Every weekday morning, four female cats anxiously await the contents of a Ziploc bag Milor High School (CA) library tech Lisa Natoli retrieves from a cupboard near her desk.  When the cat food hits the asphalt, the felines swarm.The number of stray and abandoned cats on campus used to be higher, but many have found new homes. Natoli speaks affectionately of Jelly, the white runt she saved from the heat last summer. Milor principal Andres Luna, too, adopted a cat, a queen that somehow found refuge for her four kittens inside his office a couple years back.Milor, a continuation school in the Rialto Unified School District, is one of many high schools in the area with feral cats roaming campus. English teacher and Cause for San Bernardino Paws founder Angela Halfman hopes by involving staff members, students and, ideally, other schools in their rescues, she can raise awareness of the ethical and humane treatment of these colonies. READ MORE
Libraries offer a prime opportunity for voters to gain access to critical information they need to cast a knowledgeable vote. Whether your library has a longstanding voter engagement effort underway or you’re just getting started, here are some tips for getting the most out of your voter outreach campaign this year.Offer nonpartisan voter registrationThe data couldn’t be clearer: Millions of Americans miss the opportunity to vote in major election years because they aren’t registered to vote. In fact, nearly one in five (21.4%) eligible Americans is unregistered. Electoral underrepresentation is particularly high among young people, especially those with no college experience.Offer nonpartisan voter registration opportunities at your library. Be sure to find out your state’s voter registration deadline, then check with your election officials, local League of Women Voters, or other organizations to see how they can help. They may be able to provide voter registration applications, suggest instructions for setting up online opportunities to register (if your state allows it), and provide other unbiased election information. READ MORE
by Steve ZaluskyLibraries open the world of reading to teens by encouraging them to use wide array of reading materials available for free at their local library – books, magazines, audiobooks and ebooks.Reading can be a fun and relaxing activity, but it is an important skill that will lead to better performance in school and leave teens better prepared to face career challenges. READ MORE
For more than 5 years in New York, San Diego, Chicago (and other cities) library workers and comic conventions have been partnering together to offer professional development sessions around comics and Graphic Novels, and - increasingly - library ‘pop up’ booths for public community outreach at comic events.Following this increasing interest, in June 2018 the American Library Association approved the creation of its newest professional division - the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT). Under this new banner library workers will be able to better collaborate and connect with other like minded professionals involved in comics work. During New York Comic Con (Oct 4-7), the GNCRT will be working on two large public and professional outreach initiates:  READ MORE
When it comes to advocacy for libraries, we often focus on communicating with officials who have already been elected. We may go to Capitol Hill in May for National Library Legislative Day or to our state legislatures during budget appropriation season.But what would it look like to reach out to the would-be political decision makers before the election? I tried an experiment to find out.My home state of Maryland had a very competitive open primary for county and state government on June 26. I emailed candidates for several county offices to ask their views on libraries. My email went something like this: READ MORE
With millions of volumes in its collections, the UC Berkeley Library (CA) is a virtual treasure trove. But we had to ask the people who know the Library’s materials the most: What are your favorite items in the collections? Answers ranged from larger-than-life tomes to an eye-popping novel, from an early writing by Mark Twain to an original musical sketch by Beethoven. Here’s what we learned:“If you go down to (Level D) in the folio section (of Main Stacks, in Doe Library), you will encounter undoubtedly the largest books in our collection,” says Claude Potts, romance languages librarian. Folios are unusually tall books, often used to highlight the intricate details of maps, art, and architecture. Some folios, such as double elephant folios, can measure up to 4 feet long.“I don’t have so much favorite items as I do favorite happenings,” says Bob Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project. Thirty-five years ago, Hirst was flipping through the Clemens family Bible, which Twain’s mother had used as a kind of filing cabinet. In it, Hirst stumbled upon a scrap of paper that he believes Twain printed as a young typing apprentice. “If that’s correct (and I believe it is) it became the oldest piece of paper we knew he had actually ‘written’ anything on,” Hirst says. READ MORE
The Cabell County Public Library (WV) was chosen by the American Library Association for a connected internship earlier this year, and the intern sponsored by the program is wrapping up her final hours before she goes back to school.Rebekah Nix, a 16-year-old rising junior at Huntington High, spent her summer working in the youth department at the library, where she got the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the library's youngest patrons.The CCPL was one of 50 libraries from 35 states for the Inclusive Internship Initiative, which is funded by the Public Library Association, a division of the ALA. The III aimed to provide funding for a mentored internship for high school juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds in which they would engage with multiple areas of librarianship, such as administration, programming and user services.  The program included a trip to Washington, D.C., for a kickoff event and will conclude with a wrap-up event in Chicago this fall. READ MORE
Hispanic Heritage Month is here!Let’s celebrate!  Hispanic Heritage Month comes every year, from September 15 to October 15.  There’s tons we can do to celebrate, include our Hispanic patrons.  Hispanic Heritage Month is about bringing everyone together to recognize all that Hispanic Americans have brought to American culture.And WHY celebrate, you may ask? — for AllNot sure where to begin?  Let’s start at the top!  There’s a multitude of resources for all, whether you are confident in your Spanish or not.The Library of Congress has a great page complete with its own calendar that you could adapt to your own programming.  Remember, this is about inclusion.  Make our Hispanic patrons feel welcome, and relevant!  The Library of Congress site has something for everyone.  Select from images, to multimedia, to lesson plans that are easy to adapt to children’s programming. READ MORE
The American Library Association (ALA) is reminding library users that they have less than two weeks left to nominate their favorite librarians for the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award. This year’s nominations will close Mon., Oct. 1 at midnight Central Daylight Time. READ MORE
Golden shovels pierced the first few chunks of dirt Wednesday on a plot of land in downtown Missoula that will be home to a new, $36.7-million Missoula Public Library and museum complex. The four-story, 105,000-square-foot facility is expected to be open by 2020.Missoula’s library is the busiest in the state, with over 1,000 people visiting each day. A nearly decade-long effort to plan, fund and build a new one culminated in the groundbreaking ceremony on Main Street that drew a large crowd in the hot afternoon.Rita Henkel, a member of the library board of trustees, kicked off the ceremony with a speech.  “Eight years ago we commissioned an assessment of our current library,” she said. “The results proved our library was too small and our antiquated amenities would not be enough to keep up with our rapidly growing community."She said it's been a laborious and challenging eight years.  "In fact, I had brown hair when this started,'' she joked. "But today is the start of a new chapter, one filled with learning resources, information access and public engagement for generations to come.  "It is about more than bricks and mortar, books and shelves. This is about a gathering space for ideas that can and will inspire positive social change for Missoula and beyond.” READ MORE