Libraries across the counry will be taking part in United We Serve, a national effort launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer. READ MORE
They're twin sisters and for the past six months they have come faithfully twice a week to the literacy center at Salinas’s John Steinbeck Library.  There they meet with their tutor, a retired school teacher.  They bring their small children along—one baby is asleep in the car seat at her mother's feet, another plays with books and lounges in a bean bag chair, while several of their older kids play in the children's area.  Between them they have nine children, ages 0 to ten.   Both sisters dropped out of school when they were thirteen and neither learned to read.  After failing classes and falling too far behind, they did what many of us would do in their circumstances: they quit and gave up hope. READ MORE
“Behind the Wheel of a Bookmobile” is a quixotic journey that will honor the place books have in our national consciousness. Authors Peter Laufer and Tom Corwin conceived this project.It began with the whimsical idea of buying a vintage bookmobile, stocking it with donated books from publishers, and driving it cross-country through small towns, with well-known authors taking turns at the wheel. At each stop Corwin and Laufer hand out one book in exchange for an interview on the journey's thematic question - "Tell me about one book that has changed your life and how." A documentary film crew captures the stories. READ MORE
In April, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, announced the 2009 winner of the ASCLA/KLAS/NOD award:  “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected,” a remarkable project developed by Margaret Kolaya, director of the Scotch Plains Public Library, and Daniel Weiss, director of the Fanwood Memorial Library, both in New Jersey. The success of the video and web-based project is the result of the cooperative partnership the libraries have embraced over the past 4 years, and the contributions of many partners and participants. The award, sponsored by ASCLA, Keystone Systems, and the National Organization on Disability, recognizes a library for “an innovative and well-organized project which has successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities.”  READ MORE
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announces a new resource for school library media specialists and their teacher colleagues. The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning: Landmark Websites, a list honoring the top Internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development, is considered the "best of the best" by AASL. READ MORE
Most people probably think of theatres and libraries as being worlds apart, but Ferrum College’s Sale Theatre and Stanley Library are next door to each other. Thanks to recent renovations on campus, only a few steps will take you from the library’s back door into the theatre, across an attractive patio that theatre-goers enjoy during summer plays. Many of those plays have been written by R. Rex Stephenson since he founded the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre in 1978. Even during years when getting inside the library required more steps, there was plenty of traffic between the two buildings. Drama majors writing and performing their own senior plays over the years had no excuses for shirking on their research or writing skills, with librarians and tutors next door in the library. Among many dramatic requests for library resources, the most unusual one was probably a trash can borrowed once for a prop. Librarian George Loveland had fun putting a bar code on it, checking it out, and later sending an overdue notice to get the trash can back from the theatre. Faculty members, librarians, visiting actors, and local children who come together to perform in summer plays pop into the library to read a magazine, use the Internet, or do a little background research during short breaks from arduous labor in the theatre. And Stephenson’s remarkable career as a playwright, director, and actor often takes him to libraries and archives for research and performances. READ MORE
You may think a book club consists of a group of intelligent, intellectually curious adults discussing characterization, plot, motivation, and context. Project Read, San Francisco Public Library’s adult-literacy program, thinks so, too. Participating in a book club is exactly what the Wednesday Night Readers (WNR) do eleven times a year, even though some members of the group read at an elementary-school level. Our discussions produce a rich amalgam of poignancy, reflection, comradeship, and just plain fun. READ MORE
The library of the Carroll Academy for International Studies in Houston is the winner of the 2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The award is sponsored by the American Library Association Cultural Communities Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians. It was presented in July at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and consists of a $4,000 cash award, a plaque, and the promotion of the winner as a model program for other school libraries. READ MORE
By Susie McIntyre, Head of Information Services, Great Falls Public LibraryOriginally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Montana Library Focus READ MORE
The Oklahoma State University Library invites you to visit the newly created Women of the Oklahoma Legislature oral history project website. Between the years of 1907 and 2008 only 77 women have been elected to the Oklahoma Legislature. This oral history project explores and records the journeys of many of these women who have served or are currently serving in the Oklahoma Legislature. The website includes transcripts, audio excerpts, photographs and memorabilia collected as a result of interview efforts. Over the course of the project, photographs of all 77 women were located and are now included on the website. It is believed this is the first time a complete collection of photographs of all Oklahoma women legislators has existed in one location. READ MORE