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News & Opinion

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Flatter, Focused, and Community Led – Public Library Staffing Continues to Evolve

21st century public libraries are adapting their internal structures to serve their patrons and communities in new ways. An informal look at public library structures from around the country shows they are becoming flatter organizations. Middle management or “deputy director” positions are not common. Directors often have more than five direct reports. Many support functions, […]

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New Podcast! Library Marketing with Cordelia Anderson

We talk library marketing and PR with Cordelia Anderson, a marketing and communications consultant who works primarily with libraries and nonprofits. She is also the former director of marketing and communications at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library in North Carolina. Anderson shares her concept of the library marketing funnel, understanding the library user’s wants and needs, the importance of the overall customer experience, and finding where library users are dropping off at your library.

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Media Literacy Ideas

In this post-truth age of fake news and filter bubbles, what are public libraries across the U.S. doing to help community members become more discerning users of media information?

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Do’s & Don’ts of Supervising Library Volunteers

Volunteer workers make the library world go ‘round, and it is important for supervisors to cultivate good relationships with volunteers and to ensure that volunteers are adequately prepared to perform their job duties. Here are some tips for making the most of your volunteer workforce for the benefit of staff, volunteers, and patrons alike.

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Staying Social: Why Your Library Needs Social Media Policies

Social media is relatively easy to publish to and free or low-cost, making it genuinely accessible to any type of organization. This ease, however, can come at a price — more and more often we hear stories of businesses dealing with fallout from a poorly thought out post.

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A Woman’s Place is in the House (And Senate!)

“Knock Down the House,” a new Netflix documentary about four female challengers who ran for congress in 2018, won two audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

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New Podcast! Social Services at Hennepin County

We talk with Kate Coleman, Outreach Coordinator at the Hennepin County (MN) Library about the library’s social services offerings, outreach, and more. Resources for this Podcast: Hennepin County (MN) Library Finding Solutions to Homelessness at Hennepin County Library Peer Navigators Demystify Social Service System

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New Podcast – REFORMA’s Children in Crisis Task Force

We talk with Oralia Garza de Cortés, Coordinator for REFORMA’s Children in Crisis and Patrick Sullivan, Emeritus Librarian at San Diego State University, about the organization’s efforts to provide books and storytime materials to children detained at the southern border. Resources for this Podcast: REFORMA’s Children In Crisis Project Website Librarians Respond to Humanitarian Crisis […]

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It’s About Who Knows You

Networking: love it or hate it, it’s tough to ignore this facet of the modern career. Many experts tout the importance of making connections in order to further one’s career, but it can be difficult and overwhelming to get started.

May/June 2019 Cover of Public Libraries Magazine

Go For It! Advice From Library Directors

WHAT DO LIBRARY DIRECTORS DO? The answer to this question may seem self-evident, but it is actually a lot more complicated than it first appears.

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The 24/7 Library

Revisiting the 24/7 library idea.

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Superheroes Need Not Apply

But there are also other actions taken by my staff to help the public that I have yet seen taught in library schools. Sometimes staff members act as therapists, or substance abuse counselors. Or social workers. Or confidantes. Or interventionists. Or psychiatrists. Or tax consultants. Or coaches. Or childcare providers.

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500 Year-Old Library Catalog Found in University Collection

What one could call “the holy grail of books” has been found in the Arnamagnæan Collection at the University of Copenhagen. “The Libro de los Epítomes manuscript, which is more than a foot thick, contains more than 2,000 pages and summaries from the library of Hernando Colón, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus.

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How to Attend a Conference

So yes, attending professional conferences is an excellent way to meet your peers, learn new techniques, and network, and these are all wonderful reasons to attend. The question is not really should you attend (of course you should!) but how?

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Providing Healthcare Information Services in Small and Rural Libraries

by Jacqueline F. Rammer, Library Director, Lakeview Community LibraryRandom Lake, WI — jrammer@monarchlibraries.org As librarians working in rural and oftentimes small libraries, our days consist of so many things. From being the town warm-up center during a frigid snowstorm to hosting a never-ending number of bake sales, our plates are full. So, when it comes […]