction of a children's book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York's zoo after it was deemed inappropriate.
The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled the book from the shelves this weekend and said it would "pulp" the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore's family values.
July 18, 2014: Literary Landmark: Lake Oswego Public Library
The Lake Oswego Public Library designated the library a Literary Landmark in honor of William Stafford as the concluding event of a month-long Lake Oswego Reads program honoring Stafford.
A Kansas boy battling through a series of unfortunate events over his front-yard library is getting some support from author Daniel Handler.
Last month, 9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines.
July 1, 2014: Don’t you have the summer off?
While librarians at many academic institutions are considered faculty, many of them are also 12 month employees: we don’t get the summer off.
When folks tilt their head and furrow their eyebrows as they ask me “What do you do all summer? Read?” I attempt to refrain from pulling my hair out. Trust me, I’m not sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs.
July 1, 2014: How Libraries Can Survive In The Digital Age
Books as we know them are clearly in a state of flux. One in five Americans now read on e-readers or tablet computers, and most things that can be found in a book are little more than a click or touch away online. That trend has been the catalyst behind chain and independent bookstores closing at record pace. To avoid a similar fate, libraries across the country are trying to reinvent themselves and prove the digital revolution doesn’t mean the end of a book-lovers’ era.
July 1, 2014: Digital Resources in School Libraries
As a publisher of educational materials for students in K–12 schools for more than 34 years, I’ve collaborated closely with school librarians who deliver content and programming to the populations that we both serve.
With the advent of the digital revolution and the opportunities and challenges that this disruption provides, the school librarian is one of the most prepared professionals to make momentous choices on behalf of students. These choices comprise a broad range of options that include hardware, software, age appropriateness, access, pricing models, collaboration with classroom teachers and administrators, evidence of efficacy, and—perhaps most importantly—strategies for student engagement. The passion and enthusiasm with which my colleagues in the school library setting have embraced change and introduced new pathways of learning have inspired our publishing team.
June 20, 2014: 2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Holly Camino
Being at the library is more fun than being at home.
That’s what one high school senior, John McCullough, said about the Buckeye Library in the Medina County (Ohio) library district.
McCullough said Holly Camino, manager of the Buckeye Library in the Medina County (Ohio) District Library, makes sure her library is welcome to the residents – and especially the children – in her rural community.
He said dozens of middle school and high school students who have nowhere else to go flock to her library.
June 20, 2014: Tool libraries equip local do-it-yourselfers
An environmental movement needs a little extra oomph to make a big impact.
The farmers market movement, for example, offers great food, brings people together and supports local farmers. The alternative-vehicle movement, steadily driving interest in electric and hybrid cars, keeps us out of the gas station and gives us fun new toys to drive.
June 20, 2014: Literary Landmark: Yorkville Community School
Yorkville Community School on East 88th Street in New York City was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of children's book author Bernard Waber (1921-2003).
Waber used East 88th Street as a setting for his cherished Lyle the Crocodile picture books, starting with The House on East 88th Street in 1962. Lyle, a lovable and entertaining crocodile, lives in a typical brownstone on East 88th Street with the Primm family, and the Primm children attend a school much like Yorkville Community School.
June 6, 2014: 2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Harold Forbes
Thanks to Harold M. Forbes, old newspapers are more than just yesterday's news.
Carrie Mullen, the director of West Virginia's university press, said Forbes, curator of the West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, has made important contributions to Chronicling America and the National Digital Newspaper Project, the Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers sponsored by the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities.
More than 200,000 full-text , searchable pages of historical West Virginia newspapers will be available online by the time the present phase concludes in August, 2015.
June 6, 2014: Photos of Public Libraries across the U.S.
“A public library can mean different things to different people. For me, the library offers our best example of the public commons. For many, the library upholds the 19th-century belief that the future of democracy is contingent upon an educated citizenry. For others, the library simply means free access to the Internet, or a warm place to take shelter, a chance for an education, or the endless possibilities that jump to life in your imagination the moment you open the cover of a book.”
June 6, 2014: From Boots to Books
Luke Herbst, a US Army veteran, joined the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library’s (NPL) Special Collections Division as a library associate–paraprofessional in December 2010. Although the path that led him to apply for a public library position was circuitous, it originated in experiences he had while in the military and stationed overseas.
May 23, 2014: 2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Dr. Shahla Bahavar
Dr. Shahla Bahavar's impact on the University of Southern California Libraries was summed up by Najmedin Meshkati, who nominated her for a 2013 I Love My Librarian Award.
"(She) has provided exceptional leadership in the provision of student focused instruction and services within the USC Libraries, with initiatives and impact that extends to the greater library profession," she said.
Early on, she said, Bahavar director of Public Services Division! libraries at USC, "mastered the challenge of bringing one of the very first Information Commons online as a fully realized student-focused service model."
Libraries have long embraced the reading public and provided public forums for book discussion, long before talk-show host Oprah Winfrey renewed interest in book clubs in 1996.
In our more modern, connected, and ever-busy age, however, traditional library book clubs have been undergoing a quiet revolution. Lack of time, scheduling conflicts, mobility issues, desire for anonymity, and other factors have moved the conversation online—namely onto social media.
May 23, 2014: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' finally going digital
Harper Lee has signed on for Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to enter the electronic age.
Filling one of the biggest gaps in the e-library, “To Kill a Mockingbird” will become available as an e-book and digital audiobook on July 8, HarperCollins Publishers announced Monday. Lee, in a rare public statement, cited a “new generation” of fans in agreeing to the downloadable editions of her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.
Kathleen Meulen Ellison, teacher librarian at Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School in Bainbridge Island, Wash., has a special commitment to literacy and librarianship.
Her father is functionally illiterate, most likely due to an undiagnosed learning disability. Ellison, whose parents took her to libraries and instilled in her a love of reading, knew from an early age that she wanted to be a librarian, in part, so that she could help students like her father become confident readers. Ellison said, “It's the best feeling when someone starts thinking of themselves as a reader... or at least stops saying that they don't read.”
May 9, 2014: Choose Privacy Week 2014: Kids Deserve Privacy Too!
The structure outside Barbara Hinske’s downtown home looks like a fancy birdhouse. But instead of being littered with bird seed it’s brimming with books.
Dubbed Hinske Hall, it’s one of a growing number of Little Free Libraries decorating dozens of front lawns, storefronts and parks around Arizona, connecting to an international movement that encourages neighborhoods to share books. “My little library is so much more than these two shelves; it’s a reading community,” said Hinske, a writer. More than 50 titles jam the shelves. Hinske said the most popular are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and the children’s picture book “My First Plane Ride.” Audio books and magazines are also available to borrow.
April 25, 2014: 2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Charlotte Carr Vlasis
Charlotte Carr Vlasis, librarian for the Chattanooga (Tenn.) School for the Liberal Arts, has made her library the hub of lifelong learning at her school.
That was how her nominator for a 2013 I Love My Librarian Award, Cindy Gaston, described her, writing that she “has created a library environment where research-based learning and passion for reading abound.”
Vlasis has been the librarian at CSLA since 1998. She has made her impact felt from the onset, promoting a flexible library schedule that enables teachers to schedule time in the library to fit their instructional needs. Students are also welcome to check out books at any time.
As her school principal said, "She doesn't see herself as a one-dimensional teacher, but helps empower all teachers to be better."
April 25, 2014: Literary Landmark: Jones Library
Dedicated: Oct. 23, 2009
Partners: Friends of the Jones Library System, Trustees of the Jones Library
On Oct. 24, 2009, in celebration of the Jones Library’s special association with Robert Frost, the library was placed on ALTAFF’s Literary Landmark Register. Recognizing Robert Frost’s role in Amherst’s literary heritage and his importance to the nation, the Friends of the Jones Library System and the Trustees of the Jones Library joined together to support this nomination.
April 25, 2014: Provost Promises to Prevent Library Deficit
After students and faculty expressed concern over UND’s Chester Fritz Library potentially losing resources, university Provost Thomas DiLorenzo has clarified several points of misunderstanding and promised there will be no reduction in the library’s resources.
“Whatever the deficit is, I’ll find the money,” DiLorenzo promised in a meeting addressing the library’s struggle for funding. “I always planned to find the money.”
In the last couple months, students and faculty have become increasingly worried about losing library resources.
This prompted history doctoral student Cody Stanley to organize the Save the Chester Fritz Library group in the attempt to spread awareness.
In her words, Jennifer Jamison, school librarian at Atlantic City (N.J.) High School, the library provides a space for her students that is “safe, nurturing and invites participation.” It also provides expertise that “students otherwise in an urban setting would not get.”
Jamison’s words are bolstered by the results at both the Atlantic City High School library and also the Pennsylvania Avenue School Library, which was named a 2013 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association.
April 11, 2014: Colorado Administrator Forges New Path for School Librarians
When $50 million in budget cuts over three years forced her school district to cut librarians' schedules from full to part time, Julie A. Bowline knew the loss of services for students would be difficult to bear.
But instead of lamenting the circumstances, Ms. Bowline, the 56-year-old director of instructional technology and library services for the 43,000-student Adams 12 Five Star district north of Denver, chose to reimagine what librarians in her district could be—and think about how to leverage the little time they had to get the greatest impact on student learning.
April 11, 2014: National Library Legislative Day: 40 years of library advocacy
National Library Legislative Day is a two-day advocacy event where hundreds of library supporters, leaders and patrons gather in Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress to champion national library funding. National Library Legislative Day also includes a virtual advocacy component for library supporters who cannot attend the Washington meetings—advocates have the option to work remotely to connect with legislators via phone calls, text messages, emails and social media platforms.
Most science books available to Utah students are old enough to run for Congress and remember when the Cold War was a fearful reality. On Wednesday morning members of the House addressed the issues facing Utah public education system, most notably the apparent long term neglect of library upkeep.
March 14, 2014: Underfunded School Libraries Fight Back
Advocating for school library services is a year-round necessity that becomes particularly pressing as spring approaches. That’s the season when school-district officials make their budget projections for the upcoming academic year, recently resulting in many school library workers receiving a provisional pink slip, issued just in case administrators need to follow through. The FY2015 cycle promises to be a particularly brutal one, according to Marci Merola, director of ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy, who tells American Libraries she bases her observation on the “spike in calls since mid-February.”
Inmates at the Gowanda Correctional Facility (Erie County) are heavily engaged in a competition that is resulting in drastic improvement to their reading skills. The competition, known as the “Book Showdowns,” is the brainchild of Senior Librarian Corinne Leone and combine reading comprehension, teamwork and rivalry. The goal is to increase reading comprehension, and at the same time, help inmates score higher on their high school equivalency exams.
February 28, 2014: 265 'Anne Frank' books vandalized in Tokyo libraries
Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" and scores of books about the young Holocaust victim have been vandalized in Tokyo public libraries since earlier this year.
February 28, 2014: Literary Landmark: Tahlequah Public Library
Tahlequah (Okla.) Public Library was designated a Literary Landmark in recognition of the literary contributions of Woodrow Wilson Rawls (1913-1984), author of Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys.
February 28, 2014: Lynchburg library rolls out e-reader program
Lynchburg is taking the next leap into the digital era by rolling out a new e-reader lending program through its public library.
Library card holders now can check out Nooks and Kindles from the Lynchburg Public Library’s main branch on Memorial Avenue.
February 14, 2014: Libraries oppose bill to limit levy hikes
PHOENIX – To Cindy Kolaczynski, libraries are much more than just places to check out books.
“We are the community front porch for all those who reside in Maricopa County to access information and attain programming and educational enhancement,” said Kolaczynski, director of the Maricopa County Library District.
February 14, 2014: Toy Libraries: A Place to Play
Lois Eannel gets teary-eyed when she remembers that afternoon. She saw a mom bring her son into the early childhood section of the Palm Harbor (Fla.) Library and lay him down on the brightly colored rug. He must have been about 8 years old, she thought, but a physical disability left him unable to sit up.
February 14, 2014: Books Your Kids Will LOVE this Valentine’s Day
Happy Valentine’s Day! When I was a classroom teacher, I did whatever I could not to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. I bought heart-covered pencils for my students, created a special morning message about Valentine’s Day, and I believe that was it. How boring of me!
Truth be told, I didn’t want to lose a day of class time to special activities. However, there is a way to make Valentine’s Day fun and educational. For instance, one can take a day off from writing workshop (If you’re on-track with the unit you’re in and principal doesn’t mind!) to do some Valentine’s Day writing. You can do a read aloud or two to inspire your students to write poems, comic books, short stories, and artwork. Then your students can give share their pieces with their family or friends after school.
January 31, 2014: American Library Association announces 2014 youth media award winners
PHILADELPHIA — The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.
A list of all the 2014 award winners follows:
** John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
“Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo, is the 2014 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.
Two-thirds of a historic collection of 80,000 books have gone up in smoke after a library was torched in the Lebanese city of Tripoli amid sectarian tensions. The blaze was started after a pamphlet insulting Islam was reportedly found inside a book.
Firefighters struggled to subdue the flames as the decades-old Al-Saeh library went up in smoke on Friday in the Serail neighborhood of Tripoli. Despite firefighters’ best efforts, little of the trove of historic books and manuscripts was recovered from the wreckage
January 31, 2014: Why Seattle Public Library Surrendered Its Gun Ban
When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.
Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.
That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses, he noted in an email to KUOW), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as “neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.”
January 17, 2014: The Story of Maria's Libraries
They call themselves the Library Ninjas, and they come to the Busia Community Library to watch movies, eat bananas, and drink clean water. The library opens at nine in the morning, and on Thursdays each week a crowd of kids is already waiting. These kids live on the streets and make their money begging and running small errands at the border between Kenya and Uganda, which runs through Busia Town. The movies don't start until 11, but the kids show up early each week, even before the librarians.
For the Library Ninjas, the Busia Community Library (BCL) is the only safe public space they have. Some of the Ninjas attend school, despite living on the street, but for most of them the library is also the only place where they can access books. While waiting for the movie to begin, the kids read and use computers.
January 17, 2014: The Mystery Donor's Tale: A Sister, A Brother And A New Library
For 100 years the library in Bethlehem occupied three small rooms in Town Hall. But over the weekend that changed with opening of a new library on Main Street. It was the conclusion of a tale involving a mystery donor, a brother who moved far away and a sister who stayed in the North Country.
At the tale’s center were two people.
One was Muriel Brown, who for more than three decades was the town’s beloved librarian.
The other was her brother, Arthur Jobin, known to the family as “Bud.”
Both grew up in Bethlehem.
January 17, 2014: MA libraries are participating in an e-book pilot program
Several local libraries are part of a new state pilot program designed to explore different platforms and models for electronic book lending in response to growing demand for the service.
Fifty-one libraries statewide are participating in the six-month pilot project.
"This is a direct response to our member libraries throughout Massachusetts who have made it clear that eContent is a statewide imperative," Gregory Pronevitz, executive director of the Mass. Library System said in a press release. "This project is our first step aimed at fixing that problem for our entire state and the wide range of libraries we serve."
January 3, 2014: All Hail the PUBLIC Library
“The word ‘public’ has been removed from the name of the Fort Worth Library. Why? Simply put, to keep up with the times.” From the Media release on the rebranding of the Fort Worth Library.
Fort Worth, you leave me speechless. You’re certainly correct about one thing. The public library is indeed an institution that has not kept up with the times. But given what has happened to our times, why do you see that as unhealthy? In an age of greed and selfishness, the public library stands as an enduring monument to the values of cooperation and sharing. In an age where global corporations stride the earth, the public library remains firmly rooted in the local community. In an age of widespread cynicism and distrust of government, the 100 percent tax supported public library has virtually unanimous and enthusiastic support.
This is not the time to take the word “public” out of the public library. It is time to put it in capitals.
January 3, 2014: Literary Landmark: Sarah Josepha Hale
United for Libraries, in partnership with the trustees of the Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H., designated the library a Literary Landmark in honor of Sarah Josepha Hale on Saturday., Nov. 23.
Hale (1788-1879) was a prominent 19th century editor who promoted the education of women and their important role in society. As editor of “Godey’s Lady Book,” she nurtured the careers of Catherine Beecher, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Instrumental in the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument, her many contributions to American culture include a successful campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Hale wrote nearly 50 volumes of work throughout her life, including the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb.”
January 3, 2014: One Book, Many Zombies
Zombies now populate videogames, commercials (for everything from cars to Skittles), even spinoffs of classic books like Pride and Prejudice. This fall, the Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) library in Palos Hills, Illinois, moved this zombie craze into new territory, using it as an academic metaphor to connect disciplines and foster conversation and student engagement.
Library staff created a simulated zombie pandemic that linked the curriculum to the library’s cultural programming and student activities. Nearly 500 students, staff, and faculty participated, utilizing our program in more than 60 course sections that relied on an infrastructure built by MVCC’s information technology department. This campuswide learning event uniquely positioned our library to organize and execute undead events.
December 20, 2013: 2013 I Love My Librarian Award Winners
Congratulations to the 10 winners of the 2013 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award! Thank you to all the library supporters who sent in nominations.
2013 recipients were selected for their dedicated public service and the valuable role they play in our nation’s communities in transforming lives through education.
More than 1,100 library patrons submitted detailed stories regarding how their librarian had an impact on their communities and lives.
Read on to learn more about this year's winners.
December 20, 2013: Video game champions in the public library
For some, the image of the public library is one of quiet spaces and dusty hardback books, but for a handful of Massachusetts librarians, the term evokes something quite different: The preservation of video games.
Four such librarians work within the Minuteman Library Network, a consortium of 43 tax-funded institutions across MetroWest Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Their respective philosophies are unique, but they all agree that one of the public library's most sacred tasks is to archive cultural artifacts and video games - just like books, music, and film - fit that bill.
December 20, 2013: Libraries strained by budget cuts
When librarian Devan Green first read the policy on proper behavior at the Pontiac Public Library, she couldn’t believe some rules didn’t go without saying.
The rules prohibited everything from offensive body odor to panhandling – extreme policies written in response to day-to-day problems at the library.
The rules stem from poverty — the Pontiac Public Library is within walking distance from several homeless shelters and halfway houses, and has become a hangout of last resort for the poor and the unemployed.
“Every day when I would go to open there were people on the porch,” Green said. “Some may have slept there, but others come around to hang out on the porch before opening. Some of them are there an hour before we open our doors.”
Pontiac’s isn’t the only Michigan library that has had to accommodate a poverty-stricken community. Changes in society and technology have transformed libraries across the state from information resources to something closer to social services agencies that impoverished residents depend on to seek jobs or apply for benefits using library computers. And that means state funding cuts aren’t just resulting in fewer hours for visitors to check out books – they may actually threaten the livelihood of some of the state’s neediest populations.
December 6, 2013: The Lumberjack's Boxcar Library
The problem of getting books into the hands of readers has been solved in many ways over the centuries. Of course, one of my favorites is the bookmobile. A classic, and staple of rural life in the 20th Century. But in 1919, there was something else in the works to get books into the hands of the lumbermen in the employ of the Anaconda Copper Mining Co. The Anaconda company is one of those "too big to fail" sorts in the history of Montana-- it's name was apt. But that's not to say this wasn't a great idea.
December 6, 2013: Literary Landmark: Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
Partners: Missouri Humanities Council, ReadMOre Missouri, Hannibal Free Public Library
The Literary Landmark dedication of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum featured a performance by Dr. George Frein, distinguished scholar and living presenter who, as Mark Twain, talked about his life as a Mississippi River pilot. Dr. Frein also fielded questions from the audience afterwards, again as Twain.
December 6, 2013: Celebrate Hug Your Librarian Day
March 1st may or may not have been International Hug a Librarian Day. There’s some confusion online but librarians are too busy to keep up with fan clubs anyway. They don’t just find information, they also review, organize, assess, explain, figure out, calm small children, put up displays, run programs, read aloud, expand collections, apply laser-like focus to advance other people’s knowledge, and much more. Why limit librarian love to one day?
I have a chronic library habit myself. There are at least ten reasons to adore libraries and the professionals who make these places adoration-worthy, so we probably need a more than just a Hug A Librarian Day. Perhaps a commemorative week or month. I’m thinking year round.
November 22, 2013: Book Zombie
book [book] noun
1. a work of fiction or nonfiction bound within covers or digital version
zom·bie [zom-bee] noun
1. a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, inanimate, remote
2. an eccentric or peculiar person.
I stayed up past two a.m. last night happily churning through a book. Reading seems timeless to me, a book-related fugue state that got me in trouble in elementary school. Many days the class moved on from reading time to math while I remained completely absorbed in a book. I’d look up to find I’d been called on to answer an equation. My brain would scramble to move fromThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase’s 18th century manor house to third grade long division, the plight of children dealing with villains more real than dreary numbers chalked on the board.
November 22, 2013: Digitizing Camelot
The anger, frustration, and worry that the situation could turn out very badly were evident in the president’s voice.
It was September 1962 and pro-segregation forces were readying for a violent clash with US troops over a court order entitling James Meredith, an African-American student, to enroll at the all-white University of Mississippi. Days before riots erupted that left two dead and hundreds wounded, President John F. Kennedy spoke on a recorded phone call with Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett, at times almost pleading with him to maintain law and order.
“You just don’t understand the situation down here,” Barnett snaps at Kennedy.
Kennedy cuts him off, his voice terse and unwavering. “Well, the only thing is I got my responsibility,” he says, referring to the court order.
Barnett implores Kennedy to postpone enrolling Meredith and to tell the public that "under the [potentially violent] circumstances at this time, it just wouldn’t be fair to [Meredith] or others, uh, to try to register him.”
“Well, then at what time would it be fair?” Kennedy retorts.
November 22, 2013: Public Library Thanks Voters for Passage of Issue One
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County extends a thank you to the voters of Hamilton County for the overwhelming passage of Issue One, the renewal of the levy which allows the Library to keep providing first-rate, Five-Star services to the cardholders of Hamilton County.
More than 80% of Hamilton County voters approved Issue One, signaling their clear support of the Library’s mission to be the first choice for information, anticipate and meeting changing needs, assure equitable access to Library resources, and be a dynamic force in the community. Funds from this levy are the only local source of funding and make up one-third of the Library’s annual budget. The levy is not an increase in taxes.
November 8, 2013: 10 Reasons To Become A Library Addict
My name is Laura. I have a chronic library habit.
Sure, I have other, less socially acceptable habits. We can talk about those another day. Right now I’m trying to convince you to become a fellow library fanatic.
I’ve already been successful with my kids. The stacks of books my family brings home may be pushing up the state average. Now that my kids are older they are surprised most of their peers don’t bother with libraries, in person or online. And I’m surprised to see how many of my friends don’t use libraries either. Some haven’t been since high school. For those of you who don’t bliss out over libraries, or worse, dismiss libraries as dim places with a distinctive old book smell, here are the ten best reasons to get hooked on libraries.
1. Magic water.
As a small child I was convinced there was something magical about drinking fountain water at our local library. It tasted better than water anywhere else. I wondered if it had to do with enviable proximity to all those books.
When I had kids I rhapsodized about the water at libraries. And they’ve always been able to taste the difference. Even though I realize there’s no factual basis for this belief, library water still seems more deeply refreshing than ordinary water. Try it and see for yourself.
November 8, 2013: Literary Landmark: Tacy's House
The childhood home of Frances "Bick" Kenny, best friend of author Maud Hart Lovelace, was dedicated a Literary Landmark, along with Lovelace's childhood home. Lovelace was the author of the Betsy-Tacy book series, which was set at the turn of the 20th century in Mankato. Born Maud Palmer Hart on April 25, 1892, she and her family lived in the house from 1892 to 1906. It was there that she met her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney, who moved into the house across the street in 1898. Maud (“Betsy”) and Bick (“Tacy”) were lifelong friends, and the tales of their childhood in Mankato later became the Betsy-Tacy book series.
November 8, 2013: And now, an important message about imaginative play
What does a commercial-free space mean to you? With corporations doing their best to surround children with advertising from birth, providing commercial-free spaces is essential to our continued democracy, which depends on creativity and critical thinking, skills that pervasive marketing can repress. Libraries, with our continual campaign for intellectual freedom, are the perfect places to provide a commercial-free space for children.
At this summer’s ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) described how pervasive corporate messaging aimed at children is. Many corporations want to surround children with advertising, creating brand loyalty and imprinting on their psyches that buying things will make them happy. A movie or TV show is no longer simply a story but a platform from which to launch an entire line of toys, games, books, and (often unhealthy) foods plastered with character images. These branded character products actually discourage creative play, an essential element in children’s healthy growth and development. Character products come predefined with roles, storylines, and even catch phrases, eliminating the need for children to use their imaginations.
October 25, 2013: Arizona State University Wins 2013 Mora Award
Santa Ana, CA. October 15, 2013 - REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, is pleased to announce during National Hispanic Heritage Month that Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) has been selected to be the recipient of the 2013 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for the most exemplary culminating celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day. The application was submitted by the English Education Program.
The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents and to promote El día de los niños, El día de los libros/ Children’s Day, Book Day, also known as Día. Culminating celebrations of this year-long initiative that links all children to books, languages, and cultures are traditionally held on or near April 30. The Mora award is presented annually, in partnership with REFORMA. Arizona State University will receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating their efforts.
October 25, 2013: Literary Landmark: Marguerite deAngeli Branch Library
Marguerite deAngeli, a native of Lapeer, Mich., was an author and illustrator of 20th century children's literature. In 1950, she was awarded the Newbery Medal for The Door in the Wall. She was one of the first inductees into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. The main branch of the Lapeer City Library was renamed in her honor on Aug. 22, 1981. The library has an extensive collection of her materials, including original drawings.
October 25, 2013: Reading is Grand – A Literary Celebration
The Friends of the Oxon Hill Branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System present Reading is Grand – A Literary Celebration for middle school students and their grandparents. The focus of the program is the historic 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
On Thursday October 10, 2013 at 10:30 am at the Oxon Hill Branch Library, 12 to 13 year old youth and their relatives will enjoy a presentation by Calvin Ramsey, the author of Ruth and the Green Book, an American Library Association notable book. The audience will also tour the exhibit on Children In The Civil Rights Movement and hear about the 2013 March on Washington from poet and author Sylvia Dianne Beverly, known as “Ladi Di”.
October 11, 2013: Mayor Emanuel Expands CPL’s YOUmedia Program
Mayor Rahm Emanuel held the first of three budget roundtables this afternoon to discuss the 2014 budget and announced a new $500,000 investment that will allow the Chicago Public Library (CPL) to increase the number of teens that receive training in web design, digital media production, and programming from the nationally recognized YOUmedia program by 25 percent.
“Budgets are statements of values and priorities, and as we have done during the past 2 years, we will make major reforms while making major investments, especially in the lives of children,” said Mayor Emanuel. “YOUmedia builds on teens’ interest in technology and motivates them to create, innovate and become active learners. By increasing access to digital media and safe, inviting spaces, we are empowering Chicago’s teens to engage technology in new ways.”
Mayor Emanuel met with residents at Mary Lyon Elementary school in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the northwest side to discuss the 2014 budget and listen to their concerns and priorities regarding their neighborhoods and the city.
October 11, 2013: Teen Read Week: October 13-19, 2013
Join the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in celebrating Teen Read Week 2013 by taking your teen to the library! This year, Teen Read Week takes place Oct. 13- 19 with a theme that encourages teens to ‘Seek the Unknown @ the library’ by reading for the fun of it. Teen Read Week (TRW) is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms — books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more. It is also a great opportunity to encourage teens to become regular library users. Libraries and schools all over the U.S. will be coming together to celebrate Teen Read Week, so encourage your teens to join in on the fun activities. Parents can also be involved by reaching out to their local library and inquiring about their Teen Read Week activities.
During a special ceremony at the National Book Festival this past weekend, five distinguished teen poets emerged as national literary leaders and were appointed as the second annual class of the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.
Sojourner Ahebee, age 17 of Interlochen, MI; Michaela Coplen, age 17 of Carlisle, PA; Nathan Cummings, age 18 of Mercer Island, WA; Aline Dolinh, age 15 of Vienna, VA; and Louis Lafair, age 18 of Austin, TX will serve one year as literary ambassadors, during which time they will share their work and engage audiences of all ages in the art of poetry. By doing so, these poets demonstrate the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success. The program celebrates teens as makers and doers and is a signature initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.
The Library of Congress has created an exhibit, "Books that Shaped America," which explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life." Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been challenged as acceptable reading in schools, or banned outright. Below are notes about some of the featured titles from the Banned Books Week organization.
September 27, 2013: Donated volumes carry on teaching
Diane Zahand had a passion for early childhood education.
Now, even after her death, her work is continuing..
After Zahand died on Oct. 10, her husband, Jim Zahand, donated her collection of more than 5,000 books to the Spokane County Library District. With the books came a generous check and a request that SCLD create a memorial fund in her name.
September 27, 2013: Paperless Libraries: When the Stacks Disappear
What’s a library without books?
That’s the question a lot of people were asking even before Bexar County, Texas, opened its all-digital library, dubbed BiblioTech, on September 14. The bookless facility serves an unincorporated area outside of San Antonio, offering more than 10,000 titles available for digital download and 100 e-readers on loan, as well as computer stations, digital literacy classes, and a coffee shop.
BiblioTech will allow the county to open a library in an area that previously had none, for less money and in less space than it would cost to open a facility with physical materials.
September 13, 2013: How military libraries are handling federal budget cuts
More than 260 librarians and almost 800 library technicians who work for the Department of Defense (DOD) are being furloughed 11 days, one day per week from July 8 to September 27, due to sequestration. While this is a personal financial hardship, we are also concerned about having to cut library services for our patrons: military servicemen and women and their families. This is a time of confusion for many of us, as the situation is complex and constantly changing.
There are approximately 185 library programs within the DOD; larger ones at the Pentagon and military universities and smaller ones that serve posts or bases. Soldiers and their families rely on information we provide to help them through their careers, whether that be language training to prepare for an overseas deployment or continuing with formal education.
September 13, 2013: Literary Landmark: Wethersfield, Conn.
The town of Wethersfield, Conn., was the setting for Elizabeth George Speare’s novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which won the 1959 Newbery Medal. Speare lived in Wethersfield when she wrote the book, which tells the story of how young Kit Tyler, after leaving her privileged life in Barbados, struggles to adjust to the strict culture of 1687 Puritan Wethersfield and faces accusations of witchcraft from the community.
September 13, 2013: Not your Grandma’s library: A new generation of librarians evolve through IT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A library may conjure up images of musty volumes, dark stacks and shushing librarians, but those places are becoming rare and soon may not exist at all, according to Sue Kellerman, Judith O. Sieg Chair for Preservation at Penn State. Not only are libraries changing, but also the librarians themselves -- who are finding they need to wear many more hats these days than just the one that says "no talking."
As it becomes necessary for libraries to make the transition from analog to digital formats, Kellerman said new technologies are forging the way for tremendous new opportunities in scholarship, collaboration and exposure -- with the addition of a few new challenges along the way.
“We’re the first generation of librarians that are pioneering all these new library technologies,” explained Kellerman, who leads the digitization and preservation department at Penn State. “Libraries are transitioning from a building of bookshelves to a storage facility for the files we’ve digitized and our jobs are evolving to discover how to best keep these digital projects and collections safe -- now and into perpetuity.”
Librarians tend to have their ears to the streets and can measure the pulse of their readers and the books that they like.
In Jennifer Brown’s opinions, librarians are the lifeline to what she does as a young adult author.
So when the 1990 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School reached out to Amy Taylor, a library media specialist at Lee’s Summit West, the genesis was born for a unique partnership that began with a launch party in May shortly after the release of Brown’s latest book “Thousand Words.”
To culminate the partnership, the nationally-acclaimed and award-winning author was at The Stanley in downtown Lee’s Summit, 25 S.E. Third Street, Aug. 24 for a special reading, signing and luncheon hosted by librarians from each of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s high schools.
The event featured mothers and daughters discussing the book with Brown, who took part in a Q&A session and signed copies of the book.
August 30, 2013: New top librarian stresses digital transition as heart of new Gelman
The University's newly hired head of Gelman Library says she will use the building's $16 million upgrade as a springboard for digitization to better use their space on GW's cramped Foggy Bottom Campus.
Geneva Henry, who arrived just a month before GW renovated the building's main level with sleek new furniture and more powerful desktops, said the upgrade allows the University to rethink the library's primary purpose. While the transformation to e-journals and data visualization tools will be slow-moving without a boost to the library's budget or a cultural shift among researchers, she said it will pay off.
She said the changes, like new visualization technology in Gelman, will help researchers make "new discoveries you could never have made in print in the same material."
"You make it digital, you turn it into data and it's amazing what you can do," said Henry, who was the executive director of digital scholarship services at Rice University.
August 30, 2013: Chicago librarian remake of Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' goes viral
Two Chicago private school employees are scheming on a thing that's "Sabotage."
Duane Freeman and Mike Ferbrache didn't expect a remake of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video--which was directed by Spike Jonze in 1994--to get much attention beyond their students and faculty at Francis W. Parker K-12 School in Lincoln Park. It was just a fun way to showcase the school's librarians in a new light for an annual variety show for the students in May.
Until last week, the near shot-for-shot redo of the cheesy cops and robbers style video sat on their Vimeo page, collecting a couple thousand views. But in the last week, the duo -- which performs comedy shows around Chicago on the side -- has watched views of the video exceed 140,000, all from a little library love.
“It’s just been so fun,” Freeman, 34, of Roscoe Village and a counselor at the school, said. “I’ve had a smile on my face all weekend.”
August 16, 2013: 34-year-old wallet found during library remodel
It wasn't a rare novel, but workers remodeling the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro made quite a find. A wallet from 1979 was found tucked inside the electrical box of the library. Inside the wallet were four ID cards, including a bartender's license, for Joshie South, then living in Forest Grove.
Police believe the wallet may belong to a Joshie South, now 60 years old and living in Brooklyn, NY. However, South has not returned their calls.
The electrical box also contained a rusty knife, but they don't believe it's connected to the wallet. As for how the wallet ended up in the box, nobody seems to know.
August 16, 2013: Literary Landmark: Osage Tribal Museum
The Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) honored John Joseph Mathews and the Osage Tribal Museum with an United for Libraries Literary Landmark dedication on Nov. 17, 2009.
Mathews authored four nonfiction books and one fiction book in his lifetime. Wah’Kon-Tah: The Osage and the White Man’s Road (1932) was the first university press book selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club and sold 50,000 copies. His second book, Sundown (1934), while categorized as fiction, is semi-autobiographical and noted for its depiction of the struggles experienced by a young Indian as he leaves the reservation during the early 1900s. In Talking to the Moon: Wildlife Adventures on the Plains and Prairies of Osage County (1945), Mathews describes his own experience of living 10 years on the plains in a small rock cabin.
August 16, 2013: Miami-Dade Readers Fight Pending Library Cuts
Miami-Dade Public Library supporters rallied all weekend, helping fight the potential closure of 22 libraries in Miami-Dade county.
At the Tailgate on Friday, we outreached to hundreds of people at branch locations who were still not aware that their library would be facing closure in October. At the Saturday Tailgate: over 700 people were informed that their libraries were closing, and what they could do about it. Today at the Country Walk Rally, over 200 people were informed that their local branch was closing, alongside 15 others, with 6 “Technology Learning Centers.”
August 2, 2013: Making STEM Programs Work In The Library
STEM is certainly the new buzzword in library programming for children. That means a rush to create and promote STEM programming. The problem is that STEM is an educational initiative and most of the available literature is geared towards classroom activities. As yet, there is no set of Best Practices for STEM programming in libraries.
August 2, 2013: One Year Later: Xela Civic Libraries
This is the first in a series looking back at the activities of each of the 2012 grantees over the past year.
For the past year, the Rising Voices grantee project Xela Civic Libraries has been demonstrating how it can play a vital role in not only providing internet access for its users, but also providing them with a supportive environment to access information and share news important for their rural community. This work begins with the commitment of the librarians, who have the task of being local resources for their communities. By supporting the librarians as they support those who enter the library doors looking for assistance, users find a welcoming space with a knowledgeable staff eager to promote active citizen participation.
George Washington is finally getting a presidential library, thanks in part to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the country’s oldest national historic preservation organization.
The association announced last week that it had exceeded its $100 million goal for its capital campaign for the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, making it the only presidential library funded by private contributions.
“This new library will help us to maintain and advance George Washington’s timeless relevance in our fast-changing world,” Ann Bookout, chair of the association, said in a statement. “We are grateful to the thousands of supporters who answered our appeal and who share our belief that Washington’s example of strong character and effective leadership remains more important than ever.”
July 19, 2013: Books, blogs... and a bacon bookmark at library
Kelly Saunders works at the Central Library and has a blog.
You might think a librarian wouldn’t have all that much to write about – “Shelved a book, stamped a book, said ‘Shhh’” – but you’d be wrong.
Spend enough time working in a library and you gather a stock of stories to rival some of the tales on the shelves.
Swindon’s include The Horror of the Sinister Receipt, The Mystery of the Thong and The Letter from Lord Lucan.
The greatest of all, though, and the only one Kelly has so far shared with the public, is The Bacon Incident.
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007). The author of the children’s literary classic A Wrinkle in Time served as the church’s librarian for more than 40 years.
“It is very appropriate that we dedicate this landmark on November 29 because it would have been L’Engle’s 94th birthday,” said Rocco Staino, director of the Empire State Center for the Book. The sponsors chose the year 2012 for the memorial because it marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Wrinkle in Time, for which L’Engle received the prestigious Newbery Medal.
July 19, 2013: Public libraries key to independence
I hope you had a happy Fourth of July.
Thinking about the revolutionaries’ struggle for independence got me thinking about our democracy and all the freedoms that we enjoy. Libraries play a role in keeping our democracy strong by providing free and uncensored access to information.
Public libraries, as they exist today, began in Colonial days. Benjamin Franklin, a lover of books and literature, owned more than 4,000 volumes in his personal collection. In 1741, he established the country’s first subscription library. Community members pooled their collections to create a lending library. People bought stock in the company to gain borrowing privileges. This initial effort later became the Library Company of Philadelphia, which still exists to this day.
July 5, 2013: YA Authors Decode Dystopia
At the opening of the panel “Bleak New World: YA Authors Decode Dystopia” authors Lois Lowry (whose iconic The Giver won the Newbery in 1994), Patrick Ness (the Chaos Walking trilogy), Veronica Roth (the Divergent series), and Cory Doctorow (Homeland; Boing Boing coeditor) were asked how they would fare if they suddenly found themselves in one of the dystopian or apocalyptic situations detailed in their work. Some predicted survival. Others were convinced that they would immediately perish. Their answers drew laughs from the capacity crowd for the always-popular Friday-night literature forum sponsored by Booklist, but they also revealed an important component of dystopian fiction that makes it so appealing: the ability to place oneself intimately in the action. The “what if” factor draws readers into dystopian fiction, making them imagine how they would react if faced with calamity.
In brief: During my first professional position I found myself building a teen services program from scratch at a public library in a small town. In this article, I reflect on some of what I learned through that experience, including the value of data, the importance of having a vision, how much relationships matter, and the value of professional community. I conclude with a call for dialogue among other builders of teen services to share our experiences and lessons.
Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in the development of public policy related to ICTs (information and communication technologies), especially in terms of allocation and connectivity, technological infrastructure, public access to information, systematization of procedures for citizens, and much more. Some countries have gone even further and have made advances on issues like transparency, civic participation, and social inclusion. Many of these countries belong to the Open Government Partnership.
Women use the new business center at the San Juan la Laguna library in Guatemala. Libraries are essential partners in boosting information access and technology training throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Despite this progress, there is still a gap for a lot of Latin Americans as many ICT-related advances have been made in access and connectivity issues instead of in content and technology adoption. So even though there are new services and information available online, their availability is unknown and a lot of citizens lack the access or the skills to be able to use them. Also, citizens sometimes don’t have the adequate guidance and training in order to use these new opportunities to improve their lives and their communities.
June 20, 2013: 4 Central Unified libraries to stay open for summer
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – Central Unified wants to make sure kids keep reading during their summer vacation.
The school district will keep four different campus libraries open this summer.
At the McKinley Elementary School Library in West Central Fresno, reading adventures will still be at kids’ fingertips during the summer. They can read about sharks or maybe presidents.
June 20, 2013: Literary Landmark: Stroud Public Library
Stroud Public Library was designated Literary Landmark in honor of poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel (1918-2007). The dedication took place at Stroud Public Schools and featured award-winning author and Route 66 expert Michael Wallis as master of ceremonies; author and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; a screening of Down an Old Road: The Poetic Life of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel by Chris Simon, Sageland Media; music by the Stroud High School Show Choir; remarks by family member Pattee Russell-Curry; and a reception by the Stroud Library Society. Awards were presented to 23 winning entries for the Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel Poetry Contest for rural high school students in Lincoln and Creek counties.
June 20, 2013: 25 Writers on the Importance of Libraries
British children’s author Terry Deary — best known for his Horrible Histories series and controversial chatter about the nation’s school systems — told the Guardian he thinks libraries “have had their day.” He’d prefer that people buy their books instead of borrowing them, claiming that “books aren’t public property.” Deary added, “Authors, booksellers and publishers need to eat. We don’t expect to go to a food library to be fed.” The cranky comments feel like a swift kick in the teeth since libraries around the world are struggling against significant budget cuts each year, and authors have been tirelessly advocating for their importance. We gathered a few passionate statements from 20 writers that emphasize why libraries aren’t “sentimental” institutions. See what Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Ray Bradbury, and other writers have to contribute to the conversation.
June 7, 2013: How libraries have (and haven’t) changed
I have been working in libraries for 43 years. I was recently asked about the biggest changes I have seen. I can think of three.
First, technology. When I was a teenager in the ’60s, I had a friend who built a homemade computer in his basement with little metal switches. Yes, really. How things have changed!
We have automated our routine tasks – from checking items in and out, to locating them in the catalog and signing up for programs. Our website provides an electronic “door” to the world and to the library. People can access our electronic resources 24 hours a day from home. And we provide free, unfiltered access to the Internet for whatever people want to do.
June 7, 2013: A Year in the Life of Librotraficante
Librotraficante has had a rollercoaster year. Led by Houston-based author and activist Tony Diaz, the organization (whose name means “book smuggler” in Spanish) formed last year in response to Arizona House Bill 2281 (PDF file), which outlaws teaching courses in Arizona public schools that promote the overthrow of the United States government, foster racial and class-based resentment, favor one ethnic group over another, or advocate ethnic solidarity.
The bill, signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer in 2010, forced Tucson United School District (TUSD) to dismantle its successful Mexican-American studies program after receiving complaints that the course instilled views that were anti-American, anti-white, and hostile to the US government. The elimination of the program led to the removal of hundreds of books from Tucson United school libraries, including works by Isabel Allende, Junot Díaz, Dagoberto Gilb, Howard Zinn, Henry David Thoreau, and William Shakespeare. Former teachers of the program and students filed lawsuits to challenge the bill’s constitutionality, and the American Library Association passed a resolution at its 2012 Midwinter Meeting opposing the restrictions.
June 7, 2013: Timbuktu: Ancient Manuscripts in Danger of Extinction
A far cry from the fabled ends of the earth, Timbuktu, a small, northern enclave in the West African nation of Mali, is at the heart of a modern-day quest: to save the city’s many ancient libraries from destruction.
Last year, after more than seven centuries in generational homes of dedicated safe-keepers, this collection of over 300,000 medieval manuscripts was suddenly caught in the middle of an ideological, territorial war. At great urgency and peril, a team of local stakeholders led by Abdel Kader Haidra and Dr. Stephanie Diakité conspired to rescue their beloved treasure. This group of brave librarians, couriers and local Mali citizens risked everything to smuggle over 1,000 trunks of manuscripts by donkey cart, bicycle, on backs, and in boats, out of the city to new hideaways in other parts of the country. Not one document, not one person was lost during the evacuation.
May 24, 2013: A Librarian’s Response to “What’s a Library?”
The paint on my worn out ol’ library soapbox is getting rather chipped these days, but I’m about to get back up on it, my friends. Brace yourselves. (The soapbox should probably brace itself too, poor thing.)
There are two recent library-related articles on HuffPo to which I’d like to draw your attention.
The first article, written by my friend and fellow ULU advocate Christian Zabriske, is an example of how one should write about libraries in the modern age. It’s passionate, it’s coherent, and it’s chock full of relevant and accurate information. Read “Libraries in New York City: Why We Give a Damn and Why You Should Too.”
By the way, the article was retweeted by Alyssa Milano, which has nothing to do with anything except I thought it was cool.
May 24, 2013: Literary Landmark: Emily J. Pointer Public Library
During the Literary Landmark dedication in honor of the author Stark Young, a plaque was placed on the south lawn of the library. The dedication included a performance of “A Visit from Stark Young” by the North Mississippi Storytellers Guild. Karen Wilson, executive director of the Son Edna Foundation in Charleston, gave the keynote about literacy in small-town rural Mississippi. Igor Bosin read selections from Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in Russian, with Stark Young’s English translations following. A book signing by Lauren Lavergne’s Como Elementary School first grade class rounded out the tribute’s events immediately prior to the reveal of the Literary Landmark plaque.
May 24, 2013: Ten libraries to receive advocacy training through grant
PHILADELPHIA - United for Libraries has selected 10 libraries to receive expert advocacy training in cycle one of the Citizens-Save-Libraries program, funded by the Neal-Schuman Foundation.
Advocacy experts will provide onsite training to friends of the library groups, library, directors and trustees and help them develop blueprints for advocacy campaigns to restore, increase or save threatened library budgets. Those libraries and groups selected for training have committed to share their knowledge and experiences through presentations at local conferences, articles written for state library association journals and via webinars and Skype calls.
May 10, 2013: Bringing the Hulk to the Northlake Public Library
Don’t you want to live in a world where libraries have statues of comic book characters, 3D printers, and professional quality graphic design hardware/software? We do too, which was why we recently launched a crowd sourced fundraiser using the platform Indiegogo to buy a nine foot tall Incredible Hulk Statue, a Replicator 2, an iMac, and a Cintiq pen display. The initial idea came from a community member who thought it would be a good idea to have a giant Hulk statue in the library to help promote and purchase more comics and graphic novels, especially creator-owned and indie titles.
May 10, 2013: Cultivating a Special Collection
Serendipity is often the best friend of special collections librarians. Sharing our passion for history and preservation can create happy accidents, connecting us with the caretakers of the remnants of past generations. In fact, libraries come to acquire many cultural treasures, often discovered in the contents of someone’s attic, basement, or storage space, because we nurtured a relationship with a potential collector over time.
Western Kentucky University’s most happy accident happened more than 10 years ago when I [Sue Lynn McDaniel] was sitting in a dentist’s chair. The hygienist was making small talk and asked a standard ice-breaker question: “What do you do for a living?” My reply led to her inquiring: “Would WKU be interested in my Uncle J. T.’s suitcase?” Uncle J. T. turned out to be John T. Scopes, the defendant in what has come to be known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. He was charged with violating the Butler Act (Tenn. HB 185, 1925), which criminalized the teaching of “any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.”
As his niece explained, Scopes did not necessarily believe in evolution, but he thought all students had the right to access all information so they could make educated decisions. Another characteristic she remembered about him from family gatherings was that “Uncle J. T. liked to stir things up!”
May 10, 2013: Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to Receive National Medal for Museum and Library Service Today in White House Ceremony Celebration Featuring First Lady Michelle Obama Highlights Impact of Ohio Libraries
WASHINGTON (May 8, 2013) - This afternoon, in a White House ceremony in the East Room, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Susan Hildreth to present the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The nation's highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. Kimber Fender, The Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director, and community member Amina Tuki will accept the National Medal.
April 26, 2013: Beyond the Buzz: The Re-Shelf Take
When Nova contacted me about doing a guest blog for her Beyond (the Latest) Buzz series about “overlooked” books, I instantly had concerns.
No. That’s not true. I was instantly flattered, excited, and thrilled to be asked.
But then I started thinking about what an overlooked book IS and then the concerns began. Are we talking within the last year? Within my lifetime (a time that included a barren YA wasteland [at least where I lived] and a subsequent YA boom that continues to grow and expand)? Of all time? And what does “overlooked” mean? Less than 100 reviews on GoodReads? The title is on a backlist? Didn’t win an award OR sit atop the bestsellers list?
Clearly, I have an issue with overthinking things.
April 26, 2013: Literary Landmark: Syd Hoff home
Miami Beach, Fla.
Dedicated: Feb. 10, 2013
Partner: Florida Center for the Book
Reprinted courtesy of: United for Libraries
The Miami Beach, Fla., home of children’s book author and cartoonist Syd Hoff was designated a Literary Landmark. Hoff (1912-2004) created “Danny and the Dinosaur,” “Sammy the Seal” and more than 60 HarperCollins I CAN READ books for children. More than a dozen are still in print. The Bronx-born Hoff also published more than 500 cartoons in The New Yorker, as well as for King Features Syndicate, The Saturday Evening Post and more. Hoff’s publishers also include Scholastic and Dial Press. He lived at his home in Miami Beach from 1957 to 2001.
April 26, 2013: Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to Receive 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service National Award Recognizes Exceptional Contributions of Cincinnati Library System
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County serves 49 separate jurisdictions that are economically, educationally, and ethnically diverse. The Library is one of the largest, oldest, and most-heavily used in America. More than 17.6 million items were borrowed in 2011, making it the eighth busiest library in the nation. The
library is committed to academic achievement, and works with community partners on several programs including Read On! and Success by 6 to improve grade level reading and kindergarten readiness. Its summer educational programs including summer reading and Brain Camps help reduce learning loss. Equally committed to encouraging lifelong learning, the library established an Adult Learning Center to support literacy, math skills, online job applications, and GED preparation.
"Museums and libraries serve as centers for lifelong learning and as cornerstones for our communities. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is fostering lifelong learning for community members young and old, and we are proud to name this library one of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners," said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. "This year's National Medal recipients demonstrate the many ways museums and libraries alike build strong communities. These institutions are educating, inspiring, and leading lifelong learning while serving as community anchors."
A 31-year-old Chicago advertising executive has written a marriage proposal that is one for the books, portraying himself as a tortoise and his girlfriend as the hare (or, in this case, bunny).
Jason Methner is the creative mind behind the illustrated account of his relationship with his girlfriend, Molly Lipsitz.
He had the book, titled A Hare-y Tale, illustrated by friend Yoni Limor and placed the bound volume among the “new arrivals” in a Chicago library for his 27-year-old girlfriend to find.
BANGOR, Maine — Authors Stephen and Tabitha King have pledged $3 million toward renovations at Bangor’s century-old public library, as long as the library reaches its goal of raising another $6 million, according to the library’s director.
The Bangor Public Library has kicked off a $9 million fundraising effort in an attempt to modernize its building for the next generation of users and to protect its more than 500,000 volumes, Director Barbara McDade said Tuesday.
The Kings offered to pay one-third of that bill as long as the library figured out how to come up with the rest.
April 12, 2013: Women, Mobility, and Libraries
Long before there were such devices as smartphones and tablets—or personal computing, for that matter—women in librarianship were bringing reading material to people beyond the four walls of a physical library. As Women’s History Month draws to a close this March, American Libraries celebrates the library workers, most ofthem women, whose mobile devices for delivering literacy consisted of wagons and horses bearing books door to door in rural America.
March 29, 2013: Shelf to Shelf
The young boy stood outside the door with much trepidation. This might be the magic door. All he had to do was turn the handle, open the door, and walk in. A whole new world could be waiting for him on the other side.
March 29, 2013: Literary Landmark: Beauregard-Keyes House
Reprinted courtesy of: United for Libraries
The Beauregard-Keyes House at 1113 Chartres St. was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Frances Parkinson Keyes. The author made the house her winter residence from 1945 until her death in 1970 at the age of 85. Of her 51 books, The Chess Players and Madame Castel's Lodger are set at the house and tell of itsconstruction and early habitation. It was at the house that she wrote Dinner at Antoine's, her best known work.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett has reversed a directive to pull Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, from CPS libraries, though she maintains the book is not appropriate for 7th graders and should be removed from classrooms. Byrd-Bennett’s reversal comes amid criticisms and complaints from parents, teachers, students, and others about the decision, which was dictated in an email sent to schools on March 14 ordering removal of all copies of the book from school libraries and classroom instruction by March 15.
The McMaster Libraries Archives is more than just a museum for books. Their collection includes original works that once provoked mass outrage and book burnings.
Freedom to Read Week is an annual celebration sponsored by the Freedom of Expression Committee that runs this year from Feb. 24 to March 2. The week was initially founded as a result of attacks on Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women in 1978.
March 15, 2013: Using Technology to Connect to Opportunities
Reprinted courtesy of: American Libraries Magazine
CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG LIBRARY, NORTH CAROLINA
Funds from the American Dream Starts grant helped the library deal with budget cuts
Despite budget cuts that reduced the outreach staff by 50 percent, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library continues to serve more than 800,000 patrons, nearly one out of six of whom speak a language other than English. “Avanzando (advancing) @ your library” created opportunities for nearly 500 patrons to enroll in free and accessible technology classes offered in Spanish in three different library locations.
All of the program’s participants reported that they now know how to use the Internet; 93 percent state they now have an email account and can use it; and more than four out of five reported that their computer skills have improved because of the program.
Every discussion of libraries in the age of austerity always includes at least one blowhard who opines, "What do we need libraries for? We've got the Internet now!"
The problem is that Mr. Blowhard has confused a library with a book depository. Now, those are useful, too, but a library isn't just (or even necessarily) a place where you go to get books for free. Public libraries have always been places where skilled information professionals assisted the general public with the eternal quest to understand the world. Historically, librarians have sat at the coalface between the entire universe of published material and patrons, choosing books with at least a colorable claim to credibility, carefully cataloging and shelving them, and then assisting patrons in understanding how to synthesize the material contained therein.
Queens Library’s Langston Hughes Community Library was designated a Literary Landmark in honor of (James) Langston Hughes (1902-1967).
CHICAGO — Librarians, library workers, educators, parents, teens and other young adult literature enthusiasts looking for the best teen books and media of 2012 can find them online at YALSA’s Best of the Best website. In addition to lists of YALSA’s awards and top ten lists, the Best of the Best homepage includes promotional tools featuring the award-winning 2012 books.
February 15, 2013: Previously Unknown Sandburg Poem Focuses on Power of the Gun
In an apparently unpublished and previously unknown poem, Carl Sandburg addressed the topic of guns. Titled “A Revolver,” the short piece was discovered last week among Sandburg’s archives, housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The poem, typed on a manual typewriter on onionskin paper, was discovered by a library volunteer.
February 15, 2013: Services that Empower
Talk Time, a program at Madison Public Library’s Goodman South Madison Branch, helps students find a voice, and ultimately, a place in their new community. Students learn to use English language in real-life situations while learning about each other and the community.
February 15, 2013: 10 Fictional Libraries I'd Love to Visit
Is your local library on your list of valentine’s this year? We hope so and if you love libraries as much as we do then you may want to add these to next year’s list. Take a look…
January 31, 2013: American Library Association announces 2013 youth media award winners
SEATTLE — The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.
A list of all the 2013 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
“The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate, is the 2013 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz and published by Candlewick Press; “Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; and “Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
January 31, 2013: Literary Landmark: Hackley Public Library
The Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Mich., was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of children's book author and storyteller Verna Aardema Vugteveen (1911-2000). Vugteveen (1911-2000) was an award-winning children’s author who based her stories on traditional folk tales from Africa, Latin America and other countries. Hackley Public Library and its librarians provided the setting and support for her research. Vugteveen is the author of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1976, as well as more than 30 children’s books and collections of stories. Among the awards she received were the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Award in 1977 and the Parents’ Choice Award for Literature in 1984. Her books have been published in a number of languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese and Afrikaans. Vugteveen is known as “Muskegon’s Story Lady.” Vugteveen’s book Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is dedicated to “my librarian, Bernice Houseward.” “I owe a lot to the librarians at Hackley,” wrote Vugteveen. “They obtained most of my source stories through interlibrary loan. All of the tales in my first book, ‘Tales from the Story Hat,’ came right from the books at Hackley Library.”
January 31, 2013: 10 Haunted U.S. Libraries
The Willard Library: Providing library services since 1885, Willard Library is the oldest public library in Indiana. This historic library, housed in a Victorian Gothic building is reportedly haunted by the ghost of The Grey Lady. The library has been investigated by several paranormal organizations and they have ghost cams set up throughout the library so that at-home ghost hunters can see if they can spot The Grey Lady.
The Saline County Library: The home of this Arkansas library from 1967 to 2003 was a converted theater building – The Old Palace Theater. Librarians began to suspect that the building was haunted after hearing phantom footsteps, seeing paperback carousels rotating by themselves, as well as books falling from the shelves.
There's a battle going. It's a battle that may or may not touch your life, but one that will help to shape the future of digital rights. It's a battle between many top publishers and libraries. You can join this battle. You can make your voice heard. Pierce County Library's "Stop Being Scrooge" campaign urges bookworms to unite against Scroogey publishers - publishers who are not selling e-books to libraries.
"For the past two years, American Library Association and Urban Libraries Council have met with the publishers, and, yet, we still do not have a business model for the major publishers to sell to public libraries," says Mary Getchell, marketing and community relations director for Pierce County Library. "Currently Hachette Book Group, Penguin, Macmillan Publishing and Simon & Schuster are not selling to libraries. HarperCollins Publisher is selling to Overdrive, our major e-book vendor; however this comes with significant restrictions; each e-book expires after 26 checkouts. Random House, Inc. is also selling to Overdrive, unfortunately at exorbitant prices - 100-300 percent above list prices."
Library workers know that public libraries provide essential services. We live it every day. Until Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on tens of thousands in New York and New Jersey in October, we at Queens Library didn’t realize how pivotal our role is in our communities.
As the extent of the damage became apparent, so did the obvious need for authoritative information. People did not know where to get a prescription filled when their pharmacy was destroyed, or how to apply for emergency benefits when they were without a phone or internet access. They were worried about their jobs and their children’s shuttered schools. Although four of our libraries were destroyed, Queens Library staff jumped into the breach and did what library staff does best: We gave out reference resources and created a sense of community, even though many of the staff were storm victims themselves.
Library staff at the Wood County District Public Library reached out to local ESL teachers to ask what materials it should purchase with funds from the American Dream Starts @ your library grant.
“Those phone calls introduced teachers to what the library could do for them,” said Maria Simon, American Dream project coordinator. As a result of this personal appeal, many teachers now make sure to bring theirESL classes to the library to sign up for library cards.
EveryLibrary, the nation's first Poltical Action Committee dedicated specifically to librares, has announced its support for Proposition 3, a library levy in Spokane, Washington on the February 12, 2013 mail-in ballot. This will be a topic of discussion by EveryLibrary Executive Director John Chrastka, a featured presenter at the Innovative Advocacy in Action! An Advocacy Institute Discussion held during the ALA MIdwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 25, 2013.
January 3, 2013: Literary Landmark: Room 222, Strater Hotel
Room 222 of the Strater Hotel was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Western author Louis L'Amour (1908-1988). In addition to many other visits, for more than 10 years L'Amour, and often his family, spent the month of August in the hotel. He worked in a room directly above the Diamond Belle Saloon, where he said thesounds inspired him to write. A former bellman at the hotel, Rod Barker, recalls that L'Amour traveled with a trunk full of books that required two bellman to lift and carry up a flight of stairs to room 222.
January 3, 2013: Snapshot Day Yields Strong Advocacy Results for Libraries
Library Snapshot Day began as a joint effort between the New Jersey State Library and the New Jersey Library Association as a way to compile information about what goes on in a library on any given day, or a “snapshot”, that not only raises awareness about libraries, but also provides valuable data for librarians and community stakeholders, demonstrating just how much libraries are used, and the wide variety of reasons that people use them.
January 3, 2013: Live at Your Library!
It’s hard to miss the ever-growing enthusiasm for the “buy local” movement. People want locally grown food, locally made handicrafts, locally created products. Now is the best time for libraries to join that movement and provide space in their collections for local content, particularly local music. These collections are a plus for libraries in terms of economics, partnerships, and plugging libraries into the local creative “scene.”
December 21, 2012: I Love My Librarian!
Meet the 10 winners of the 2012 I Love My Librarian Award! Thank you to all of this year's library supporters who sent in nominations.
December 21, 2012: Nonprofit Uses Little Libraries to Unite Community
Libraries are clearly important to Chad Stanton of Stanton Fine Furniture. He taught himself his profession out of library books — and he recently built a “Little Free Library” on his street.
Little Free Library is an organization that helps create mini libraries where users can take and leave books at no cost — all without a library card. Co-founder Todd Bol started the project in Hudson, Wis., in 2009 to honor his deceased mother.
December 21, 2012: Becoming American Citizens
In May 2010, 30 participants from 14 countries took part in a U.S. Naturalization ceremony at the Bentonville Public Library. Many used library resources to help prepare to obtain their U.S. citizenship. With funds from the American Dream Starts @ your library grant, the library added to its collection more than 400 items designed to improve literacy skills.
The library also added free literacy programs: bilingual storytime, international storytime, ESL storytime for elementary school classes, and ESL family night at a local public school. Now 30 recent immigrants are citizens and more are in the preparation process.
December 21, 2012: How Does Your Library Connect the Old with the New?
Here at SAGE, we are constantly inspired by the efforts of library professionals as we endeavor to invent new ways to connect the old with the new in the world of scholarly publishing. With our recent acquisition of Adam Matthew, a publisher and digitizer of primary resource collections from medieval family life to 20th century history, merging past and present is at the forefront of our minds. That’s why we’re inviting you to show us how your organization is successfully taking fresh approaches to old tasks.
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and once again e-book readers promise to be a very popular gift. Last year's holiday season saw ownership of a dedicated e-reader device spike to nearly 1 in 5 Americans, and that number is poised to go even higher. But if you're in the market for an e-reader this year, or for e-books to read on one that you already own, you might want to know who's keeping an eye on your searching, shopping, and reading habits.
The Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Elihu Burritt (1810-1879).
Burritt was an international peace advocate, abolitionist, writer, lecturer, and consular agent to Birmingham, England, appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. Born to a family of 10, he had to look for work at an early age after his father died and the family business was not producing enough income for the family.
With nearly 400 volunteers, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library has a strong base of volun- teers. Through its American Dream project, it acquired a few more volunteers from a place it didn’t expect: through its ESL classes and English conversation groups.
Some students who are just beginning to speak English have turned out to be enthusiastic volunteers, eager to contribute to their new communities. Students have helped with recycling, organizing books and magazines and other tasks. An adult English student from Japan and the daughter of an English student from Syria teamed up to present a class on origami at the library after the Japanese student noticed the girl’s interest in it.
November 21, 2012: Trust in Your Trustees
Politicians prefer your board’s views on library needs over yours. It frustrates me profoundly to have someone in the library profession approach me at a conference to challenge my credibility as a speaker—usually in view of the fact that I’m retired, out of touch, and behind the times. In other words, I’m no longer actively involved in library matters.
November 21, 2012: Movies that answer the question 'What should I watch tonight?'
Offering a smorgasbord of carefully cultivated lists, “Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie” by Rob Christopher, is a new suggestion guide which incorporates classic films with more obscure selections for a full array of watch-worthy movies. This all-in-one recommendation source includes capsule reviews; director, cast and crew information; bits of trivia and quotable lines; and helpful tips on how to locate these and other intriguing movies.
The California State Library has announced an exciting new tool for public libraries. The Emerging Story of California Public Libraries is a document designed to help libraries reframe their stories of why they are still relevant in today’s highly technological society. This document or story map, was presented at the Annual California Library Association Conference in San Jose California, on Saturday, November 3, 2012. Commissioned by the State Library, library leaders from around California, along with former State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich and Michael Margolis from Get Storied, have spent the past several months crafting this important message.
November 9, 2012: Libraries Weather the Superstorm
Beyond temporary power outages and minor wind and water damage, libraries along the Atlantic coast weathered Superstorm Sandy fairly well, considering all the flooding and destruction inflicted on homes and businesses. Although some areas of central New Jersey were still without power six days after the storm, many public libraries in affected states were powered up and serving as community support centers for residents without electricity, internet access, or heat.
November 9, 2012: History of Veterans Day
World War I happened nearly a century ago and in a land most school aged kids couldn’t tell you if pressed. Frank Buckles, the last living WWI Veteran, died last year at the age of 110. It was the sacrifice of he and of his comrades that inspired the holiday we are about to observe—Veterans Day. The United States has evolved since the first celebration—so too has Veterans Day transformed. Now inclusive of all service members, Veterans Day is a national holiday of remembrance and recognition of all those who served regardless of branch or duty status, Reserve or Active Component.
November 9, 2012: How Libraries Count in the 2012 Election
As icons of civic engagement in America, libraries are perfectly positioned to host voter registration drives and, as local statutes permit, be venues for early voting and Election Day polls. In this particularly spirited election year, libraries may be playing their largest role yet in such efforts. Consequently, they have also been drawn into the national debate over how best to protect voter rights and election integrity.
Hasbrouck Heights Library Director Mimi Hui is working with the community and keeping up with technology that has the library constantly transforming and trying to shake the stigma of it being just a place for books. The Hasbrouck Heights library, located upstairs in the municipal building on the Boulevard, has been a staple in the community for residents of any age and a safe haven for parents and children this summer with their programs and guest authors.
October 26, 2012: Used-book sales bring in money for libraries
The first bargain-hunters show up at 7 a.m., long before the Voorhees library opens, and form a line that grows to 250 and snakes around the building.
Cashiers and security guards are ready for the rush when the doors are unlocked, while other staff look over a balcony at what's been compared to the running of the bulls in Pamplona. The attraction: more than 45,000 used books and thousands of CDs, videos, books on tape, LPs, and magazines, spread out on 70 tables across the Camden County Library System's M. Allan Vogelson Regional Branch on Laurel Road.
October 26, 2012: Making the Library A Welcoming Place
The Pinewoods Library in Athens, Georgia, does not look like a typical library. Located in a double-wide trailer in a local mobile home park, Pinewoods serves roughly 2,000 people living in the mobile home park and 19,000 Hispanics in the greater Athens area. New immigrants often make the library their first stop to learn English and computer skills, along with discovering other library services, according to library director Kathryn Ames.
When Sue Reinaman became Northern High School librarian 18 years ago, there were CD-ROMs and a card catalog in drawers, with the beginning of digital resources.Today, her library has seven online databases, with the budget shifting toward buying more digital resources, including e-books.
October 12, 2012: Libraries as Job Centers
In his weekly message, taped at the new Dover Public Library, Delaware Governor Jack Markell talks about libraries as not only learning centers, but job centers.
October 12, 2012: We Are United for Libraries: Name Change Becomes Official
With all the love and respect that libraries receive, it amazes me that so many are in trouble. Yes, I know that times are tough, and localities are and will be the last to recover from the great recession. Yet, libraries, costing roughly less than 2 percent of local city and county budgets, are busier than ever. In addition, libraries are providing solutions to many community problems caused by the lingering effects of the economic downturn.
For the second year in a row, the American Library Association along with the co-sponsors of Banned Books Week, is hosting the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out! The Read-Out features readers from across the country and around the world proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read by uploading videos of themselves reading a passage from their favorite banned or challenged book.
October 1, 2012: Has Book Banning Ever Happened Here? Reporting Challenges to ALA
Welcome to Banned Books Week, the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read! This is an exciting time of year for us at the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. We love learning about the events taking place at thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores, and other community organizations across the country. We’re delighted to see people picking up copies of “Catcher in the Rye” or “Harry Potter” or other banned or challenged books, and reading some of their favorite passages aloud. It’s a chance for us to inspire and be inspired by an overwhelming outpouring of support for everyone’s right to choose the reading material that’s best for them and their own families.
September 28, 2012: School libraries vital to reading achievement
If the situation were not so serious, it would be laughable. How can we improve reading achievement if we make it more difficult to put books in the hands of our children? Our schools work diligently to teach reading skills, but we actually undermine teachers’ efforts and students’ progress by drastically cutting the purchase of new school library books and by eliminating many school librarians. It stands to reason that once you learn a skill, you must practice to master it. If we insist that we must exert effort to ensure reading achievement, it does not make good sense to reduce the number of books and librarians in our schools.
I just love the double meaning of this year’s slogan. On the one hand, for 30 years librarians, publishers, booksellers, and civil liberties activists have been liberating literature by fighting the forces that try to censor it. Many are surprised that this struggle for the freedom to read continues into the twenty-first century. That is because while technology has the potential to unleash creativity and diversity of opinions, those same tools can be used to filter constitutionally protected information. And so for the second year the American Association of School Libraries has launched Banned Websites Awareness Day (on October 3) to focus on this threat. We are here to defend your unfettered freedom to read—regardless of format.
September 28, 2012: Building Tomorrow from the Ground Up
Prior to the American Dream project, the Jackson County Library in rural Newport, Arkansas, serving a population of 18,000, offered no special services or collections or classes for adult English-language learners. But a 337 percent increase in Arkansas’ Hispanic population between 1990 and 2000 sent a clear message to the library.The library used funds from the American Dream Starts @ your library grant to hire a part-time ESL tutor and to purchase CDs, DVDs, and workbooks for learning English, as well as Mango Languages online language learning software. Classes grew, starting with students from a local employer. When the word got out about the American Dream project, more and more people started to attend.
September 28, 2012: United for Libraries name change becomes official
As of Sept. 4, 2012, the American Library Association (ALA) division formerly known as the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) will be known as "United for Libraries." The United for Libraries name and logo will be featured on the organization’s website and materials. United for Libraries will continue to provide its members, which include friends of the library, library Trustees, foundations and library advocates, with the best possible specialized resources that will empower them to support and advocate for their libraries.
September 14, 2012: How Public Libraries are a Boon to Small Business
Libraries from coast to coast have won accolades for being oases in the unemployment desert for millions of job seekers using their libraries’ free internet computers to sharpen their interview skills and sift through job boards. Much less recognized is that many libraries are also making important contributions to the nation’s economic recovery by assisting the job creators in small-to-medium-size businesses.
September 14, 2012: Why I Love Libraries
I love libraries because they expect little but give much. They don’t come with a curriculum and textbooks, but open stacks. There are no teachers to tell us what to read, just librarians who lie low unless asked for an opinion. They encourage wandering, which they call browsing. Looking for a novel by a Great American Author, I find myself stopped by a recounting of the 1969 New York Knicks. Looking for a biography of Harry Truman, I make a quick left and spot All the President’s Men. Often I skim. It’s like the Internet, but much, much slower.
September 14, 2012: The Librarian and the Hot Rod Shop
What do you get when you cross a librarian with a hot-rod shop? Sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it isn’t. A provincial Libraries and Literacy grant and a directive to ‘create a mobile initiative to promote adult literacy’ was the beginning of Fraser Valley Regional Library’s (BC, Canada) Library Live and On Tour, the first project of its kind in the library world and a literacy advocacy tool like no other.
September 7, 2012: PA State Legislators Hold Hearing on Status of School Libraries
Although 94 percent of Pennsylvania’s 3,303 K-12 schools have libraries, the bulk of schools without media centers are in Philadelphia, says a new study that was presented to state legislators on August 22. Mary Kay Biagini, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, presents her study to PA State Legislators. Only 128 schools are without school libraries—and 103 of them are in Philadelphia, says Mary Kay Biagini, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who presented her study to the State House of Representative’s Education Committee on School Libraries. The hearing was a result of an almost two-year process that began with the passage of House Resolution 987 in 2010, which called for a study of Pennsylvania’s school libraries.
August 31, 2012: Guys Read Comes to the Topeka & Shawnee Co. Public Library
We all agree that kids should read, read, read. But did you know that it’s harder to get boys to read than girls? Because they read less starting at about eight years old, they also typically score lower on standardized testing. Children’s author Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Time Warp Trio) saw that boys were reading less, but he also saw that teachers and librarians weren’t doing a good job finding books boys would want to read. So he started Guys Read, a national web-based organization to get more boys reading by showing them that there’s plenty of fun, awesome stuff to read.
August 31, 2012: Nine Reasons to Save Public Libraries
While the War on Women and Chick-fil-A might be getting all the juicy headlines lately, there’s another issue quietly smoldering in the background noise of this election season. It’s buried under all the campaign rhetoric and doom-and-gloom forecasts about the economy. Our public libraries are not just threatened this election season. They’re fighting for their lives — and with them, the livelihoods and well-being of hard-hit communities all over the country. Library districts in California, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and more have measures or proposals to slash budgets in 2012. California alone is looking at 50% budget cuts. Where I live, the library district is facing a 30% budget cut, which will close at least two branches. According to the American Library Association, 23 states are looking to cut library budgets in the most recent fiscal year.
August 31, 2012: Traditional Storytelling Event at the UAS Ketchikan Campus Library
On the evening of Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the UAS Ketchikan Campus Library hosted the third of a week’s worth of Heritage Language Awareness events led by the Ketchikan Indian Community. Forty people gathered, including babies hoisted on hips and grandfathers on canes, to hear the story of Tzab Tzab, a cheeky wren, told by Tsimshian elder John Reese and the splitting of a village by Tlingit elder, Capt. Joe Thomas. The two speakers told the tales in their native tongues. Reese’s story was translated by a language intern and Capt. Thomas alternated between Tlingit and English.
August 17, 2012: Fifty Shades Fever
No question, the hottest book at the moment is E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage, 2012). As I write this, there are 140 holds for the print edition, 20 holds for the audiobook, and 69 holds for the e-book at my southwest suburban library serving a population of approximately 75,000. This is the most holds I have ever seen on a single title — more than a new Janet Evanovich or James Patterson and more than the The Help (Amy Einhorn, 2009) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), both of which benefited from blockbuster movie releases. Fifty Shades and its sequels have surprisingly exceeded the demand for The Hunger Games and Twilight trilogies, books that appeal to a broad range of ages, compared to Fifty Shades’ more mature audience. The phenomenon of this trilogy is unprecedented and like nothing I have seen before.
August 17, 2012: ALA Annual 2012: Artist Alley Interviews
This year’s ALA Annual Conference once again featured Artist Alley in the conference exhibition hall. In its second year, the Alley was bigger and better and attendees had the chance to meet the artists and illustrators who create or illustrate comics, games, graphic novels, and books. Check out the interviews below to hear the artists talk about what inspires their work and their involvement with libraries.
August 17, 2012: Rural libraries start a new chapter in villages
Zhuang Jinfu's ducks kept dying.The farmer in Huilong village in Sichuan province's Guanghan county says he lost 10,000 yuan ($1,600) when 500 - about half - of his waterfowl mysteriously died a few years ago. But he can now earn 100,000 yuan in 18 months because almost all of his 1,000 ducks survive to slaughtering age, he says. "It's because of the library," the 32-year-old explains. He says he learned bacteria were killing his fowl from a book he checked out of the remote village's library."I learned I should get medicine and what kind I should get," Zhuang says. "I found a place in the county where you can buy injections and have raised healthy flocks ever since." Zhuang raises 1,000 ducks and sells them for 100 yuan apiece.
August 3, 2012: Ketchikan Public Library T.A.G. Teen Programming
Five years ago the Ketchikan Public Library had little to no programming for teens until we created T.A.G. The Ketchikan Public Library’s Teen Advisory Group turned five this June. It seems that it has all happened so quickly, but if it were a child I’d be sending it off to school in the fall. And I couldn’t be prouder if it were one of my kids—it’s actually dozens of “my” kids, and I am so happy they chose to be a part of this amazing, ever-changing group. I was an advocate of teen groups in the library long before I got permission to start up KPL’s T.A.G., probably since I had been a member of a library teen group when I was in high school.
August 3, 2012: Summer Reading Goes to School
The lazy days of summer are here—a time to relax, vacation, and sun by the pool. It’s also a time to catch up on all those good books you didn’t have time to read all year. For students, this season can be especially prime reading months. While public libraries have traditionally provided space for schoolchildren and adults to participate in a wide array of programming geared around summer reading, a growing number of academic and school libraries are now taking a page from their public library counterparts by hosting programming—and they’re seeing positive results.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is criticizing a Utah school district’s decision to remove a children’s book about lesbian parents raising children from its libraries, the Utah newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Officials from ACLU of Utah said the removal of the picture book, "In Our Mother’s House," by Patricia Polacco, from the Davis School District’s elementary school libraries is unconstitutional. The organization also wants to talk to with the district’s superintendent Bryan Bowels about the issue and "the constitutional implications" the restrictions of the book could have.
July 20, 2012: Hughes Middle School parents work to keep librarian
When a few Hughes Middle School parents learned that next year's budget cuts would include cutting the school library and librarian's hours by half next year, they decided to do something. Parents Kimberly Peterson, Cathy Procopio and Kelly Johnson organized and hosted a plant sale fundraiser Saturday in the school's parking lot. Peterson said that Diane Riska-Taylor "is not just a librarian, she's more like a teacher. Every child at Hughes knows her and loves her."
July 20, 2012: Bi-State Landscaping Hosts 'Ladies Party' to Support Library
Lindsay Winkler, of Bi-State Landscape Supply & Garden Gifts, 3112 Pleasant View Drive, High Ridge held a "Ladies Party" April 28 that featured refreshments, a wine tasting, music, massages and goodie bags in conjunction with showcasing many of the flowers, plants and garden gifts carried by the business. A percentage of the proceeds went to the Jefferson County Library Foundation. “I wanted to do something for the library because my daughter and I are very active library users, said Winkler.”We love the library, and since it’s just across the highway from our business, we are there a lot!”
July 20, 2012: Solving Mysteries in the Library
Librarians definitely solve mysteries! I spent April 21, Sisters in Crime’s "Solving Mysteries Day," working as a volunteer at the Warren County Public Library in Monmouth, Illinois. Monmouth is a town of 10,000 in west central Illinois about 20 miles from the Mississippi River. Kathy is the saintly woman designated to keep an eye on me. What a patient person! On Saturday, we solved a lot of mysteries, such as figuring out what is in all the nooks and crannies of the huge old building. Some of the doors in the upstairs are heavy metal and slide open and closed as if we were in a meat packing plant. Very, very old.
July 6, 2012: Let us now praise libraries, librarians
Fridays after school, especially when the weather was lousy, Mom would take me to the library. She’d let me check out whatever I wanted, and I checked out a lot. Some of my choices were predictable ones like Stephen King or Beverly Cleary or Charles Schulz. But other Fridays I checked out writers I doubt more than three souls in the whole county had heard of, writers like Italo Calvino or Tadeusz Borowski or Chinua Achebe. Often their books were too weird for me, and I’d only manage to stagger through their landscapes for a few pages. But sometimes I fell in love.
July 6, 2012: Top Ten Challenged books, 2001 - Sneak Peak
Get a sneak peak of American Libraries Direct feature Top Ten Challenged books, 2001- Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. Celebrate Banned Books Week in the fall.
June 22, 2012: Dino Visitors
A pair of visitors spent most of last week at the Richfield Public Library. The Bureau of Land Management loaned casts of two animals from the age of the dinosaurs. One was a Diabloceratops, a relation of the Triceratops, whose species and skull were discovered in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 2002.The word Diablo was incorporated into the dinosaur’s species name in reference to the animal’s horns, similar to some depictions of the devil.The other was from a Deinosuchus hatcheri, which was basically a 36-foot long crocodile with armor plating on its back.
June 22, 2012: Why the Library Rules in the Summer
School achievement test scores sink after summer vacation. How do I know this? It's a little something I learned at the library. Well, not at the library. I was actually sitting in a chair in my living room and I did a quick search of a database, where I found a review of 39 studies that showed kids' brains went a little soft after summer break. This summer, I plan to let our library's summer reading program come to the rescue of my 5-year-old, who's about to finish kindergarten. She worked really hard to learn to read and comprehend stories, and I don't want her to lose those skills. I also know she'll like the prizes. (In years past, they've offered tickets to our local WNBA team's games.)
June 22, 2012: Public Libraries versus McDonalds
While it seems that you can't go two miles without bumping into a McDonalds, whoop, libraries win the battle for public space. There are more public libraries. Yes, you read that right... there are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S.- over 16.6K. Take that Big Mac!
(For the smarty-pants who are now asking how many McDonald restaurants there are in the U.S., there's a little over 12.8K. Satisfied?)
June 8, 2012: 6 Delightful Pop-up Libraries
he summer season is nearly upon us, and relaxing in a hammock or on the beach with a good book sounds delightful. Sure you could download a bestseller onto your Kindle, but libraries are all the rage right now. Swing by one of these pop-up libraries to grab a new book and leave one behind for the next person.
June 8, 2012: Delaware entrepreneurs gather in Wilmington
On February 25, supporters of small business attended a conference to share tools to help emerging ventures succeed and established ones boost profitability. All who participated in the fifth annual Delaware Entrepreneurial Conference had the chance to network, visit booths of
groups and businesses offering a variety of services and get information about the increasingly significant impact of social media. Jim Provo, of the Small Business Administration’s Wilmington office, said the event opened with networking and breakout sessions for emerging and established businesses. Other sessions included speakers and discussions of business incubators and new public library resources to help business owners and entrepreneurs.
May 25, 2012: Schoolboy's letter to save library gets PM reply
A SEVEN-year-old boy who wrote to David Cameron to ask for his help to save a library threatened with closure was delighted when he received a reply from the Prime Minister’s office. William Dore, a pupil at Cockerton Primary School, in Darlington, was upset when he heard that councillors were considering closing Cockerton Library, which he visits regularly with his classmates and family, as part of budget cuts.
On Saturday, March 31, 2012, the Hughes Middle School Green Team and Green Lab Urban Farm held a spring Plant Sale to raise funds to keep a full-time school library at Hughes Middle School from 9am to 3pm. Due to severe budget cuts the library is currently scheduled for 50% closure. The sale featured herb and vegetable plants of all varieties, including tomatoes, basils, lettuces, peppers, eggplants, chards, beans, squashes, cucumbers, and many more edible summer favorites! Shoppers were able to hand pick their own plants or purchase ready-to-go garden flats complete with a perfect selection of herbs, veggies, and annual flowers. Also on sale were many hearty “California Friendly” perennials that thrive in the local climate.
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), presented the 2012 Public Service Award to Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) at the Dirksen Senate Office Building during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., on April 23. In Congress, Rep. Holt has introduced the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act to integrate libraries into job training efforts, a bill that was endorsed by ALA. Along with Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), he introduced the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act, which would establish a goal of having not less than one highly qualified school librarian in each public school.
May 11, 2012: Public Libraries Around the World
You might think that public libraries are only found in cities and suburban communities in developed countries, but take one look at this map and you’ll realize that they actually exist in many developing countries too. In Kenya: 58 libraries. In Peru: 729. In Indonesia: 1,598 public libraries. What are all these libraries doing? In many cases, they are addressing their community’s development goals: supporting entrepreneurs in Vietnam, providing vital health information in Nepal and Kenya, or helping their citizens to be engaged, informed, and involved in Honduras and Romania. Wherever they are, libraries drive development.
I am honored to be the first of a blogger series celebrating ALA’s Choose Privacy Week. Thanks to funding from the Open Society Foundations, this is our third year and we are so pleased to share with you our campaign’s growth. Get to know www.privacyrevolution.org! There you can view the very latest news on how YOU can get involved as a library privacy expert. Soon you can view our newest video on immigrants and privacy rights. Your community needs you!
Concern over federal and state budget cuts to library programs motivated Georgia State Librarian Lamar Veatch to make his 15th annual trip to Washington, D.C., for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD. In fact, Veatch asserts, coming to D.C. is a big part of his commitment to librarianship. “My job is to represent libraries, and it’s a part of my professional responsibilities to do this,” Veatch said. “If I’m in Washington, I might make a difference. And, truthfully, it’s fun.”
April 26, 2012: Green library uses dashboard to show efficiencies
The Drake Community Library in Grinnell, Iowa, is showing patrons how efficient their building is, and what makes those efficiencies possible, through an educational display called the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard®. After residing in its previous location for more than 100 years, the Drake Community Library moved into its new and very sustainable building in late 2009. The library was designed according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s® (USGBC) LEED® standards and is anticipating Gold status. As the community was rallied to help fund the construction of the new building, the Drake Library wanted to share with patrons what features were put in place to make the library sustainable. They worked with QA Graphics® to develop an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard as part of their mission to educate the public about the sustainable building.
Interview by Lindsay Buroker, Indie Fantasy Author
So, you want to get your self-published book and/or ebook into the library, where lots and lots of new readers can discover you. Me too! That’s why I hunted down librarian Marlene Harris for an interview. Harris is a librarian with more than 15 years experience. She has worked in both public and academic libraries all over the United States, from the Chicago Public Library to the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is currently a consultant, book reviewer and blogger at Reading Reality. Harris speaks to librarians about using the blogosphere to help with collection development, and integrating ebooks into library collections. Her take on the best ebook romances for 2011 was posted at Library Journal in December and she currently published Ebook Review Central every Monday, a service that provides links to reviews and ratings for ebook-only titles from around the blogosphere.
April 13, 2012: Who Needs Archives Anyway?
Timothy W. Rybac became distressed when he learned that Adolf Hitler’s personal copy of a city and state guide to the location of America’s Jewish population was going on the auction block in early December. The existence of such a book, in particular when imagined in the hands of the man responsible for the genocide of six million Jews, is distressing, without a doubt. But Mr. Rybac’s agitation came not from considering the nature of the book and imagining Hitler’s intentions. He was concerned, rather, that the book might wind up in the hands of someone not inclined to donate it to a publically-accessible archive.
April 13, 2012: Announcing the Winner of the Great Librarian Write-out!!
Today, after a long year of spectacular writing from a number of amazing articles submitted from around the country, we are proud to be announcing the winner of the Great Librarian Write-out! Before we do though, I would like to take a second and talk about a couple of honorable mentions. The most wonderful Justin Hoenke made the comment that we should give the award to the Men-Of-The-Stacks calendar and I would like to say that I think this was an amazing project that made a good impact. It was fun, a little saucy, edgy, and definitely got the word out about an aspect of libraries. But I can’t do it because it was outside of the scope of the write-out. There were also many different articles written for academic journals on the value of libraries for research that were strongly considered.
The ALA Retired Members Roundtable (RMRT) is pleased to announce that Nicholas Spillios has been chosen as the first RMRT member to receive the Norman Horrocks-Scarecrow Press Annual Conference Award. The $1,000 Award, sponsored by Scarecrow Press, was established in 2011 to honor the accomplishments of Dr. Norman Horrocks, who contributed to ALA throughout his life and was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee that worked to establish the RMRT. The travel grant will help retired members of the RMRT to defray the costs of attending an ALA Conference.
March 30, 2012: Yankees Manager Pitching In For Harrison
Four-time World Series champion and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi will attend a charity event at the Harrison Library on Jan. 29. During a casual meeting last Halloween, as members of the Harrison Public Library Foundation (HPLF) discussed ways to build donations to renovate the downtown library, opportunity literally knocked on the door. As committee member Ross Halperin welcomed a group of trick-or-treaters, he spotted none other than New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi.
March 30, 2012: O Sister Library, Where Art Thou?
What if libraries, like sisters, could be there for one another? What if public libraries with more resources partnered with underfunded ones to help them reach their fullest potential? Across the country, our libraries are only as strong as our weakest links. In many cases, our weakest links are libraries adequate resources—often, but not always, in rural areas. A new model for enhancing library services in these more vulnerable areas is emerging in Kentucky, a state with libraries at both ends of the economic spectrum.
March 16, 2012: Students hear from musician about the importance of libraries
Several students at Central Cabarrus High School said that when they attended an event about libraries at the school on Friday, they did not expect a musician to be the speaker. Beaux Foy, lead singer of the band Airiel Down, is this year’s spokesman for the State Library of North Carolina’s Smartest Card campaign. He visited the school on Friday to talk about the resources libraries offer and encourage students to get a library card or use theirs more often.
March 16, 2012: Taco for your thoughts? That’s what Murray Library is offering
Murray Library wants to give you a taco. Or a burrito. Or whatever entices you on Chipotle’s menu. And all you’ve got to do is write a review about something on the library’s shelves. Simply write 150-200 words about a favorite — or not-so-favorite — book or DVD at the Murray Library and you could be rewarded with a coupon for a free meal at Chipotle Mexican Grill. The program represents a more modern era at Murray Library in which library-goers can more readily share information and make their voices heard, according to marketing coordinator Carole Cannon.
December 23, 2011: Metro Centre Groundbreaking Is 'Major Milestone' For Development
Councilwoman Vicki Almond says she has been working on the Metro Centre project at Owings Mills Metro Station for 20 years, beginning from her time as an interested county citizen to her current elected office. And Community College of Baltimore County President Sandra Kurtinitis said she was OK with growing old waiting for construction to start, but was grateful she did not have to grow "very, very old." The two women were representative of the common refrain at the groundbreaking for the oft-delayed Owings Mills Metro Centre, where a $30 million, 120,000 square foot branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and CCBC Owings Mills Center will serve as the anchor building for one of Maryland's first transit-oriented developments.
I have just wrapped one of the better days this year. It only finished several minutes ago, as midnight draws near. I met up with Ian MacKaye at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Seventh Street in downtown D.C. at 11 a.m. Our first stop was at the National Archives. We have a friend there who allows us to come in and view some of the rarer documents the massive building holds. Our contact got us visitor IDs, and we went through security checks and rounds of phone calls and code-required doors before finally arriving at a very thick and heavy door that opened like a bank vault. We step inside and sit down in the chairs provided; walking around, pulling open the drawers, or looking into any of the countless boxes is a no-go. Why? The room we are sitting in holds documents from the first 26 years of America's governmental workings. It is my second visit, and I am even more excited than I was the first time.
December 9, 2011: I Love My Librarian 2011!
Congratulations to the 10 winners of the 2011 I Love My Librarian Award! Thank you to the 2000 library supporters who sent in nominations. There are more than 122,000 libraries nationwide, and librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day. The award encourages library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. We want to hear how you think your librarian is improving the lives of the people in your school, campus or community.
By Jessie Mannisto, 2011 Google Policy Fellow, ALA OITP
One day, when I was working as a reference assistant at an academic library, something went wrong with our wireless router. While most students were understandably frustrated, one looked pleased. “I’ve already downloaded everything I have to read,” she said. “Now I might actually be able to read them without feeling like I have to check Gchat and Twitter.” As a 2011 master’s graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information, I’ve embraced my alma mater’s mission of connecting people, information and technology in more valuable ways – while coming to believe that sometimes disconnecting is a valuable step toward fulfilling that mission. I’ve therefore dedicated my Google Policy Fellowship at ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) to studying the impact of our networking technologies on our minds and trying to find ways to use this technology in ways that really do make us more productive, better educated, freer and happier, instead of stressed and scatterbrained.
October 28, 2011: Got a resource question? Text a librarian
Students, faculty and staff at Arizona Western College (AWC) can now text questions to the college’s librarians and expect answers within a few minutes. The new feature, which the college shares with Northern Arizona University along with a campus and library, will allow library users to text general library questions or to book a study room. AWC added the feature mainly to accommodate students who had “on-the-go questions” but don’t at the time have access to a computer, said Jocelyn Bates, an information technology librarian at the college. “We knew that since they had smart phones, they had to be texting,” she said, noting a campus survey that indicated most students on campus owned smart phones.
October 14, 2011: National Friends of Libraries Week
If you love libraries and aren’t part of your local library’s Friends group, you may want to consider joining. Friends of Library groups can be found in nearly every community and on many campuses across the country. These groups, made up of volunteers, raise money and increase public awareness about their library. Money raised by these groups support such important library services as summer reading programs for children, author events, special collections, and new technologies. Some Friends work with their local libraries to get involved in politics, lobbying for advocacy efforts such as increasing the library’s budget, building new facilities, or even legislation that affects libraries.
October 14, 2011: Picture It: Teen Read Week™!
All are getting ready and putting on their best faces to celebrate Teen Read Week, October 16-22, 2011! This year's theme is Picture It @ your library®, and libraries and booksellers are encouraging teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, to seek out creative coffee table and quirky pocket-sized books, or to imagine the world through stories and literature, just for the fun of it. Libraries around the country are planning special events and contests, and are offering new and featured books and movies aimed at encouraging teens to read for pleasure, as well as to visit libraries for free access to reading and audiovisual materials. Now is the time to find out how your local library is celebrating Teen Read Week and join in the fun!
October 14, 2011: Anna Reads
Anna Heinemann, http://www.annareads.com, took some time with I Love Libraries to share information on her young adult books review blog, which also serves as a place for other adults and teens to share book recommendations and a few laughs. Currently an entertainment content producer, Anna’s professional life has always involved writing, editing and reading. Her blog is an extension of the work she’s been doing, and a funny, quirky, honest place for her to discuss and share her love of reading.
September 30, 2011: Library Road Trip
Join Robert Dawson and his son, Walker, as they drive across the country this summer photographing public libraries. The library road trip completed 17 years of field work documenting this precious American resource.
September 30, 2011: Kids raise cash for Camden Library
The group "First Kidz" in Newport are raising money for the Camden Ouachita County Public Library which burned in a fire earlier [this summer on July 3]. The kids set up a lemonade stand at the Jackson County Public Library in Newport. After just two hours of selling lemonade the group raised $400.50 to donate to the Camden Library.
September 16, 2011: 13 Things You Pay For That Your Library Has For Free
If it has been a few years or a few decades since you've ventured into your local library, you're going to be very surprised by what you find. No longer are these dusty institutions of quiet corners, musty books and stern librarians, they are home to bestsellers, coffee carts, teen rooms, community, and civic gatherings. Libraries offer computer classes, babysitting workshops, tutoring programs and literacy programs, most of which are free, or are offered at a nominal fee. Not all services mentioned in this article are available at every library, but it's worth finding out if your local library offers a similar option.
September 16, 2011: Why We Need Free Libraries More Than Ever
As a former head of the state library agency in Massachusetts and a taxpayer myself, I read with interest the recent Atlantic editorial in which an elected official from Swampscott, Massachusetts proposed public library user fees as a reasonable and "modern" solution to some perceived imbalance. Under this proposal, a 50 cent user fee would be added to each book circulated by the library. In addition to addressing the supposed tax inequity created by the current system of funding for the Swampscott Library, the proposal would generate an estimated $300,000 in additional funds for the library. The fact is: This would be the costliest additional revenue ever generated.
September 16, 2011: Help for Libraries: Overdue, but Not Too Late
After 30 years on the line, Dan was let go by the factory. In a technology-driven economy, he had no computer skills, no job prospects, and no money for training. They helped him find a job. A class of 4-year-olds from low-income backgrounds took part in a program that combined literature with technology-based learning experiences—and fun. They helped them find a future. Who are “they,” and why should we care? They’re librarians—the heart of the library, and our trading partners on the front lines of distributing our content to readers. Selling to libraries has always been publishers’ bread and butter. Libraries purchase large quantities for branches; returns are minimal, and payment usually arrives within 30 days (and does arrive). If there were any such thing as the perfect customer, the library would come pretty close.
September 2, 2011: Are School Librarians Expendable?
by Jessamyn West, librarian and technology instructor in central Vermont and blogger
States and cities are under severe budget constraints. They are turning to the library. My feeling -- as someone who works in a local tech education center that shares its library with the high school next door -- is that this situation is more complex than administrators' seeing librarians as expendable. No matter how effective teachers are, children will be left behind without librarians to help guide them through the information blizzard. In the situation schools are in now, where expenses like staff health insurance costs and I.T. infrastructure budgets are going up by double-digit percentages a year, people have a triage mentality. Some schools are having to reconsider all non-mandated services and make tough decisions. I think a few factors come into play.
September 2, 2011: Speech to School Board Supporting School Libraries and Librarians
by Kathryn Hardesty, Pacific Middle School Librarian
It felt like the Academy Awards. But it wasn’t. At the Academy Awards, the recipient has 45 seconds to thank everyone for their contributions to his/her now-publicly acknowledged success. At the Highline School District Board meeting on April 27, 2011, I had 5 minutes to prove that my position as a professional school librarian generates a daily positive impact on the academic achievement of 690 students ages 10-13.
August 19, 2011: Food Network Librarian Interview
Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian for the Food Network took some time with I Love Libraries to share what he does and how he got there. He currently oversees a library collection of 5,500 books that approach food from a very wide angle. His library's collection includes items from the latest best-selling cookbooks to rare books on food science and animal husbandry, obscure cookbooks on the cuisines of Fiji and Nepal, entire sections on table manners and napkin folding. He also shares the best part of his job and his favorite thing to cook.
August 19, 2011: The Food Librarian Interview
Mary Yogi, The Food Librarian, started her blog in 2007 to learn how to bake from scratch and to increase her web skills. As a Southern California public librarian, Yogi provides reference assistance and responds to patrons. Her blog focuses on baking but also features restaurant reviews and chronicles of her trips. she also uses her blog to promote library use and support. Many readers have wonderful memories and stories of visiting their libraries that they’ve shared, and bakers use the library to preview cookbooks before purchasing them for their home collection!
August 19, 2011: Food bank, libraries help kids "lunch and learn"
The Alameda County Community Food Bank is partnering with several Oakland libraries for something you could call a "lunch and learn" program for kids. Low-incoming students are fed lunch at school, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But in the summer when school closes, many families fend for themselves. "A lot of that has to do with that fact that we don't have enough places where kids can go to get food," food bank spokesperson Ecaterina Burton said. Michael Roth is a former school superintendent. He saw a way to expand the federal food program. He had read about the opening of a new library and had heard Oakland's mayor talk about government agencies collaborating in these times of budget cuts.
August 5, 2011: BiebBus, The Expanding Mobile Library
BiebBus is a truck-container that travels from school to school, offering 7,000 books and a reading room. Mobile libraries date back to 1905, when in Washington County, Maryland the first bookmobile offered its service to those American readers who would otherwise have no access to books, mostly the young and the elderly. The Netherlands also knows this tradition and has a wide network of regionally organized mobile libraries. On a personal note: I grew up in the rural northern part of the country and I remember feeling excitement for Tuesday afternoons when the 'bibliobus' would be in the village. It was the pre-internet era and the bus was a place of discovery.
August 5, 2011: Spreading the joy of reading across Dawn Lit Mountains
VT-AWIC Youth Library Network, Lohit is a unique youth movement in Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern Himalayan India, reaching out to readers across a span of 300 kms in the remote Lohit and Anjaw districts, since May 2007. The Network set up jointly by the Association of Writers & Illustrators for Children (AWIC), New Delhi, the Vivekananda Trust, (HQ: Mysore) and the Lohit District Admn, is run by volunteers, contributing their time and energy for the Movement. It has set a new trend in public-library services in the state, with innovative Reading Promotion activities for the all round educational development of the rural Arunachali tribal youth, winning the hearty appreciation of the elite and the common people.
August 5, 2011: My Turn: No Matter How Statewide or Global, It’s Personal
I keep thinking of that May 8, 2009 storm that hit southern Illinois. It was a mad cluster of tornadoes tangling over several states, colloquially called an “inland hurricane,” but officially called a “derecho.” A derecho sounds like some mythological trickster character kicking up a storm of chaos and change. Yes, that sounds about right. It was a derecho. It took parts of the roof off the Shawnee Library System, where I was working at the time (although I happened to be in Springfield that day). I’d worked at the system for eight years, and I suppose I was starting to feel an eight-year itch, a change coming on, although it was so comfortable and such a good job, I might have stayed forever. A month after that storm, a sudden flood of rain seeped into the system’s damaged roof and collapsed most of the ceiling. My colleague Steve Johnson came by that night on a hunch. He ran along with rolls of plastic, tossing them over shelves and desks just in time to catch the wet tiles as they bulged, then splashed. He saved the system. He was later laid off -- and then, at least for now, brought back.
July 22, 2011: The Library Hotel
The Library Hotel, one of New York’s luxury boutique properties, opened on August 7, 2000 after its full conversion from a turn-of-the-century, 12-story office building. The intimate 60-room hotel, located on “Library Way” at Madison Avenue and 41st Street just steps from the majestic New York Public Library and the Pierpont Morgan Library, was designed to feel more like a private club than a hotel. Each of the Library's elegantly appointed guest rooms is decorated with framed art and a library of books that relate to the room’s specific Dewey Decimal theme. Guests can request a room based on personal interests. The hotel is home to over 6,000 books, each title carefully picked at the Strand Bookstore, which carries the largest collection of used and rare books in NYC.
July 22, 2011: A Country Without Libraries
All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don’t have computers or can’t afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire.
PBS's show History Detectives kicked off its 9th Season this past June 21, 2011 on a new night (Tuesday) and a new time (8:00EST/7:00CST). Series Producer, Jennifer Silverman took some time with I Love Libraries to share insights to how the show and each mystery comes together. She also shares how libraries and librarians are almost as essential to the show itself as the origins of mysteries artifacts being solved.
The popularity of family ancestry and genealogy continues to grow with each new generation. The launch of the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" (WDYTYR) in 2010 only added to the interest in people and celebrities alike wanting to know more about their families past. Libraries and archives have always been known as keepers of family histories, but now they are gaining some fame for their roles both behind and on the screen. The following interviews were conducted with three libraries who participated in past episodes of the WDYTYR.
July 8, 2011: I Learned A Lot From Librarians
I was invited to present a session on romance collections and romance readers at the Connecticut Library Association conference in Stamford this week, and I learned two key things: 1. I was SO wrong and 2. Librarians are even more awesome than I thought. I figured that at a state-wide conference of librarians from all different types of libraries, which are STAID and QUIET and INSTITUTIONS of QUIET STAID BOOKISHNESS, I had to be formal. I NEEDED PIE CHARTS. And graphs! And sexy numbers with decimal points when talking about romance. Note above: I was SO wrong. Much like romance readers are judged and dismissed according to an antiquated stereotype, so too was I operating under an antiquated stereotype of librarians.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves and makes available records of the work of the U.S. Government and important events in American history. Citizens rely on our holdings for firsthand facts from letters, reports, books, photographs, films, maps, and other primary sources. We have valuable – and often fragile – materials to protect in emergencies. After the series of devastating hurricanes in 2005, the National Archives formed a Katrina Response Team that traveled to meet with state and local officials about the impact of Katrina on essential records and historic documents. NARA preservation staff provided a workshop on mold damage for cultural institutions in Mississippi, and FEMA asked NARA to provide guidance on rescuing water-damaged records from government agencies in Orleans Parish in Louisiana.
June 24, 2011: Love My Library Day in Caroll Gardens
The Friends of the Carroll Gardens Library hosted their first-ever book sale on "Love My Library Day" Saturday (May 14, 2011), and hundreds of readers big and small flocked to buy books at a discount, enjoy baked goods and support the Friends' efforts. The sale was held in the downstairs space of the library. A performance by Karen K and the Jitterbugs started things off at 10 a.m., and guest readers included local author Emily Jenkins, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Cobble Hill Playgroup director Carol Troha and author and local resident Mari Takabayashi.
June 24, 2011: Ten Reasons to Love Your Library
Author Randye Kaye lists ten reasons to love your library. She states that visiting allows you to be surrounded by some of the greatest minds in history. The noted radio broadcaster, stage and voice actor explains that the sheer amount of material is enough to inspire and that any subject, any question, and idea you may want to explore is all right there. The best part according to Kaye, "It’s all free. The peace, the knowledge, the solitude, the company; the books and all the rest. Try it – even one hour a week. You’ll be hooked – or at least I hope you will. The world waits for you at your local library. Use it, support it, teach your children about its pleasures. It’s your tax dollars at work, in the best possible way."
June 10, 2011: Real Library Love Stories
These real library love stories focus on two couples, love and libraries. Valery and Seans's story started at the library where they both worked, the Frick Art Reference Library. Valery was painfully shy, but when she first met Sean, she fell hard for him. Sean didn't know at the time that she had a huge crush on him, and for three months she kept quiet, waiting for him to notice her. Tressie & Sterg were the winners of the Alex Bee Photo engagement photo session contest. They received the most votes for their engagement session concept, “Love in the Library”. Their engagement photos were taken at the John C. Hodges Library on the University of Tennessee campus where Sterg is an associate professor, while Tressie is a local high school teacher.
June 10, 2011: Storytelling and Libraries
Kate McDowell has been an Assistant Professor for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for the past four years. The focus of her classes are on services to youth in libraries.
She got into teaching about storytelling by taking a class as part of her own Library Science Master's program at UIUC. This lead to the discovery that she wanted to teach others about storytelling and so therefore pursued a Ph.D in library science. Then an opening came about at UIUC when another library school professor Betsy Hearne, who taught Folklore retired, and so Kate was able to step in and teach her own storytelling classes.
June 10, 2011: The Library of the Future: Annual Library Essay Contest
Councilman Vincent Gentile hosted an awards ceremony for local public school student essayists who wrote about the future they envision for public libraries as part of Councilman Gentile’s annual libraries essay contest.“I was astounded by the creativity of students. In their essays, I caught a glimpse of the brightness and potential of their futures,” Councilman Gentile said. “I believe that the future of libraries depends on how today’s students grow and develop – and if today’s winners are any indication, our libraries are going to thrive! The contest coincides with National Library Week, during which community nationwide celebrate libraries as a fundamental and necessary part of local neighborhoods, as well as the role they serve as a community foundation for literacy, access to technology, culture and community organizing.
June 10, 2011: Letters to the Children of Troy
Though library service officially began in Troy in 1962, the current Troy Public Library building at 510 West Big Beaver was not opened until a decade later in 1971. The original Library, in 1962, had 1,000 books and was housed at Troy High School. As the city's population swelled, so did the Library's collection. By 1965, the Library moved to a storefront on East Square Lake Road and Livernois. Two years later, it moved again to an even bigger location on Rochester Road. In 1968, Joseph Howey was appointed the new director of the Library. He aggressively built the Library's collection to 22,282 books, and began the search for a permanent home.
May 27, 2011: Author of canine books talks about libraries in Scituate
For libraries, it is the best of times, and the worst of times. And for author Jon Katz, it is the best time to be talking about them. The popular author of over a dozen books on dogs, and the mastermind behind The Bedlam Farm Journal, came to Scituate Town Library last week to discuss his travels to the 12 different libraries he had visited in the past few months, and the struggles associated with each. “You see how important [libraries] are when you go and visit them,” Katz said in an interview before the library talk. “They’re busy, evolving for different functions … I think they are busier and more relevant than ever, and I’m not sure that reality has caught up with people.”
May 27, 2011: Public Libraries: The Soul of a Civilization
What defines a city? Some suggest the mundane (the state of electrical wiring for utilities and phone lines). Others point to basic needs like the quality of affordable housing and public facilities. But the heart of every city is defined by two things: the state of its public spaces, and the quality and condition of its public libraries. Indeed, a public library defines not only the city in which it sits, but the state of the society that created it. Great cities in history were known for their libraries: the ancient cities of Ebla (probably the oldest known, around 2500 BCE) and Ugarit in Syria, Nineveh in Iraq, Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople and Takshashila in India all had vast libraries. Alexandria's was said to be one of the largest. The ancient university of Nalanda, now sought to be revived, and said to be one of the first great universities in known history, had a magnificent library.
May 27, 2011: DeKalb library to stay open thanks to 12-year-old
South DeKalb’s Scott Candler Library will temporarily remain open four days a week. Last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the McAfee Road library would close April 1 because of budget cuts. After complaints from residents and a petition with 100 signatures collected by 12-year-old Sekondi Landry, the library board of trustees decided to keep the library open.
May 13, 2011: New Chapter for libraries
In a sign of changing times at academic libraries, Trinity University is offering buyout packages to prompt seven employees to leave its Coates Library. With the digitization of books, journals, newspapers and other materials, there isn't enough work shelving and cataloging to keep all 19 staff members busy, said Dennis Ahlburg, Trinity's president.“The library is not just a place for books anymore, it is a place for information,” Ahlburg said. “In terms of running the university, we want to use students' money and donors' money responsibly ... rather than have people sit around with nothing to do.”
Brad Rutter, all-time money-winning champion of ‘Jeopardy!’ along with fellow champion Ken Jennings, faced off in a three-day competition against IBM’s new super computer,’ Watson’. As predicted, Watson took the first-place honors, while the two human competitors finished in his wake. All competitors, however, earned handsome prize monies that will benefit charitable organizations of their choice. Rutter‘s earnings during the event were $200,000. $100,000 of his winnings will be donated to the Bradford G. Rutter Fund at the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
May 13, 2011: Library Will Help With Buying, Selling Prom Dresses
Prom this spring might be more affordable for area high school girls who shop for their dress at the Union County Public Library. The library [accepted] gently worn evening dresses for its consignment sale, said staff member Nicki Hertel. The gowns [were] sold from 9 a.m. to noon March 19 and 26 at the library. The sale is open to anyone who wants a low-cost prom dress, Hertel said. Those consigning dresses to the sale may set their own prices and 10 percent of the price goes to the Union County Friends of the Library, staff member Brittany Hudson said. Dresses can be donated instead of consigned, she said.
May 13, 2011: Celebrating Libraries
In honor of the American Library Association's National Library Week 2011 it seemed appropriate to take a look at how communities have created space for libraries. While the word "library" harks back to the root word for book, that is by no means the sum total of what libraries bring to their communities. We who love to read, love information and learning, love to gather together for knitting circles, preschool playgroups, and a host of other community events know that libraries are the heart, the center, of such activities. Libraries are about more than books, more than reading. They are communication and learning centers, as much the brain as the heart of their communities.
May 13, 2011: National Geographic's The First Grader
The American Library Association (ALA) has announced a promotional partnership with National Geographic Entertainment connected with National Geographic's new narrative feature film, "The First Grader" The film will be highlighted through ALA's advocacy website for the public, ilovelibraries.org. Other partners include: Capella University (national sponsor), International Reading Association (lead promotional partner), National Education Association, ProLiteracy and LitWorld. "The First Grader" will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on May 13, 2011 and expand to more major markets in the following weeks.
Do young people in America care about privacy? Prevailing conventional wisdom may suggest that children and teens have little regard for personal privacy, but research shows that they do care – and that they are also doing something about it. On social networking sites, for example, young people are sharing information but also taking steps to limit access to their personal profiles. Youth have a strong and vested interest in controlling how their lives are viewed and by whom, but they need good information about what actions to take, where to turn, and who to trust.
April 29, 2011: "Snapshot” Opens the Books on CSU Libraries
With 23 campuses and nearly 412,000 students, the California State University is the nation’s largest university system. And according to Snapshot data, CSU libraries serve nearly 114,000 visitors on a typical day. As part of the California Library Association’s “Snapshot: One Day in the Life of California Libraries,” 21 CSU libraries joined others throughout the state on Oct. 4, 2010 to gather statistics, comments, pictures and other data. The information reflects the libraries’ invaluable services and will be used to advocate for the future of California’s libraries. Insights gathered from Snapshot data will also help the CSU libraries improve and enhance their own collections and services.
April 29, 2011: ALA Student Chapters Making a Difference in Their Communities
The Student Chapter of ALA at UCLA recently made a huge difference in helping its community to pass Measure L in California, the proposal to dedicate more of the city's revenues to its public library system. They did, and now would like to provide tips to other ALA Student Chapters on how to be active in their communities. The MLIS program at UCLA is fortunate to be surrounded by a wealth of information institutions, which partner with our researchers, guest lecturer in our classes, and host our interns. For those interested in public librarianship, some of the nation’s largest systems, including Los Angeles Public Library, serve as resources for MLIS students.
April 15, 2011: Unquiet Library Has High-Schoolers Geeked
The noise became a buzz at Creekview High School in Georgia, where the Media Center has three times as many Facebook fans as the football team. The students are skeptical when the librarian says, “I want everyone to take out their cell phones and check to see if you can get reception in the library.” The young scholars hesitantly pull out their mobile devices unsure of what to make of this request. “Your assignment is to charge up your phones for class on Friday.” This wasn’t like any librarian they had met before.
Coinciding with her visit to a state-recognized school library program, American Association of School Librarians President, Dr. Nancy Everhart released the following statement in response to the elimination of school librarian positions in schools facing budget shortfalls.“Faced with the pandemic loss of school librarian positions due to drastic and alarming cuts in educational spending, AASL continues to advocate for the school librarian as an indispensable member of the educational team.
School libraries are not deserving of children without a qualified librarian who cares for the development of children as learners and readers. Statistics on the Chicago Public Schools website notes that there are 675 schools in the system. Subtract 164 schools without libraries (including Whittier Elementary, which made the news recently when parents staged a sit-in for a new library) and do the math: Over 500 libraries constitute that pesky “other side of the story” that never seems to be told. Hundreds of CPS librarians participate in each professional development day that is strategically planned by the Department of Libraries and Information Services, a division of the Office of Literacy.
Library Snapshot Day provides a way for libraries of all types across a state, region, system or community to show what happens in a single day in their libraries. How many books are checked out? How many people receive help finding a job? Doing their taxes? Doing their homework? This initiative provides an easy means to collect statistics, photos and stories that will enable library advocates to prove the value of their libraries to decision-makers and increase public awareness.
In celebration of 85 years of sharing the joy of reading, Direct Brands' Book-of-the-Month Club is announcing the first-ever Donate a Book Day, beginning on Thursday, April 14 during National Library Week. This "Day of Donation" is facilitated by a partnership with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).
How do kids today define privacy? What do they already know and what do they need to know in order to make informed choices about their own privacy when it comes to using the internet and social media? What about respecting the privacy of others? What are the privacy concerns in their lives offline? And how can we as adults encourage them to think critically about privacy issues? Those were some of the questions in the room during the two-day Conference on Youth and Privacy sponsored by the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom (ALA/OIF) in late March. And they are still on my mind as I reflect on the brainstorming and information sharing we did at the conference, which brought together librarians with individuals who intersect with or work directly on privacy issues.
April 1, 2011: Help us find the winner for The Harper Lee Prize
To honor the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, the ABA Journal and The University of Alabama School of Law have created THE HARPER LEE PRIZE, to honor former Alabama law student Harper Lee for the role model she created. Atticus Finch has inspired generations of readers—to become lawyers, to take on unpopular causes, to behave honorably. As Atticus reminds us, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
April 1, 2011: National Bookmobile Day
What drives through your neighborhood bringing treats that are enjoyed by kids of all ages? It’s not the ice cream truck. It’s the bookmobile. National Bookmobile Day will be celebrated Wednesday April 13, 2011. This ALA coordinated event celebrates bookmobiles and all types of mobile library services. Bookmobiles are still going strong, and they have enjoyed a long history.
April 1, 2011: National Library Week
National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. In this issue of I Love Libraries, we'll visit with the Robert F. Sibert Medal, Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winners. Also included is an interview with James Klise, Honor Award winner of the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for “Love Drugged”.
Taking a look across the country at what happened during Teen Tech Week March 6-12, 2011, our first stop takes us to a suburb outside of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois. Teen Tech week was extra special this year at the Gail Borden Public Library, with the opening of their new Teen Space just two months prior. Named Studio 270 for the library's address, the new Teen Space was developed and designed with feedback from the young adult patrons themselves.
Our second stop during Teen Tech week was to the east coast, with Michele Gorman, teen services director for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, N.C., won the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Thinking Big about Advocacy Contest for a teen video series promoting the library. Gorman receives $500 for her submission. The Friends of YALSA funded the contest.
Sixty librarians from around Illinois met at Chicago’s Field Museum October 22, 2010 to discuss how they could better help their communities go green. The workshop kicked off the Illinois Library Association’s year-long Go Green @ your Illinois Library program, which aims to develop a group of librarians committed to environmental awareness. “It’s about libraries holding the conversation in their communities about sustainability,” said Denise Raleigh, director of marketing, development, and communications at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. “Libraries already connect people to resources; this is about connecting people to each other.”
March 18, 2011: Interview with Super Librarian, Taryn Super
As my blog subtitle says, it contains “book reviews and a celebration of all things book- and library-related.” I read and review books for children, young adults, and adults in a variety of genres and formats. I also post news about authors and anything library-related. I also write about my experiences with library school and work. Occasionally I’ll host book giveaways, too.
March 18, 2011: Keeping Teen Tech Week Alive Throughout the Year
With Teen Tech Week (March 6 - 12, 2011) winding down many of us have already held our program(s) and we are packing up our supplies and putting all TTW related thoughts and ideas on the back burner until next year, but before you do this here are a few thoughts to keep with you throughout the year.
March 18, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards - Pura BelprÃ© Awards
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. In this issue of I Love Libraries, we'll visit with the Pura BelprÃ© Author & Illustrator Awards.
Sunshine Week – the time to celebrate and investigate open government! Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know. Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public's right to know what its government is doing, and why. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan, non-profit initiative.
March 4, 2011: Sunshine Week, March 13 - 19, 2011
Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.
Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public's right to know what its government is doing, and why. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan, non-profit initiative.
Morley Safer reports on a mystery that was solved about a 100-year-old film that we now know was made on San Francisco's Market Street just days before the 1906 earthquake. Watch the video and then read below an additional interview with the Historian David Kiehn.
March 4, 2011: School Librarian, Version 2.0
There are, of course, still books, real hand-holdable books, in the Lakeview Elementary School Media Center, lined up on shelves in nice, orderly rows, waiting to be loved by generations of children. But there is more than just books available at this library. It’s Friday in Lakeview, near lunchtime. The activity in the media center is happening on the other side of the room from the rows of books. Media specialist Kathy Kaldenberg is sitting at a table with a handful of students from class 4A and showing them how to use a web service called Animoto to make animated holiday postcards for their pen pals in a class in Des Moines that uses the same curriculum as Solon.
March 4, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards - Young Adult Awards
Each year the ALA honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. In this issue of I Love Libraries, we'll visit with a selection of the youth media winners.
Virginia Commonwealth University is Virginia’s largest institution of higher education, enrolling over 33,000 students and employing over 18,000 faculty and staff. Classified by Carnegie as Research University (Very High Research Activity), VCU offers 38 doctoral, 73 masters, 3 professional, and 63 baccalaureate degrees. Twenty-seven of VCU's graduate, professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 21 programs ranking in the top 25 and two programs — sculpture and nurse anesthesia — ranked number one in the country. Sponsored research funding totalled over $240 million in 2009-10.
February 18, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards
Each year the ALA honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. Over the next few issues of I Love Libraries, we'll visit with a selection of the winners. The Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience went to “The Pirate of Kindergarten,” written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Lynne Avril.
February 4, 2011: Egypt Pulls Internet Plug to Silence Dissent
Egypt, a nation with a major internet economy, has pulled the plug on the World Wide Web in an apparent attempt to silence dissent. The Associated Press reported that at a half-hour past midnight in Egypt, January 28, the internet went dead. “Almost simultaneously, the handful of companies that pipe the internet into and out of Egypt went dark as protesters were gearing up for a fresh round of demonstrations calling for the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year rule,” experts told AP.
February 4, 2011: Lack of Libraries Could Lead to a Digital Underclass
Two recent articles appearing on ZDNET (here and here), opened the door for an important discussion about the effects of shutting down libraries due to a lack of funding to keep them open, especially in light of efforts to make them havens for digital interaction. Historically, libraries have served as community cornerstones because of the wealth of resources they provide. Even in the digital age, they provide very necessary assistance to many people, particularly those who cannot or have not readily adopted broadband – high speed Internet – in their homes.
February 4, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards - Coretta Scott King Awards
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. Over the next few issues of I Love Libraries, we'll visit with a selection of the winners. The Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults was awarded to “One Crazy Summer,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia. The Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults went to “Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier.
February 4, 2011: 2010 Summary: Libraries are Still in Trouble
In mathematics, catastrophe theory is the study of nonlinear dynamical systems which exhibit points or curves of singularity. The behavior of systems near such points is characterized by sudden and dramatic changes resulting from even very small perturbations. The simplest sort of catastrophe is the fold catastrophe. When a fold catastrophe occurs, a system that was formerly characterized by a single stable point evolves to a system with no stability. The point where stability disappears is known as the tipping point.
January 21, 2011: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Teens complaining of boredom have not gone unnoticed, especially by libraries in Wyoming.
“They were always saying ‘We’re bored. There’s nothing to do,’” says Ellie Eaton, Assistant Youth Services Librarian at the Sweetwater County Library. “So, I said OK well what do you want to do? What are you interested in? They said music, poetry, acting and art. And that’s where this all started.” That’s when the library started to offer a variety of activities, especially in music.
January 21, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards - Newberry & Caldecott
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature “Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.
January 10, 2011: ALA 2011 Youth Media Award Winners
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media 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. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center.
January 5, 2011: YouMedia: Creating a 21st-Century Library
YouMedia, a 5,500-square- foot room on the first floor of the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, buzzes with teens hanging out with friends, remixing their own rock videos, tapping into the library's large collection of youth literature, and using the Internet to dive deeply into issues of interest.
January 5, 2011: Fourteen Ways Public Libraries Are Good for the Country
Public libraries encourage democracy by providing access to information and multiple points of view so that citizens can make informed decisions on public policy. Public libraries break down boundaries. Public libraries offer services and programs for people at all literacy levels, readers with little or no English skills, homebound senior citizens, prisoners, homeless or impoverished individuals, and persons with physical or learning disabilities.
January 5, 2011: Gift Guide for Library and Book Lovers
Calling all Library and Book Lovers - If you didn't get that special gift over the holiday season check out this blog the Gift Guide for Library and Book Lovers by the California School Library Association. The site features more than 75 products, ranging from small to tall, fashion, furniture, guy stuff and kid stuff for the book lover.
December 22, 2010: 20 heroic librarians who save the world
If information is power, then there's no hero mightier than a librarian. Librarians are superheroes, adventurers, explorers and invaluable guides to other heroes. Here are 20 amazing librarians who save the world every day! As Spider Robinson writes in The Callahan Touch, "Mary Kay is one of the hidden masters of the world — a librarian. They control information."
December 22, 2010: Coexist' Shines on Face of New York Public Library
To inspire greater understanding about what it means to be Jewish, Christian and Muslim today and to celebrate the opening of the new 'Three Faiths' exhibition at the New York Public Library, the Coexist Foundation has sponsored the world renowned projection artist, Ross Ashton, to illuminate the facade of the NYPL with images from the exhibition. It's the first time an illumination of this scale has come to Fifth Avenue.
December 22, 2010: Howe Library Looks Forward To Year-Round Sunday Hours
The Great Recession has taken its toll on almost every aspect of American life. Libraries appear to have been particularly hard hit, with cities around the country closing library branches, laying off staff and cutting budgets to meet revenue shortfalls.But Hanover's Howe Library is bucking that trend. Library officials announced this week that the Howe would increase its hours by staying open on summer Sundays, starting next year. Thanks to a gift from the late Leonard Morrissey and his family, the library will be open seven days a week, year 'round.
December 10, 2010: 3,548 Library Lovers Celebrate Jewish Library Snapshot Day
The People of the Book really do love libraries! In November 2010, during Jewish Book Month, 30 Jewish libraries participated in Library Snapshot Day. The event, sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, was created to let all types of Judaic libraries record what happens in a day in the life of a library. Across North America, libraries in synagogues, day schools, community centers and universities picked one day during the first two weeks of November to hold the event. Collectively, participating libraries served 3,548 patrons on Library Snapshot Day.
December 10, 2010: Award recognizes Montgomery's efforts
When area libraries started offering computer classes geared toward job-related skills two years ago, organizers found many of the laid-off auto industry workers had never used computers. "They really needed the basic computer skills," said Ruth Ann Montgomery, director of the Arrowhead Library System, which coordinates and expands services at Rock County libraries [in Janesville, WI]. The libraries since the late 1990s had offered computer classes, but when word hit that the area would be flooded with thousands of laid-off workers, Montgomery took action.
December 10, 2010: ALA and Target Read With Me National Campaign
The American Library Association (ALA) and Target Corporation today announced their partnership in Target’s nationwide Target Read With MeSM campaign to help increase the reading proficiency of children. As part of this partnership, ALA is providing support and resources for a dedicated website that is focused on encouraging adults to read to children.
November 24, 2010: eBook Universe: What Role Will Libraries Play?
A great deal of discussion has been devoted to the role of libraries in an era when information is digitized and largely accessible free on the Internet. There is, however, a separate, looming question that will have an even greater significance: What is the role of the public library in a world where an increasing number of titles are available as paid, securely protected eBooks?
November 24, 2010: Shhh! Despite Boom, Libraries Facing Cutbacks
The Christian Broadcasting Network recently aired a story that included interviews with ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels and Paula Kiely, Director of the Milwaukee Public Library. The video focused on the increasing use of public libraries in the United States due to the recent trough economy, coupled with the decline in their finding. While libraries have embraced the online world by staying current with technology, most public libraries around the country are facing a loss in funding which means fewer librarians, fewer hours and in some cases the closing of libraries.
November 24, 2010: Book Blogger Profile: Steph the Bookworm
College student, aspiring librarian and “nerd extraordinaire” (or so she says!), Stephanie Territo loves books. So much so, in fact, that she launched a blog to showcase her clear skill for reviewing them. Since Stephanie’s favorite genres are “Contemporary fiction, literary fiction, women's fiction, suspense, chick-lit, memoir, YA, and horror,” there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy in her delightful blog.
November 12, 2010: Under The Boardwalk Empire: The Public Library
Gangsters, gambling, graft, guns, booze, broads, burlesque, bootlegging, cops, corruption, crime, casinos... and a librarian?!? That's right. If you're enjoying HBO's new mobster epic set in the Roaring 20's, Boardwalk Empire then raise a glass of bathtub gin to Heather Halpin Perez and the Atlantic City Free Public Library. Without them, the show might not exist.
November 12, 2010: Zombies for Libraries: Save NYC Libraries
Over the Halloween weekend Zombies were spotted walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in support of New York City Public libraries. With mid-year budget adjustments looming and potential additional cuts, reduced hours and more further layoffs the librarians were left with their creative energy to fight back. Our library budgets have already been cut to the bone, and these further reductions in funding will just degrade library service further. We’ve already lost Saturday Service in most of the city. It’s likely these cuts will be the end of what we have left. So those working parents taking their kids to the library on the weekend? Tough, not open. Can’t return your books during the week because you work 60 hours just to live? Tough, closed on the weekend.
November 12, 2010: Mark your calendars for Money Smart Week @ your library, April 2-9, 2011
The American Library Association (ALA) has joined in a partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to make “Money Smart Week @ your library,” held April 2-9, 2011, a national initiative. Celebrating its 10th year in 2011, Money Smart Week’s mission is to promote personal financial literacy. Libraries of all types in the Midwest have participated in Money Smart Week, partnering with community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations and other financial experts to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances.
October 29, 2010: Harry Potter READs
“Anything that gets kids into reading is fantastic,” says Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who recently posed for an ALA Celebrity READ poster along with his Potter costars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. ALA Graphics released the three posters just in time for the premiere of the first part of the last film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on November 19. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) talked to American Libraries in August, shortly after the photo shoot for the poster. Radcliffe’s upcoming roles include a film adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, a British ghost story, and a Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
October 29, 2010: Celebrate National Gaming Day 2010 @ your library!
On November 13, 2010, libraries across the country will participate in the largest, simultaneous national video game tournament ever held! Kids will be able to compete against players at other libraries and track their scores while playing at their local library. In addition, libraries will be offering a variety of board games for all ages to play together.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of a functional birdhouse modeled after a classic Carnegie library in Osage, Iowa, will support the ALA Cultural Communities Fund, according to the ALA Public Programs Office. The birdhouse is the brainchild of American library historian Wayne Wiegand.
October 15, 2010: Teens turn to libraries for "Books with Beat"
As the popularity of young adult literature continues to soar and teen musical artists dominate the airwaves, thousands of teens will participate in Teen Read Week, October 17 – 23, 2010, celebrated this year with a theme of “Books with Beat @ your library®.”
Teen Read Week, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is an annual literacy initiative celebrated in libraries and bookstores that provides parents, caregivers and teens with resources to encourage recreational reading habits. The “Books with Beat @ your library®” theme encourages teens to listen to audiobooks and read poetry, books about music, and more, just for the fun of it.
October 15, 2010: Zooming In On You: Texas library Snapshot Day Spring 2010
This spring, hundreds of libraries in Texas joined libraries across the country in participating in Library Snapshot Day. This event was created to let all types of libraries record information about what happens in a day in the life of libraries. From statistics about visitors and circulations to keeping track of why people come into the library, information gathered on library snapshot day is intended to help libraries promote their services and advocate their value to the public and decision makers at all levels.
October 15, 2010: At Queens Library, Clothes Make the Man
The children's librarians at Queens Library have been one-upping each other on summer reading challenges for years. The jury is still out for 2010; there are still several promising stunts to come. Daniel Meyer's will definitely be a contender for "notably outrageous."
October 1, 2010: ALTAFF Celebrates Fourth Annual National Friends of Libraries Week
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) is coordinating the fifth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, October 17-23, 2010. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate. Friends groups can use the time to creatively promote their group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. The celebration also offers an excellent opportunity for the library staff and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.
If you happen to be in the Washington, D.C. area on Saturday, September 25, 2010 and love libraries, please be sure to stop by the American Library Association’s (ALA) booth at the 10th annual National Book Festival organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress.
Sept. 3, 2010: Filming Flipped: An Interview with Rob Reiner
The feature film Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, opened in six cities (New York, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Indianapolis) August 27. Based on the 2001 YA novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, the film flips back and forth in showing the thoughts and feelings of two protagonists, 8th-graders Bryce and Juli (played by Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll) as they develop crushes on each other, though not exactly at the same time. Read more...
Sept. 3, 2010: Sign up for the smartest card of all: the library card
Academic success has never been more affordable – in fact it’s free. Parents can help open the door to lifelong learning for their children by signing them up for the smartest card of all - a library card. Launched in 1987 and organized by the American Library Association’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when public and school libraries across the country join together to remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Read more...
Sept. 3, 2010: Meet a winner of the national I Love My Librarian Award
Nominations are now open through September 20 for the 2010 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award really is a big deal: up to 10 librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries nationwide will win $5,000 and be honored at an award reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times. The 2010 winners will be announced in December. In the meantime, let’s take a look back at previous years’ winners. Here is Ocean Wilson, a Vermont academic librarian who won the award in 2009. Read more...
Dr. Camila Alire, During the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., 2009 – 2010 ALA President, discussed the state of America’s Libraries with PBS Newshour’s Jeffrey Brown at the American Library Assn.’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this past June. Dr. Alire detailed the many challenges facing libraries right now including budget, service, and resources cuts and how they are affecting communities and users. Read more...
August 20, 2010: Meet a winner of the national I Love My Librarian Award
Nominations are now open through September 20 for the 2010 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award really is a big deal: up to 10 librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries nationwide will win $5,000 and be honored at an award reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times. The 2010 winners will be announced in December. In the meantime, let’s take a look back at previous years’ winners. Here is Lucy Hansen, a Texas school librarian who won the award in 2009. Read more...
August 6, 2010: Peace Corps in Libraries: Kherson Oblast Library for Children in Kherson, Ukraine
Last July, Mary Garm forwarded an e-mail to me that she had received from a library in Ukraine. Mary was not sure it was legitimate but asked if I wanted to check it out. It turns out it was from an American Peace Corps volunteer named Deborah Garofalo working in the Kherson Oblast Library for Children. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I was intrigued. Most volunteers I knew worked as teachers or in the health education field, but not in libraries! Read more...
August 6, 2010: Library supporters encouraged to nominate librarians for national I Love My Librarian Award
Nominations are now open for the 2010 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations run through Sept. 20! Read more...
July 22, 2010: Laura and Libraries
Before our daughter Laura started school, her favorite time of the week was Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning meant Book Buddies, a weekly story time program at a local library for kids ages four through six. In addition to hearing great stories read aloud by an expert storyteller, Laura and the other children got to make a craft each week, color a page of their own book creation, and play a rhyming game which allowed them to transform the stories they heard into silly stories of their own. Read more...
Fearing severe budget cuts more than ghosts, New York Public Library teamed up with public pranksters Improv Everywhere to host one of IE's missions at the library—and produce a viral video supporting NYPL's "Don't Close the Book on Libraries" advocacy campaign in the process. "We are facing a $37 million budget cut from the city of New York," NYPL spokeswoman Angela Montefinise told American Libraries. As a result, she said the library is trying to reach out to new audiences, and Improv Everywhere offers audience in abundance. Read more...
July 9, 2010: Libraries Embrace Gaming
The library is generally thought of as a quiet place. But for six nights last summer, a portion of the Westbank Library in Austin, Texas, was transformed into a haven for young gamers. After closing time, around twenty teenagers, supervised by Children’s & Programs Librarian Kristi Floyd, gathered around consoles in the library’s conference rooms to battle it out at Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, and Super Mario Kart. Read more...
This September, Olympic gold medalist and 2008-2009 NBA top scoring player Dwyane Wade wants Americans to know that a library card is the “smartest card” in every wallet. As Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, Wade has donated his time and image to the creation of a print public service announcement (PSA). ALA will place the PSA in magazines during the month of September. Read more...
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) and the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office will lead Virtual Library Advocacy Day, an opportunity for all library advocates to make their voices heard on a national level, on June 29, 2010. Read more...
June 25, 2010: The Case for Comics in the Classroom
The conventional wisdom had always held that comics – or graphic novels if you prefer the more modern parlance – were the “bad” kind of reading. The kind that would rot tender, adolescent brains swifter than a zombie bite. Only groundbreaking cognitive research and an ever-growing mountain of anecdotal evidence on the educational efficacy of comics is making comic converts out of even the harshest critics. These parents, teachers and librarians are seeing firsthand how comics can be a ladder to literacy and learning for students of all ages, interests and level of achievement. Read more...
June 25, 2010: World Cup 101 at Skokie Public Library
On June 10, 2010, the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, I (Mick Jacobsen) presented World Cup 101 to Skokie Public Library patrons. Attendees came interested in an introduction to the greatest sporting event on Earth, and, perhaps more importantly, learned how better to understand and enjoy the Beautiful Game. Read more...
June 11, 2010: Runner goes the extra mile for libraries
On May 2, 2010, Susanne Park, a violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), ran an extra mile for libraries in the Pittsburgh Marathon (rounding out to a grand total of 27.2 miles!), and in the process earned $1500 for her Friends of Lawrenceville Library group. Susanne is also a member of “Save Pittsburgh Libraries,” a grassroots group of library advocates bound by the goal of maintaining Pittsburgh’s neighborhood branch libraries by securing a more open, sustainable library system to serve the city’s residents well into the future. Read more...
June 11, 2010: Library Snapshot Day
Since the launch of the National Snapshot Day idea at the 2010 Midwinter Meeting, 25 states, from Hawaii to Maine, have planned or committed to planning a library snapshot day. This national effort was the work of the Advocacy Coordinating Group, part of the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy. “Snapshot Days are spreading like wildfire!” exclaims Marci Merola, director of ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy. “You know you have a great idea when in just a matter of months and with a minimal push from ALA half the country gets involved." Read more...
It now only takes two minutes for you to donate $10 to help rebuild libraries in Haiti. The American Library Association has set up an option to easily donate through your mobile phone. To donate to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund simply text “alahaiti” to 20222, and a $10 one-time tax-deductible donation will be added to your mobile phone bill. Read more...
May 28, 2010: New Facility Aims to Boost Literacy Rates
Marilu Estrada thinks about a time when she no longer works third shift, part of the clean-up crew at a factory. She wants to spend more time with her three kids, the youngest of whom is only a few months old. But without a high school diploma, Estrada’s job options are—not surprisingly—slim. Last summer, the Waukegan mom decided to enroll in the free Family Literacy program offered through the Waukegan Public Library and its literacy partners. Read more...
May 28, 2010: Madeline’s Cause: Banned Books
Last week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom got a visit from Madeline Daniel, who came to make a donation – cash that she had raised from her lemonade sale. For 50 cents a cup, thirsty passersby helped raise money “to support the ALA’s fight against Banned Books.” Madeline raised over $28 in all, which indeed will help us continue to work with librarians, parents, community members, and teachers to protect the right to read. Read more...
MLIS and MFA students at the University of Alabama’s School of Library & Information Studies (SLIS) have joined together to raise funds for the recovery and reconstruction of libraries in Haiti that were ruined by the recent earthquake. Book arts and library science students worked together to create “The Collaborative Haiti Broadside,” a beautiful work of art, and will sell the limited edition of 75 numbered copies to those interested in owning one. Read more...
The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Fla., was designated a Literary Landmark on March 14 by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Read more...
April 30, 2010: ALA division launches national Preservation Week @ your library
Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor the first national Preservation Week, May 9-15, 2010. Read more...
April 30, 2010: Play ball @ your library
Celebrate the start of the 2010 Baseball Season and Step Up to the Plate @ your library by showing off your knowledge of baseball trivia. You may win a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Read more...
When jobs go away, Americans turn to their libraries to find information about future employment or educational opportunities. This library usage trend and others are detailed in the 2010 State of America’s Libraries report, released today by the American Library Association. The report shows that Americans have turned to their libraries in larger numbers in recent years. Read more...
April 16, 2010: Choose Privacy Week
Privacy today is all about choice, tradeoffs, and control. When asked what concerns them most when it comes to protecting privacy, people respond with a variety of issues. Read more...
April 16, 2010: A Donation that Was One for the Books
The bright red library cart in the pediatric unit has wheels to move from place to place and books that will give wings to children in wheelchairs. The idea behind the gift –– presented by Cathy and Scott Leiber of Williams Township Friday to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit –– is simple. The story behind the cart is anything but. Read more...
April 16, 2010: El dÃa de los niÃ±os/El dÃa de los libros (DÃa)
Children's Day/Book Day, also known as El dÃa de los niÃ±os/El dÃa de los libros (DÃa), is a celebration of children, families, and reading held annually on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Read more...
April 2, 2010: Reflections on Bookmobile Service
Bookmobiles provide library service for children, older adults and ethnic communities all of whom either can’t travel to a bricks and mortar library or are unacquainted with the services a library offers. Bookmobiles are over a century old and began in the days of horse drawn carriages and nickelodeon theaters and well before computers, televisions or even home radios. Read more...
April 2, 2010: AASL observes 25th anniversary of School Library Month
This April, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will observe the 25th Anniversary of School Library Month (SLM).
School Library Month, is celebrated in conjunction with National Library Week (April 12-18). Read more...
Libraries and their communities are invited to a live Internet event, An Evening with Neil Gaiman, from 6 to 8 p.m. April 12. This event, which kicks off National Library Week (April 11-17), is coordinated by the American Library Association’s Campaign for America’s Libraries and the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library (JCPL). Read more...
Liam Jose, Gabe Murrell and La’Quan Deen were crowned WrestleMania Reading Challenge world champions in the WrestleMania® Reading Challenge on March 27, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, and World Wrestling Entertainment®, with support from Mattel and DK Publishing. Read more...
The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), an organization that advocates for improving the salaries and status of librarians and support staff, is sponsoring the second annual National Library Workers Day (NLWD) on Tuesday, April 12, during ALA-sponsored National Library Week (April 10-16). NLWD is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers - including librarians, support staff and others. Read more...
March 19, 2010: Chile Library Relief
On February 27th one of the most powerful earthquakes in history devastated a large part of Chile. The earthquake, 240 miles southwest of the capitol of Santiago, and the 150 aftershocks extended over six regions, impacting over two million people and killing nearly 300 individuals. Read more...
As Florida’s state budget was coming together for fiscal year 2010, it looked like everything was set for state aid to libraries. Sure, there was a modest reduction from the previous allotment of more than $22 million to $21.25 million, but in the tight economy, that was to be expected. By and large, Florida libraries were happy. After all, the library community had developed strong, positive relationships with both the state senate and house, and this was an optimal outcome. Read more...
March 19, 2010: ALA Washington Office Accepting Entries for WHCLIST Award
The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is accepting entries for the 2010 WHCLIST Award, which will provide a stipend of $300 for a non-librarian participant to attend Library Advocacy Day on June 29, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The winner will attend the rally and will also attend Congressional meetings with his/her elected officials and/or their staffs. The winner will be introduced at the rally and participate in advocacy meetings in Congressional offices. Read more...
The Reference and User Services Association has announced its 2010 selections for The Reading List, The Notable Books List, and The Sophie Brody Award. Read more...
March 5, 2010: Learn Create Share @ your library for Teen Tech Week
At thousands of libraries across the United States, teens can log onto computers to complete research for homework or use software to make videos about their favorite books. Libraries offer free access to technology for learning or for fun in a safe environment. Read more...
March 5, 2010: ALA Student Members at ECU Share Gift of Literacy
In the few, busy weeks leading up to Christmas 2009, students in East Carolina University’s Master of Library Science department gathered more than 12,000 books and materials to donate to homeless shelters, children’s homes, after-school programs, women’s shelters and a nursing home in eight North Carolina communities. Read more...
Feb. 19, 2010: Libraries Nationwide Host “Snapshot Day”
In just a single day in libraries across the state of Maine, 38,000 people entered a library; almost 36,000 checked out books, movies and more; over 9,000 people used computers to access the Internet; more than 1,000 people were taught computer skills, and almost 100 people received help finding a job. Read more...
Feb. 19, 2010: ALTAFF Forms National Partnership with Paula Poundstone
Emmy-award winning comedian Paula Poundstone will help raise awareness for Friends of the Library groups as national spokesperson with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Read more...
Feb. 5, 2010: Book Yourself Into The Library Hotel
Bibliophiles visiting New York City and in need of a space to check into should check out The Library Hotel, a beautiful luxury boutique hostelry conveniently located on Madison Avenue and 41st Street, also known as Library Way, just steps away from the majestic New York Public Library. Read more...
Feb. 5, 2010: Spend the Night in a Converted Carnegie Library
Andrew Carnegie has been referred to as the "Patron Saint of Libraries.” Carnegie donated over $56 million for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the world including 1679 public library buildings in the United States. The buildings, which were built in the last part of the 19th century and in the first two decades of the 20th century, are part of America's library heritage. After many decades and more than a century in many cases, Carnegie library buildings have suffered a variety of fates. Read more...
Feb. 5, 2010: Join AAM for Museum Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill
The American Association of Museums (AAM) will host museum advocates from around the country in Washington, DC on March 22-23 for Museums Advocacy Day 2010. On the heels of the success of the first Museums Advocacy Day in February 2009, AAM is seeking to attract more than 300 museum professionals â”€ including directors, staff, trustees, students, and independent professionals â”€ to the nation’s capital to convey the value of museums to federal leaders. Read more...
Jan. 27, 2010: Donate to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund
The American Library Association (ALA), acting on a resolution adopted by its Council on Jan. 19 during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, has created the “Haiti Library Relief Fund” to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12. Read more...
Jan. 22, 2010: 2010 Youth Media Awards Winners
The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, audiobooks and video for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Boston. “When You Reach Me,” written by Rebecca Stead, is the 2010 John Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Read more...
Jan. 22, 2010: Recipients of the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship Fund
Five individuals were selected as this year’s recipients of the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship Fund. All five are the Illinois recipients of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship. Read more...
Jan. 8, 2010: Authors Norton Juster and Leonard S. Marcus to Address National Librarians
Members of the American Library Association will travel from their Midwinter Meetig in Boston to attend day-long activities at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Sunday, January 17, 2010 from noon to 5 p.m. The events are also open to the public. Read more...
Jan. 8, 2010: Duluth libraries show how to help keep internet access for all
Bill Gates wants to give us money. Specifically, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to give $82,000 to the Duluth Public Library. What the Gates Foundation needs from us in return is a commitment to maintain Internet access at the library into the future. To prove such a commitment, we in Duluth must raise matching funds in the amount of almost $50,000. Read more...
Jan. 8, 2010: The Winners Speak: 2009 I Love My Librarian Awards
The 2009 I Love My Librarian Awards recognized 10 librarians who are making a difference in their communities in a December 3 ceremony. The award is sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times. Read more...
See 2007 archive.
See 2008 and 2009 archive.