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News & Opinion

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New Podcast! FYI 024- Nicholas Higgins on Library Service to Jails and Prisons

We talk with Nicholas Higgins, director of Outreach Services at the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library. Higgins, author of the latest book in the PLA Quick Reads series, shares wisdom gleaned from his years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons; provides a thoughtful perspective on the American criminal justice system and shows how to provide the absolute best service to this group and the families they have left behind.

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A Different Kind of Proposal: Weddings in the Library

Liverpool Central Library proposes weddings as a new revenue stream.

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Check out Seeds at the Library

Recent research shows that many public libraries now manage seed libraries. This unique kind of “library of things” has many benefits for libraries and for the communities they serve.

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EasyJet Brings Children’s Books to the Sky

Over the last summer EasyJet unveiled their “flybraries” or flying libraries, hoping to encourage young passengers to read more.

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PLA Podcast: Public Service Loan Forgiveness with Kyra Hahn

Librarian Kyra Hahn shares her experiences navigating the intense bureaucracy of the Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and provides tips, advice, and explanations that can make the process easier for applicants.

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The Library Needs Laughter

As library leaders, we need to do better, be funnier, and use humor liberally especially when times are tough and things are hard. Your staff, and ultimately your patrons, will thank you for it.

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Making Social Change: Promote Civility

The public library by our mission and place within communities across the country is in a position to help facilitate positive social change. 

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Anyone Can Make Homemade Pickles: Teaching Canning at the Library

As the homesteading and sustainability movement grows larger every year, a basic class in Canning and Preserving is just what your community library needs. Besides Raising Your Chickens and How to Live Off the Grid classes, canning and preserving is a hobby anyone can do in their home, with a minimal amount of cost.

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Writer-in-Residence Project at Québec Library

During the visit of the first floor, I noticed a study room with glass walls. Inside a man sat, concentrated, in front of a notebook and a large, colorful candy jar which immediately caught my attention. Our guide explained that he was Mathieu Blais, the current “writer-in-residence”

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Mindfulness in the Library

After suffering from burnout for a while, I took a professional development course on mindfulness through ALA’s Online Learning platform. I heard a lot about mindfulness meditation but never practiced it. I was in a difficult state but I am improving little by little.

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PLA Podcast: FYI 026 Guest Eric Motley Author of Madison Park: A Place of Hope

PLA’s Brendan Dowling Talks with Eric Motley, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute about his new book, “Madison Park: A Place of Hope.” Motley shares stories from his childhood and about the place he was raised, an African-American community established by freed slaves, and elaborates on how those experiences shaped his journey all the way to the Bush White House.

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The Best Meeting Ever

Have you ever asked your colleagues about the best meetings they’ve ever attended? While most of us have probably told war stories about mediocre to downright awful meetings, stopping to think about the very best meetings you’ve attended can be instructive.

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Review – Called Out: A Novel of Base Ball and America in 1908 by Floyd Sullivan

Today, professional baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry. But back in 1908, it was still experiencing growing pains. As the young game exploded in popularity, it was also rife with scandal, while unruly behavior from fans often gave baseball a bad name.

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Hurricane Harvey Did Not Spare Texas Libraries

Hurricane Harvey caused record-breaking rainfall to the Houston-Galveston area the last week of August 2017, as tens of thousands of Texas residents evacuated their homes for the crowded emergency shelters.

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Gathering Space: Meeting Room Policies in the Age of Charlottesville

If the library of the future is a gathering space, who will be allowed to gather?