by John Windhausen, courtesy of American LibrariesOn June 14, the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality ruling across the board. The latest ruling is a significant victory for the American Library Association (ALA), libraries, and public access to the open internet. READ MORE
by Chris Smith, courtesy of the Press DemocratIn Santa Rosa (CA) there’s a beauty of a free-to-all library that you might never have noticed, though it’s been around for 125 years.  It’s the sort of library you may not need until you really do, a library of the sort that many may miss dearly should budgetary troubles cause it to go away. READ MORE
by John Hammel, courtesy of The Red & BlackWhen Alvin Dye took his son to the Athens-Clarke County (GA) Library Sunday, he may have expected to check out a book or two, but he certainly didn’t expect to have his son’s bicycle fixed.  BikeAthens, a local bicycle advocacy group, gathered outside the library to offer free bicycle safety checks, repairs and helmets. READ MORE
by Indiana Nash, courtesy of Your NiskayunaA quiet humming sound now fills one corner of the media center at Niskayuna (NY) High School.  It isn’t coming from students quietly chattering or finishing up last-minute projects.  In a shaded back corner of the media center, at the heart of the buzzing, thousands of honeybees have recently found a home. READ MORE
Fandom provides opportunities to explore, celebrate and gather around a particular creative work, team or trend. It is often associated with science fiction and fantasy but fandom can encompass anything that generates a devoted base of followers. As repositories of literature, movies, sound recordings and realia, libraries have found a number of ways to align fandom with programming and services that advance their commitments to literacy, inquiry and community. READ MORE
There’s a slab of concrete near the loading dock behind Central Library in downtown Madison. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but it’s conveniently located right next to a vent that blows out hot air from the library. For those without anywhere else to go, it’s a desirable spot on a chilly night.It was on this slab of concrete that library staff members happened upon a woman and her two children. The family had been using the spot as a place to sleep when the weather began to turn more frigid last fall.Fearing the family was in danger of getting run over by a truck, library staffers worked with the woman to help locate housing for her and the children.“They did find housing for her. It took a little while, maybe a couple of weeks, but they eventually found housing for her,” said Lisa Mettauer, an outreach librarian at Central Library. “It was heartbreaking because the kids were young and they were sick, and it was very difficult to see that.”Though this sort of work may not be what one expects out of a library, it has become a point of emphasis for Madison Public Library in recent years. The system offers a host of free programs and support services aimed at helping struggling adults and their families. As a result, the library was recently named a winner of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. READ MORE
The public, school or academic library in your area may seem far removed from the Beltway, but the fact remains that legislators in Washington, D.C., through their decisions, create ripples that reach right to your library’s threshold.Copyright, funding for literacy programs, ensuring the presence of certified librarians in schools, privacy and surveillance and net neutrality are some of the issues facing federal scrutiny that affect libraries.Advocates are needed to inform and influence legislators about issues that are critically important to librarians. And since they will depend on library services for decades to come, it is critically important as well that teens and young adults get prepared to speak on behalf of libraries to their members of Congress. Equally important is getting the message across in language they can understand. READ MORE
by Christopher Shaffer, courtesy of American LibrariesIn February, Troy (Ala.) University Dean of Library Services Christopher Shaffer brought fitness to the ­libraries when he made available six exercise bikes for student use. The endeavor made national headlines. Here, Shaffer explains his motivations, the bikes’ reception, and plans for the future. READ MORE
Sylvia Cieply believes that reading can make a difference. Her proving ground is Orange County Juvenile Hall, where Cieply, one of the 10 winners of the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award, serves as school librarian.  Cieply, who directs the Otto A. Fischer School Library, located inside the juvenile hall, has changed the culture at the library.Her nominator, Dave Busch, alluded to Cervantes in characterizing her approach to running the library. He said that after Cieply took over in December, 2010, “Sylvia handled her new assignment with aplomb,” bringing nine years of experience to the program. “The first credentialed teacher librarian to run the library program, her quest to bring a love of reading is quixotic considering our student body.”The result, he said, was the transformation of the collection that broadens the thinking of her students and exposes them to positive choices they may not have considered.  The collection has been upgraded to include a variety of faiths and philosophies; money management; career and college choices; LGBT themes; travel; art and YA series.She explained her philosophy to the Orange County Register, “When students are able to find something they want to read in a collection that’s really diverse and has a lot of different viewpoints and genres, it’s very beneficial. It helps them find a reading level they want; it helps their writing, and it helps their fluency.” READ MORE
Community members of all ages learn programming with the assistance of Westport (Connecticut) Library’s winsome instructors, Nancy and Vincent. Nancy and Vincent are child-size robots designed by French company Alderban, and they’ve taken Westport’s commitment to integrating technology to a whole new level. Whether sharing soccer moves, doing tai chi, talking to patrons, or patiently accommodating the instructions of novice coders, Nancy and Vincent have charmed the community and sparked interest in computer programming. READ MORE