A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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5 Tips for Teaching Tech to Seniors

Social media platforms and electronic devices coupled with online forms, shopping websites, streaming media services, and a host of other items native to Millennial and Gen Z patrons can be daunting to those who grew up without computers and smartphones.

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Making Changes as a New Library Employee

We aren’t saying you have to make a ton of changes in a new job immediately but we believe it is not necessary to wait until your first anniversary to enact some changes.

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Embedded Librarianship: From Laundromats to Zumba Class

I first learned about embedded librarianship in public libraries at the PLA 2014 conference in Indianapolis. There at the program “Creative Community Connections,” librarians from Colorado and Ohio shared their story of embedding library staff in community institutions outside of the library. The panelists defined embedded librarians as those who “attend meetings and events hosted […]

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Incident Report Writing: A Person-in-Incident Approach

Incident report writing can be intimidating. Something big has happened at the library, and now you have to document it so that staff across your entire system can access the report. And someday your report might even be pulled in a records request for use in court? Talk about pressure!

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Winter Reading Programs For Adults

Winter reading programming for adults can be a fun way to help your community beat the winter doldrums, encourage reading habits, improve relationships with patrons and further familiarize them with the library and its resources.

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Defining the “Relevance Narrative” in Library Media Coverage

When we validate the premise that libraries and librarians must immediately do something different (presumably, something “new”) to avoid disappearing, we are effectively starting from a point of diminished value.

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Working Alongside Robots at the Library

It is difficult enough to compete with other qualified candidates who are human – but, with increasing automation, do librarians have to worry about being replaced by robots?

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The Cost of Museum Passes

Without museum passes at the public library, how many economically-challenged individuals will not get to experience a museum’s collection and the knowledge it brings them?

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Lori Gottlieb on Our Relationship to Happiness

Perhaps you know Lori Gottlieb from her popular “Ask a Therapist” column in The Atlantic, or her previous bestsellers Marry Him and Stick Figure. In her compassionate and emotionally generous new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Gottlieb reveals a new side of herself when she pulls back the curtain of a therapist’s world. Part memoir and part case study, the book shifts between Gottlieb’s sessions with five different patients as well as her own work with her therapist, prompted by an unexpected crisis that upended her life. The result is a humane and empathetic exploration of six disparate characters struggling to take control of their lives as they journey back to happiness.

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Basic Literacy a Crucial Aspect of Public Library Service

Can public libraries really claim that they are informing and enriching individuals by supporting the development of literacy and lifelong learning if our citizens keep failing to meet basic literacy levels?

By the Book – Muslims in Story

Our book is a must-have for librarians whose communities do not have any Muslim children. It will help them learn more about Muslims and educate the communities they serve as well. For example, many of the books curated in our “Muslim Kids as Heroes” booklist showcase universal stories that anyone can relate to. Books and resources listed in our book would help all children to empathize and find common ground with Muslims.

seniors at computers with instructor

Tips for Teaching and Troubleshooting Technology

“That’s okay, we’re all learning. Let’s see if we can figure this out together.” Starting with this message creates a safe space for the patron, and helps to manage their expectations. Moreover, it shows that it’s okay not to know everything—technology is an arena in which we all need to explore and problem-solve.

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Alex Kotlowitz on Underestimating the Effects of Violence and the Stories that Knocked Him Off Balance

Alex Kotlowitz’s An American Summer focuses on the effects of gun violence on the lives of different Chicago residents in the summer of 2013. Kotlowitz spent four years following various inhabitants of the city’s South Side, using his prodigious research skills to examine the insidious and long-lasting reach that violence has on these people’s lives. The result is an unblinking look at the trauma enacted by gun violence, as well as a testament to the tenacity and courage of the Chicago’s most vulnerable citizens. An American Summer adds to Kotlowitz’s already impressive roster of works of journalism, including The Other Side of the River and There Are No Children Here, which was listed by The New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. The New York Times Book Review called An American Summer “a powerful indictment of a city and a nation that have failed to protect their most vulnerable residents,” while NPR.org hailed it as “a painful chronicle about an extremely violent city based on the narratives of those who managed to survive its streets.”

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Family Literacy – A Holistic Approach to Lifelong Learning and Student Success

It can be tough to plan programs to engage the whole family. Research shows parent involvement means better learning outcomes for our kids. And the public library is an ideal community space for these types of programs.

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PLA Seeks Columnists for Public Libraries Magazine

The Public Library Association (PLA) is seeking persons interested in serving as regular column editors for the association’s official magazine.