A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Kathleen Hughes Author Archive


Email: khughes@ala.org   Website: http://ala.org/  


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PLA 2019 Early Literacy Activities Calendar

Based on the Every Child Ready to Read practices of reading, writing, singing, talking, playing (and now counting), each download contains twelve months of learning activities, book lists, nursery rhymes, and more.

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New Podcast! Whole Person Librarianship

Our guest for this episode is Sara Zettervall. Sara is the founding consultant and trainer for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She also works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis.

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Libraries Lead with Digital Skills

ALA and Grow with Google launched a national tour of public libraries this week as part of a new partnership to expand resources and services promoting economic opportunity in cities and towns across the country.

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New Podcast! Guests include Library LoveFest and Author Juliet Grames

PLA’s Brendan Dowling hosts a conversation with Lainey Mays and Christopher Connolly of the HarperCollins Library LoveFest team, and an interview with Juliet Grames, whose first novel, “The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna,” will be released in the Spring.

black and white photo of a library orange banner in upper left reads 'social work in public libraries'

Providing Social Service Resources in a Library Setting

When people discover I am a social worker at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) Main Library, the first question I often hear is, “Really? Why provide social services at the library?!” I understand this response, but in truth, many patrons experiencing homelessness access the library for refuge and assistance for basic needs. And that is where I enter the picture.

cover of teaching early literacy to teen parents book

New Quick Reads – Teaching Early Literacy to Teen Parents

Using Every Child Ready to Read principles and programming tips from San Antonio Public Library’s “Little Read Wagon,” this guide will show you how to create a program that meets the needs of your community’s teen parents.

Photo of a child pulling a book from a shelf in a library

Leaving Dewey for BISAC

Four years ago we wrote about our library converting to a BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) organizational structure. We thought it was time to detail what we learned about the experience, especially as we receive plenty of emails asking how it went or would we do it again if we had the opportunity to do everything over.

Tree with a knitted afghan on its branches

Yarn-Bombing the Library

What better way to showcase Barnett’s picture book, our knitting program, and Project Literacy than to “yarn bomb” the library—especially the trees?

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Quick Reads Series — PLA 2018: Ten Essential Programs

PLA 2018: Ten Essential Programs consists of ten articles highlighting educational programs that took place at the PLA 2018 Conference. Filled with instruction, advice, and knowledge from some of the field’s more innovative thinkers, the publication covers everything from serving persons experiencing homelessness in your makerspace to reaching children with barriers to access to anti-racist librarianship and more.

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Library’s Business Center Leads to Success with Community, Government, and Business

Indeed, embedded librarianship and partnerships have led to much success for the business center, citizens, and city government.  It is important to meet with as many different business organizations as possible in order to publicize what libraries can do for the community.

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2018 NJLibsGrowBiz Summit: Building Business Outreach and Services

The New Jersey State Library has prioritized business outreach and services throughout the state for over a decade. Through contracts for statewide database access to business resources and a dedicated consultant to work with public libraries, the State Library has leveraged its assets to support New Jersey’s business community and has attempted to communicate this to key business stakeholders.

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Preparing for Transitions at the Library

Our Friends president was very good. She gave us a year’s notice and immediately started setting up meetings and making lists. But it has still been a difficult transition and one from which I have taken several lessons, not only about future Friends, but things to aid in what will inevitably be my own transition.

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FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast – The Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center

Our guest is Elizabeth Fitzgerald, director of the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Culinary Literacy Center is the first kitchen classroom in a public library in the United States. Here we discuss the Culinary Literacy Center, why culinary literacy is important, how libraries can offer this type of programming, and more.

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FYI Podcast: Social Workers in Public Libraries – Serving Persons Experiencing Homelessness

We talk with Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library, Elissa Hardy about the emerging trend of employing social workers in public libraries, serving persons experiencing homelessness at the library, making the library an inclusive space, training library staff, and related issues.

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Congressman Crist Experiences Clearwater Library’s Maker Power

The zipping and whirling of a 3D printer welcomed U.S. Representative Charlie Crist to the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library’s Maker Studios in mid-July. The bright blue plastic filament was steadily building the 700th print job submitted by patrons at the Innovation Studio – one of five makerspaces at the Main Library. During Rep. Crist’s visit, the Clearwater Maker Studios showcased some of the ways libraries around the country are adapting to the growing technology, business, and creative needs of their communities through the creation of makerspaces.