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News & Opinion

commuter train

Turning Public Transportation into Mobile Libraries

Bookcrossing is the practice of leaving books in public places to be picked up and read by others, who then do the same. Many communities already take part in this movement with Little Free Library community book-exchanges, however, the newest trend is leaving books on public transportation. This initiative has created mobile libraries for numerous communities to enjoy.

illustration of green paper currency with dollar sign in middle

Utilizing Old Space While Planning for New

Communities need to balance the needs of all their taxpayers, and often there are other buildings and capital needs which will jump the line ahead of a new public library. While we wait for the right time we must continue to make the current space workable and also utilize it to the best of our abilities. This often means shelling out money to make improvements.

hello in a variety of languages tacked to a bulletin board

Language Learning at the Library

As an immigrant myself, I know the loneliness of feeling like you’re different from everyone because you don’t speak English. I felt as a librarian, I was able to go full-circle and create a welcoming atmosphere for my patrons, and send them a message: You’re not alone, we’re here for you!

Adult Lock In

Library Lock-ins for Adults

It’s a Friday night and library staff are planning to be awake for the next twelve hours, plus the time it takes for them to drive home and fall exhausted into bed. It’s another lock-in, but this time the youngest attendees are 18. It’s an adult lock-in, and just like when they were in high school, there is no expectation of sleep. Squeezed in around jobs and school, new adults make time to gather with their friends at the library and be kids again.

illustration of arms waving

Civic Engagement: Democracy Thrives at the Library

“Of the people, for the people, by the people,” Abraham Lincoln’s reference to representative government is still relevant today. In the library world we hear the phrase ‘civic engagement’ bandied about, but what exactly does civic engagement mean at the most local level—our towns and cities? And why is now such a critical time to become that civic place?

illustration of a pencil and shapes (triangle, circle, square, etc.)

Graphic Design on a Shoestring

These free and low-cost tools will help your marketing materials shine.

woman with book in front of book shelves

Secrets of Readers’ Advisory — Part Two

Readers’ Advisory Queen Becky Spratford gave us some great advice last month. The conversation continues here.

robot

Connecticut Library Robotics Team Competes at Regional Competition

“Singularity Technology,” the robotics team of the Wilton (CT) Public Library, recently competed at (FTC) FIRST Tech Challenge’s East Super-Regional Championship in Scranton, PA. After winning 2nd place at the State Championship, the team placed 38th out of 72 teams in their first regional championship.

cat

A “Purrfect” Literacy Program

Looking for a creative way to encourage children’s literacy at your library? Reach out to a local humane society or shelter and develop a program for kids to read to cats. Reading is no longer just for the birds; it’s for the enrichment of both cat and child as well!

green dollar sign on gray background

Visualize the Possibilities: Turning Data Into Dollars

Finding funding to support the library is a constant challenge. A powerful, free, new tool from the Foundation Center can help your library connect with grants, partners, and potential funders. It’s a great place to start turning data into dollars for your next big idea.

hypodermic needle on red background

Preventing Overdoses in the Library

San Francisco Public Library is considering training staff members on how to administer Naloxone if they were to encounter someone overdosing in or around the library.

By The Book January/February 2017

Contributing Editor CATHERINE HAKALA-AUSPERK is the owner of Libraries Thrive Consulting. If you’d like to write a review or if there’s a new book you’d like to see reviewed here, please contact Catherine at chakalaausperk@gmail.com. Catherine is currently reading The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg. Editor’s note: Public Library Association policy dictates that PLA […]

woman with gray hair working at a computer

The Aging Library Staff

These career library workers are part of a small but growing segment of Americans who remain in the workforce into their 70s, 80s and 90s.

Checking Out Securely: The Challenge of Staffless Libraries

Without physical staff, some questions are raised: Who monitors the cameras? Who responds to such emergencies? What will the blind spots in the cameras be (like restrooms), and how will they be dealt with? The prevention of theft is a significant concern as well. Certainly a card system and cameras help, but cards and pins can be stolen and hacked, and identities can be hidden from cameras.

illustration of an eye

Big Brother Through the Library

On Monday April 3, 2017 President Trump signed a bill repealing internet privacy rules.