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Jessica Long Author Photo

Jessica Long on Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Jessica Long was born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, a medical condition that required the amputation of both legs below the knee. She was adopted by a family in Maryland, and quickly developed her spectacular gift for swimming. At age twelve, she was the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic team, winning three gold medals. Over the past four Paralympic games, she’s won twenty-three medals, and is currently training to compete in her fifth games in Tokyo in 2020. With her sister Hannah, Long has written a photo-illustrated memoir, Unsinkable, which details not only her triumphs in the pool, but also the more personal moments of her journey, such as reconnecting with her birth family in 2012. Booklist gave Unsinkable a starred review, calling it “inspirational on so many levels, . . .a great addition for middle school collections.”

Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century – A New Library Service Model

Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century focuses on library service to entrepreneurs and “solopreneurs” — individuals who operate a business completely on their own. Caity Rietzen, Gillian Robbins, and Caitlin Seifritz, librarians in the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, authored the publication.

Little kids eating apples

Summer Feeding Can Mean Summer Reading

If kids are hungry, they can’t read. This summer, millions of kids do not have a reliable food source to replace school lunch. Getting a tchotchke as an incentive for reading is pretty worthless if you’re too hungry to read.

illustration of a figure in a cap and gown holding a diploma-like scroll

Get Your High School Diploma at Your Local Library

Libraries have long helped students study for their GED, and now a program allows adults seeking a high school education an alternate path to their diploma.

collage of comic book covers

Comics at the Library of Congress

Recently, the Library of Congress received its largest donation of comic books and pop-culture memorabilia.

illustration of two figures in disagreement

Communication and Conflict Resolution at the Library

About a month ago, I attended a conflict resolution workshop hosted by the National Conflict Resolution Center. I went in with the idea that I would learn skills that would help me deal with difficult customers. I mean, who else would I have conflicts with? Little did I know that the workshop would prove valuable in every aspect of my life, professional and personal.

person reading in on a blanket in grass with straw hat on lap

New York Public Library’s #ReadingIsLit Campaign

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is taking advantage of summer reading to push their #ReadingIsLit campaign with HBO. The partnership celebrates the written word and encourages people to “read, talk about, and enjoy all things literary.” In a time when TV shows based on books are seeing great popularity, the timing couldn’t be better.

person speaking into a phone microphone

New Expectations for Search Functionality Bring Challenges

In the past few weeks I’ve come across two articles that predict the imminent rise of voice-searching as the preferred method to seek information. My immediate reaction was a sinking feeling of discouragement when I consider how clunky searching for library materials already feels, let alone how it would feel if this new expectation comes […]

Megan Flaherty Author Photo

Meghan Flaherty on Dancing Back and Writing Herself Back into Tango

Megan Flaherty’s heartfelt Tango Lessons details how a passing interest in tango turned into a full-fledged passion for the author when she was in her early twenties. With levity and grace, Flaherty guides the reader through the history of the dance, as well as the world of nightly prácticas and ballroom dance competitions. Flaherty also writes candidly about how the dance helped her confront face traumatic events from her childhood and issues in her relationships. Tango Lessons has been highly praised by the literary community, with Kirkus Reviews calling it “a vibrantly intelligent reading pleasure” and Pulitzer Prize-winner Margo Jefferson hailing Flaherty as “entertaining, thoughtful, and trustworthy because her self-examination—doubts, insecurities, grief—is never self-indulgent.”

security guard descending an escalator

The Growler

We have all experienced the public’s perception that libraries are quiet peaceful places, in which staff merely sit around and read.  This idyllic image is frequently presumed about my library as we are relatively small and rural.  Although we have had some significant incidents, such as the elderly gentlemen who drove his car six feet into our building, these are infrequent and we are thankful that we do not often experiences the challenges that some of our more urban colleagues face daily. Still, we are not immune.

image of an apple

Feeding the Body and the Mind – Library Summer Feeding Programs

What was once a fledgling experiment taking place in a few public libraries across the country has now become a mainstream success. Through summer feeding programs, public libraries are finding new ways to serve and engage their communities, while also contributing to the fight to end food insecurity, and pulling new audiences into their libraries.

image of pages from old book

Rare Book Thefts Among Us

So, while investigations are quietly underway for recent thefts, what about unsolved book mysteries from 20, 30, 40 or 80 years ago? We can only speculate what public treasures are waiting to be discovered in hidden safes, basements, trunks and cardboard boxes around the world.

illustration of teens in a circle at desks

Educating Tweens/Teens about Substance Use

By: Lydia N. Collins, Consumer Health Coordinator, NNLM Middle Atlantic Region, University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System, Pittsburgh, PA  Historically, public libraries exist within communities and work to support, improve and sustain the individuals who live in their neighborhoods. The ultimate goal of all public libraries is to help build capacity for individuals in […]

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Winner Selected in PL Readers’ Choice Contest

The winner of the Readers Choice vote for the Honorable Mention award is Kyra Hahn, for her article, “Public Service Loan Forgiveness – The Struggle to Qualify is Real.”

white ear buds on pink background

Five Recommended Pop-Culture Podcasts

I am surprised how much I like podcasts. I was never a fan of audiobooks, and therefore thought I would never get into podcasts either. And, if you are anything like me, constantly short on time, podcasts will keep you up to date and informed, all on your schedule.