“Pride and Passion: The African- American Baseball Experience,” a traveling exhibition opening at the Birmingham Public Library on May 1, 2010, examines the challenges faced by African-American baseball players as they sought equal opportunities in their sport beginning in the post-Civil War era.In the 1880s, more than 30 African Americans were on teams in baseball’s major and minor leagues, however, opportunities diminished as Reconstruction ended and America became entrenched in segregation. During the 1887 season, league owners agreed to make no new contracts with African-American players. Until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, baseball was a segregated sport. READ MORE
Reeling over budget cuts, a dip in the city's population and shifting reading habits, the director of the Berkshire Athenaeum  pondered how to continue its institution relevant. He said he planned to investigate circulating audio cassettes and, perhaps, compact discs. It was 1985, and the Pittsfield athenaeum had watched circulation of library materials decline 28 percent over the previous five years. READ MORE
The American Library Association’s Library Advocacy Day rally on Capitol Hill was a success thanks to the participation of over 1,600 ALA members and advocates of all ages who braved the 90-degree heat on June 29 to take part in the largest federal advocacy event in ALA history 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. Librarians can download the PSA at READ MORE
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.Such an event will come as a surprise to many. Gamers, if they think about gaming at libraries at all, likely don’t think of it beyond maybe borrowing a chess board from the front desk. But as times and media technology change, libraries are changing with them, and one of the ways in which they are changing is to embrace gaming in its many different forms. READ MORE
by Susan Baum, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Illinois Library Association Reporter, February 2008.In November, the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies moved to a new $55 million, state-of-the-art, 155,000-square-foot facility, built on one of the last empty lots on Chicago’s historic South Michigan Avenue. Designed by Krueck + Sexton Architects, the new facility provides enhanced features to better serve visitors and students of Spertus College, Spertus Museum, and the Asher Library. READ MORE
"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.The library contacted Improv Everywhere, but IE largely developed the prank on its own. "We said we wanted them to do something and we wanted to incorporate the closing of a book," to support the campaign theme. "They went with it." READ MORE
The Atlantic City Free Public Library and International National House of Blues Foundation-Atlantic City celebrated Arbor Day 2010 by offering a Tribute to Trees visual arts program on Wednesday, April 28, at the library.Participants in this hands-on workshop utilized a combination of found and recycled tree-based materials – such as newspapers, magazines, cardboard, twigs, leaves and acorns – as well as a variety of art supplies, to create original and environmentally friendly artworks that pay tribute to the importance of trees to our lives. READ MORE
By David and Rylin RodgersBefore 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