For more than 5 years in New York, San Diego, Chicago (and other cities) library workers and comic conventions have been partnering together to offer professional development sessions around comics and Graphic Novels, and - increasingly - library ‘pop up’ booths for public community outreach at comic events.Following this increasing interest, in June 2018 the American Library Association approved the creation of its newest professional division - the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT). Under this new banner library workers will be able to better collaborate and connect with other like minded professionals involved in comics work. During New York Comic Con (Oct 4-7), the GNCRT will be working on two large public and professional outreach initiates:  READ MORE
When it comes to advocacy for libraries, we often focus on communicating with officials who have already been elected. We may go to Capitol Hill in May for National Library Legislative Day or to our state legislatures during budget appropriation season.But what would it look like to reach out to the would-be political decision makers before the election? I tried an experiment to find out.My home state of Maryland had a very competitive open primary for county and state government on June 26. I emailed candidates for several county offices to ask their views on libraries. My email went something like this: READ MORE
With millions of volumes in its collections, the UC Berkeley Library (CA) is a virtual treasure trove. But we had to ask the people who know the Library’s materials the most: What are your favorite items in the collections? Answers ranged from larger-than-life tomes to an eye-popping novel, from an early writing by Mark Twain to an original musical sketch by Beethoven. Here’s what we learned:“If you go down to (Level D) in the folio section (of Main Stacks, in Doe Library), you will encounter undoubtedly the largest books in our collection,” says Claude Potts, romance languages librarian. Folios are unusually tall books, often used to highlight the intricate details of maps, art, and architecture. Some folios, such as double elephant folios, can measure up to 4 feet long.“I don’t have so much favorite items as I do favorite happenings,” says Bob Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project. Thirty-five years ago, Hirst was flipping through the Clemens family Bible, which Twain’s mother had used as a kind of filing cabinet. In it, Hirst stumbled upon a scrap of paper that he believes Twain printed as a young typing apprentice. “If that’s correct (and I believe it is) it became the oldest piece of paper we knew he had actually ‘written’ anything on,” Hirst says. READ MORE
The Cabell County Public Library (WV) was chosen by the American Library Association for a connected internship earlier this year, and the intern sponsored by the program is wrapping up her final hours before she goes back to school.Rebekah Nix, a 16-year-old rising junior at Huntington High, spent her summer working in the youth department at the library, where she got the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the library's youngest patrons.The CCPL was one of 50 libraries from 35 states for the Inclusive Internship Initiative, which is funded by the Public Library Association, a division of the ALA. The III aimed to provide funding for a mentored internship for high school juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds in which they would engage with multiple areas of librarianship, such as administration, programming and user services.  The program included a trip to Washington, D.C., for a kickoff event and will conclude with a wrap-up event in Chicago this fall. READ MORE
Hispanic Heritage Month is here!Let’s celebrate!  Hispanic Heritage Month comes every year, from September 15 to October 15.  There’s tons we can do to celebrate, include our Hispanic patrons.  Hispanic Heritage Month is about bringing everyone together to recognize all that Hispanic Americans have brought to American culture.And WHY celebrate, you may ask? — for AllNot sure where to begin?  Let’s start at the top!  There’s a multitude of resources for all, whether you are confident in your Spanish or not.The Library of Congress has a great page complete with its own calendar that you could adapt to your own programming.  Remember, this is about inclusion.  Make our Hispanic patrons feel welcome, and relevant!  The Library of Congress site has something for everyone.  Select from images, to multimedia, to lesson plans that are easy to adapt to children’s programming. READ MORE
The American Library Association (ALA) is reminding library users that they have less than two weeks left to nominate their favorite librarians for the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award. This year’s nominations will close Mon., Oct. 1 at midnight Central Daylight Time. READ MORE
Golden shovels pierced the first few chunks of dirt Wednesday on a plot of land in downtown Missoula that will be home to a new, $36.7-million Missoula Public Library and museum complex. The four-story, 105,000-square-foot facility is expected to be open by 2020.Missoula’s library is the busiest in the state, with over 1,000 people visiting each day. A nearly decade-long effort to plan, fund and build a new one culminated in the groundbreaking ceremony on Main Street that drew a large crowd in the hot afternoon.Rita Henkel, a member of the library board of trustees, kicked off the ceremony with a speech.  “Eight years ago we commissioned an assessment of our current library,” she said. “The results proved our library was too small and our antiquated amenities would not be enough to keep up with our rapidly growing community."She said it's been a laborious and challenging eight years.  "In fact, I had brown hair when this started,'' she joked. "But today is the start of a new chapter, one filled with learning resources, information access and public engagement for generations to come.  "It is about more than bricks and mortar, books and shelves. This is about a gathering space for ideas that can and will inspire positive social change for Missoula and beyond.” READ MORE
Manhattan Beach (CA) was a thriving beach town when it officially incorporated on Dec. 2, 1912, but it didn’t have all that many permanent residents.A small group of strong-willed women, led by Jessie Bell Smith, were determined that their then-small town have all the necessities: a good school system, fire and police departments and its own library.  Smith had founded the Neptunian Woman’s Club in May 1909, and it became a driving force in the community, advocating for such services.As historian Jan Dennis told the Beach Reporter in 2012, the Neptunians started Manhattan Beach’s first library in the summer of 1912 at the club’s original location at 1200 The Strand. It members had been operating a book discussion group when the decision was made to make books available to the community for 10 cents a loan.It was a popular option. By the time the library became affiliated with the Los Angeles County library system in January 1915, had 380 books and 143 card-carrying members. The city’s population was less than 600 at the time.  The library would move to 1209 Manhattan Avenue in 1935 and remain there for the next two decades. READ MORE
Can you get to the bottom of the ocean using science, technology, engineering and math skills?Instead of just watching cartoons or playing video games after school, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (IN) has started a program where kids in third- through seventh-grade can actually learn while still having fun.The new after-school program, called “Digital Divers,” is modeled after Muncie Public Library’s “Digital Climbers.” The Muncie library is located right next to the school, so kids could just walk over to participate in the challenges that allowed them to climb up a mountain and earn prizes.After hearing about Digital Climbers, KHCPL staff visited the library and learned just how the program works, said Lisa Fipps, director of marketing and community engagement at KHCPL. With the blessing and some help from Muncie Public Library, KHCPL has brought the after-school, STEM-based learning program to Kokomo — with its own unique twist.“We thought it would be much more fun to do a ‘divers’ program because then we can have the sea and incorporate all of these creatures that kids like,” Fipps said. “Plus it allows us to educate about the environment and the ocean, like what straws can do or the giant mass of floating trash.” READ MORE
Libraries play a vital role in American society. They are centers of learning and opportunity that welcome all members of the community to freely explore new possibilities, access educational programming, and enlighten the mind. For many new Americans, the wealth of digital and print information at their local library, coupled with the educational programs that are available, serve as valuable catalysts for the pursuit of their American Dream.Since 2008, 188 libraries across Dollar General’s market area have received more than $1.5 million to help build innovative and effective literacy programs for adult English-language learners. With these grants, libraries have developed new courses, expanded their print and digital collections, increased access to technology, implemented new strategies for inclusion, and developed sustainable partnerships with organizations across their communities. These enhancements and expansions have resulted in increasing access and opportunities for thousands of individuals across the country:The Township of Plainsboro, New Jersey, known for the pharmaceutical corporations and advanced technology laboratories that call it home, attracts a diverse population from all corners of the globe. More than 46 percent of its residents speak a language other than English at home—and the number is growing READ MORE