Home to a manifold of rare books, unique statues and special artifacts, the John Hay Library (RI) is the second oldest library on the University’s campus and a popular studying site for students. From cast models of Lincoln’s fists to rows upon rows of tiny British soldier figures, the Hay houses an abundance of remarkable objects.The Hay came to be the establishment for these collections through Andrew Carnegie, famous American industrialist and business magnate, who donated half of the funds required under the condition that the University would name the building after John Hay, Secretary of State to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Lincoln CollectionWhen entering the Hay’s Lincoln Collection rooms, students are greeted with numerous Lincoln portraits peering over 30,000 objects of various mediums.Originally owned by Charles Woodbury McLellan, the collection was donated to the University by John D. Rockefeller Jr. 1897 in 1923. With original letters, photographs and needlepoint embroidery, the giant collection is a testament to the former U.S. president’s legacy as an almost mythical figure celebrated by the masses for preserving the union. In the early 20th century, establishing collections of Lincoln memorabilia and artifacts became popular for large universities and institutions. Holly Snyder, curator of the Lincoln and the Hay Collection, elaborated on how the University came to possess the expansive collection. READ MORE
Stephanie has turned the library into a community hub that is welcoming for all. Through the library’s programs and resources, she helps to bring awareness around diversity, multiculturalism and LGBTQ issues. For example, she created Gospel Fest, where local groups and choirs perform at the library during Black History Month. She put up special displays in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. One of the library’s patrons said, “There is magic in her programs.” Stephanie is commended for her commitment to inclusivity. After vandals carved swastikas into trees and walls at the local middle and high schools, Stephanie worked with the Anti-Defamation League to bring a Holocaust survivor and author to the library. She made sure the library was a safe space where community members could discuss difficult issues.  READ MORE
The ding of the bell signals the class at Sassarini Elementary School (AZ) that it’s time to head to the library. There’s a cacophony of excitable chatter as the kids enter, swinging backpacks, schlepping books and generally bouncing around. But as soon as the youth sees the little purple stroller, they lower their voices and their boisterous energy falls into a hushed calm.One by one, almost as if they were in a receiving line at a wedding, the students parade past the stroller, offering their greetings to Leo. Born with a cerebral condition that limits his mobility, Leo is lucky to be alive. The 1.5 year old black cat was in a kill shelter in San Bruno before he was adopted by Mary Green, the founder of Pets Lifeline’s Humane Education program.“He’s perfect for kids because he doesn’t freak out,” Green said of Leo. “He stays calm and they can pet him.” READ MORE
Fifty years ago this upcoming September, the University of Massachusetts saw the groundbreaking of a new student library. In addition to the library’s groundbreaking, this year is the 45th anniversary of the dedication of the tower and the 25th anniversary of the renaming of the building.The following information was sourced from “The Campus Guide: University of Massachusetts” by Marla Miller and Max Page, an online university wiki page, and archived issues of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian.The history of the University LibraryNow a centerpiece in the UMass skyline, the library is the antithesis of counsel given to the University founders in 1866 by the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. As written in “The Campus Guide: University of Massachusetts” by UMass professors Marla Miller and Max Page, Olmsted urged Massachusetts Agricultural College to only build low, small buildings. READ MORE
Sipping in the stacks. Boozing amid the books. Whatever you call it, libraries and Friends groups are doing it: serving alcohol after hours, usually as part of a fundraiser, and usually with great success.The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting.“People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy James, programming coordinator for Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library (JCPL). “When was the last time you went to a big fundraiser or a wedding without alcohol? I think people see libraries as a place to take your child for storytime, which is wonderful, but not as a place to kick back with other adults. If we’re going to change that view, I think alcohol is part of that.” READ MORE
The Bethlehem (NY) public library will open its new self-service studio, which facilitates video making, podcast recording, file conversions and helpful software applications to empower residents to become skilled editors, with a ribbon-cutting event and celebration.To be open seven days a week, the ADA-compliant studio space, known officially as Studio Makerspace, will be accessible to anyone with an Upper Hudson Library card who can schedule a three-hour session at a time through the library’s online calendar. It will be available for anyone who can use it to create anything like YouTube videos, filmed interviews, broadcast sessions or audio podcasts. READ MORE
The American Library Association condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary challenge reports sent to OIF from communities across the United States.The Top Ten lists are only a snapshot of book challenges. Surveys indicate that 82-97% of book challenges – documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries – remain unreported and receive no media.Sometimes OIF receives information as the challenge is happening; other times OIF receives an online report years later. This affects the total number of challenges reported in any given year. Thus the Top Ten Most Challenged Books list should not be viewed as an exhaustive report. READ MORE
Actor, director, and writer Emilio Estevez shares his passion for libraries in his new video Public Service Announcements highlighting the crucial role libraries play in our communities and in our democracy, and we couldn't be more excited about it!  Estevez is an advocate for libraries and encourages others to join him, and plays a librarian in his new movie “The Public,” which he calls a “love letter” to libraries. “The Public” will open in theaters April 5—right in time for National Library Week (April 7-13). READ MORE
by Monique le Conge ZiesenhenneHenry came to the San Francisco Public Library after losing his son, then his job and then his home. Leah, a social worker in the library, introduced him to the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, which found him subsidized housing and counseling to deal with his depression. After a 12-week vocational training program, Henry joined the library staff as a Health and Safety Associate that helps others experiencing homelessness get needed resources. READ MORE
Narratives about libraries often portray them as “the great equalizer,” but achieving equity means more than just opening the doors to everyone. ALA’s Access to Library Resources and Services guide says that “equity extends beyond equality … to deliberate and intentional efforts to create service delivery models that will make sure that community members have the resources they need.”Libraries rarely design services to specifically exclude certain patron groups, but exclusion is often the unfortunate result of not considering the unique needs and circumstances of all community members. For example, after my son was born, I noticed that my local library offered programs for babies and toddlers only on weekday mornings. This made their programming to support early literacy inaccessible to the children of most working parents.A friend recently mentioned that her new hometown library charges patrons a small fee to place a hold on materials. Holds are often the only way to get access to bestsellers at any library. This effectively means that timely access to popular materials is limited to those who can pay. READ MORE