A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
PUblic Libraries JanFeb 2020 EDISJ Matters column header

The Movement Toward Equity

As PLA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (EDISJ) begins its fourth year, Public Libraries is please to debut a new column on EDISJ topics.

Public Libraries march/april 2020 EDISJ Matters Column Head

Hire EDISJ

One of the most significant shifts that we’ve seen in the development of public library roles is the creation of positions with a targeted focus on supporting and moving forward equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ). The development of EDISJ-specific positions provides powerful signaling that centering this work is a priority—a critical and necessary step towards truly embodying the idea that everyone is welcome at the library.

Public Libraries (magazine) March/April 2020 (issue) Opinion

Reader [R]evolution

I’m going to propose what some may see as a radical departure from current library culture, while others may scoff at it as old-fashioned: The most important part of your library is your readers, both on your staff and in your patron base. The symbiotic relationship between the building that provides storage for a host of knowledge and entertainment and the librarians in charge of that building has been lost.

Steph Cha author photo

“Exploring Innocence in its Many Forms” — A Conversation with Steph Cha

In Steph Cha’s compassionate and devastating Your House Will Pay, a shocking crime uproots the lives of two very different Californians. Grace Park exists in a world of ordered routine, living with her parents in the Valley and working in their family-owned pharmacy. In nearby Palmdale, Shawn Matthews’ quiet life of family contentment is forever […]

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Digital Access during Covid-19

While library buildings are closed, staff work to extend broadband and Wi-Fi access.

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Libraries Contemplate Re-Opening

Months into the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has cost thousands of lives and brought the world to a halt, public libraries are doing what we do best: looking toward the future we hope to build together.

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Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individual trauma results from an event, a series of events, or a set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

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Serving Patrons In Your Makerspace Who Are Experiencing Homelessness

Does your library offer makerspace programming? Do the offerings extend to adults? If no, why not? Libraries are better positioned than commercial or nonprofit spaces to give all adults access to technology like 3D printing and advanced design software. Your makerspace will serve the population that has the most time and desire to be there: mobile workers, the unemployed, and people experiencing homelessness, for example.

image of an american flag with the words U.S. citizenship and immigration services above it in gold

Welcome to the United States – Naturalization Ceremonies at Your Public Library

In the past four years, HPL has hosted two naturalization ceremonies and found them to be a natural outgrowth of our service and a stellar opportunity to partner positively with the federal government.

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Mindfulness in Times of Extreme Stress

The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are relevant personally and professionally as we continue to live in the upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are enduring a collective trauma. What does this mean for us physically, physiologically, and mentally?

Author Photo of Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth on Reluctant Heroes and Doing What the Book Demands

Sloane Andrews was one of “The Chosen Ones,” five teenagers who used their magical powers to save the world from the Dark Lord. Ten years later, she’s a husk of her teenage self, battling PTSD and apathetic about what direction her life should take. When one of the Chosen Ones unexpectedly dies shortly after the ten-year anniversary of the Dark Lord’s defeat, Sloane finds herself pulled into yet another battle to save the world, one that will call into question everything she has experienced before. Veronica Roth, who surged to success with her Divergent series, has here conjured another arresting world, filled with world-weary heroes making bold, adult choices. Chosen Ones is one of the most eagerly awaited titles of the spring, and has already been labeled a Best Book of April from Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Literary Hub.

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Engaging with Patrons via Social Media

We’re learning how to connect with patrons on the fly. Here are a few ways my library is keeping our patrons informed and entertained on social media.

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Understanding the Community as a Librarian and a Neighbor

Food insecurity, a concern faced by many communities, has intensified in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Collaborative Resource Sharing in Difficult Times

As libraries shutter their doors and send staff to work from home during this crisis, many are scrambling to still offer content, virtually, to their communities. These tips will help you find high-quality and engaging content to share, as we all shelter this storm.

Author Photo of Ibram Kendi

Ibram Kendi on Transforming Oneself to Transform Society

National Book Award winner Ibram Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist is a valuable (and highly readable) resource for readers looking to dismantle the racist structures in their lives and communities. Kendi rigorously examines the many ways racism is interwoven into the fabric of our daily existence, and then leads readers through his personal journey of deconstructing the racism present in his own life. An invigorating memoir as well as a fascinating exploration of our country’s history, How Ro Be An Antiracist has been showered with praise by critics. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the Best Books of 2019, and Publishers Weekly hailed it as “a boldly articulated, historically informed explanation of what exactly racist ideas and thinking are.”