Articles

Flipped learning is a phenomenon that has swept through the halls of academia and kindergarten through twelfth grade schools. When done well, it frees up classroom time for deeper exploration and application of instruction that is delivered in advance, often using current technology tools. Flipped learning enables instructors, particularly those with limited time in class, the opportunity to assess whether a student understands a concept or has mastered a skill, and to focus on areas of greatest need for extra support. READ MORE
J.C. Geiger’s “Wildman” is a coming-of-age saga about a young man with a fondness for the trumpet whose road to success in business seems a foregone conclusion, even though he has barely finished high school. Instead, on the way to what has been billed the ultimate graduation party, he gets stranded in a ramshackle town with a dive bar and a cheap motel and finds adventures with a posse of offbeat characters, downing shots, jumping trains and even revising his wardrobe.It’s an odyssey that mirrors the author’s search for himself, with the common thread being the 1993 Buick Century that breaks down as the main character, Lance Hendricks, is ever so close to reaching an event that promises to reward him with a significant rite of passage. Geiger was in the Century when it broke down as he was traveling home despondent following a writing conference, stranding him in rural Washington state at a town with a dive bar/roadhouse/motel.“It happened at this major turning point in my life. I was pretty much broke. I thought I was going to give up on writing. I didn’t know what was coming next. And while I was there, stuck with my broken-down car, I basically started writing the outline of the book that would become ‘Wildman.’ READ MORE
Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm near Rockport the night of August 25. Although soon downgraded to a tropical storm the following afternoon, Harvey was responsible for more than 60 deaths and up to $180 billion in damage, according to the latest estimates by the governor’s office. On September 6, the US House passed 419 to 3 nearly $8 billion in disaster aid, taking quick action to help victims of the devastating floods.Depending on their location, some libraries sustained significant damage from the ensuing flood waters, while others escaped with only a little cleanup required. The flood also affected many librarians and other library workers due to the damage to their homes. READ MORE
This past week, the American Library Association (ALA) told federal regulators that rolling back strong, enforceable net neutrality rules that keep the internet open would hurt libraries and the communities they serve. In comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ALA reiterated the fact that 120,000 libraries depend on the open internet to carry out their missions and ensure the protection of freedom of speech, educational achievement and economic growth.This comment deadline was another stop in a longer fight. In 2015, the Obama FCC adopted strong net neutrality rules that prohibit internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from blocking, censoring or discriminating against any online content. The rules were subsequently upheld by a federal court. In May 2017, the new Chairman of the FCC announced a plan to do away with the rules, a move which greatly concerns us, along with thousands of businesses and startups, consumer advocacy organizations and millions of consumers. We filed initial comments and, today, had the opportunity to respond to arguments raised by other commenters and raise additional issues. READ MORE
The Vaughn Civic Centre (Ont.) Resource Library's sloped exterior cuts an impressive figure across the Canadian sky.  Inside the two-story facility, a plethora of tools for 21st century learning - 3D printers, a media suite, and audio and video recording studios - are available, while movable book stacks allow staffers and patrons to morph their needs. READ MORE
As summer slips away, the upcoming school year summons parents to start scrounging once again for school supplies.  The most valuable school supply of all, however, and one that doesn’t cost a single penny or even require any shopping, is as close as your local library.During September, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country will celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month, encouraging the public to obtain a free library card that will save them money, while reaping rich rewards in academic achievement and lifelong learning.This September marks the 30th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year.Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students. From free access to STEAM programs/activities, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help, technology workshops to the expertise of librarians, a library card is one of the most cost effective back to school supplies available.   READ MORE
Judi Bridge’s hometown didn’t feel entirely like home anymore.After several decades of life elsewhere, she had returned to the village of Winnebago, Nebraska (population 787) in 2009, searching for a quieter, more rural lifestyle. She’d even gotten a job at the local Little Priest Tribal College and Winnebago Public Library, working as an aide to senior citizens of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. (The village is located within the tribal reservation.) But after so much time away, she didn’t feel completely embraced by the community.That is, until a library patron suggested that when you’re trying to find your place in any small, close-knit settlement, a useful strategy is to tell people who your parents and grandparents are. It worked like a charm. “They’ll [now] say, ‘Oh, okay, okay,’ and then they accept me,” Bridge says.Good thing, as Bridge’s job entails constant connection. As tribal aide to elders (her official title), she delivers library books, gives rides to and from the library, teaches basic computer skills, facilitates a book club, provides accessibility devices, and does whatever else she can to make sure that the senior and disabled citizens of the Winnebago Reservation get the most out of their library. READ MORE
A recently published story on NPR highlights an emerging trend in public libraries: Providing opportunities for older adults to exercise and have fun together at the library. The story “Xbox Bowling for Seniors? Visit Your Local Library” discusses the “Library Lanes Bowling League,” a program that has been offered at multiple branches of the Brooklyn Public Library for years.Older adults, the primary audience for the program, are invited “to join a team, learn how to bowl using a Microsoft Xbox One, and compete with neighborhood libraries and senior sites in the community” Two of the participants interviewed for the segment, said they enjoy bowling at the library, rather than at a senior center because in the library all ages are present. The program continues to grow. NPR reports in 2017 there are twice as many Xbox bowling teams for seniors in the Brooklyn Public Library System as there were last year. READ MORE
Francis John "Frank" Sullivan (1892-1976) lived at 135 Lincoln Avenue in Saratoga Springs (NY) for most of his adult life. Affectionately known as “The Sage of Saratoga,” the 1914 graduate of Cornell University, started his writing career at The Saratogian Newspaper. He worked as a journalist at The Herald, The Evening Sun and New York World in Manhattan for two decades. Sullivan's writings were the focus of the Saratoga Reads community-wide reading and discussion initiative in 2017. READ MORE
Michelle Tilley likes old-fashioned books, the ones printed on paper.She likes the feel in her hand as she turns the page, the weight of the book in her lap.  But when she's going on vacation, Tilley downloads e-books from the library. Instead of weighing down a suitcase, "I take all those books on my tiny little Kindle."Tilley does what many library lovers do these days. She switches back and forth between paper books and books delivered electronically.   Last year, Lincoln library patrons borrowed more than 3 million items, from books off the shelves to music and movies from the Hoopla streaming service.And for the past decade the pattern of library use has been slowly changing.The number of electronic delivered e-books, movies, TV shows, audio books, and music loaned to Lincoln (NE) library users has exploded, from 7,008 in fiscal year 2006-07 — the year electronic downloading became available — to 244,874 last fiscal year.  Print material remains the heart of the library's loan service, though its use is dropping. The number of print items loaned has dropped gradually from nearly 2.5 million in fiscal year 2008-09 to a little more than 2 million last fiscal year. READ MORE

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