A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Romeo Rosales, Jr. Author Archive


Email: romeo.rosales@sanantonio.gov   Website: San Antonio Public Library  

Assistant Branch Manager for the Pan American Branch Library in San Antonio, TX. I'm an author, librarian, historian, husband and father. "Chance favors the prepared mind."


TV

PBS Back on the Chopping Block

For as long as I can recall, it seems when budget cuts are going to be made, PBS is always named as a candidate for defunding.

Illustration of a video cassette

Navajo Library Seeks To Preserve Rare Oral Histories

A lot of us can recall stories and tales told to us by our grandparents when we were young. Many of us hung on to these oral histories and have retold them plenty of times to our children in the hopes that they, too, will keep the tradition going. But what would happen if these oral histories were lost? Future generations would never know about their family’s history. Such was almost the case for the Navajo Nation.

illustration of museum

Museums and Libraries Work Hand In Hand

One of the most devastating things that can happen to a community is for its local library or museum to be permanently closed when they have proven to revitalize struggling communities, act as a commons or safe haven for community members, and act as a resource for individuals of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

illustration of gold and red books

Books on Islam Vandalized

Books about Islam and any other religion belong in public libraries.

hand parting blinds

Librarians Stand for Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech

“Privacy is the right to a free mind. Without privacy, you can’t have anything for yourself. Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”[2] Those powerful words reverberate what librarians have been preaching for so long.

drugs

Libraries See Increase In Drug Overdoses

Public libraries are inviting public spaces which can offer both privacy and solitude. Unfortunately, this also makes them the perfect spot for those seeking a place to use illegal drugs. According to the Associated Press, the characteristics of public libraries leave them particularly vulnerable to these types of situations, “They’re free of charge and open to everyone, and no transaction or communication is required.”[1] As the country is in the midst of a heroin/pain-killer epidemic [2], libraries have lately seen cases of drug users overdosing or passing out in library spaces.

stacks of books

Group Catalog and OCLC’s Navigator: Burden or Blessing?

A group catalog can be a wonderful thing for library users. A library opening up their catalog to patrons outside their service population signifies progress in librarianship. But stop to consider the postage price for libraries with small budgets. Many libraries are willing to forgo the risk of receiving books back from a borrowing library.

Cooking With Ben: Our Library’s Cooking Show Adventure

When your library has invested much time and money in a particular collection, you hope that your patrons take notice. Over the past four to five years, our cookbook section at Pharr (Texas) Memorial Library has grown tremendously. Unfortunately, the extensive collection circulated poorly. So we decided to roll with what we had and launch our own cooking show titled “Cooking with Ben” (after one of our staff members). Ben volunteered and was the ideal chef for the job. The response has been amazing!

hand in red circle indicating stop

The Dangers of Internet Filtering

So you are at your public library about to download or view information for a research paper, and then it happens: The library’s blocking software lets you know that you are not allowed to access a certain webpage because it has been filtered out by the network’s firewall. You are immediately disappointed because you know the information you are trying to access is harmless and poses no threat to minors; however, according to the library’s firewall, the webpage has been categorized as “adult,” allowing you no access to the page. This is not only a disappointment but also a disservice to many students who are simply trying to access informational resources.

people playing video game

Minecraft as a Historical Education Tool

Minecraft has taken over many households and libraries over the past several years. “To date, Minecraft has been downloaded more than 60 million times and is so popular that videos just discussing the game on YouTube attract 2.4 billion views.”[1] Libraries have incorporated this game into many of their yearly programs, and sessions about the innovative game have been given at conferences across the country.

WWI Library Service Poster

The Library War Service

World War I, the Great War, was a war of attrition fought across much of Europe. This war came to a virtual standstill due to mechanization and the introduction of the machine gun. No man’s land became a common term and trench warfare became a life for soldiers who were stuck in the muck and death of those trenches. Among all the carnage and destruction, however, books provided soldiers a sense of small relief and accompanied them when the trenches seemed so lonely.

wifi strength symbol

Check Out a Library Hotspot

If you are a library patron lacking Internet in your home, have no fear—many public libraries across the country are teaming up with cell phone providers like Sprint and Verizon to offer library hotspots for checkout. These hotspot devices can be checked out for an allotted period of time designated by participating public libraries. Unsure about what a hotspot is? Well, the Chicago Public Library has defined a library Wi-Fi hotspot as “a device you can use to connect a mobile-enabled device, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to the Internet. The hotspot is portable, so you can connect your device almost wherever you are, like at home, on the bus or in the park.”[1] In a world filled with endless technology, public libraries once again prove that they can continue being relevant in a world deeply embedded in a technological revolution that once “threatened” to put public libraries out of business for good.

Collection Development: Catering to the Hispanic Community

There are many ways to reach out to the Hispanic community. Do not underestimate the little things and do not assume the Hispanic community does not take notice.

cemetery

The Departed: One Library’s Innovative Cemetery Project

For quite some time, public libraries across the country have dealt with having to answer the same overused question: What does the future of public libraries look like in a technology savvy 21st century? Well, to be honest, the future looks bright. Libraries are not only educational institutions that offer a plethora of books, programs, magazines, and databases at no cost; they are a commons, a safe haven “and they are dynamic, versatile community centers”[1] where patrons feel comfortable experiencing everything libraries offer. Technology in libraries is at the cusp of a technological revolution available to the public that is sweeping across the world. So what can public libraries do with such advanced technology? One library decided it would inventory and map out every single grave at a local historic cemetery situated in downtown Pharr, Texas. Pharr is a border town that sits only eight miles north of the Rio Grande.