Articles

From local practices to national policies, there is growing acknowledgement that becoming an adult is a process, not just a date on a calendar. This concept is rooted in research that identifies a unique stage of physiological and social development between the ages of 18 and 25, known as Emerging Adulthood.1 It also reflects the challenges of a post-recession reality in which young adults often delay leaving their parents’ homes and health insurance policies.Libraries have responded to the concept of Emerging Adulthood in two major ways. First is the growth of educational programming that builds individual capacity, commonly referred to as “adulting.” A necessary step towards growing up is learning how to survive independently and, with a plethora of resources and deep connections to the community, libraries are well positioned to support that step. READ MORE
The Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library is named after NASA astronaut Theodore Cordy “Ted” Freeman, who died after his T-38 jet crashed in 1964.  The name reflects Clear Lake City’s status as home to the NASA Johnson Space Center.But the library, which belongs to the Harris County Public Library system in the Houston area, shows that NASA doesn’t corner the market on innovation.  That innovative spirit is palpable at the library’s Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab, where the library connects in meaningful ways with the community it serves. READ MORE
by Annette Shannahan, courtesy of Iowa City Press-CitizenHistorical societies and libraries provide many different types of documented information for their patrons. READ MORE
Will Torrence, a librarian at the South Philadelphia (PA) branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, offers far more than books to the local community. He fields questions all day long, a third of which are about health issues. He listens  to patrons, who often come to the library when they are in need—or even in crisis—and he tries to improvise solutions to their most pressing challenges. “We can’t do everything, but every bit of help we can give makes a difference,” he says. READ MORE
Andrea Bernard will go out of her way to serve her library patrons.  Just ask Stephen Ferguson, her nominator for a 2016 I Love My Librarian Award.  Ferguson said he lives alone on a dirt road in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. After undergoing major spinal surgery, he was housebound for four months.“Throughout the winter, in all kinds of weather, my librarian, Andrea Bernard, brought me an endless supply of books, driving her personal vehicle after library hours. Because Andrea takes a personal interest in all of her patrons, she knew just what books to bring me.” READ MORE
Perhaps no audience is more important during Black History Month than our nation’s youth, who will tend the flame of that history for future generations.An encouraging sign for the perpetuation of that legacy was the plaudits recently earned by civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis for “March: Book Three,” written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. The book captured an unprecedented four Youth Media Awards, including one of the prestigious Coretta Scott King Book Awards, at the annual ceremony held by the American Library Association in January in Atlanta.The Youth Media Awards, held each year at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, illustrate the important role librarians play in promoting the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults. Committees of librarians choose the winners and honor recipients of 19 major awards, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards. READ MORE
Judith John dropped out of high school 20 years ago, but Thursday she stood before her classmates and family, clad in blue cap and gown, to celebrate meeting a milestone.She and 20 others this year became the first class to graduate from Broward County (FL) Library. The program, piloted last year at 11 libraries in the state, offers scholarships to people like John to earn accredited high school diplomas through online coursework."This is great big world and it's waiting for you to conquer it," John told her colleagues at the graduation ceremony at the North Regional/Broward College Library. "And just in case you don't think so, take another look at your diploma and shout 'I did this!'"Career Online High School was developed in 2012 to offer a second chance to drop-outs long removed from the education system and afraid to turn back. In 2014, it was adapted for public libraries by Gale, a division of Cengage Learning focused on libraries.In Florida, it is being offered by libraries including North Miami Beach, Martin County and is expanding to 17 other systems, including the Boynton Beach City Library. More than 215 students have enrolled statewide, said Kristina Massari, spokesperson for Cengage. READ MORE
Elissa Checov’s vision extends beyond her library at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.  That vision is the reason she received one of the 2016 I Love My Librarian awards.Her nominator for the award, Brian Wren, said Checov rejects the notion that the library is merely “a repository for old books and ideas struggling to keep up with the accessibility of information on the internet.”  She makes sure her library is a magnet for students – a place where they can engage with each other and develop their skills with the latest technology.One sees the difference when one enters the library. She redesigned the entrance to give the space more of a lounge feel. Students are welcomed into a commons area with comfortable seating and themed displays that encourage them to interact socially and collaborate on projects.Surveying the library, one is struck by the sight of students diligently working on library computers and laptops and occupying carrels and conference rooms.  Headcounts reveal anywhere from 45 to 75 people occupying the library throughout the day, with the library often filled by 9 a.m. READ MORE
While closely linked to the millennial generation, the “fast casual” concept, in fact, has much broader reach: easily accessible and fresh ingredients are two of its hallmarks that have wide appeal; opportunities for social connection around eating further boost its popularity. Librarians have developed innovative ways to bring the fast casual experience into the library space. Partnerships are central to the success of those efforts and, not surprisingly, libraries offer a variety of fast casual models to meet their community’s needs. READ MORE

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