Looking for a creative way to encourage children’s literacy at your library? Reach out to a local humane society or shelter and develop a program for kids to read to cats. Reading is no longer just for the birds; it’s for the enrichment of both cat and child as well!
Julia Pyatetsky Author Archive
Julia Pyatetsky is a Teen Services Librarian at Evanston Public Library. Her interests include technology, community engagement, information literacy, storytelling, books, music, dancing, and getting high-fives from her cat, Dewey. She is currently reading The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker.
The maker movement has been filtering into the public library sphere for years, and libraries all over the U.S. now have their very own makerlabs and digital media labs. A big part of that digital DIY culture includes open source software, which Phil Shapiro, an educator and blogger for opensource.com, argues needs to be more prevalent in the public library space. Perhaps librarians do need to be better educated on open source. But arguably, we are already incorporating open source software into our regular programming.
Sonoma County Libraries offers fitness and healthy cooking classes in its Healthy Living at your Library series as a way to promote health and fitness literacy. This is a growing trend to look out for!
Public libraries, as part of their public service and outreach initiatives, regularly reach out to the prison community to help reintegrate and reinvigorate the incarcerated, hoping to also lessen the chance of recidivism. The Brooklyn Public Library has taken the matter one step further by opening up a video visitation center in its central location for families of the imprisoned to communicate with each other for free.
Undocumented, unauthorized, illegal, immigrant, migrant, alien, noncitizen.
On May 3, 2016, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced in a press release the implementation of new guidelines for transgender individuals, which allows for a welcoming and safe environment for all. “For the first time, CPS is providing clear guidance on restroom, locker room and overnight trip accessibility, and establishing support for employees and adults in addition to students.”These momentous changes came ahead of Obama’s administration’s guidance letter on transgender student’s rights sent to school districts on May 13. The language used by the federal government is similar to that of the CPS policy in that it supports the use of all facilities according to an individual’s gender identity, not to their biological sex.
Since 2010, spending cuts have drastically affected public libraries in the United Kingdom, particularly in England. A BBC investigation discovered a startling trend: In the past six years, almost eight thousand paid staff have lost their jobs, which amounts to 25 percent of the total working force. In that same time period, over 340 libraries have closed, with at least another hundred slotted to close in the next year. Additionally, over 170 libraries have been “transferred to community groups,” which means that they are solely run by volunteers. The use of volunteers is the only number that has increased (by fifteen thousand) since 2010. Is this trend signifying the end of UK public libraries?
The Library Board of the Park Ridge Public Library, in a suburb of Chicago, has enacted a new policy: a $10 per hour fee for using the library space to tutor children. This applies to for-profit as well as not-for-profit tutors.The policy was enacted February 1, 2016, but the hourly fees were not applied until March 1 so that patrons had time to adjust to the new rule.
Libraries transform not just by functioning as community centers but also through stepping outside the boundaries of the physical space and joining commuters on their journeys to and from work and travel. The Toronto Public Library is jumping on the bandwagon and is working on transforming its own community by adding a book-lending kiosk in one of its busiest train stations.
Public libraries will not be removing their books from their spaces to accommodate for technology, but we are instead seeing an increase in community partnerships, maker spaces/labs, and public interest for technology programs and technology help. And the Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska, is another aspect of what is a part of the future for libraries.
Tech mobiles are popping up in big cities as well as small, narrowing the digital divide for underserved communities. These tech mobiles offer a variety of resources including classes, Wi-Fi access, computers for the homeless to apply for jobs, opportunities for youth to mess around with technology, as well the ability for patrons to borrow Wi-Fi hotspots to take home. As the advent of technology becomes more and more a regular part of our lives and a requirement for schools, it’s imperative to provide the same opportunities for everyone in order to be able to become modern twenty-first century learners and professionals.
The Civil War in Syria has left large numbers of refugees pouring into many countries in Europe. Public Libraries in the UK, Germany, France, Norway, and others are front-runners in giving them their welcome and support.
Is it time for public libraries to end overdue fines in order to remove this very common practice as a barrier to access? Libraries in the northwest suburbs of Chicago seem to think so.
Recent collection development policy changes transformed the weeding policy and process at the Berkeley (California) Public Library (BPL) to a more centralized method. This change has ruffled feathers in the community. In July, a group of about 30 protesters, consisting of retired librarians and community members, gathered in front of the library to encourage patrons to check out 50 items, which is the max number of checkouts allowed. The protesters intended this move to save some of the books that would otherwise be weeded out, as well as to protest the changes in the weeding policy and as well as related changes in staffing.