At the MLA Conference, Karen Trennepohl, chair of the Quilt Project Committee, presented The Heart of Maryland Libraries quilt. Margaret Carty, MLA Executive Director, conceived the idea of a state quilt almost 2½ years ago. Karen thanked the leadership of 18 county library systems, two college/university libraries, three county school systems, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Department of Library and Development Services, the Maryland Association of School Librarians and the MLA leadership for their support of the project.  READ MORE
Since my start at Indian Prairie in the role of Assistant Director, I have served as the liaison to the library’s Friends group. The Friends of the Indian Prairie Public Library has been in existence since the library formed in 1996.  They meet the second Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. and hold an annual meeting held on the second Tuesday in January, where election of officers takes place.  To join their Friends they have a membership form (PDF) and dues which range from $5 for an individual to $100 for lifetime membership.I have been regularly attending the monthly Friends meetings and assisting in their various fundraising projects since 2000.  I have also served as treasurer and acting secretary. This past May, the president of the Friends, who had served for 13 years, decided to step down from her leadership role and pursue other interests.  This left me to step up and serve as president.  It has been an interesting addition to my job duties. READ MORE
Danny Chapman of Lake Forest, Ill., is the proud winner of this year's National Library Legislative Day Student Theme Contest.The contest, which ran in late 2006, invited students from all over the country to submit ideas for the National Library Legislative Day theme and logo to be used on invitations, briefing materials and decorations. For his winning entry, "Check Out the Future," Chapman won a free trip to National Library Legislative Day, which takes place May 1, 2007, in Washington, D.C. He will be visiting Congress with a delegation from the Illinois Library Association. Chapman shares his thoughts for that day with READ MORE
It's been 22 months since Hurricane Katrina, followed by Hurricane Rita two months later, devastated the Gulf Region. After the storms, libraries that were able to reopen did so as quickly as they could. Even with a staff of 19 (compared to the usual 216), the New Orleans Public Library was up and running as best it could right after the floodwaters receded.And libraries across the country were first responders to the initial crisis, providing essential services to displaced Gulf residents, providing books and storytimes at shelters and extending hours to help locate loved ones through the Internet and finding resources for assistance and support.So how are libraries in the region doing almost two years since hundreds of them across the region were destroyed or damaged? The Pascagoula Public Library in Mississippi officially reopened on April 16 with the theme "No Place Like Home", but most other libraries are still just beginning to rebuild. READ MORE
On June 26, busloads of librarians and library supporters from cross the country descended upon Capitol Hill to call attention to the value of today's libraries, as well as the issues the library community is facing.At least 1,000 advocates from around the country, wearing red “Support Libraries” T-shirts, lobbied members of Congress on the urgent need for funding libraries threatened by closures, shortened hours, staff shortages, and diminished services; the importance of school libraries to the success of No Child Left Behind; and other critical issues."Library Day on the Hill," a high point of the American Library Association's (ALA's) 2007 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, which took place from June 21-29 in the Washington Convention Center."Library usage nationwide shows that the library is increasingly vital to communities around the country," says American Library Association Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. "Whether you're talking about story hour or after-school programming, job search help or assistance for small business owners, the library has the help one needs, provided by trained professionals." READ MORE
It would be hard to miss the building excitement this summer as readers of all ages anticipate the release of the next – and last – book in J.K. Rowling’s series of books about the young wizard Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Couple that with a new Potter movie coming to movie theatres as well, and it’s no wonder that "Pottermania" has reached an all-time high.Bookstores and movie theatres are clearly hoping to see record business from these releases, but local libraries are also offering ways for their patrons to celebrate the new book and movie. There are summer reading programs that include Harry Potter themed activities, and even special library or librarian blogs dedicated to Harry Potter (Enjoy the Magic of Harry Potter @ the Norwalk Public Library and Bloggin About Harry Potter from the Louisville Free Library). READ MORE
These are just a few of the thousands and thousands of student responses taken from an Ohio study on the importance of school libraries, and they illustrate just how strongly students feel about their libraries and the librarians who staff them. READ MORE
Reaching beyond the buzz of high design, libraries are redefining themselves as community centers for the 21st Century.By Cynthia Nikitin and Josh JacksonThis story has been reprinted with permission from Projects for Public Spaces. READ MORE
The summer is drawing to a close, and many children and adults are beginning to anticipate the start of a new school year. Amidst all your planning – supplies, registration materials, new clothes, arranging the logistics of the commute – don’t forget to make good use of ALL the libraries in your community. READ MORE
Over the course of the past nine months, both staff and members of the American Library Association (ALA) have been establishing a presence on ALA InfoArts Island in the virtual world of Second Life. After much hard work a Banned Books Week exhibit that mirrors the 2007 pirate theme has been created. It's complete with a “pirates' cove,” pirate ship, seagulls, and the occasional rat scuttling across the docks! READ MORE