A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Religion Versus Theology in Library Programming

While the series is on the topic of religion, we are not engaging in religious programming, but theological programming. That is, we are pursuing an academic discourse on the nature of belief in the divine and the various rituals that might display this belief for particular groups. 

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The Opioid Crisis and Administering Narcan in Libraries

The opioid crisis in our country is no longer confined to dark alleys or areas beneath bridges and overpasses. This unfortunate tragedy has found its way into public libraries and many public librarians across the country are now trained to administer Naloxone, “a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.” Make no mistake about it, the library staff at the McPherson library is saving lives and they are proud of their lifesaving work and dedication to their community.

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Women’s Liberation Movement Archives and More at The Feminist Library

The Feminist Library wants to be a force for good, a living breathing space with a growing collection of work that reflects the diversity of the movement we serve. We want feminists to support the library, and use it, thereby contributing to a movement as determined as ever to bring about total liberation from the forces of oppression, exploitation and hierarchy. We want feminists to send us their work so that ideas can be shared freely with the whole movement; and to use our space. We need feminists to rally behind the library and actively support us, so that together we can ensure that the Feminist Library continues to thrive, and so that we can preserve a vibrant network of feminist publishing and activism long into the future.

Fun Palace notice that library will be noisy during event

“I Didn’t Expect to See That at the Library” – Fun Palace Engages Community

On October 7, 2017, the Huntington City-Township Public Library became the first public library in the United States to host a Fun Palace. During the weekend, the library was filled with activities led by community members. At different stations inside and outside the library building, you could learn how to start your family tree, paint like Jackson Pollock, discover Dungeons & Dragons, ballet, ride a bike, cross-stritch, hula dance, stretch your body, decorate cakes, paint rocks, and much, much more. According to Devon Henderson, the library “ended up with 68 volunteers, 24 unique activity stations and over 500 in attendance.”

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How to Write a Monthly Report That Stakeholders Will Actually Read

The idea of monthly reports may conjure an image of long blocks of dry text and enough numbers to make your head spin. Equally boring for both the reader and the writer, these serious, lengthy reports often do little to convey your organization’s successes; the more dense they are, the less trustees and other stakeholders are likely to read them. If no one is reading them, is your library’s story really being told?

illustrations of various items that libraries are now lending (seeds, tools, sewing machines, etc.)

Community Connections and Creating a Library of Things

The idea is to lend things that people need, so they won’t have to buy them. A Library of Things helps to reduce consumption and waste while providing access to many items people may not be able to purchase.

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Andrea Kleine on Epic Quests, Coping Strategies, and Dismantling the Traditional Narrative of the Artist

When Hope and Eden’s father forgets to pick them up for one of their weekend custody visits, the two teenagers accept a ride from a stranger who soon proves to be far more dangerous than he appears. Twenty years later, Hope is an adrift playwright in New York when she finds out that her abductor is up for parole. Hope sets off to find the now estranged Eden in hopes of convincing her to testify against him, and the resulting quest not only exposes painful truths from her past, but also uncovers insights into her present. Andrea Kleine’s Eden is a riveting character study that has been met with rave reviews. Vanity Fair stated “the mystery of Eden unfolds across America with humor and some clever detective work, combining a page-turner with a moving meditation on the limitations of family amidst trauma” and NYLON hailed it as “a devastating, revelatory examination of trauma, memory, creation, and the ways in which we define ourselves according to our experiences.”

Keith O'Brien Author Photo

Keith O’Brien on the Radical Lives of Five Incredible Pilots

Keith O’Brien’s Fly Girls uncovers an overlooked period of aviation, exploring the lives of five disparate female pilots from the 1920s and 30s. Through exhaustive research and sweeping prose, O’Brien brings these remarkable stories to life, recounting the risks these women faced on and off the airfield. Critics have heaped praise upon the book, with The New York Times noting that “O’Brien’s prose reverberates with fiery crashes, then stings with the tragedy of lives lost in the cockpit and sometimes, equally heartbreaking, on the ground” and The Wall Street Journal stating that “O’Brien has recovered a fascinating chapter not just in feminism and aviation but in 20th-century American history.”

Fitting Fitness into Library Programming

Libraries around the country have incorporated fitness into their collections and programming offerings, and these programs are often met with enthusiasm from patrons.  However, it’s not always easy to get a fitness program off the ground.

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Preparing for Transitions at the Library

Our Friends president was very good. She gave us a year’s notice and immediately started setting up meetings and making lists. But it has still been a difficult transition and one from which I have taken several lessons, not only about future Friends, but things to aid in what will inevitably be my own transition.

Fence with door that says Refugees Welcome

Welcoming the Refugee – Best Practices to Help the Displaced

Refugees seek a safe and welcoming space to call home. Public libraries can offer support for transition to a new country. Libraries Serve Refugees and Project Welcome are two online spaces where librarians share information and best practices to meet these unique needs.

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New Podcast! The Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center

Our guest is Elizabeth Fitzgerald, director of the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Culinary Literacy Center is the first kitchen classroom in a public library in the United States. Here we discuss the Culinary Literacy Center, why culinary literacy is important, how libraries can offer this type of programming, and more.

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New Podcast! Social Workers in Public Libraries – Serving Persons Experiencing Homelessness

We talk with Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library, Elissa Hardy about the emerging trend of employing social workers in public libraries, serving persons experiencing homelessness at the library, making the library an inclusive space, training library staff, and related issues.

up close photo of a 3-D printer

Congressman Crist Experiences Clearwater Library’s Maker Power

The zipping and whirling of a 3D printer welcomed U.S. Representative Charlie Crist to the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library’s Maker Studios in mid-July. The bright blue plastic filament was steadily building the 700th print job submitted by patrons at the Innovation Studio – one of five makerspaces at the Main Library. During Rep. Crist’s visit, the Clearwater Maker Studios showcased some of the ways libraries around the country are adapting to the growing technology, business, and creative needs of their communities through the creation of makerspaces.

Melissa Stephenson

Melissa Stephenson on the Daunting Task of Getting the Story Down

Melissa Stephenson’s powerful memoir, Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride To Heartbreak and Back, traces her relationship with her beloved brother, who died by suicide, by cataloging the various cars from her life. With extreme compassion and biting humor, Stephenson recounts her various relationships with family members, as well as the wanderlust that launched her from her small hometown in Indiana.