A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

PLA Contributor Author Archive


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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.

public libraries may june 2019 feature article notepad and pen

Evolving Public Libraries

When our public libraries are asked to defend their relevance, we often rise to the bait, drowning our detractors in the myriad of services, programs, and events we offer. But what if we took a step back and considered whether we’re telling the right story?

Creating a Whole New World

Her Daughter’s Mother, a gripping psychological thriller, tells the story of two women and the connection between them – a connection that stems from their obsession with each other, their search for family, and need for redemption.

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The Census Needs to Hire Half a Million People – Here’s How Libraries Can Help

Public libraries can play a central role in helping community members learn about and apply for these jobs, and a new tip sheet from the ALA can help.

May/June 2019 Cover of Public Libraries Magazine

Go For It! Advice From Library Directors

WHAT DO LIBRARY DIRECTORS DO? The answer to this question may seem self-evident, but it is actually a lot more complicated than it first appears.

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Providing Healthcare Information Services in Small and Rural Libraries

by Jacqueline F. Rammer, Library Director, Lakeview Community LibraryRandom Lake, WI — jrammer@monarchlibraries.org As librarians working in rural and oftentimes small libraries, our days consist of so many things. From being the town warm-up center during a frigid snowstorm to hosting a never-ending number of bake sales, our plates are full. So, when it comes […]

May/June 2019 Cover of Public Libraries Magazine

A Fresh Approach to Job Rotation

Whose library practices job rotation? Anybody? Job rotation, or “the systematic movement of employees from one job to another,” is more common in corporate or academic settings than in public libraries. But a discussion at our library opened the door just enough for the idea to slip in while our branch managers were wrestling with issues of burnout and
job satisfaction.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES MARCH APRIL 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

Librarians Respond to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

By Patrick Sullivan, Emeritus Librarian at San Diego State University. Contact Patrick at sullivan@sdsu.edu. Patrick is currently reading Ellos Nos Cuidan by Omar Delgado. Librarians Oralia Garza de Cortés and Lucía González first raised their voices at the 2014 REFORMA meeting held during the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, challenging fellow […]

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5 Tips for Teaching Tech to Seniors

Social media platforms and electronic devices coupled with online forms, shopping websites, streaming media services, and a host of other items native to Millennial and Gen Z patrons can be daunting to those who grew up without computers and smartphones.

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Making Changes as a New Library Employee

We aren’t saying you have to make a ton of changes in a new job immediately but we believe it is not necessary to wait until your first anniversary to enact some changes.

By the Book – Muslims in Story

Our book is a must-have for librarians whose communities do not have any Muslim children. It will help them learn more about Muslims and educate the communities they serve as well. For example, many of the books curated in our “Muslim Kids as Heroes” booklist showcase universal stories that anyone can relate to. Books and resources listed in our book would help all children to empathize and find common ground with Muslims.

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Tips for Teaching and Troubleshooting Technology

“That’s okay, we’re all learning. Let’s see if we can figure this out together.” Starting with this message creates a safe space for the patron, and helps to manage their expectations. Moreover, it shows that it’s okay not to know everything—technology is an arena in which we all need to explore and problem-solve.

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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.

A Prescription for Graphic Medicine

Graphic medicine is a rapidly growing area of creation, research and teaching that brings together the visual/textual language of comics with stories of illness and health care.

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Weeding — Love It or Hate It

Whether a library employee has taken a collection development class or not, most people working in a library have either heard of the CREW method of weeding materials or use the acronym MUSTIE when removing items from the collection. However, judging by the number of pictures posted to Facebook (of outlandish items still found on library shelves), it seems that not as much weeding is being done in libraries as should be. The question is, why are some of these items still on shelves and does a lack of weeding mean something more than it appears on the surface?