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Feature article nov/dec 2021 public libraries magazine

We Can Do Better — Best (And Worst) Practices for Managers Responding to Sexual Harassment Claims

Sexual harassment from patrons has long been a significant issue for library employees, but front-line staff are often the ones who bear the burden of enacting change, while having the least amount of power in the workplace. It’s time to place the responsibility for enacting meaningful change where it belongs: with managers and administrators. This article looks at some of the best (and worst) practices for managers when it comes to supporting staff and addressing sexual harassment claims.

Feature article nov/dec 2021 public libraries magazine

We All Win — Training and Advancement for Non-MLS Library Workers

There is a shift happening in East Bay Libraries, in California. One after another, hiring managers are inviting librarian candidates to the interview
table who do not have a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).

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Stop Trying to Make Book Banning a Thing

Book banning has become an unfortunate trend. According to ALA, the rate of attempted book bannings in September 2021 was a 67% increase from September 2020. Challenged books deal overwhelmingly with two topics: race and LGBTQ+ issues.

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Gazing Into the Crystal Ball

The one thing we can all predict about the future is that it will be unpredictable. That being said, we also know that certain themes carry forward like clockwork. After two crazy years, what does the future hold for public libraries?

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Improving Virtual Reference Services for LGBTQIA+ Users

Public libraries can do more to improve virtual reference services for their LGBTQIA+ users and customers. Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library and other library systems are leading the way.

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Missing Karen

Karen Blumenthal (1959-2020) was a journalist, a teacher, a historian, a biographer, a master needle-pointer, a cookie-maker, a proud Texas native, a much-loved wife and mother, an enthusiastic Dallas sports fan, a passionate public library supporter, a tireless fund-raiser, and a dedicated civic volunteer.

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New FYI Podcast Episode! PLA Benchmark & Library Staff Diversity Survey

Sara Goek, Program Manager at the Public Library Association and Linda Hofschire, Director of the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) discuss the 2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity Survey and “Benchmark: Library Metrics and Trends,” the latest evolution in PLA’s data-driven initiatives and tools for libraries.

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Readers Advisory Reimagined

How do we create sustainable RA practices that empower staff and embed Readers’ Advisory fully into libraries?

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2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity Survey

PLA invites all US public libraries to complete the 2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity Survey! The deadline has been extended to January 14, 2022.

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TikTok as a Primary Source

Social media is making a big impact on history and historical events, so why aren’t we thinking of using TikTok as a vehicle to document said historical events?

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Criminalizing Book Selection

Yes, you read the title right. In a (sadly) not-so-surprising turn of events, a parent attempted to press charges for collection decisions made at the Central Kitsap School District in Washington state.

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A Salute to the Schneider

Since 2004, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Schneider Family Book Award has been given annually to honor an author or illustrator for a work that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prizes are bestowed in the categories of Young Children, Middle School, and Teen.

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Ending Late Fees: A Case for Equity

Public libraries in New York City are officially putting an end to late fees. They now join a group of libraries across the country working to provide more equitable access to library resources.

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Surveying Library Services to the Justice-Involved

Public libraries provide services that are critical to people who are recently released from jails and prisons, and to the families of people who are incarcerated—but did you realize that many public libraries also provide services directly to people in jails, prisons, and other detention centers? Library Services to the Justice Involved (LSJI), an ALA […]

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Kevin Young on the Poets in Conversation in His Extraordinary New Anthology

Kevin Young’s African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Strong represents an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of American poetry, creating an anthology where readers can see poets in conversation with each other as well as the time in which they lived. Young, who currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, assembled the collection with extraordinary care and compassion, bringing lesser-known poets to the forefront and highlighting the critical work African American poets have played in both the country’s culture and history. The result is a thrilling collection that will allow readers to discover new writers as well as celebrate beloved favorites.