A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Welcoming the Refugee – Best Practices to Help the Displaced

Refugees seek a safe and welcoming space to call home. Public libraries can offer support for transition to a new country. Libraries Serve Refugees and Project Welcome are two online spaces where librarians share information and best practices to meet these unique needs.

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New Podcast! The Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center

Our guest is Elizabeth Fitzgerald, director of the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Culinary Literacy Center is the first kitchen classroom in a public library in the United States. Here we discuss the Culinary Literacy Center, why culinary literacy is important, how libraries can offer this type of programming, and more.

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New Podcast! Social Workers in Public Libraries – Serving Persons Experiencing Homelessness

We talk with Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library, Elissa Hardy about the emerging trend of employing social workers in public libraries, serving persons experiencing homelessness at the library, making the library an inclusive space, training library staff, and related issues.

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Congressman Crist Experiences Clearwater Library’s Maker Power

The zipping and whirling of a 3D printer welcomed U.S. Representative Charlie Crist to the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library’s Maker Studios in mid-July. The bright blue plastic filament was steadily building the 700th print job submitted by patrons at the Innovation Studio – one of five makerspaces at the Main Library. During Rep. Crist’s visit, the Clearwater Maker Studios showcased some of the ways libraries around the country are adapting to the growing technology, business, and creative needs of their communities through the creation of makerspaces.

Melissa Stephenson

Melissa Stephenson on the Daunting Task of Getting the Story Down

Melissa Stephenson’s powerful memoir, Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride To Heartbreak and Back, traces her relationship with her beloved brother, who died by suicide, by cataloging the various cars from her life. With extreme compassion and biting humor, Stephenson recounts her various relationships with family members, as well as the wanderlust that launched her from her small hometown in Indiana.

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Great Books about Strong Girls and Women -A Short List

There are many great books featuring strong female main characters. Here we’ve selected a few, though we’d love to hear your selections too. Please share your favorite in the comments.

John Lingan

John Lingan on Patsy Cline, Her Hometown, and the Groundbreaking Generation of Country Music Entrepreneurs

When John Lingan was sent to Winchester, Virginia, to write an article about Patsy Cline’s hometown, a quick visit turned into multiple return trips. The resulting book, Homeplace, is an exhaustively researched and compassionate account of Winchester and the nearby resort town, Berkeley Spring, West Virginia. The reader’s tour guide through the area is Jim McCoy, a former radio DJ famous for discovering Patsy Cline when she was a teenager, who later owned and operated a local honkytonk, The Troubador, that serves as a place for the community to drink, listen to music, and have a good time.

Image of Intersection with text - Intersections - An Occasional Column Reporting On PLAS Collaborative Projects

PLA at National Association of Counties Conference

PLA staff and members brought the voice of public libraries to the Smarter Counties Summit: Technology Driving Innovation and broader 2018 National Association of Counties (NACo) conference in Nashville July 12-16. Following the theme of NACo President Charles Brooks, the event focused on issues related to serving the underserved. The summit and conference provided a great opportunity to talk about the value of public libraries, to hear from technology experts, and to network for the future.

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Memory Minders: Meaningful Engagement for those Impacted by Dementia

Ramsey County Library worked with a local health organization to create Memory Minders: A Kit for Caregivers. These circulating kits share library resources that will help create positive engagement and meaningful interactions between individuals with dementia or cognitive impairments and their caregivers.

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The Relevance of Bookmobiles and Mobile Libraries in 2018

As a valued part of any library’s arsenal, bookmobiles today help to disseminate information, erase barriers, and equalize opportunity for all patrons—much like in the past, only in different guises today.

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Racial Diversity in the Romance Fiction Industry

Historically, the romance fiction industry has been overwhelmingly white in both authorship and subject. However, a new generation of romance writers has set out to change the status quo, thanks in large part to Kensington Publishing.

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The Right To Be Apolitical

With the current political milieu, many of us have found ourselves thinking more about social justice, activism, and our personal as well as professional roles in politics. We have questioned the role of library staff and libraries in this context.

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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – New PLA Podcast

This episode focuses on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, EDI for short and features three guest who’ve been working tirelessly in this arena. Amita Lonial leads our conversation. Amita, (she/her/hers) is currently the Principal Librarian for Learning, Marketing, and Engagement at San Diego County Library. She also currently serves as the co-chair for the PLA Equity, […]

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Jessica Long on Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Jessica Long was born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, a medical condition that required the amputation of both legs below the knee. She was adopted by a family in Maryland, and quickly developed her spectacular gift for swimming. At age twelve, she was the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic team, winning three gold medals. Over the past four Paralympic games, she’s won twenty-three medals, and is currently training to compete in her fifth games in Tokyo in 2020. With her sister Hannah, Long has written a photo-illustrated memoir, Unsinkable, which details not only her triumphs in the pool, but also the more personal moments of her journey, such as reconnecting with her birth family in 2012. Booklist gave Unsinkable a starred review, calling it “inspirational on so many levels, . . .a great addition for middle school collections.”

Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century – A New Library Service Model

Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century focuses on library service to entrepreneurs and “solopreneurs” — individuals who operate a business completely on their own. Caity Rietzen, Gillian Robbins, and Caitlin Seifritz, librarians in the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, authored the publication.