A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

PLA Contributor Author Archive


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a photograph of a road with the words time for change on it

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.

seniors at computers with instructor

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.

children looking at a book

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.

stacks of books

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?

three arms reaching up various colors

Health Resolution: Getting to Know Your Community to Improve Health Information Services

It’s January, a time when everyone seems to be motivated to improve their health and start making healthier choices. Your library can make a healthy resolution, too! It’s always a good time for librarians to consider new programs and ways to improve health information services … but where do you start?

apples

Food Center: Meeting Food Insecure Patrons Outside the Library

As a library, we have been long time supporters of our local food center. However, it wasn’t until the past few years that we actively began to provide programming at the center. It started as one of many places we were looking to try to share information about what the library had to offer, but it turned into something different over time.

kids sitting on a lawn eating apples

Summer Lunch: Partnering with Community Agencies

There are plenty of libraries around the country who are fortunate to be able to provide food to children in need during the summer. However, if your library that isn’t able to, it doesn’t mean you can’t be part of feeding children’s minds while someone else fills their stomachs!

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.

Epic Failure Is Always an Option

Contributing Editor JESSICA MOYER is Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Jessica at jessicaemilymoyer@gmail.com. Jessica is currently reading Painted Lady by Elizabeth Peters (June 2017) and listening to Carpe Jugulum (2000) by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Nigel Planer. I love a good underdog archetype. Whether they are fantastic failures or lovable losers, these characters abound in popular culture and […]

The Destination is “We”

PLA President FELTON THOMAS is Director of the Cleveland (OH) Public Library. Contact Felton at felton.thomas@cpl.org. Felton is currently reading Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe. The focus of this issue is on fantastic failures, and boy, do I have a lot of those. To narrow it down, I will seek to define a “fantastic failure” […]

How I Learned to Love Patrons Again

MATT SMITH is Collection Development Specialist at Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Contact Matt at matts@kpl.gov. Matt is currently reading The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward. Hermann Hesse once wrote that “nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to […]

Authors Bounce Back

BRENDAN DOWLING works for the Public Library Association in Chicago. Contact Brendan at bdowling@ala.org. Brendan is currently reading Lush Life by Richard Price. In keeping with this issue’s theme of fantastic failures, we turned to some of our favorite authors to see how they had navigated disappointments in their own careers. Their sym­pathetic yet heartening responses […]

Facing Failure

KRISTY PASQUARIELLO is a Children’s Librarian at Wellesley (MA) Free Library. Contact Kristy at kpasquariello@minlib.net. Kristy is currently reading My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson. When I first started working as a children’s librarian in a public library, I had grand plans for the successful programs I would run: charming storytime […]