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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.

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Health Literacy: The Librarians’ Tool to Address Health Disparities

Implicit bias contributes to health disparities within minority populations and thus affects individual as well as community health. Libraries can be part of the solution by increasing their community’s health literacy, a proven, effective tool in addressing health disparities for vulnerable communities.

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Keeping Things Found

Why is it we always find what we are looking for in the last place we look?

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Upcycling Program Meets the Needs of Two Community Groups

“Helping Hands: Upcycling with Dual Purposes” is an arts and crafts program at the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s (MDPLS) Country Walk Branch Library. This program works to meet the needs of two communities — older adults and homeless populations — at the same time. Patrons socialize at the library while they make sleeping mats from […]

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“My Imagination and I Have Been Through A Lot” – Sofia Lundberg on Her Heartwarming New Novel

Doris, the vibrant nonagenarian at the heart of Sofia Lundberg’s The Red Address Book, lives by herself in her Stockholm apartment, sustained by the weekly Skype sessions with her beloved grand-niece Jenny. Her thick address book stands as a testament to her rollercoaster life, which include stints as a housekeeper for a famous artist in Sweden and a fashion model in 1930’s Paris. Filled with the names of people long passed away, the address book soon becomes a vehicle for Doris to tell Jenny not only the stories of her daring past but also to fill in the gaps of their family’s painful history. What follows is a beautifully rendered love story between great aunt and grand-niece that stretches across continents. The Red Address Book was a hit in its native Sweden, and now readers in the States can fall in love with the book that The New York Times calls “the sort of easy-reading tale that will inspire readers to pull up a comfy chair to the fire, grab a mug of cocoa and a box of tissues and get hygge with it.”

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Story Time at the Laundromat

My sisters and I were yearning for entertainment that was anything other than staring at our laundry spinning in circles over and over again. Occasionally we had books to read but we would have benefited from (and enjoyed!) a story time program put on by local librarians. The Chicago Public Library has done just that for families who spend plenty of their time at laundromats like my family did.

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Supporting Autonomy while Setting Clear Boundaries

As library social workers, we are often asked how to address behaviors in the public library setting. Sometimes this is framed in the question, “How do we address homelessness (insert other social issues) in our libraries?” Despite the fact that people would like an easy answer to that question, there isn’t one, because wrapped up in the question itself are human beings — individuals, people with personal histories they’ve brought to the place they are now, inside your public library.

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Margaret Verble on the Irresistible Main Character at the Heart of her New Novel

In Cherokee America, Margaret Verble crafts a thrilling saga of threatened familial bonds, all centered around an unforgettable character, Cherokee America Singer, also known as “Check.” Ten years after the Civil War has wrecked havoc on the Cherokee Nation West, Check struggles to care for a dying husband while running her family farm. Tensions in her community escalate when a fabled stash of gold goes missing, and Check soon finds herself forced to make nearly impossible decisions to keep her splintering family together. Margaret Verble’s first novel, Maud’s Line, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Cherokee America seems poised to reap similar acclaim, with Publisher’s Weekly hailing it as a “rich, propulsive novel.”

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The Drawbacks of Two-Factor Authentication

John Doe wanted an email address so that he could get a job. According to DMR Business statistics, as of October 26, 2018 there were 1.5 billion Gmail accounts, making Gmail one of the most utilized free email services available. In order to create the Gmail account, he needed to enable two-factor authentication. He borrowed his girlfriend’s cellphone to set this up.

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Eugenia Kim on Capturing the Emotional Impact of Family Stories

Eugenia Kim’s The Kinship of Secrets chronicles the complex and moving story of the Chos, a South Korean family who emigrate to the United States in 1948. Deeming their infant daughter too young for journey, they leave her in the care of family members. Yet when the Korean War breaks out, what was supposed to be a temporary separation unexpectedly stretches into one of many years. Kim traces the journey of the two Cho sisters—Miran in the United States and Inja in South Korea—through the years, gracefully exploring the intricate ties of family and culture. The Kinship of Secrets has been widely praised by critics, with the The Washington Post hailing the book as one that “beautifully illuminate[s] Korea’s past in ways that inform our present.”

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PLA 2019 Early Literacy Activities Calendar

Based on the Every Child Ready to Read practices of reading, writing, singing, talking, playing (and now counting), each download contains twelve months of learning activities, book lists, nursery rhymes, and more.

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New Podcast! Whole Person Librarianship

Our guest for this episode is Sara Zettervall. Sara is the founding consultant and trainer for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She also works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis.

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Libraries Lead with Digital Skills

ALA and Grow with Google launched a national tour of public libraries this week as part of a new partnership to expand resources and services promoting economic opportunity in cities and towns across the country.

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Navigating the Struggles of Life Admin With Elizabeth Emens

Elizabeth Emens’ Life Admin exposes the hidden administrative tasks that consume our daily lives and offers strategies to complete them effectively. Emens interviewed hundreds of people and conducted strategy sessions to probe our relationship to these tasks: who does (or doesn’t) do them, why we rarely talk about them, and how they affect our lives. Her resulting book is a lively exploration on this often stressful topic, providing insight into how we handle these tasks and how best to implement them into our lives.

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Figuring It Out

I’m good with teens and I know why. I listen to them and I don’t talk down to them. I treat them as whole people with complex emotions. I like to joke around with them and I enjoy making them feel like someone is listening. But how do I do this with children? How do I share library space with them in a way that is authentic and in a way that recognizes them as a whole person – even for those who don’t have language yet.