A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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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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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.

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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.”

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COVID-19: The Impact on Public Libraries

Public libraries hustle to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.


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New Podcast! EDISJ with Jessica Bratt

Our guest is Jessica Bratt, Youth Services Manager at the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Library. Jessica began the DigiBridge partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, and received national recognition as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She writes reviews for library trade publications, serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Library Association, and on the ALA 2019 Coretta Scott […]

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Resisting “Vocational Awe” During the Pandemic

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s time to reexamine questions: Is vocational awe harming us? Is it harming the profession? Is it harming the public?

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Building a More Empathetic Library Culture

In these times of great uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, empathy is a valuable skill in libraries. No matter our position or job title, we all have opportunities to lead, and can utilize this crisis to build more empathetic cultures within our organizations.

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Combating Stress During Times of Crisis

The same vocational awe that leads us to a career of tirelessly connecting people with free and equal access to information, resources, and each other, can lead to inevitable burnout under normal circumstances. In times of crisis, when environmental stressors abound, we must be especially careful not to forget that in order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves.

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Work Really Hard and Be Kind

To find a job when I was done earning my degree, I knew I would have to go above and beyond – I had to work really hard, and be kind. And spoiler alert: it worked.

Voting at the Library

Registering voters and serving as a polling place is one way libraries “live the mission.” Although state and local voting laws vary, many areas allow and even require public libraries to serve as voter registration sites and polling locations. Madison Public Library in Wisconsin is among them. “All 9 of our library locations serve as […]

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The Census Starts in Two Weeks

Are You Ready for Patron Questions? On March 12, millions of American households will begin receiving mailings inviting them to respond to the 2020 Census. To get an accurate count, everyone has to respond – if they don’t, our libraries and communities will lose needed funding. As the mailings arrive, and especially with the new […]

Author photo of Kent Garrett and Jeanne Ellsworth

Kent Garrett on Meeting Malcolm X and His Eye-Opening Time at Harvard

In 1959, Kent Garrett was one of eighteen Black students recruited for Harvard’s incoming freshman class, a varied group that included a future New York Times journalist, a research scientist, and experimental jazz musician. Nearly fifty years later, after an award winning career at both CBS and NBC news, Garrett, along with his partner Jeanne Ellsworth, embarked on a project to place his classmates’ experiences at Harvard into a historical context. The resulting book, The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1863 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever, is a remarkable investigation of how these young men forged their identities during a pivotal point in American history.

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“I Believe the Proverbial Arc is Bending Towards Justice; It’s Just Going to Need a Lot of Support”—Mimi Lemay on her Memoir

From the time he was two-and-a-half, Mimi Lemay’s son, Jacob, born “Em,” asserted that he was a boy. As Lemay listened to her middle child reckon with his gender identity, it called to mind how as a young woman she struggled against the expectations of the ultra-Orthodox community in which she was raised. In her extraordinary memoir, What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation, Lemay skillfully interweaves how her own experience breaking away from her religious community helped inform how she was able to support Jacob’s recognition of his authentic gender identity. The result is a compassionate memoir about family and faith. Library Journal hailed it as “a vital and engrossing book about how to live an authentic life” and Publisher’s Weekly called it “a fascinating, heart-wrenching memoir [that] offers invaluable insights into issues of gender identity.”

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Dogs and Libraries: A Paw-Fect Match

A growing number of libraries are offering programs inviting therapy dogs to sit and listen as young patrons practice reading aloud inspiring a new generation of readers.