Articles

Though libraries might be places of quiet, Lenore Lewis proves that the life of a librarian is anything but dull.  Lewis, 79, has seen a hostage situation, three building changes and countless cultural shifts brought on by the internet, viewed from behind the librarian's desk. Sixty-one years and countless books later, she will soon turn the page to retirement.Lewis recently sat down with the Deseret News at the Salt Lake City Main Library to tell her story.The daughter of an English teacher and granddaughter of a bookstore owner, she worked at the South High School library while she was a student there. After high school, she was set to attend the University of Utah, but needed to find a job to pay for it.So she applied to work at the library in Sugar House. It's been a lifelong love affair since.  "I've loved the people I've worked with. I love books. I don't own a whole lot of them, because I figure I've got them all here, and most of the patrons are very, very lovely, so I'm happy," Lewis said. READ MORE
Library advocates across the US are fighting to prove that every student is better off with a trained librarian in their school, but budget cuts are threatening school librarian positions across most of the country. Several states in the Southeast are facing a different crisis, however—a shortage of qualified school librarians to fill empty positions. The University of South Carolina (USC) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) launched the Library Scholar Program in January 2018 to help combat this problem, partnering with local school districts to educate and develop existing school employees, such as teachers and staff members, into school librarians. The SLIS director and communications coordinator describe their experience and plans for the program below. South Carolina requires every public school to have at least one school librarian with an MLIS degree. But with population booming in the region and many current school librarians nearing retirement age in the next five years, school districts are having trouble recruiting and retaining enough librarians. The state had 60 school librarian vacancies in 2018.In the year-old Library Scholar Program, cohorts of six to 15 members go through USC’s online MLIS program together, and members can continue their current jobs while working on their new degrees. So far, the program has fielded cohorts from school districts in Charleston, Darlington, and Florence counties, and those districts have the flexibility to identify staffers who are strong candidates for librarianship. READ MORE
For Robin Haynes, there’s nothing quite like an old map to transport one back in time.  “The closest thing you can have to touching the past is to touch something from that past,” said Haynes.Fortunately for her, she has access to a lot of maps. Haynes is the manager of the Sagadahoc History and Genealogy Room at the Patten Free Library (ME), where they have a collection of maps dating all the way back to the 18th century.  “They range from the Woolwich plat map of 1751 to a railroad map from the early 20th century that also discusses the ice houses along the Kennebec River,” said Haynes.In fact, the library has around 17 maps. And this year, as part of their 40th-anniversary celebration, the History Room has had virtually all of its maps conserved so that they’ll be around for generations to come.“Most of our maps are originals, and originals age. Sometimes it’s because the paper they’re on isn’t a great quality paper or it’s simply acidic and it darkens and yellows with time. So part of the process is having them deacidified,” said Haynes. READ MORE
On Monday morning, Katelyn Dix's ninth-grade students will find a present when they go to English class at The Howard School (TN).Awaiting the students, who will spend the week taking midterm exams and benchmark tests, is a cozy new reading nook and classroom library stocked with dozens of books picked out just for them and their peers.Dix's library is the first installment of the Classroom Library Project, a new effort launched by local activist group Chattanooga Moms for Social Justice.The project's goal is to stock Hamilton County classrooms books for students and their teachers.  "It's important to focus on things you can make a difference on at a ground level," Natalie Green said. "Something that is actionable." READ MORE
School librarianWren High SchoolPiedmont, South CarolinaTamara’s work is a testament to the power of forging partnershipsDuring her tenure, Tamara has transformed the school library into a hub of learning through collaboration between students, teachers and families as well as partnerships with local organizations and other schools.She developed a summer program to promote reading to incoming freshman. Partnering with the local middle school, she visits students before they arrive at school to get them signed up for new book clubs and check out books. When the students attend high school in the fall, they meet with the teacher facilitator to discuss the books. READ MORE
Adriane Savelli of Vancouver wants to make her new succulent shop thrive. Eliseo Paz of Clackamas wants to cultivate clients for his landscaping business. And Dave Lambert of Rainier wants to branch out into new financial planning markets.On Saturday, these aspiring entrepreneurs attended a free seminar at the Longview Library (WA) about how to create business plans, identify markets and promote products. The volunteer-led seminar was one of about 10 that Vancouver-based training organization SCORE holds annually at the Longview Library.There are many local resources, like the SCORE seminars, available for would-be Cowlitz County business owners, but they can be dispersed and hard to find, Adult Services Librarian Elizabeth Partridge said. So the library, in March, started the “small business hub” as a central location for local people to research their business ideas and get referred to other resources.Both the hub and the SCORE seminars are part of the library’s broader goal of supporting and encouraging small businesses, the biggest incubator of American jobs.  “One of the biggest things for people starting a business is that it’s scary. If you don’t know how to start it, you could screw it up without meaning to,” Partridge said. READ MORE
Veterans Day marks the centennial of the end of hostilities in World War I, and libraries across the US are commemorating this anniversary through programming, events, and displays that highlight the impact that the Great War had on the service members who fought, the family members who remained at home, and society as a whole. For some of these libraries, the WWI centennial provides more than an opportunity to remember an important historical moment. It also offers a chance to consider how the effects of that war both parallel and diverge from those associated with contemporary military conflicts.Beginning in 2016, Library of America (LOA) awarded grants to 120 libraries around the country as part of its World War I and America program. The grants were created to support library programming that would bring together US veterans and their communities through shared exploration of firsthand writings from WWI.To establish the connection between WWI and today’s service members, some library workers have developed programming to help transcend the boundaries of specific conflicts. READ MORE
"I am in the shade, under a tree, on the side of a mountain, above a rippling brook, overlooking the town, in sight of three thousand troops, writing on the head of a drum. My health is good, so are the boys - we are all in fine spirits."Civil War Gen. Thomas J. Harrison of Howard County was quite descriptive, and at times, poetic, when writing to his wife. In a letter dated June 17, 1861, Harrison wrote to his wife from Kentucky:  "Were it not for being absent from you and the children I should be very happy - the life is an active and exciting one and you know with what energy I prosecute anything of that kind."Among those 3,000 troops was Kokomo resident John N. Underwood, who served under Harrison's command in the 39th Indiana Infantry, 8th Indiana Cavalry. Underwood - who later became the treasurer of Howard County before his untimely death - had a very different view of the war as detailed in his original 90-page diary. READ MORE
LibrarianStone Child College LibraryBox Elder, MontanaJoy’s devotion to her community shines through her workBridwell-Joy-headshot300.jJoy’s devotion to her community shines through her workJoy is commended for engaging students, many of whom may not be familiar with library resources and services. She also works to continually extend the role of the library to meet the needs of the community of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation as well as the surrounding areas.She provides library literacy training for students. To make it more fun and engaging, Joy holds scavenger hunts with prizes. And she hosts library tours and trainings for community members who live nearby to introduce them to resources and services that are available through the school.  READ MORE
Marc Girdler was a frustrated film fanatic.In Decatur, Illinois, where he lives, there are three movie theaters serving 80,000 residents. Two of them are AMC franchises. One is an independent theater but, somehow, runs the same movies as the AMC, he said.“I have been trying for years to try to get a place even once a month I could go to show independent films or classics or just something different, because I want to go and see things on the big screen, but I can’t afford to drive an hour out of town consistently,” he said.It was a much shorter trip to the Decatur Public Library.“I knew that they were running a movie program,” he said. “I have a friend that works there, and I knew no one could devote the time that they wanted to the film program.” READ MORE

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