A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Mark Troknya Author Archive

Email: MTroknya@toledomuseum.org  

Mark Troknya is working towards his MLIS at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He lives in Toledo, Ohio and is part of the online program at WSU. His undergraduate degree is a major in Popular Culture with a minor in Psychology from Bowling Green State University. He is currently reading Fire in the belly: the life and times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr.

Library Program Combats Winter Blues

The Lawrence Public Library (LPL) in Kansas has started a new program for local patrons to help combat those pesky winter blues. LPL recognizes that many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and have scheduled times in their auditorium for patrons to come in and soak up some light from therapy lamps that mimic natural outdoor light.

niagara falls

Damaging Waters Lead to Uncertain Future for Library

Form over function is costly for Niagara Falls, Paul Rudolph, and its patrons

red chairs in a conference room

Updating the ALA Annual Conference

There comes a time in almost every organization or program when the question must be asked, “How can we make this better?” In the case of the ALA Conference that time is now.

bass guitar

Lending Musical Instruments

In June 2016, the Vancouver Public Library opened its Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library. “The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library at VPL is a collection of instruments that you may borrow using your Vancouver Public Library card. The collection is located at the Central Library. The instruments can be found by searching the library catalogue.” (Vancouver Public Library 2016) In addition to Vancouver, the Toronto Public Library has also added a musical instrument lending program. Each library has about one hundred instruments.

barbed wire and high fence

NYPL Opens New Branch at Rikers Island

The New York Public Library has a new branch. An unofficial new branch, that isn’t exactly open to the public. This new branch, opened July 26, 2016, is the permanent public library at Rikers Island Correctional Facility, housed in the women’s Rose M. Singer Center. The Rikers Island library “holds 1,200 books — spanning everything from comics to sci-fi, from Spanish language works to nonfiction classics — and it will be open every Tuesday for about six hours each day. Inmates can check out two books for two weeks, with the goal of serving half of the prison one week and the other half the next.”[1] Most of the books have been donated. There are very few limits on types of material, but hardcover books are prohibited. Although housed in the women’s facility, the library will also service the men’s prison once a week via a mobile book cart.

anti prom logo

Anti-Prom Held at New York Public Library

“Anti-Prom provides an alternative, safe space for all teens who may not feel welcome at official school programs or dances because of their sexuality, gender presentation, the way they dress, or any other reason.” The library has been hosting this event since 2004, and the number of attendees has been steadily growing since its debuted attendance of a hundred. Admission is always free, and a DJ provides music. By the end of the night, non-gender-specific King and Queen of the anti-prom are chosen. Some of the guest masters of ceremony over the years has been Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York City-based clothing store Barneys, and Jimmy Van Bramer, an openly gay councilman from Queens.

cash on top of wallet

Police Involved with Overdue Library Books

“A Hatful of Seuss” turns into a hatful of fines and legal fees.

al-Qarawiyyin Library Set to Reopen Once Dust Settles from Renovations

The library of the al-Qarawiyyin University in Fez will reopen for public use after the completion of major renovations led by Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni. After receiving a grant for the project from Kuwait’s Arab Bank, the Moroccan Ministry of Culture asked Chaouni to rehabilitate the library in order to safeguard its contents and make it suitable for public use. Chaouni was approached in 2012 to begin work on the renovations. In a field mainly dominated by men, she was surprised and pleased to receive the call; after all, the al-Qarawiyyin is the oldest library in the world, and this would be a huge and indescribably important undertaking. Four years later, the renovations are almost complete, and King Mohammed VI is hoping to cut the ribbon on the reopening in May 2016.

Adults Prefer Physical Classrooms to Virtual

While many may attest to the idea that online leaning is a wave that future generations will ride, today’s adults prefer learning the old-fashioned way: in a classroom with other students and a teacher at the front of the room. For many, this continued education takes place at their local libraries. According to the Pew Research Center, most adults feel libraries are successful at serving the educational needs of its patrons.

chairs in a meeting room

Library Meeting Room Conflicts

In February of 2016, the Nashville Public Library informed the local chapter of Black Lives Matter that they would not be able to continue hosting meetings in the library, as their policy of excluding non-black participants conflicts with the library’s meeting room policies. The Nashville chapter had been meeting there monthly since October 2015.


Paper Books Making a Comeback

However, the electronic “evolution” seems to be changing as of late, insofar as recent articles are suggesting a slowing of e-book sales and upswing of independent bookstores – new and used alike. The question then becomes, “What do we attribute this paper book revival to?” Many believe that it is the personal touch of an independent, local bookstore that people are responding to. As much as there is an “online community,” many just simply prefer an in-person version.

image of a maze

An A-mazing Library Program

Every once in a while, a library comes along and really inspires the community with a new program or event. Most recently the Denver Public Library hosted an event of epic proportion-they created a giant cardboard maze, with a Harry Potter theme. The maze (which measured 75′ long, 15′ wide, and 6′ tall) was constructed in […]

Budgets Cuts Require Tough Choices

It unfortunately is an old story that we have all heard before. Public libraries in Connecticut are faced with budget cuts. The question for them now becomes, “What do we do?” The goal is to provide the same level of service to your patrons in the community, but how do you do that without the same amount of resources? Libraries need to look at the bigger picture when this happens. The answer can’t just be, “We will lay someone off until we get more money.” It really won’t fix the situation, and may actually provide library directors with the idea that the library can survive with less staff, which may lead to eliminating the position altogether.


Preserving for Posterity

Archive Corps is a volunteer effort to help save physical materials that are in danger of being lost forever. According to their mission statement they intend to “make the insurmountable, surmountable” when it comes to rescuing these materials through physical rescue missions, regardless of material or location. The man behind the mission is Jason Scott. Scott, along with the other volunteers at Archive Corps, works under the idea that if something needs saving, Archive Corps members will mobilize to do so. At present time he has received over 200 emails from people interested in volunteering.


ALA Banned Book List

Every year, the ALA helps to celebrate and recognize famous books that have been banned or challenged in the past with their Banned Books Week. In 2015, the week was September 27-October 3. While highlighting the past year’s most frequently challenged books, the ALA also hopes to foster a discussion about Intellectual Freedom.