Articles

Steps taken to improve the urban environment— otherwise known as tactical urbanism—have been around for a while. Going by the name guerrilla urbanism, city repair, DIY urbanism, hands-on urbanism, participatory urbanism, and pop-up urbanism, these phrases loosely describe the same idea: any action designed to improve a city or neighborhood with minimal oversight, budget, and delay. It’s local, hands-on, and immediate, and it can usually be accomplished without a lot of training or resources.Concepts such as “cheap,” “grassroots,” and “local” are relative and open to interpretation. It costs almost nothing to scatter wildflower seeds into abandoned lots while walking or biking around your neighborhood. But it might cost upward of $5,000 to install a “parkmobile” consisting of a custom dumpster filled with tree ferns and yucca plants. You can knit a cozy jacket around a bike rack in your neighborhood all by yourself, but you might need a planning committee and some lead time to pry up the concrete in a vacant lot and plant a community food garden. And although your neighborhood community group might creatively lobby for a new crosswalk by painting a temporary one where it’s needed, it takes a lot more political clout to install 400 miles of bike lanes in New York City. And yet all these projects participate in the spirit of tactical urbanism to different degrees and in different ways.Tactical urbanist projects tend to demonstrate some of the following characteristics: a reliance on ingenuity, a preference for rapid deployment, a willingness to experiment and revise in process, a tolerance for error and perceived failure, an ability to value intangible benefits such as new and improved relationships and proof of concept, and a willingness to start (and sometimes stay) small. READ MORE
On February 21st, 1987, The Bahia Mar Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Florida designated Slip F-18 as a literary landmark in honor of John D. MacDonald’s most famous character “Travis McGee” and his houseboat “Busted Flush”.John D. MacDonald created the life of “Travis McGee”, the fictional salvage consultant that docked at the Bahia Mar, in his forty-fourth novel The Deep Blue Good-by in 1964. MacDonald continued a twenty-one book series on “Travis McGee” all with colors in the title.The Deep Blue Good-by begins at the famous marina: “It was to have been a quiet evening at home. Home is the ‘Busted Flush’ , a fifty-two foot barge-type houseboat, slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale.”John D. MacDonald became one of the most prolific mystery writers producing over seventy novels and one of the most respected masters of pulp fiction. MacDonald served as president of the Mystery Writers of America and received the American Book Award in 1980. READ MORE
Libraries will engage more than 5,000 underserved young adults in readings and discussion that aim to dig deep into and ultimate discard the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism.The American Library Association has received a $1.1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). The result of that will be the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club (TRHT GSC).  The club will connect ALA’s successful Great Stories Club literary programming model to the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts.The Great Stories Club is a library-led book club model that gives underserved youth facing significant challenges the opportunity to read, reflect, and share ideas on topics that resonate with them.Created in 2006 by ALA, the Great Stories Club has reached more than 700 libraries in 49 states and more than 30,000 young adults (ages 13 to 21). Great Stories Club programs are conducted by libraries working in partnership with juvenile justice facilities, alternative schools, residential treatment facilities, group homes, and other community service organizations. READ MORE
by Kaitlin Buckley, courtesy of Harvard GazetteIt’s up to Lisa Chille to steer the boat in the right direction when she races with the Harvard Heavyweights (MA). In her role as coxswain on the crew team, she gains the trust of her teammates, harnessing their power and coordinating their movements toward a successful finish.Chille also balances leadership and teamwork in her academics. As a Peer Research Fellow, she helps Currier House undergraduates maneuver challenging research questions.Chille arrived at Currier three years ago with a background in computer science, physics, chemistry, math, and music. Writing papers in the humanities presented a brand-new challenge. House-wide emails from Alexis Gomez, a Peer Research Fellow, invited residents to stop by and get help with assignments.“Having a friend who’s not a teacher or a teaching assistant saying ‘I can help out’ was such a huge resource for me,” Chille said. “I wanted to do this for other people as well.” Now a computer science concentrator with a secondary concentration in music, Chille teaches her peers how to navigate library resources and connect with librarians. READ MORE
by Kaitlin Buckley, courtesy of Harvard Gazettet’s up to Lisa Chille  to steer the boat in the right direction when she races with the Harvard Heavyweights (MA). In her role as coxswain on the crew team, she gains the trust of her teammates, harnessing their power and coordinating their movements toward a successful finish.Chille also balances leadership and teamwork in her academics. As a Peer Research Fellow, she helps Currier House undergraduates maneuver challenging research questions.Chille arrived at Currier three years ago with a background in computer science, physics, chemistry, math, and music. Writing papers in the humanities presented a brand-new challenge. House-wide emails from Alexis Gomez, a Peer Research Fellow, invited residents to stop by and get help with assignments.“Having a friend who’s not a teacher or a teaching assistant saying ‘I can help out’ was such a huge resource for me,” Chille said. “I wanted to do this for other people as well.” Now a computer science concentrator with a secondary concentration in music, Chille teaches her peers how to navigate library resources and connect with librarians. READ MORE
There have been many changes to libraries since the Locke Branch (Toledo, OH) opened its doors to patrons nearly 100 years ago.The library’s card catalogs have been replaced by computer databases, books and magazines are matched by the Internet, and video games are key attractions for some visitors.  Supporters, patrons, local elected leaders, and others gathered Friday at Locke Branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library to celebrate and pay tribute to its centennial.Clyde Scoles, executive director of the library system, said the branch is an example of a community success story.“When you champion self-improvement, unity, human rights, and uphold values of freedom, equality, safety, and access to information, good things happen. What we are celebrating today is a testament to all of that,” he said.Most of Locke Branch’s existence was at 806 Main St. It moved into the new facility at 703 Miami St. in August, 2007, as the final piece of a 10-year renovation project by the library system. READ MORE
Many see today as the golden age of gaming, and libraries are playing a huge role in fostering that age.Gaming offers a wealth of benefits to library users. Besides being fun for players, gaming encourages important values.  According to the American Library Association’s Games & Gaming Round Table (GameRT), the games educate as they entertain.  For one thing, the games have literary value. After all, you have to know how to read in order to play. In addition, “Social games encourage language skills through peer learning. In game chat or forums, if ‘rogue’ is misspelled ‘rouge,’ the misspeller will be corrected.”  Games encourage literacy activities such as reading, writing and creating content about and around the game.All of the virtues of gaming in libraries will be on display at our nation’s libraries on Oct. 29-Nov. 4, when they participate in International Games Week at Your Library, which is sponsored by GameRT.  International Games Week is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.The list of games includes everything from abstract puzzles to digital multiplayer games READ MORE
The Reading Public Library (PA) is the place Porshia Maldonado goes to escape the bustling city outside.In here, silence is golden. In here, she can learn about the wonders of the world. In here, she can find the answer to any question in a matter of seconds.  And she said the best part is that everything is free. The 24-year-old Reading resident, who said she tries to stretch her budget as far as possible, spends a few hours each day working as an online mystery shopper from the computer lounge or scanning the bookshelves for interesting titles.  "This is probably my favorite place in the whole world," she said. "I love coming to the library."Maldonado is not alone.  It may seem strange, but it turns out the biggest users of public libraries today are millennials like Maldonado.A national analysis from the Pew Research Center found that 53 percent of millennials, people ages 18 to 35, have used a public library or bookmobile within the last 12 months. That's compared with 45 percent of Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51), 43 percent of baby boomers (ages 52 to 70) and 36 percent of people in the silent generation (ages 71 to 88). READ MORE
Designed in the late 1960s, the James K. Moffitt Library’s fourth- and fifth-floor renovations brought the library into the 21st century, with the addition of studios for audio and video recording, a wellness room, and a gender-neutral restroom READ MORE

Pages