As the nation’s population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April 30th during the national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) celebration. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the observance, also known as Día, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events. READ MORE
April 17 is the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day, created by the Academy of American Poets to help us celebrate April as National Poetry Month. READ MORE
Dale Messick started the first enduring newspaper comic strip by a woman, Brenda Starr, in 1940, and Nicole Hollander (Sylvia), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), and Lynn Johnston (For Better or Worse) followed in her footsteps, only much later. Women creating graphic novels came still later. In fact, this core collection of books either made up of comic-book short stories and comic-book serials or created as books is an honor roll of pioneers. READ MORE
Something weird and wonderful happened to me in October 2007. The U.S. State Department sent me to the Kyrgyz Republic in central Asia on a public library good will mission. This odyssey began in August 2007 when I found a message on my desk from the U.S. State Department offering me a speaking engagement in a central Asian republic. I first believed this was a practical joke—“Yeah,” I thought, “The Government wants me to go to Kazakhstan and teach the Dewey Decimal Classification to Borat.” However, when I returned the call to Washington, I found out this was for real. READ MORE
By Christine Ayar All this talk of recession and economic downturn is a bit scary isn't it? As a librarian, I look at what is occurring and begin to wonder how it will affect our budgets in coming years. But I couldn't help but think of all the ways libraries can help their communities and actually increase patronage during tough times through the "free" services we offer. READ MORE
In addition to the hundreds of celebrity suggestions from librarians, teachers, readers and fans, ALA Graphics staff seeks out celebrities from a wide range of occupations: movie and TV stars, comedians, athletes, musicians, innovators, heroic figures and the like. We try to find highly recognizable–and therefore popular–celebrities. We also consider a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds to reach the diverse populations libraries serve. READ MORE
This year, NBA legend and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is this year's honorary Library Card Sign-up Month chair. “The library has always been my own personal time machine. I can walk through the doors and land in any place, any time period in history. I didn’t have to wonder what their worlds were like; I could experience it first hand,” Jabbar has said. READ MORE
By Barbara ConatyKinshasa Municipal Library, Democratic Republic of the CongoIn a city where nine million people make their home, there is just one public library, the municipal library of the Funa district. Headed by Professor Tete, who also teaches cataloguing at the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN), this library was established with the assistance of the French government in the late 90’s as an early bid for normalcy after the civil strife of Mobutu’s overthrow. READ MORE
The Oakland (Calif.) Public Library recently held its 5th annual Making Manga Magic contest, asking teens to create their own Manga/Anime Characters. Manga are Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically (but not always) black-and-white and featuring stylized characters with large, round eyes. Anime refers to Japanese animation. READ MORE
By Brenda Vogel, Retired Library Coordinator, Maryland Correctional Education Libraries. Originally published in Interface, Spring 2008As ASCLA librarians our close association with digitally disadvantaged library patrons gives us an insight into their information needs and a responsibility to stand up for them.The digital world is alien to the vast majority of men and women who have been serving time in U.S. prisons from before the eras of the PC and the coming of the Digital Age. READ MORE