By the Young Adult Library Services AssociationThe National Endowment for the Arts released data (To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence) this week showing that Americans—and teenagers in particular—are reading less than they did just a few years ago. The number of 17-year-olds who say they never read for pleasure doubled in the past twenty years to 19 percent. But remember, good reading habits start at home and at your library. READ MORE
 Three libraries received makeovers this year thanks to the generosity, talent, and hard work of Idearc Media and its employees…. READ MORE
Every year a Newbery medal book is chosen and recognized as the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published in the past year. This long history of book selections makes for a rich reading list. For some young book lovers, tackling this collection of literary greats becomes the ultimate reading challenge. READ MORE
It all started with the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill on July 26, 2006, requiring schools and libraries receiving E-rate funds (a federal initiative providing discounts to public libraries and schools on telecommunications services, Internet access, and other closely related costs) to block access to social networking sites, such as MySpace, as well as access to a wide array of other content and technologies, such as instant messaging, online e-mail, wikis, and blogs. The Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA, was the name given to H.R. 5319, which passed overwhelmingly in the House by 410 to 15. (The U.S. Senate never considered the bill.)As is often the case, libraries found themselves in the crosshairs between legitimate concerns regarding “online predators” and access to information. In October 2006, The Illinois Library Association (ILA) carried an article in its magazine entitled, “DOPA and the Participation Gap,” sharing concerns about the disproportional effect of the legislation on lower income communities. The article offered alternative measures, such as “Basic Rules on Online Safety for Teens,” and talking points for librarians and others to use with the media, elected officials, and concerned citizens. READ MORE
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) awards authors and illustrators of books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. The Schneider Family Book Award is one of them.Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen (ages 14-18), Middle School (ages 11-13), and Children’s (ages 10 and younger) book. The winning books are selected for their excellence as an artistic expression of the disability experience. The disability portrayed may be mental, physical, or emotional. Winning authors receive an award in the form of a $5,000 check and a framed plaque, emblazoned with a silver and blue emblem featuring a circle of boys and girls holding hands around a globe, symbolizing the equality of all children. Since the inception of the award in 2003, winning titles have included characters who deal with depression, blindness, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, deafness, synesthesia, dyscalculia, physical disabilities, and stuttering. READ MORE
Yes, it's time to bring a beloved institution into the 21st century -- but not by making it less effectiveAs a former head of the state library agency in Massachusetts and a taxpayer myself, I read with interest the recent Atlantic editorial in which an elected official from Swampscott, Massachusetts proposed public library user fees as a reasonable and "modern" solution to some perceived imbalance.Under this proposal, a 50 cent user fee would be added to each book circulated by the library. In addition to addressing the supposed tax inequity created by the current system of funding for the Swampscott Library, the proposal would generate an estimated $300,000 in additional funds for the library.  READ MORE
If it has been a few years or a few decades since you've ventured into your local library, you're going to be very surprised by what you find. No longer are these dusty institutions of quiet corners, musty books and stern librarians, they are home to bestsellers, coffee carts, teen rooms, community, and civic gatherings. Libraries offer computer classes, babysitting workshops, tutoring programs and literacy programs, most of which are free, or are offered at a nominal fee. Not all services mentioned in this article are available at every library, but it's worth finding out if your local library offers a similar option. READ MORE
The group "First Kidz" in Newport are raising money for the Camden Ouachita County Public Library which burned in a fire earlier this summer on July 3.The kids set up a lemonade stand at the Jackson County Public Library in Newport. After just two hours of selling lemonade the group raised $400.50 to donate to the Camden Library. READ MORE
The following blog entries were taken from photographer Robert Dawson's blog Photos reprinted with person of author. Photos within Yazoo City post taken by photographer Walker Dawson.Join me and my son, Walker, as we drive across the country this summer photographing public libraries. Our trip will complete 17 years of field work documenting this precious American resource. READ MORE
Interview with Anna Heinemann,, annareadsbooks@gmail.comPhoto reprinted with permission of the author.About Anna READ MORE