Imagine a day at the beach: Feel the warm sand slipping between your toes. The pleasure of drowsily napping under the rays of the warm sun. Cooling off in the water, splashing in the waves. Borrowing a book from the library. Wait a second… library? I thought I was at the beach?
Stacey Nordlund Author Archive
Stacey Nordlund is a Reference Librarian at the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She received her MLIS in 2012 from San José State University. Stacey is currently reading Lionel Shriver's The Post-Birthday World.
Do you work with a local history collection? Are you constantly striving to develop new programming initiatives to highlight your rare and unique materials? Or are you looking to bring in new library users—or, perhaps, even attract non-users who might not be aware of an element of the collection that matches their interests? At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, I attended the PLA-sponsored program, Hip History: Promoting Archives and Special Collections with Creative Programming. Each of the speakers was from the Sacramento Room, site of Special Collections of the Sacramento Public Library. The three speakers were: Amanda Graham, Library Services Specialist/Archivist; James Scott, Librarian; and, Lori Easterwood, Programming Supervisor.
Here, there, and everywhere—that’s where the librarians are. We aren’t hiding in the stacks, shushing people who want to invade our precious collections (although I’m sure there are a few stalwarts who fit the mold). Information is growing at an exponential rate, and librarians are needed more than ever to help people navigate the information landscape, critically and thoughtfully. And so we’re bringing our services to where they’re needed: outside the library. This is happening in a number of forms. I’m not just referring to the people on your local bookmobile, or the Little Free Libraries popping up on street corners. I’m talking about information services delivered by people in unexpected places, in unique and surprising ways.
Today, April 18, 2013, marks the official launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The DPLA is a large-scale national project aimed at “mak[ing] the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.”
Picture the following: The Queen, chasing her runaway corgis, accidentally happens upon a mobile library parked outside of Buckingham Palace. She enters and selects a book. Reading initially undertaken from a sense of duty is soon surpassed by the sheer delight of reading for pleasure. So ensues a fictional tale celebrating the Queen of England’s adventures in reading. In this whimsical yarn spun by Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader allows us, the readers, to yearn for the unparalleled joy and wonder of experiencing libraries through the unique environment of the wee bookmobile.
At the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting, I attended two complementary sessions, “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities: A Presidential Initiative” and “Community Engagement Conversation: The Work of Hope.” The first session was a panel discussion with Rich Harwood of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Tim Henkel of Spokane County United Way, Carlton Sears, former director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, and ALA President Maureen Sullivan, who moderated the discussion.