The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2017 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.YALSA will name the 2017 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. on Jan. 23 in Atlanta during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.The 2017 finalists are:“Girl Mans Up” written by M-E Girard, published by HarperCollins;“Rani Patel in Full Effect” written by Sonia Patel, published by Cinco Punto Press;“The Serpent King“ written by Jeff Zentner, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, a Penguin Random House Company;“The Smell of Other People’s Houses” written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House, a Penguin Random House Company;“Tell Me Something Real” written by Calla Devlin, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers READ MORE
Some people claim that 70 is the new 50. Whether or not that is true, data clearly show an increase in the number of Americans over age 65. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of older Americans will nearly double by the year 2050. Between advances in health care and increased expectations for continued engagement in the public sphere, today’s aging population is more active than ever. Library programming reflects this shift, particularly in public libraries where seniors are already dedicated consumers of library services. READ MORE
The school library is the hub of the school, offering students open and equitable access to information as well as a supportive and inclusive space for learning and social interaction.School libraries help prepare students for a lifetime of learning, with research showing that effective school library programs having a beneficial effect on student performance, including improved reading test scores.  The value of school librarians was given a major affirmation on Dec. 10, 2015, when President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).According to the U.S. Department of Education, the act, which was approved with bipartisan support, reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which confirms our nation’s commitment to equal opportunity for all students.What is significant for librarians is the provisions regarding school libraries and librarians, which the bill recognizes as critical education partners. READ MORE
by Christoper Cole, courtesy of The News & AdvanceAn early role teaching poor kids changed the career path of Nan Carmack.As a student teacher at the College of William and Mary, hoping to make a difference in an impoverished area of Williamsburg (VA), she was just launching an education career when she was struck by a desire to pursue social change. READ MORE
Grizzly bear, mule deer and bulk elk, on my!While all three may be terrifying they’re chillin’ in the Idaho City High School library.  “The specimens haven’t stopped coming,” said John McFarlane, Basin School District superintendent.Two years ago, an Idaho City resident wanted to give back to the Basin School District. The resident is doing so by donating taxidermy animals — 23 thus far, worth more than $30,000.  “My wife and I are simply looking for a way to give back from a life of work and some success,” said the donor, who wants to remain anonymous.The donor’s four children graduated from Idaho City High. The purpose of the animal donations is to give educators resources to teach wildlife, biology, taxonomy, environment and stewardship. READ MORE
As Thanksgiving looms on the horizon, families are getting ready to gather around the table, share turkey and stuffing and enjoy the company of relatives, not to mention sneaking a look at a minute here and there of football.Libraries, however, have jumped ahead of the Thanksgiving curve, getting into the holiday spirit by offering programs brimming with holiday cheer and library materials containing Thanksgiving recipes, as well as conducting food drives to help the needy enjoy their holiday.The Salt Lake County (Utah) Library System this week is offering live entertainment in the form of a magician who is hosting a family-friendly celebration.  At the Carrollton (Texas) Public Library, two days before Thanksgiving, the doors are open to children of all ages to create a Thanksgiving Day craft.  The Forsyth County Libraries (Georgia) are contributing to the Thanksgiving festivities with “Turkey Day Tales,” stories, songs, and a puppet show. READ MORE
Scott Morris, first floor manager at the St. Louis Public Library, is a librarian who possesses a special insight into the world of veterans.  He is a Marine Corps veteran who grew up in a military family – his mom was a veteran, his dad flew helicopters in Vietnam and he can trace his family’s military background to the Civil War. Morris draws on his expertise as a librarian and his experience as a veteran in conducting a writers workshop for veterans in the area. It is an example of how our nation’s libraries serve our nation’s veterans every day. READ MORE
Gaming and libraries are a natural fit. Libraries provide space for community engagement and collective discovery. Gaming in the library brings together not only peers, but also encourages interaction across generations and provides a way for underserved groups to collaborate with the community at large.On Nov. 19, more than 2,000 libraries around the world will celebrate the 9th annual International Games Day at your library.IGD is an outgrowth of National Games Day, which was started by Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholson in 2007 as part of an attempt to set a world’s record for the number of people playing the same game at the same time at libraries around the world.  National Games Day became IGD in 2012, expanding to all seven continents. IGD  has been celebrated in 53 countries and territories. READ MORE
by Robert Villanueva, courtesy of The News-EnterpriseA few times a month, Eliza­bethtown (KY) resident Kristy Hope Turner can be found at Hardin County Public Library attending crafting classes, making birthday cards or repurposing old books.The activities help her cope with her illnesses, which include a terminal immune system disease.  “When I was diagnosed summer of 2010, I was at death’s door,” Turner said. READ MORE
James Belvedere-Cricket, 74, a Temecula-area homeless man, enjoys his visits to the Grace Mellman Community Library to read the morning paper.  He says he goes at least a couple of times a week and enjoys reading stories about the weather in the cool, air-conditioned facility. He also likes that the library has restrooms he can use.Belvedere-Cricket is one of many homeless people who spend time in libraries in the Inland Empire and across the nation. The facilities, known as places for literacy and study, also have become refuges for the homeless.Julie Todaro, president of the American Library Association, said a growing base of homeless visitors has required libraries across the country to analyze how to better serve those people.It’s also required that libraries address some issues that homeless patrons have at times posed. Though many libraries say a majority of their homeless patrons are like Belevedere-Cricket – law-abiding people looking for resources – some homeless may bring in unwanted problems such as vandalism, drug use and urban camping, which libraries have to meet head-on. READ MORE