A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Alison McCarty Author Archive

Email: amdmccarty@gmail.com   Website: Alison McCarty  

Alison McCarty is a Librarian II at a small branch in a large county public library in Northeast Florida. She is excited about programming, outreach, marketing, and community partnerships.

sound board

Chattanooga Public Library Offers Professional Recording Studio

Teens gain recording experience in a professional setting at Chattanooga Public Library’s The Studio.

kid reading book on floor in library between rows of library shelves

Read & Reward: Kids Read Books to Pay Off Fines

Paying off fines can be as easy as reading a book or attending a library program for kids in Northern Illinois.

sip and spell

Library Spells Success with Sip & Spell Event

How do you attract more readers to your library? Let them show off their dictionary know-how in a head-to-head spelling competition!

Museum interior

Patrons Can Check Out a Museum Pass with smARTpass App

A new app gives Twin Cities library card holders access to free and discounted tickets to local cultural institutions.

illustration of wallet with money and payment cards

Columbus Metropolitan Library Kicks Off a Fine Free 2017

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) in Columbus, Ohio, is fulfilling a common library goal, to provide more access to library resources, in a less-common way—eliminating daily late fees on library materials. “What it boils down to is that we want to make it easier for more customers to check out more materials and not be deterred by overdue fines,” said Ben Zenitsky, marketing and communications specialist at CML.

girl perusing library stacks

A Card for Every Kid

This past September, the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library (CCPL) teamed up with eight other library systems to promote the “A Card for Every Kid” initiative, which aimed to raise awareness of the importance of library card ownership for children and teens. During September, every library in the county actively encouraged children and teens to sign up for a free library card, and offered one-time fine forgiveness to children and teens who were been blocked or barred from using their library cards because they owed fines.

story time

School Libraries in Baltimore Don’t Take a Summer Vacation

Even when school is out for the summer, some school libraries in Baltimore are open for business, providing books, activities, and meals to hundreds of Baltimore City students.

Summer Volunteer Squad Offers Creative Options

Volunteering during the summer doesn’t have to be all about the summer reading programs or getting all of the library’s books in perfect alphabetical order. At the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Illinois, teens and staff alike get to show off a variety of skills in the Summer Volunteer Squad program. The Summer Volunteer Squad was created to give the library’s many teen volunteers the opportunity to volunteer meaningfully during their summer breaks. The program was modeled after a similar program at the nearby Oak Park (IL) Library.

Friends Group Opens Airport Bookstore

The Friends of the Chattanooga Public Library are taking their book sales sky high with a new standalone bookstore in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

Fresh from the Library: Organic Foods

The New Port Richey (Florida) Library enriches its customers’ minds and bellies with delicious and healthy food at its weekly farmers market.

dictionary entry for the word law

Lawyers and Libraries: A Winning Combination for Your Patrons

Libraries are great places to find legal information, in the stacks, in NOLO books on every topic, and on legal websites accessed via the public computers. But librarians can only point patrons to these resources; they can’t give legal advice themselves. So why not bring in the lawyers who can?


Osher Map Library Brings its Globes to the Public

Want to see some large antique globes, but don’t want to put on pants and trek to Portland, Maine? The Osher Map Library has you covered with its new digitization project. Globes were once incredibly common for use in mapping and exploring the world, but now it can be hard to get up close and personal with these delicate items. Luckily for map- and history-lovers, the Osher Map Library is working hard to get its collection of nearly three hundred vintage globes online and available for viewing at all hours of the day.

Toronto Public Library Brings Community, Data Together at Hackathon

On November 14 and 15, 2015, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) was invaded by hackers – fourteen teams of invited programming enthusiasts – as part of the first TPL Hackathon. Hackathons are common events in the programming world and can last from hours to days as programmers work to create apps, websites, games, and other projects. With the Toronto Public Library in the middle of developing a new strategic plan, the staff decided to theme their hackathon by posing this question to participants: “How can the library make our communities more resilient, more knowledgeable, more connected and more successful?” The library provided data sets to participants, including statistics on circulation, programs, and attendance, top ten books borrowed by format and type, real time online catalog searches, and demographic information from the City of Toronto. The participants chose the data they were most interested in to create their project. Because of the limited time that teams had to work on their projects, the focus of the event was more on ideas and concepts rather than working prototypes, though some projects did make it to that stage.

YA Shot: A Teen Book Festival with a Lasting Impact

Students in Uxbridge, UK, recently had the chance of a lifetime—to meet dozens of authors and talk with them about YA and middle-grade books as part of the local library system’s YA Shot festival. YA Shot was held on October 28 in Uxbridge, near London, England. A total of 240 adults, teens, and tweens attended the all-day festival spread out across three locations: the Uxbridge Library, Waterstone’s Uxbridge bookstore, and the Uxbridge Civic Centre.


Boulder Goes International with Jaipur Literature Festival

For one weekend in September, Boulder, Colorado, was host to dozens of international authors talking about everything (except their books) as part of a new satellite of the Jaipur Literature Festival. The Jaipur Literature Festival, or JLF, is a free-to-the-public festival that brings together writers, poets, and thinkers from around the world to talk about big ideas like life and society, economics and the arts, equity, freedom, and the environment. The main festival, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, has been held in Jaipur, India, since 2006, and another satellite festival was in London earlier this year.