Novato Public Library, located in a small town in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, has become a meeting place for military veterans. That’s thanks to a four-year-old California public library program called Veterans Connect @ the Library, which helps put veterans in touch with benefits and services.At Novato, for example, one retired Air Force officer who volunteers at the library has become someone whom vets can not only get information from but can also communicate with, according to Kevin Graves, a Bay Area coordinator with the California Department of Veterans Affairs.“Vets come in every week just to speak to him, sometimes just to talk,” Graves says. “He gets something out of it, they get something out of it; it’s a win-win.”In some areas of the state, Veterans Connect is essential for former service members who do not have easy access to a veterans services office READ MORE
Now more than ever, knowing how to handle money is critical to our survival. Virtually from cradle to grave, we are faced with financial challenges, and how we face up to those challenges depends on how well we arm ourselves with reliable, accurate information.From April 22-29, 2017, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such issues as smart investing for college, a new car, a house or retirement, first-time homebuying, how to reduce property taxes, foreclosure prevention, getting out of debt and estate planning.Libraries of all types provide programming for all ages and all stages of life on topics such as: basic budgeting; managing student debt; retirement planning; home purchasing; saving money through couponing; and how to prevent identity theft. READ MORE
The growth of cities and resurgence of downtowns presents opportunities and challenges to libraries. While sticking to their core principles of equity and access, urban libraries embrace those opportunities, integrating facilities, programs and services into the pulse of city life, while working within constraints of budgets and space. Across the country, libraries in cities of all sizes serve the critical functions of urban living rooms and civic anchors. READ MORE
Each year, libraries move to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness during a weeklong celebration that instills public awareness of their critical importance to our society.  This year, awareness of the value of our nation’s libraries is especially critical, in the light of the looming threat of drastic cuts to federal funding for libraries.First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special participate.This year, National Library Week will be held April 9-15. Events include the release of the American Library Association’s 2017 “State of America’s Libraries Report” on Monday, April 10; National Library Workers Day, April 11; and National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday, April 12.   In addition, April is School Library Month, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the ALA. READ MORE
When Cynthia Tysick sees a news story on social media, she diligently fact-checks it on Snopes and PolitiFact.  “I’ve suddenly become the fact-checking guru on my Facebook feed,” Tysick, head of UB (University of Buffalo, NY) Educational Services said. “People are not happy with me, but it’s a service I bring.”Tysick and her colleagues in UB Libraries feel students should have the ability to filter out real news from fake news. Fake news websites shell out dishonest and misleading information disguised as actual news, leaving many unable to tell the real from the fake. President Donald Trump has also blasted mainstream news organizations like CNN and The New York Times, calling them untrustworthy fake news organizations.Tysick and her colleagues prepared a guide with tips from real news sources like The Washington Post and PolitiFact on how to detect fake news. The guide defines fake news and discusses how yellow journalism was used as a sensationalist tactic in the late 1800s to get people to support the Spanish War. It also gives lesson plans for instructors to educate their students about fake news. READ MORE
If you’re seeking a preservation expert, look no further than your local library.Perhaps you have a question about taking proper care of your books, what to do about that long neglected photo album with pages that are now stuck together or even are wondering about how to address the spaghetti sauce on grandma’s favorite cookbook.  Librarians have the expertise to answer these questions, as well as offer valuable tips to help patrons preserve the precious treasures of their past.This year, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates Preservation Week®, April 23 – 29, 2017, a time when librarians and library workers share expertise on how to preserve family heirlooms and treasures. This year’s Preservation Week® theme is textile preservation, and participating libraries will celebrate by offering special programs and services to connect library users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation and strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public. Institutions around the world will be using the hashtag #preswk to talk about their preservation programs and services.   READ MORE
Roosevelt Weeks, deputy director of the Houston (Texas) Public Library System (HPL) is one librarian who is willing to go the extra mile.Rachel Stout, a trainer with the HPL’s Community Engagement Team said Weeks has on many occasions taken time out of his day to drive the Mobile Express when a driver was needed.  That commitment earned him one of the 2016 I Love My Librarian Awards.She said, “He’s always willing to step in and help out at any level of our organization, and will do just about anything to ensure a successful project or implement a new service.”  My’Tesha Tates, manager of HPL’s Community Engagement Team, who nominated Weeks for the award, said Weeks taught her that libraries are about more than books and walls.  “He has pushed our organization to think outside the box, and made it an indispensable thread in the fabric of Houston,” she said.For Weeks, community involvement is a high priority. He has partnered with local organizations to spread literacy and the love of reading throughout Houston.  This is shown in his work with the Houston Center for Literacy and the Eastside Village Learning Center. These programs help residents of lower income areas develop the literacy skills they need to enrich their lives. READ MORE
Federal budget discussions have librarians and library supporters concerned, as the budgetary guillotine looms over the Institute of Museum and Library Services, known as IMLS.  IMLS, which is celebrating its 20th year, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums.As it states on its website, “Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, our grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.”But that mission could soon reach an end, if the agency is dissolved, something that is proposed in President Trump’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year.  In a statement, Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, warned of the consequences of its elimination, particularly for rural and smaller communities. READ MORE
Despite welcoming quiet in her library, Julie Yockey found she couldn't stay silent when the governor's recommendations for next year's budget came out earlier this month. On Tuesday, Yockey, director of the Carthage (MO) Public Library, was chosen as the one representative to meet with the governor from the librarians who flocked to the Capitol on Library Advocacy Day. Librarians came from all over the state came to plead with their elected officials to restore their funding.In the 2015 budget year, public libraries received 50 cents per capita. The current budget has scaled back funding to 13 cents per capita, which the governor plans to continue into the next budget year. From the $9 billion in the state's general revenue fund, all Yockey wants for public libraries, she said, is a return to their 2015 slice of $7.3 million, instead of their current $3.5 million sliver. "People use the public library to get online instead of in line while trying to find a job," her letter reads, taking a cue from Greitens' State of the State address. "We support people who are trying to build or rebuild their lives." READ MORE
In his eulogy to the American volunteers fallen for France during World War I, the poet Alan Seeger wrote: “They brought fresh hearts … to that high mission. Yet sought they neither recompense nor praise.” As the centenary of the United States’ entry into World War I approaches, those who didn’t fall but also brought “their fresh hearts” to France deserve a remembrance of their own. Many American women librarians volunteered for “that high mission” of organizing library services in the war-devastated regions of northern France. Their work has had a lasting impact on the public library system in France.Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. Morgan was a frequent visitor to France. When war broke out, she threw herself into relief work for the Allied cause. In 1917, she created the American Committee for Devastated France, better known as CARD (Comité Américain pour les Régions Dévastées), and set up her relief facilities in the war-shattered Aisne department of Picardie, north of Paris. Applications to volunteer in France poured in. Applicants were required to speak French, hold a driver’s license, and be financially self-sufficient, which included providing their own CARD horizon-blue military uniform (the color of French uniforms). The small group of volunteers eventually grew to 350. They set up headquarters in the ruins of a 17th century château in the village of Blérancourt. Wooden barracks served as dispensaries, warehouses, stores, schools, and libraries. When the fighting ended in November 1918, the devastation was such that CARD was now in charge of reconstructing the livelihoods of 60,000 people in 130 villages. That mission would last six years. READ MORE