A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Lucy Kelly Author Archive

Email: lucy.kelly@gmail.com  

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Encouraging Diversity and Equity in Public Libraries

As a result of recent violent events and historical reflection, public libraries are increasing efforts to advance racial equality and provide resources for conversations and greater communication between diverse groups of people and more engagement with local libraries and their programs.

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Patron Privacy, Internet Usage, and New Proposed Legislation

If the Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2596) becomes law, the FBI would no longer need a court order for surveilling e-mail; rather, it would only need to obtain a national security letter.

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Voting for 2016 ALA Elections Closes Tomorrow!

ALA members can vote through April 22, 2016. Balloting information was sent to all members via email; if you are a member and have not received this email, you can call ALA Customer Service at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5. PLA members are also electing future leadership via this election; read more about all of the candidates at the link below. Elections will be certified on April 29, and the results will be announced afterwards.

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Public Library Property Taxing Districts As a Strategy for Keeping Libraries Open

Save Our Libraries has proposed an alternative plan that would likely help the Douglas County (Oregon) Library System generate the revenue it needs to operate at an optimal capacity. This plan involves using citizens’ property taxes to finance the library (rather than relying on the county budget). This proposal would include a “special district tax” of $0.44 per every $1,000.00 of property values.[4] Oregon has a property tax cap of $10 per $1,000 of assessed property value; as a result, “any sum of taxes greater than $10 would compress all the taxes to fit under the cap,”[5] an issue that seems to warrant additional research.

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Library Records, Patron Privacy, and Library Policies

The confidentiality of patron records is a long-standing issue, particularly since the Patriot Act spurred concerns about patrons’ reading histories, who has access to these records, and under what circumstances the records might be disclosed to authorities. These questions are still being explored, as very few cases on the exact issue of library patron records and privacy have been brought before the courts.

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Job Searching Made Easier with New Features on ALA JobLIST

Searching for potential work opportunities (and prospective job candidates) just got easier, safer, and more efficient.

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Kids Reading to Dogs in Libraries

The purpose of a reading to dogs program is to provide children with a comfortable environment to practice their reading skills. In an interview with ABC, Francine Alexander, the chief academic officer for Scholastic, mentions that it is often easier for children to read aloud to dogs than in front of classmates because there is no embarrassment if mistakes occur. In 2010, the University of California-Davis completed a study on reading to dog programs, which suggested that children who read to dogs improved their own reading skills in comparison to children who did not read to dogs, based on the results of the Oral Text Reading for Comprehension Test. The program involved reading to dogs once a week for ten weeks. Children who read to dogs also reported a greater enjoyment of reading than children who did not read to dogs.

How MOOCs Can Benefit Librarians

Because MOOCs are so adaptable and budget-friendly, they are an excellent consideration for librarians who wish to further their education. Some MOOCs are active and have specific enrollment periods, while others are archieved. The main difference between these formats is that an active course offers opportunities for student interaction and graded assessments, whereas an archived course is static, self-paced, and has no assessments. In addition, active MOOCs sometimes offer various types of formal recognition upon successful course completion, such as a Statement of Accomplishment or Badge (free of charge) or certificate (usually at a cost).