Actor, director, and writer Emilio Estevez shares his passion for libraries in his new video Public Service Announcements highlighting the crucial role libraries play in our communities and in our democracy, and we couldn't be more excited about it!  Estevez is an advocate for libraries and encourages others to join him, and plays a librarian in his new movie “The Public,” which he calls a “love letter” to libraries. “The Public” will open in theaters April 5—right in time for National Library Week (April 7-13). READ MORE
by Monique le Conge ZiesenhenneHenry came to the San Francisco Public Library after losing his son, then his job and then his home. Leah, a social worker in the library, introduced him to the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, which found him subsidized housing and counseling to deal with his depression. After a 12-week vocational training program, Henry joined the library staff as a Health and Safety Associate that helps others experiencing homelessness get needed resources. READ MORE
Narratives about libraries often portray them as “the great equalizer,” but achieving equity means more than just opening the doors to everyone. ALA’s Access to Library Resources and Services guide says that “equity extends beyond equality … to deliberate and intentional efforts to create service delivery models that will make sure that community members have the resources they need.”Libraries rarely design services to specifically exclude certain patron groups, but exclusion is often the unfortunate result of not considering the unique needs and circumstances of all community members. For example, after my son was born, I noticed that my local library offered programs for babies and toddlers only on weekday mornings. This made their programming to support early literacy inaccessible to the children of most working parents.A friend recently mentioned that her new hometown library charges patrons a small fee to place a hold on materials. Holds are often the only way to get access to bestsellers at any library. This effectively means that timely access to popular materials is limited to those who can pay. READ MORE
In 2016, two Cornell (NY) students founded a library to help out their peers who could not afford to buy textbooks. During the spring and fall semesters of 2018, the library rented out approximately 840 books and 100 iClickers.The Lending Library offers course materials on a semester-long loan, including textbooks, laptops, books and iClickers, according to the library co-presidents, Dominic Grasso ’20 and Natalia Hernandez ’21.The inability to afford textbooks and iClickers have prevented many students to take classes they are interested in. For some of them, this even means they have to decide between eating or paying for textbooks.  “I will have to not eat dinner for a week to afford this textbook,” Jaelle Sanon ’19, founder of the Lending Library, told The Sun. “[Or] for me to be able to eat, I’ll have to drop this class.”Sanon also recalled how she once had had to drop a class after calculating the costs of course materials. The Cornell experience is dependent upon those who can afford it, according to Sanon.  “It shouldn’t be like that,” she continued, “[That] different people at Cornell are having different experiences because they fall in a different tax bracket.” READ MORE
As reference librarian, Terri develops programs that provide more opportunities for learning and community engagement for students as well as local residents.  Her nominator said, “Terri is, in essence, the heart of the library–the beating, emotional lifeblood of what makes the library at CCBC a special place for all.” She is known for her special ability to engage with students with creative programming. For example, she holds “Game of Thrones” and “Peter Pan” -themed orientations for freshman to highlight all the resources that can be accessed through the library.By partnering with the local public library system, Terri helped start a community-wide program to encourage everyone to read the same book. Book discussions were held at the college’s library and public libraries throughout the county. READ MORE
It’s the elephant in the room, and no one can ignore it.  Tusks in the air, a wooden pachyderm greets patrons near the main entrance of Akron-Summit County Public Library on South High Street in downtown Akron (OH).  The hand-carved elephant lumbered more than 8,500 miles before finding a refuge at the Main Library. This month marks the 40th anniversary of its public unveiling.According to Mary Plazo, manager of Special Collections at the library, the elephant was a 1979 gift from Louis and Mary Myers of Myers Industries in Akron. It was carved from a single piece of teakwood in Thailand and shipped to the United States.  “The figure is 40 inches long, 56 inches high and 20 inches wide,” Plazo noted. “It weighs over 500 pounds.”Trish Saylor, manager of the Children’s Library, said former librarian Ione Cowen once told her that the Myerses donated the elephant because “it was so heavy that it was making their foundation sink.”It took five men to roll the elephant into the library — perhaps the city’s first pachyderm parade since the days when circuses marched into the Akron Armory.  With its curved trunk, flared ears, pointed tusks, gaping mouth and raised front foot, the whimsical carving made a good first impression. READ MORE
The Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast in grainy black-and-white, was must-see TV for American families in the 1960s. Millions tuned in when Sullivan introduced U.S. audiences to the Beatles in February 1964.But it was the Rolling Stones’ appearance eight months later that put Sacramento (CA) in the national spotlight.  Mick Jagger, then 21 years old, and his bandmates rocked their new single, Time is On My Side, to a studio audience of screaming teenagers before the host came out to say goodbye.“I want to wish all of you fellows a big success tomorrow night in Sacramento, California,” Sullivan said.  Suddenly, Sacramento had cachet as a rock ‘n’ roll town, and the whole country knew it.The Stones flew cross-country to play Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, then the largest venue in town, on Monday, Oct. 26.  “There was a poster from the Stones’ show, and if I had a real one, it’d be worth $6,000 or $8,000,” says Dennis Newhall, the accidental curator and chronicler of Sacramento’s rock ‘n’ roll and rock music history. “I didn’t have one, so I had a friend find all the same fonts and photo, and rebuild it.” READ MORE
United for Libraries, in partnership with the Illinois State Library and Illinois Center for the Book, will designate Ray Bradbury Park a Literary Landmark on Saturday, March 16. The unveiling ceremony, set to begin at 4:51 p.m. in honor of Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), will take place in Waukegan, Ill.Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was born and raised in Waukegan before his family moved to Los Angeles in 1934. He was a prolific author best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also an outspoken library advocate. He is the recipient of several awards, including the National Medal of Arts (2004) and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (2007). Ray Bradbury Park, located in Bradbury’s “Green Town” neighborhood, played a major part of his childhood Waukegan upbringing and was referenced in his works "Dandelion Wine," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," and "Farewell Summer."Attendance will include featured speaker Dr. Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies in Indiana, among others. During the ceremony, Waukegan High School students will put on a special performance of Bradbury’s short play The Whole Town’s Sleeping, and a Literary Landmark plaque will be unveiled. The ceremony is set to follow the Illinois Reads Book Festival, which will honor Ray Bradbury with tributes throughout, including a Pop-up Museum. READ MORE
National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.This year’s theme, Libraries = Strong Communities, illustrates how today’s libraries are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools and campuses, providing critical resources, programs and expertise. They also provide a public space where all community members, regardless of age, culture or income level, can come together to connect and learn. READ MORE
On February 1, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments about whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was arbitrary and capricious in reversing its 2015 order, which included rules against blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of internet access. In the case—Mozilla et al v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—consumer groups and some companies are trying to restore the net neutrality protections policy that is needed to keep the internet open to all users. How will the upcoming decision affect libraries?The American Library Association (ALA), which filed an amicus brief in 2018 with other groups seeking to defend net neutrality in Mozilla, asserts net neutrality is essential for a library to meet its public mission of increasing access to information. In 2015, the FCC adopted strong net neutrality policies to require all internet traffic to be treated equally. But the agency did an about-face and eliminated those policies in 2017.ALA has been on the front lines of the net neutrality battle with the FCC, Congress, and the federal courts for more than a decade, working in coalition with other library and higher education organizations as well as broader coalitions of net neutrality advocates. READ MORE