A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Rebecca Cruz Author Archive


Email: rcruz@ppld.org  

Becca Cruz manages the Creative Computer Commons in Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, CO. She received her master’s degree from the University of Missouri. Becca is currently reading Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers.


science lab beaker

Experiment With Science at The Library

On Thursday afternoons at the Pikes Peak Library District, when Programming Librarian Antonia Krupicka-Smith sets up her experiment, a crowd starts to gather. It’s time for Science Stop! The younger patrons come close to the table with excitement on their faces. They put forth hypotheses and you hear their reactions when the experiment plays out. The adults hang back a little at first, but you see them lean in as the science happens.

girl singing into a microphone

Singing in the Stacks

You may have noticed one of the new services being offered in Tikkurila Library in Finland: karaoke! I first saw the news in an article from the Smithsonian, but several other news outlets have covered it as well. While public singing isn’t something I rush to do, I’ll admit to enjoying myself when I’ve participated and let go.

State Parks Passes a Hit in Colorado

Libraries don’t just circulate books. From tools to electronics to experiences, more and more unique items are available for checkout. With the Check Out Colorado State Parks program, 287 libraries across Colorado now lend passes for patrons to visit any of the state’s forty-two parks.

table open to a job and career website, cup of coffee, and notebook

Career Conversations: Job Information for Teens

Considering your future career can be daunting for anyone. For a teen, thinking about what you want to be when you grow up can be that much harder.

pla 2016 conference logo

COLab: Making at PLA 2016

During PLA’s 2016 Conference, several Colorado libraries worked together with some Colorado companies to present the COLab, which provided attendees with the opportunity to experiment with activities, learn about technology, and ask questions of people involved in the maker movement.

person reading in front of book shelf

Provide a Variety of Library Spaces

Thinking about building, remodeling, or just changing up your library space? A recent post from Diana Rendina discusses the six different spaces that libraries can have to assist with active learning.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Brochure

Immigration Services in Libraries

Immigrating to a new country is a daunting and complicated task. You are surrounded by new customs, new people, possibly a new language, and paperwork. Finding help for questions as well as a welcoming place during this transitional time can make all the difference in a person’s life. As a recent article illustrates, libraries can be the place that helps newcomers to find information, services, and small comforts, as well as new acquaintances.

Man working with tools in a workshop

Supporting Your Community Through Making

Makerspaces are wonderful places for people to learn about and explore new technology. They can also be labs for inventors developing new products. People create incredibly unique, ingenious, and desirable products, but it can be expensive to create prototypes and initial runs of products.

Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising

In the library world, we often need to raise money for different activities or purposes. Fundraising events can be done in a variety of shapes and forms; and some activities, like galas, dinners, or book sales, have become tried and true staples. What about when you want to try something fresh and new?

reading

Storytime: It’s Not Just For Kids!

As a child, I absolutely loved going to the library; and the best visits were those with storytime. As an adult, a beautifully read story or audiobook still provides fantastic entertainment. Luckily, storytime isn’t just for kids anymore. Libraries across the nation and the world have added programs where adults can come and be entertained by a story. Some libraries have been doing this type of program for several years now. Many of them hold the program over lunch hour and suggest that patrons bring their bag lunch with them, as was done at the Winona Public Library, Winona, Minn. Their first session, which occurred in September 2015, even brought in a patron who hadn’t been to the library in a long time.[1]

girls working on a project

Make-HER at Sunnyvale Public Library

The maker movement brings together handicrafts and technology in one exciting phenomenon. Whether you like crafts or circuits, or a combination of the two, there’s something for you. Libraries across the world, are offering specialized maker programs to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, as well as the more artistic areas of making. Some libraries are also offering programs tailored to specific patron groups, like maker programs for girls. An example of this is the Make-HER program at Sunnyvale (CA) Public Library.

superhero figurines

Comics, Super Heroes, Pop Culture, and Libraries

Every July, thousands of people converge on Comic-Con International: San Diego to have an in-person experience with their favorite comics, TV shows, and movies. Throughout the year, conventions celebrating comics, pop culture, super heroes, and more take place across the country. These events are fantastic opportunities for libraries to meet potential users who might never have thought of the library as a place they would go, and connect with those who already love their library on a new level.

teens using a computer

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens

As you look around libraryland, you’ll see quite a bit about 21st century libraries, services, and 21st century literacies. In 2014, after a yearlong forum, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) released the report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, which specifically addresses 21st century teens and their needs.[1]

Child reading

One Book 4 Colorado: Free Books for Early Literacy

In April 2015, the One Book 4 Colorado program gave away its selected title to four year-olds across the state for the fourth time since its beginning in 2012. This year’s selection was How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen.  Over 70,000 books in English and Spanish were given away in libraries, preschools, […]

aspen report title page

Dissecting The Aspen Institute Report

In October, 2014, the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries released their report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries. The Dialogue is “a multi-stakeholder forum to explore and champion new thinking on U.S. public libraries.”