A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Library of Congress Digitizes Vast Teddy Roosevelt Collection

The Roosevelt collection is the  largest presidential archival collection held by the LOC, at 276,000 documents, which have been scanned into 461,000 images. The bulk of the collection was a personal gift from President Roosevelt to Herbert Putnam (Librarian of Congress 1899-1939).

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Reframe Advocacy to Highlight Library’s Essential Services

By not specifically highlighting how the work of public libraries impacts disadvantaged populations we’re simultaneously selling ourselves short, reinforcing the idea that libraries are for some and not all, and slowly but surely digging our own grave. Our advocacy must start getting real about who is using our libraries and for what reasons. A public building is intended for public use, and not just the version of the public that people feel comfortable being around. Our facilities, services, programming and materials should be able to be used by even the most marginalized in our societies. Otherwise we’re not doing our job and assisting in its demise.

colorful book shelves

Picture Book Discussion Group at the Library

Why not host an adult book club focused on picture books?

Lynn Truss Author Photo

Lynne Truss on Not Giving Everything Away, Big Characters, and Being the Cleverest Person in the Room

Lynne Truss is perhaps best known in the U.S. for her lauded book on grammar, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, but with A Shot in the Dark she establishes herself as a gifted comic mystery writer, mixing equal parts Christie with Wodehouse. Based on characters Truss originally created for a series of successful radio dramas, A Shot in the Dark takes place in the seemingly idyllic resort town of Brighton. When a fatuous theater critic is murdered on opening night of a touring theatrical troupe’s play, the idealistic Constable Twitten finds himself embroiled in a crime that stretches back to an infamous bank robbery decades prior. Joined by his lovestruck colleague, Sergeant Brunswick, and the station’s sagacious charlady, Mrs. Groynes, Twitten uses his wits to solve not only the murder, but also ferret out a criminal mastermind who has been hiding in plain sight for years. A darkly comic romp, A Shot in the Dark has been widely met with praise. The Guardian raved, “with plenty of brightly coloured bucket-and-spadery, including ghost trains and Punch and Judy and variety acts, this clever, tongue-in-cheek escapade is a perfect summer read.”

book club sign

Library Book Clubs Can Change Lives

The simplicity behind gathering to talk about a shared story softens feelings of self-doubt. The book and its storyline are the vehicle allowing club members to listen, and be listened to. It is meant to expose feelings through difficult ideas and opposing viewpoints. While talking about fictional characters, real experiences bubble up to the surface. There’s an opening to relate first to the story and then to each other. There is no better way to spread great ideas then when people meet face-to-face. A bookclub is neutral ground, which makes it subtly powerful and influential.

Photo of a child pulling a book from a shelf in a library

Leaving Dewey for BISAC

Four years ago we wrote about our library converting to a BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) organizational structure. We thought it was time to detail what we learned about the experience, especially as we receive plenty of emails asking how it went or would we do it again if we had the opportunity to do everything over.

Calendar with job interview marked on it

What Are Hiring Managers Really Looking for?

Whether you are looking for your first library job or your next library job there are certain details that, if left unattended, can derail your job hunt even before you get called in for the interview. What is it that hiring managers look for in an applicant? How can you be that perfect candidate? Read on to find out!

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Author Photo

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah on Redemption, Unlearning Things, and the Patience of Working Retail

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black is sure to be one of 2018’s most significant books. This stunning collection of short stories thrusts the reader into bizarre and frightening territories, from an all-too-real theme park that commercializes racism to a big box superstore in the throes of Black Friday madness. In each story, Adjei-Brenyah compassionately examines his characters’ plights, fully exploring their humanity with wit and precision. Friday Black has already been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction, and The New York Times Book Review hailed it as “an unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice.”

Illustration of a DJ

Turn the Tables: L.A. County’s DJ Training Program

The DJ training program is nine weeks long and it “teaches teens not just how to remix a song and scratch a record, but also how to market themselves and navigate the business world. Reflecting both today’s changing job market and the interests of teens, the library is beginning to offer more courses around S.T.E.M. — science, technology, engineering, math — and the arts.

illustration of three hands raised

Public Libraries Celebrate the Democratic Ideal

Public libraries face the challenge of providing information and resources about the upcoming election this November but they also engage their communities in civic opportunities and experiences throughout the year.

Tree with a knitted afghan on its branches

Yarn-Bombing the Library

What better way to showcase Barnett’s picture book, our knitting program, and Project Literacy than to “yarn bomb” the library—especially the trees?

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New York Public Library: Serving Looks and Books          

The Riverside Branch of the New York Public Library has added professional fashion accessories to its circulating materials options.

Ling Ma Author Photo

Ling Ma on Mob Mentalities, Boring Typography, and the Apocalypse

Candace Chen is a dedicated office drone in the publicity department of a big-time publishing house, deftly negotiating contracts for the novelty Bibles her company churns out year after year. Only when a society-erasing plague, a mysterious fever that rends its victims into a zombie-like existence, wipes out most of her co-workers does Candace reluctantly […]

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Managing Your Workplace Relationships

Is it ever okay to treat your colleagues like family?

Cover of Quick Reads book

New in Quick Reads Series — PLA 2018: Ten Essential Programs

PLA 2018: Ten Essential Programs consists of ten articles highlighting educational programs that took place at the PLA 2018 Conference. Filled with instruction, advice, and knowledge from some of the field’s more innovative thinkers, the publication covers everything from serving persons experiencing homelessness in your makerspace to reaching children with barriers to access to anti-racist librarianship and more.