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Helping Patrons Navigate Online Banking

In the old days, doing just about anything with your money—getting cash, looking up an old statement, depositing a check—meant visiting a brick-and-mortar bank. These days, cash mostly comes from ATMs, looking up a statement is as easy as logging onto the computer, and anyone who can take a photo with a mobile phone can deposit a check. But as efficient as they are, some of these technological advances have left some populations behind: people who are older, don’t have bank accounts, are less educated, or earn less money are likely to lack the necessary computer skills to use mobile banking.

a phone with symbols above it

Tackling Meta-Illiteracy

In my last post, I discussed reasons why librarians should not handle patrons’ personal devices. As a continuation, I want to look at how much help a librarian can provide for a patron with multiple illiteracies and how this affects said patrons.

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The Post-Truth Archive

Fake News, Propaganda and Extremist Literature: Some Considerations for Public Libraries with Local History Archives It’s been said that we live in a post-truth society, one in which appeals to emotion and beliefs are more influential in shaping opinions than facts and reason. While skepticism is nothing new, it seems particularly in vogue in the […]

Eric Lichtblau

“Just Incredible Chutzpah”—Eric Lichtblau on the Real-Life Hero at the Heart of His New Book

In Return to the Reich, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eric Lichtblau tells the incredible story of Freddy Mayer, a Jewish refugee who escaped Nazi Germany as a teenager only to venture into Nazi-occupied Austria years later as an OSS agent. Mayer’s mission was to go undercover as a Nazi officer in Innsbrook, Austria, where he was able to gather intelligence that proved invaluable to the Allies in the waning days of World War II. Mayer’s exploits read like scenes from an Ian Fleming novel—from secretly skiing down an ice-covered mountain in the middle of the night to brazenly posing as a Nazi officer in an officer’s club—made all the more thrilling because it actually happened.

National Book Festival 2019 Poster

The National Book Festival: Takeaways for Programming Librarians

Since 2001, the Library of Congress has hosted an annual author event of epic proportions. The 2019 National Book Festival, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., drew hundreds of thousands of attendees and featured over 100 authors. Librarians who plan programs of all sizes – from a scantly-attended book club […]

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Fine Policies and Lost Item Policies

I have recently been contacted by several reporters in reference to an article I wrote in 2017 in which I disagree with the elimination of fines and learned that I was quoted in other venues. As this topic has gained more interest and political attention the issue is no longer one limited to libraries. However, […]

illustration of a desk top computer with a question mark on the screen

Handling Patrons’ Personal Property

The three main issues I see with librarians handling patrons’ personal property are how it makes the patron feel, how it makes the professional feel, and liability.

Adrienne Brodeur Author Photo

“All of our Childhoods are Normal to Us”—Adrienne Brodeur on her Powerful Memoir

When Adrienne Brodeur was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her up from a sound sleep to confide that she had just kissed Ben, the best friend of Adrienne’s stepfather. That small moment would ultimately send shockwaves through the lives of both families, as Malabar and Ben embarked on a secret relationship and enlisted Adrienne’s assistance in hiding it from their spouses. In Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, Brodeur reflects on her complicated relationship with her mother with unflinching pose and bracing wit. What results is a compassionate examination of knotty family ties and an incisive portrayal of how one woman was able to end her family’s cycle of deception.

Mamta Chaudhry Author Photo

“Every Ghost Has its Own Particular Way of Haunting”—Mamta Chaudhry on her Spectacular Debut Novel

In Mamta Chaudhry’s stunning Haunting Paris, Sylvie, a musician mourning the recent death of her beloved Julien, listlessly prepares for Paris’ bicentennial as she opens her home to vacationing American academics. Yet Sylvie is hurled out of her routine when she chances upon a mysterious letter in Julien’s desk. This discovery sparks a thrilling investigation, as Sylvie plunges into Julien’s family’s heretofore unknown experiences during World War II. While Sylvie races through the streets of Paris, the ghost of Julien watches on, providing a panoramic view of the city’s tumultuous history and revealing the painful moments from his past he could not share during their life together.

Annie Kenney and Christable Pankhurst of the Women's Social and Political Union holding a Votes for Women sign circa 1903

Nashville Public Library’s Votes for Women Project

The Votes For Women Project is an interactive exploration of the power of women and girls, the power of voting, and the power of power itself. It’s set to open at the Main Library in downtown Nashville March 8, 2020. (Don’t worry, we’re working on a sneak peek for PLA2020 conference attendees.)

Jami Attenberg Author Photo

“The Whole World that’s Interesting to Me in One Book”—Jami Attenberg on her Incredible New Novel

In Jami Attenberg’s dynamic family saga All This Could Be Yours, amoral businessman Victor Tuchman lies dying in a hospital bed in New Orleans, leaving his family to reckon with how his monstrous behavior has shaped their lives. While his wife Barbra restlessly paces the halls of the hospital, alert to her Fitbit’s mounting stepcount, […]

Ad for Kanawha County Public Library Director job

Kanawha County Public Library Seeks Director

The Board of Directors of the Kanawha County Public Library seeks an experienced, collaborative, innovative, dedicated leader to serve as Library
Director. The Kanawha County Public Library is more than a building. It is a topnotch library system with an exceptional reputation of vibrancy and
trust among the public, local and state government, schools and hospitals, and businesses and community organizations.

multi-colored handprints

Five Kinds of Outreach to People in Residential Care

The 96-year-old’s face lit up when she saw Outreach Librarian Diane Hollendonner again. She relayed she was quite happy with the book she returned – Mary Jo Putney’s Dearly Beloved– and announced that she had shared it with several other ladies at the assisted living facility…. “and now they all knew how to be a […]

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Reaching the Uninsured @ Your Library

In recognition of Health Literacy Month in October, the Public Library Association (PLA) is offering public libraries, especially those in states that utilize the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace, healthcare.gov, a suite of free tools and resources.

illustration of an ebook reader device

Embargoed: Libraries Struggle with Ebook Purchasing

Recent publisher embargoes make it more difficult for libraries to purchase e-content.