Teens will be telling their stories in our nation’s library for this year’s Teen Read Week.Teen Read Week™ is an annual national adolescent literacy initiative created in 1998 by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association.  Held in October the same week as Columbus Day, it encourages teens to be regular readers and library users.This year, it will be held Oct. 8-14 with the theme “Unleash Your Story,” with libraries encouraging teens to tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folk tales and more in their local library.As part of Teen Read Week, several libraries are participating in a grant program through YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation that provides awards to 10 libraries to help fund Teen Read Week activities. READ MORE
Online security is a growing concern, especially in the wake of the alarming cyber attacks that have compromised the personal information of millions.One of the most shocking was the attack on the credit reporting agency Equifax, which affected more than 140 million users.  Prior to that hack, the Pew Research Center found in a 2016 study that more than 60 percent of Americans had been affected by a major data breach or data theft incident.As we search for resources to make ourselves less vulnerable, one resource we can use is our nation’s public libraries, which are offering digital literacy training and valuable information.Throughout the month of October, the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and public libraries nationwide will celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. READ MORE
Book Club Central Honorary Chair Sarah Jessica Parker will reveal her second book selection on Oct. 11, 2017, just prior to the start of National Friends of Libraries Week.National Friends of Libraries Week honors our nation’s Friends of Libraries groups. It is a time not only to celebrate Friends, but also to promote themselves in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. It also affords the chance for libraries and boards of trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.Book Club Central was launched this year by the American Library Association (ALA). Designed in consultation with expert librarians to provide the public with the very best in reading, this online resource is a one-stop shop for engaging content and helpful information for book clubs and readers of all types, including author interviews, book recommendations and reviews, as well as discussion questions and information on how to start and moderate a book club. READ MORE
Oregon City’s (OR) 104-year-old Carnegie library, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, received a massive face-lift that increased its size threefold while maintaining its historic charm. The additions include a centralized entryway, a new children’s section, a reading room, community spaces, and increased tech capabilities. READ MORE
By Steve ZaluskyYou may have encountered a book every once in a while that you not only disliked, but also found disgusting and even counter to your beliefs.  But would it every occur to you to try and prevent others from reading it?Perhaps you have a book that you absolutely love, but others hate it so much that they would try to prevent you and others from obtaining it.That these situations are not fantastic scenarios, difficult to imagine in today’s society, is proven by the number of book challenges reported to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).  A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.More than 320 challenges were recorded by OIF in 2016, with many of the challenges having to do with language, depictions of LGBT characters, sexually explicit scenes and offensive political viewpoints. The 2016 list of top 10 challenged books also included a book found objectionable because of its author, comedian Bill Cosby. READ MORE
In West Ashley’s Avondale neighborhood, an alley behind the shops and bars near Magnolia Street has become an outdoor exhibition space filled with large and small murals. Artists have painted images ranging from an enormous turkey vulture to small cartoon-like figures on the sides of the buildings.On the Charleston peninsula, three murals by Shepard Fairey and several more on Huger Street by a variety of artists can be viewed. David Boatwright’s work — part art, part commercial signage — is scattered throughout the downtown area.In Columbia, a growing number of murals and sculptural pieces are adding a colorful dimension to a city so enthusiastic about public art that it has a dedicated nonprofit organization whose main purpose is to facilitate more of it.This deliberate approach adopted by Columbia now is taking hold in the Holy City where efforts are underway to introduce more curated public art to the shared environment, and not just downtown.One advocate is even calling for a “1 percent for art” program that would set aside money in every public building construction budget for the purpose of procuring artwork.  “I love public art,” said Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art. “It does serve a vital role in terms of meeting people where they are. It’s in the public way; you have no choice.” READ MORE
More than 90 million U.S. adults have low health literacy. Health literacy, which measures someone’s ability to access necessary health services and understand health information, is crucial for maintaining a high quality of life. Public, school, academic and special libraries can play a key role in making health literacy attainable for all—which is why the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) are collaborating to raise awareness for Health Literacy Month this October. Library advocates can join the ALA and NNLM in highlighting how libraries promote health literacy by signing up for their free health literacy toolkit, which provides graphics, messaging ideas and striking data about health literacy and libraries. The toolkit is part of ALA’s Libraries Transform public awareness campaign, a nationwide movement spreading the word about how libraries and library professionals transform lives. Individuals with low health literacy skills often have higher health care costs and an increased risk of developing preventable disease. For those struggling to make sense of health information, the library is a key resource, providing free access to quality health information and databases that can improve one's quality of life. “NNLM recognizes that people trust their libraries and want to equip library staff with the knowledge to help their users navigate locating reliable health information,” said Lydia Collins, Consumer Health Coordinator at NNLM. “This is critical so that health consumers can make educated decisions, in collaboration with their health care providers, for themselves and their loved ones.” While library professionals can’t answer specific questions about medical conditions or treatment options, they can guide their community members to trusted health information to help them make educated decisions. Librarians can help locate quality information and resources around a variety of health topics, including nutrition, aging and rare diseases. And when health information can be difficult to understand, library staff can help people make sense of confusing information—from evaluating the accuracy of health news to providing multilingual health information for immigrant and refugee populations. Beyond that, many libraries partner with community health agencies and offer health-focused events and programs for the whole family, including exercise and cooking classes.While Health Literacy Month is observed in October, health literacy saves lives and improves health outcome year-round: you can always head to your local library for assistance getting health information for you and your loved ones. READ MORE
Built in 1906, Norrington Center, the oldest Carnegie library remaining on a college campus in Missouri - is now a state of the art academic commons that serves as a library and meeting place for the university.  Renovations included collaborative and quiet areas, tech-enhanced classrooms for distance learning, and a coffee shop. READ MORE
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