MURPHYSBORO, IL - The woman moves among the rows and rows of books lining four tables and some covered chairs in the room, sometimes taking an armful to a table near the door where she's placing her stash of soft- and hardcovers.Her hand delves into a pile, and she pulls out a peach, hard-covered book — "Strip Tease" by Carl Hiaasen — expressing her delight that she's found another version of the book, as the one in her own library is falling apart. She quickly adds that the 1993 New York Times bestseller is not about strip-teasing; the book is a crime novel about a single mother who takes up exotic dancing to make enough money to gain custody of her daughter."I left it on the shelf, 'cause it was a popular request," she said of the tattered book back on her library shelf.  As soon as she picks that one up, she picks up another book with the word "Lipstick" in the title.  "Sounds like something they may be interested in — (or) they may not," she said. "It's trial and error."The woman, who asked that her name not be used, has served as a librarian for three years at one of the state's prisons in Southern Illinois, and this day is shopping at Murphysboro's Sallie Logan Library for mostly used, occasionally new, books for the library that she oversees. She expects to take about eight boxes full of books back to her prison library. The Thursday morning outing is so ideal for her because she said she runs a library with no budget for purchasing new books or materials for her patrons, prisoners ages "18 to 80," who read a high school and higher level. READ MORE
To some, a library visit may conjure up mental images of dusty shelves and a boring assignment.  However, Carmel (CA) High School Librarian Terri Ramos and artist Carolyn Martens worked to make visiting the CHS library colorful and inviting.Ramos and Martens came up with ideas to represent the 10 areas of the Dewey Decimal System through art. Martens sketched out each idea and then painted 12 panels to be hung across available space in the library.“We have this great, big space that’s kind of blank, and we wanted something that would pull students in and help them understand Dewey and the different areas they can explore in nonfiction,” Ramos said. “I approached Carolyn, who had done some work for the elementary and middle schools, and I thought she would be perfect to bring to life what I had in my head.” READ MORE
Dona Helmer is a school librarian who realizes that what happens at her library influences the world beyond it.Tamara Ramsey, a teacher at College Gate Elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska, who nominated Helmer, school librarian, for the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award, said, “Dona feels that libraries and learning are for life. She works hard to help all our students understand that everything can be enhanced by going to the library for help. The library is larger than just a room.”Helmer has worked with second-grade teachers on a Farm to School program. The second graders learn how to find recipes and nutritional information on the Internet. They also take field trips to the Alaska Botanical Garden and receive instruction from guests about plants and soil, as well as learn about Alaskan home grown vegetables.The program also sharpens their cooking skills, with the second-grade chefs receiving a crock pot so they can practice at home with their families.  Ramsey said, “The program is awesome and Dona does the bulk of the work—she finds the grants, organizes the bus, finds the speakers and gets the crockpots and vegetables.”Ramsey said Helmer is an integral part of the educational team at Golden Gate, saying that one sixth-grade teacher said Helmer is more than the school librarian – “she is a curriculum innovator.” READ MORE
by Erika Aguilar, courtesy of KPCCThe homeless use public libraries like many patrons do — to access information, use the Internet and learn, but they come with everyday needs that the average library user does not have.Homeless people visit the libraries to escape harsh weather, get fresh drinking water, and use the bathroom and electricity, which push libraries to provide services that are not part of their intended mission. READ MORE
by Steve ZaluskyAs parents and caregivers strive to give their children the best education, they are finding valuable support from their library. This is especially true for children living in poverty or from low-income homes.But libraries are also involving the entire family in the journey of lifelong learning. READ MORE
by Patti Verbanas, courtesy of Rutgers TodayMegan Lotts is not a “shushing” librarian.In fact, the Rutgers University librarian rather delights in the noise, conversation and mess at the Lego playing station she installed in the center of the university’s Art Library: It means that people are solving problems and learning to work as a team. READ MORE
by Steve ZaluskyIf you’re a student at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, chances are you have met Doug the Librarian.Perhaps you have seen the posters splashed with his bearded visage, accompanied by the slogan, “Go see Doug.” Or perhaps you have encountered him in your dormitory.As his colleague Sheri Broyles wrote about Campbell, librarian at the school’s Willis Library, when she nominated him for the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award, “Doug isn’t just any librarian. He’s ‘Doug the Librarian,’ an affectionate title bestowed upon him by students across our 37,000-student campus. His passion is helping students solve problems, and he’s the trusted guide our students go to when they’re lost.”For Campbell, it isn’t enough to connect with students – he has gone out of his way to share his life with them – he spent a year living in a dorm as the Resident Librarian.  His commitment to the students Doug is embedded in his very skin – his first tattoo displays the Beta Phi Mu symbol along with the legend “ALIIS INSERVIENDO CONSUMOR,” Latin for “Consumed in the Service of Others.” READ MORE
The term “sharing economy” became popularized during the Great Recession but libraries have used a sharing model for millennia. Today, libraries intersect with the sharing economy in a number of ways, from breaking barriers in the types of resources exchanged to the use of technology to broker the sharing. Whether economic necessity or a new form of community building, the sharing economy shows no signs of slowing down. How this plays out in libraries across the country is a reflection of the diverse needs and wishes of the communities served. READ MORE
Libraries are essential in providing equitable access to digital resources for their communities.  Being born into the digital age does not guarantee access to digital technology; consequently, what exactly it means to come of age as a “digital native” is up for interpretation. Clearly, however, young people think differently about information: how to find it; how to assess it; how to share it; and how to create it. This poses challenges and opportunities for libraries to reach younger patrons in new and compelling ways. READ MORE
by Kaitlyn Krasselt, courtesy of The HourMary Ann MacLachlan considers herself a bit of a “library rat.”  When she’s not working or taking classes, the Norwalk woman said she often visits libraries in communities along Connecticut’s Gold Coast, depending where her errands take her. READ MORE