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News & Opinion

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Collaborative Resource Sharing in Difficult Times

As libraries shutter their doors and send staff to work from home during this crisis, many are scrambling to still offer content, virtually, to their communities. These tips will help you find high-quality and engaging content to share, as we all shelter this storm.

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COVID-19: The Impact on Public Libraries

Public libraries hustle to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.


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New Podcast! EDISJ with Jessica Bratt

Our guest is Jessica Bratt, Youth Services Manager at the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Library. Jessica began the DigiBridge partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, and received national recognition as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She writes reviews for library trade publications, serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Library Association, and on the ALA 2019 Coretta Scott […]

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Resisting “Vocational Awe” During the Pandemic

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s time to reexamine questions: Is vocational awe harming us? Is it harming the profession? Is it harming the public?

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Building a More Empathetic Library Culture

In these times of great uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, empathy is a valuable skill in libraries. No matter our position or job title, we all have opportunities to lead, and can utilize this crisis to build more empathetic cultures within our organizations.

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Combating Stress During Times of Crisis

The same vocational awe that leads us to a career of tirelessly connecting people with free and equal access to information, resources, and each other, can lead to inevitable burnout under normal circumstances. In times of crisis, when environmental stressors abound, we must be especially careful not to forget that in order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves.

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Work Really Hard and Be Kind

To find a job when I was done earning my degree, I knew I would have to go above and beyond – I had to work really hard, and be kind. And spoiler alert: it worked.

Voting at the Library

Registering voters and serving as a polling place is one way libraries “live the mission.” Although state and local voting laws vary, many areas allow and even require public libraries to serve as voter registration sites and polling locations. Madison Public Library in Wisconsin is among them. “All 9 of our library locations serve as […]

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The Census Starts in Two Weeks

Are You Ready for Patron Questions? On March 12, millions of American households will begin receiving mailings inviting them to respond to the 2020 Census. To get an accurate count, everyone has to respond – if they don’t, our libraries and communities will lose needed funding. As the mailings arrive, and especially with the new […]

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Dogs and Libraries: A Paw-Fect Match

A growing number of libraries are offering programs inviting therapy dogs to sit and listen as young patrons practice reading aloud inspiring a new generation of readers.

Election Year at the Library

From voting booths for kids to speed-dating candidates, libraries are encouraging all community members to participate in democracy.

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New Podcast! The 2020 Census and Public Libraries

In this episode, Larra Clark, PLA and ALA Washington Office Public Policy and Advocacy Deputy Director, and Michelle Perera, Director of the Pasadena (California) Public Library discuss the 2020 census. With billions in federal funding at stake over the next ten years, it is crucial for libraries that an accurate count is taken. Clark and […]

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Graves Lost or Found? There’s an App for That!

Most library reference questions regarding cemetery data aren’t quite as urgent as this one, but libraries do often receive requests for such information from genealogists and historians. Thanks to new technology, including crowdsourcing via apps and websites, such information is becoming more accessible.

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Cooking at the Library

Hosting programs around cooking increases financial and/or health literacy and offers wonderful tie-ins such as cultural aspects of cooking or cookbooks. From small rural libraries with heat plates to multi-branch libraries with own culinary learning centers, public libraries have embraced food-based programs.

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Is Your Library Hiring?

Plan To Have a Presence at the PLA 2020 Career FairIs your library hiring? On Wednesday afternoon of the PLA 2020 conference (February 26) from 3:30-6:30pm, PLA will host a Career Fair at the Career Center in the Exhibits Hall. If your library would like to host a table and connect with job seekers at […]