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Louise Svehla Author Archive


Email: ltsvehla@plainfieldpubliclibrary.org  

Louise Svehla is a Reference and Reader Services Librarian at the Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield, IL. Besides the usual reference librarian duties, she teaches computer classes, manages a job club, and maintains several blogs for the library. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, genealogy research, travel, and spending time with her Sheltie.


Picture of author in Czech Republic

A Librarian’s Tour of the Czech Republic, Part 1

In a previous post, I talked about my passion for library buildings and how I visit libraries while on vacation. This past May, I took a step further and participated in the Prague Summer Seminar, a two week trip sponsored by the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science and the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship at Charles University in Prague. One word to describe this trip: amazing!

Street sign library lane

You Can Always Find a Library

When you travel, do you include libraries in your itinerary? Do you stop in just to look around? I do. I love to see what other libraries look like, especially how they reflect their communities and make use of their space.

display of cultural items

Explore the World with Culture Boxes

Libraries often offer opportunities to explore the world through programming. These include special events with music, food, travel experiences, book discussions, author visits and more. Our library offers another opportunity to explore the world through Culture Boxes, kits with objects inside all relating to a specific country.

roku screen

Ready to Roku?

Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball and the ability to predict the future so I can be prepared for the next big thing. Maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much time developing a MySpace page for teens at the library several years ago or maybe I wouldn’t have purchased so many books that were once a hot topic and now need to be weeded. However, even without a crystal ball, I know one of the next big issues in technology and services at public libraries will be streaming video content.

white house

Hawaii or Chicago? Barack Obama’s Presidential Library

President Barack Obama is already thinking about his presidential library, but he is undecided on the location. He has strong ties to his birthplace in Hawaii as well as his recent home in Chicago.

National Library Week

Celebrate National Library Week

Libraries around the country will celebrate National Library Week April 14-20, 2013. The theme is “Communities Matter @ Your Library” and Caroline Kennedy is the honorary chair. National Library Week was first sponsored by the American Library Association in 1958 to encourage people to support and use libraries.

thought cloud and exclamation point

Intellectual Freedom: Beyond Banned Books Week

Librarians and library staff are champions of the freedom to read, and indeed it is a core value of the library profession. However, intellectual freedom means much more than reading banned books during a special week once a year. Intellectual freedom is part of our jobs each and every day.

magazine covers

Digital Magazines @ Your Library

Digital magazines are a terrific complement alongside eBook offerings. If a library user is already reading books on their tablets, it is likely they will also enjoy reading digital magazines.

little free library

Little Free Libraries – The Possibilities are Endless

Have you heard about Little Free Libraries? What started as a memorial has grown to an international movement with over 5,000 free little libraries around the world.

brainstorming graphic

Volunteer Technology Instructors in the Public Library

Are your patrons demanding more computer classes or are they asking for different technology topics? With budgets shrinking and staff members busier than ever, recruiting volunteers to teach computer and technology classes can help fill this need.

green earth

New Year Resolutions: Go Green @ Your Library

Happy New Year! Have you made personal resolutions this year? Have you made resolutions for your library? Consider going green!

illustration of group

Forming Partnerships to Help Job Seekers @ Your Library

The economy may be slowly improving and the jobless rate is down, but in many areas there are still people out of work and looking for jobs. As librarians, we want to help, but we are not trained to be career counselors. What do we do? Find partnerships!