A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
commuter train

Turning Public Transportation into Mobile Libraries

Bookcrossing is the practice of leaving books in public places to be picked up and read by others, who then do the same. Many communities already take part in this movement with Little Free Library community book-exchanges, however, the newest trend is leaving books on public transportation. This initiative has created mobile libraries for numerous communities to enjoy.

illustration of green paper currency with dollar sign in middle

Utilizing Old Space While Planning for New

Communities need to balance the needs of all their taxpayers, and often there are other buildings and capital needs which will jump the line ahead of a new public library. While we wait for the right time we must continue to make the current space workable and also utilize it to the best of our abilities. This often means shelling out money to make improvements.

hello in a variety of languages tacked to a bulletin board

Language Learning at the Library

As an immigrant myself, I know the loneliness of feeling like you’re different from everyone because you don’t speak English. I felt as a librarian, I was able to go full-circle and create a welcoming atmosphere for my patrons, and send them a message: You’re not alone, we’re here for you!

Adult Lock In

Library Lock-ins for Adults

It’s a Friday night and library staff are planning to be awake for the next twelve hours, plus the time it takes for them to drive home and fall exhausted into bed. It’s another lock-in, but this time the youngest attendees are 18. It’s an adult lock-in, and just like when they were in high school, there is no expectation of sleep. Squeezed in around jobs and school, new adults make time to gather with their friends at the library and be kids again.

Dana Schwartz Author Photo

Dana Schwartz On The Dangers of Twitter And Pigeonholing Yourself

While readers might be familiar with Dana Schwartz through her extremely popular twitter parody accounts, @guyinyourmfa and @dystopianya, they will be introduced to another side of her with her charming and insightful novel, And We’re Off. Nora Holmes is set to spend the summer before her senior high school at a prestigious art institute in Ireland, the perfect place to be with like-minded students, escape the gaze of her tightly wound mother, and shed the memories of a fizzled relationship. All of this is thrown away when her mother, nursing her own wounds after a painful divorce, decides at the last moment to accompany Nora on the trip. With a deft eye for character and plotting, Schwartz crafts a winning road trip while also exploring topics like identity, creativity, and of course, mother-daughter relationships.

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Civic Engagement: Democracy Thrives at the Library

“Of the people, for the people, by the people,” Abraham Lincoln’s reference to representative government is still relevant today. In the library world we hear the phrase ‘civic engagement’ bandied about, but what exactly does civic engagement mean at the most local level—our towns and cities? And why is now such a critical time to become that civic place?

illustration of a pencil and shapes (triangle, circle, square, etc.)

Graphic Design on a Shoestring

These free and low-cost tools will help your marketing materials shine.

woman with book in front of book shelves

Secrets of Readers’ Advisory — Part Two

Readers’ Advisory Queen Becky Spratford gave us some great advice last month. The conversation continues here.

robot

Connecticut Library Robotics Team Competes at Regional Competition

“Singularity Technology,” the robotics team of the Wilton (CT) Public Library, recently competed at (FTC) FIRST Tech Challenge’s East Super-Regional Championship in Scranton, PA. After winning 2nd place at the State Championship, the team placed 38th out of 72 teams in their first regional championship.

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FYI 020– Brendan Dowling Talks with Author Michael Callahan

PL Assistant Editor Brendan Dowling talks with author Michael Callahan, author of 2015’s “Searching for Grace Kelly.” Michael is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former deputy editor at Town and Country and Marie Claire. His new book, “The Night She Became Miss America” was released in April, 2017.

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FYI 019 — A Conversation with Author Yoojin Grace Wuertz

PL’s Brendan Dowling talks with author Yoojin Grace Wuertz about her recently released novel “Everything Belongs to Us.”

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A “Purrfect” Literacy Program

Looking for a creative way to encourage children’s literacy at your library? Reach out to a local humane society or shelter and develop a program for kids to read to cats. Reading is no longer just for the birds; it’s for the enrichment of both cat and child as well!

green dollar sign on gray background

Visualize the Possibilities: Turning Data Into Dollars

Finding funding to support the library is a constant challenge. A powerful, free, new tool from the Foundation Center can help your library connect with grants, partners, and potential funders. It’s a great place to start turning data into dollars for your next big idea.

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Preventing Overdoses in the Library

San Francisco Public Library is considering training staff members on how to administer Naloxone if they were to encounter someone overdosing in or around the library.

Hala Alyan Author Photo

Hala Alyan On Piecing Together A Narrative From The Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Of Life

Hala Alyan’s debut novel Salt Houses spans four generations in the life of a family on the West Bank, following their journey from the early 60s to the present day. Through all of the challenges the family endures—wars, invasions, love affairs, and displacement—they are held together by the luminous Alia. Equal parts headstrong and effervescent, Alia loves her family with a fierce compassion and remains bonded to them as various forces compel them to move to Kuwait, Beirut, Boston, and Paris. Alyan’s background as a clinical psychologist is evident in the novel, endowing characters big and small with an emotional complexity. The Millions praised Salt Houses as a “heartbreaking and important story” while Bustle said that it “illuminates the heartache and permanent unsettledness experienced by refugees all over the world.” Alan spoke with Brendan Dowling via telephone on April 18th.