Articles

Today’s libraries are changing to fulfill the needs of a digital society.  This is no less true for the nation’s oldest cultural institution, the Library of Congress, a fact verified by the confirmation of Dr. Carla Hayden as the 14th librarian of Congress.Hayden, former president of the American Library Association and director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, is the first female and the first African American to lead the Library of Congress.She also is the first professional librarian to be confirmed in more than 60 years, a distinction she bears with pride.  “Of all the titles I have had in my professional career, I am most proud to be called a librarian. And it would be my honor to have the opportunity to be the librarian of the oldest cultural institution in the nation, the Library of Congress,” she told senators during her confirmation hearing. READ MORE
Homemade concert fliers printed from an unguarded copy machine. Custom jean jacket patches for bands Transilvia, You and I, and The Degenerics. A set list from a 1982 Smithereens show stored away with a torn ticket stub. It’s the ephemera of a bygone era, before the internet or social networking, when building a fan base in a local music scene was a band’s best chance at getting broader recognition.The do-it-yourself ethos of the local music scene tells a story of dissent from mainstream culture, says Rutgers University media studies doctoral student Frank Bridges, who played in bands and ran his own record label in the 1980s and 1990s near the New Brunswick, New Jersey, campus. He thinks it’s a story worth preserving. Bridges’s dissertation explores the scene as a pocket of resistance to the decline of vinyl—a scene which he argues was due in part to the proliferation of independent record labels in the area. He’s amassed a fledgling archive of material in his research, but he didn’t have to look far to find a place to preserve it. The Rutgers School of Communication and Information is right next door to the Special Collections and University Archives section of the Archibald Stevens Alexander Library. READ MORE
The Hartford (Conn.) Public Library has a long history with community engagement; it regularly sponsors community dialogues and youth forums. So after learning residents from a disadvantaged neighborhood felt underserved and misrepresented, the library jumped at the chance to strengthen the neighborhood’s bond to the rest of the city. Hartford’s North End consists of a group of neighborhoods with some of the lowest income levels in the United States. To learn more about the community, the library hosted a series of small “kitchen table-style” conversations in the area. Instead of starting the conversations with a list of problems, staff members asked North End residents how they envision their ideal community. READ MORE
At Armstrong Elementary School Eastover, North Carolina, more than 60 percent of the children receive free or reduced price school lunch.  Although poverty is perceived to be a predictor of low academic success, the students at Armstrong, despite high levels of poverty, excel in reading and library use.A major factor is the school librarian, Leslie Koch, whose work garnered her an I Love My Librarian Award in 2015.  The numbers provide strong testimony to the success of her efforts.During the 2014-15 school year, among the 400 students, the library circulated more than 32,500 books, an average of more than 81 books per student over the course of the year, or greater than nine books per month per student, according to her nominator for the award, Ardry Adams.Adams said, “Ms. Koch recognizes the importance of reaching all children, and especially those from impoverished homes. Students who read, excel. Ms. Koch is raising the bar, encouraging each student to rise up, read, and excel in their individual academic endeavors.” READ MORE
The Senate has approved the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to serve as the nation’s 14th Librarian of Congress.  Dr. Hayden, American Library Association (ALA) past president and director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, is the first female and the first African American to lead the Library of Congress. She also is the first professional librarian to be confirmed in more than 60 years.   READ MORE
by John Windhausen, courtesy of American LibrariesOn June 14, the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality ruling across the board. The latest ruling is a significant victory for the American Library Association (ALA), libraries, and public access to the open internet. READ MORE
by Chris Smith, courtesy of the Press DemocratIn Santa Rosa (CA) there’s a beauty of a free-to-all library that you might never have noticed, though it’s been around for 125 years.  It’s the sort of library you may not need until you really do, a library of the sort that many may miss dearly should budgetary troubles cause it to go away. READ MORE
by John Hammel, courtesy of The Red & BlackWhen Alvin Dye took his son to the Athens-Clarke County (GA) Library Sunday, he may have expected to check out a book or two, but he certainly didn’t expect to have his son’s bicycle fixed.  BikeAthens, a local bicycle advocacy group, gathered outside the library to offer free bicycle safety checks, repairs and helmets. READ MORE
by Indiana Nash, courtesy of Your NiskayunaA quiet humming sound now fills one corner of the media center at Niskayuna (NY) High School.  It isn’t coming from students quietly chattering or finishing up last-minute projects.  In a shaded back corner of the media center, at the heart of the buzzing, thousands of honeybees have recently found a home. READ MORE
There’s a slab of concrete near the loading dock behind Central Library in downtown Madison. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but it’s conveniently located right next to a vent that blows out hot air from the library. For those without anywhere else to go, it’s a desirable spot on a chilly night.It was on this slab of concrete that library staff members happened upon a woman and her two children. The family had been using the spot as a place to sleep when the weather began to turn more frigid last fall.Fearing the family was in danger of getting run over by a truck, library staffers worked with the woman to help locate housing for her and the children.“They did find housing for her. It took a little while, maybe a couple of weeks, but they eventually found housing for her,” said Lisa Mettauer, an outreach librarian at Central Library. “It was heartbreaking because the kids were young and they were sick, and it was very difficult to see that.”Though this sort of work may not be what one expects out of a library, it has become a point of emphasis for Madison Public Library in recent years. The system offers a host of free programs and support services aimed at helping struggling adults and their families. As a result, the library was recently named a winner of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. READ MORE

Pages