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News & Opinion

a wall of dryers at a laundromat

Embedded Librarianship: From Laundromats to Zumba Class

I first learned about embedded librarianship in public libraries at the PLA 2014 conference in Indianapolis. There at the program “Creative Community Connections,” librarians from Colorado and Ohio shared their story of embedding library staff in community institutions outside of the library. The panelists defined embedded librarians as those who “attend meetings and events hosted […]

black and white photo of a library orange banner in upper left reads 'social work in public libraries'

Incident Report Writing: A Person-in-Incident Approach

Incident report writing can be intimidating. Something big has happened at the library, and now you have to document it so that staff across your entire system can access the report. And someday your report might even be pulled in a records request for use in court? Talk about pressure!

book club sign

Winter Reading Programs For Adults

Winter reading programming for adults can be a fun way to help your community beat the winter doldrums, encourage reading habits, improve relationships with patrons and further familiarize them with the library and its resources.

photo of a library with curving book stacks

Defining the “Relevance Narrative” in Library Media Coverage

When we validate the premise that libraries and librarians must immediately do something different (presumably, something “new”) to avoid disappearing, we are effectively starting from a point of diminished value.

photo of a person sitting in a chair surrounded by robots

Working Alongside Robots at the Library

It is difficult enough to compete with other qualified candidates who are human – but, with increasing automation, do librarians have to worry about being replaced by robots?

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The Cost of Museum Passes

Without museum passes at the public library, how many economically-challenged individuals will not get to experience a museum’s collection and the knowledge it brings them?

chalkboard with hand writing the word literacy

Basic Literacy a Crucial Aspect of Public Library Service

Can public libraries really claim that they are informing and enriching individuals by supporting the development of literacy and lifelong learning if our citizens keep failing to meet basic literacy levels?

By the Book – Muslims in Story

Our book is a must-have for librarians whose communities do not have any Muslim children. It will help them learn more about Muslims and educate the communities they serve as well. For example, many of the books curated in our “Muslim Kids as Heroes” booklist showcase universal stories that anyone can relate to. Books and resources listed in our book would help all children to empathize and find common ground with Muslims.

seniors at computers with instructor

Tips for Teaching and Troubleshooting Technology

“That’s okay, we’re all learning. Let’s see if we can figure this out together.” Starting with this message creates a safe space for the patron, and helps to manage their expectations. Moreover, it shows that it’s okay not to know everything—technology is an arena in which we all need to explore and problem-solve.

family gathered around a laptop

Family Literacy – A Holistic Approach to Lifelong Learning and Student Success

It can be tough to plan programs to engage the whole family. Research shows parent involvement means better learning outcomes for our kids. And the public library is an ideal community space for these types of programs.

people working around a desk

PLA Seeks Columnists for Public Libraries Magazine

The Public Library Association (PLA) is seeking persons interested in serving as regular column editors for the association’s official magazine.

illustration of a stethoscope

Health Literacy: The Librarians’ Tool to Address Health Disparities

Implicit bias contributes to health disparities within minority populations and thus affects individual as well as community health. Libraries can be part of the solution by increasing their community’s health literacy, a proven, effective tool in addressing health disparities for vulnerable communities.

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Keeping Things Found

Why is it we always find what we are looking for in the last place we look?

thought bubbling with various upcyclable items illustrated

Upcycling Program Meets the Needs of Two Community Groups

“Helping Hands: Upcycling with Dual Purposes” is an arts and crafts program at the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s (MDPLS) Country Walk Branch Library. This program works to meet the needs of two communities — older adults and homeless populations — at the same time. Patrons socialize at the library while they make sleeping mats from […]

photo of a laundromat with large orange machines

Story Time at the Laundromat

My sisters and I were yearning for entertainment that was anything other than staring at our laundry spinning in circles over and over again. Occasionally we had books to read but we would have benefited from (and enjoyed!) a story time program put on by local librarians. The Chicago Public Library has done just that for families who spend plenty of their time at laundromats like my family did.