Formed in January 2017, Libraries Work is a national networking group among state library agencies. Inspired, in part, by the American Library Association’s 2016 white paper, “The People’s Incubator: Libraries Propel Entrepreneurship” by Charlie Wapner, Libraries Work focuses on supporting workforce development and has a broad range that includes: serving youth and adults; supporting not only tech hire and STEM skills, but the full college and career-ready learning standards and skills (including Liberal Arts); connecting public libraries to WIOA (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) and other national and state initiatives for career/work prep; and taking a proactive stance on getting libraries at the workforce and business development table in each community.
Kathleen Hughes Author Archive
An elderly woman comes to the desk and asks for books about diabetes. I politely look the subject up in our catalog and let her know the section in which she can find the many books we have on the topic. A while later, I see the same woman, leaving the library empty-handed. As I rush over to her I’m thinking. “Where did I go wrong?”
We are currently seeking 3-5 essays (no more than 1,500 words) for inclusion in the Perspectives column in the January/February issue of PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
Federal legislation and executive leadership have added confusion to this year’s open enrollment period for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here are a few suggestions to make a potentially stressful task easier for both library workers and patrons.
We talk with Nicholas Higgins, director of Outreach Services at the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library. Higgins, author of the latest book in the PLA Quick Reads series, shares wisdom gleaned from his years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons; provides a thoughtful perspective on the American criminal justice system and shows how to provide the absolute best service to this group and the families they have left behind.
Librarian Kyra Hahn shares her experiences navigating the intense bureaucracy of the Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and provides tips, advice, and explanations that can make the process easier for applicants.
PLA’s Brendan Dowling Talks with Eric Motley, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute about his new book, “Madison Park: A Place of Hope.” Motley shares stories from his childhood and about the place he was raised, an African-American community established by freed slaves, and elaborates on how those experiences shaped his journey all the way to the Bush White House.
Whether they’re searching the Internet, watching television, or browsing social media, Americans are bombarded with information related to their health, but the messages they’re receiving may not be understandable, reliable, or even credible. Faced with confusing medical terminology, conflicting reports, and a constantly changing healthcare system, people are looking to their local public libraries for guidance. That’s why the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is partnering with the Public Library Association (PLA): to help libraries meet the challenges of keeping up with evidence-based health resources and producing successful health programming.
The term “participatory culture” had no meaning to me until recently. It is a term that has been around for at least a decade, and it is an idea that Henry Jenkins, a provost professor at the University of Southern California School of Communication, has been working with for more than two decades. There is a relationship between participatory culture and libraries; in some cases, the would would not exist without the other. It behooves us, as librarians, to be aware of the relationship, and to promote collection development with participatory culture in mind.
The Anythink Libraries bookmobile was part of the Memorial Day parade in one of our local communities. I was surprised at how people responded with such admiration and affection as the bookmobile closed the parade. Onlookers cheered, applauded, and shouted out, “We love our library!” I know that moments like this occur for public libraries everywhere. This sense of pride and heartfelt connection brings to mind the respect that public libraries garner in our communities. Public libraries are among the most trusted institutions in the United States. With this trust, I realize that libraries have earned the responsibility—and even the power—to help create sustainable communities.
In the fourth installment from PLA’s “Quick Reads for Busy Librarians” series, Nicholas Higgins, director of outreach services at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, shares wisdom gleaned from years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons. But Higgins doesn’t just provide nuts and bolts information, he also considers the shortcomings of the American Criminal Justice system including embedded racism and harsh sentencing laws that have led to statistics like one in fifteen black men over the age of eighteen is incarcerated in this country. Higgins provides all this background as a framework in the hopes that readers will become more conscious of how they think and talk about prisons and prisoners.
Sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto (CA) City Library is taking the lead in exploring the future of library services. As part of our mission to “inspire and nurture innovation, discovery, and delight,” the library explored how cutting edge technologies like robots and 3D design can be applied in libraries. Generous support from a Pacific Library Partnership Innovation Grant made this effort possible.
Librarians are in a unique position to raise awareness about the importance of children’s oral health. To assist the Public Library Association’s efforts to build healthy communities, we are pleased to present an Oral Health Resource List for Public Librarians. This resource includes suggested books for children and families as well as child-friendly graphics for library, early education, and clinical settings. Links to information in English and Spanish on fluoride and community water fluoridation are also included, along with links to tips for parents on brushing and bedtime routines.
American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal released the following statement regarding a mass shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in New Mexico, “We are shocked and saddened by the shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in New Mexico,” said Neal. “We mourn those who were killed, and we offer our thoughts and prayers for the wounded, the families of the victims, library staff, and the community. ALA offers its full support to Clovis-Carver Public Library, the New Mexico Library Association, and the New Mexico State Library as they deal with this senseless violence.
Building economic opportunities, equity, and inclusion for all also are core values for librarians. Public libraries are particularly well situated to advance equitable economic development as they are a trusted and familiar resource for information and learning of all kinds. Too often, though, local, state and national decisionmakers don’t think of libraries as part of their community assets for supporting entrepreneurs and economic growth. The American Library Association (ALA) is working to change that.