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News & Opinion

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The Return to Public Spaces: Alleviating Anxiety for Staff, Patrons, and Yourself

All of us have different feelings related to the end of the pandemic and a return to normal life. As keepers of a public space, librarians are wise to bear this in mind when thinking about our library guests, staff, and ourselves.

Social Work in Public Libraries

Guidance for Social Work Positions at the Library

While a library/social work partnership may seem like a no-brainer, there is much for a library system to consider before partnering with a social work professional. We’d like to share some of those considerations to help you determine if a social work program could be a good fit for your library.

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Serving the Incarcerated During the Pandemic

Libraries have been providing service to the incarcerated for many decades. While this past year has challenged the ability to serve the general public, many library systems continue to reach out to jail and prison populations. Here are examples from three large library systems that reflect the variety of creative programs and the outstanding efforts […]

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Working Paper Seeks to Quantify Library ROI

Study shows correlation between library capital investment and student success.

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Library Spaces and Well Building Ideals

According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend about 90% of their time inside buildings. Based on data for the 20-21 fiscal year, the total number of computer sessions in my library system was 77,769, with each session lasting, on average, forty minutes. This means that the residents spend more than 50,000 hours at the public library in a given year, making the public library one of the most popular indoor spaces

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Library Book Bikes Gaining in Popularity

Book bikes — a portable, eco-friendly, and relatively low-cost investment — are experiencing something of a renaissance as public libraries find creative ways to take their collections and resources outdoors.

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From Alone to Together Again: Using Data to Deliver Value

Meet Patron 11. Let’s call her a super fan! She’s a 35-44 year-old white woman with a husband and two children. They use many of the library’s services – they max out their borrowing, they spread out in the space, they rattle off the new services the library rolls out, and they are strong advocates […]

IFLA Public Library of the Year Award Finalists

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has announced five finalists for the sixth annual Public Library of the Year award, with the winner to be announced on August 19th during the IFLA’s annual conference, to be taken place virtually this year. The Public Library of the Year award goes to a library […]

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Local PBS Stations Help Libraries Plan for the Year Ahead

WQED/Pittsburgh’s Inquire Within Network offers a model for collaboration between public libraries and public television stations. Libraries should ask their local public television stations these questions and get resources to kick-start, reimagine, or build upon community-responsive programming.

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Cursed — A Conversation with Karol Ruth Silverstein

Since 2004, ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award has honored an author or illustrator for a title that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.  In 2020, the “teen” category prize went to screenwriter and first-time novelist Karol Ruth Silverstein’s Cursed, published in 2019 by Charlesbridge Teen. Readers meet 14-year-old […]

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Act to Ensure Libraries Part of Infrastructure Act

Within the next two weeks Congress will make historic decisions about how to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. ALA is asking advocates to act to ensure libraries aren’t left out.

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Are We Reaching the End of Library DVD Collections?

When then-President Trump early voted at the Palm Beach County’s Main Library, late night host Jimmy Kimmel featured it in his show’s opening monologue. In addition to the usual jokes at the President’s expense, Kimmel was amazed by the long row of DVD shelving in the background. “Those are all DVDs. It’s a huge DVD […]

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ALA Group Calls on Publishers to Update Pricing Models

The ALA Joint Digital Content Working Group has issued a position paper on ebook lending, calling on publishers to update their models for pricing and licensing to enhance equity of access for public, academic, and school libraries.

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Twelve Months of Passive Programming

Passive programming can be a challenge. More so, the difficulty is determining how to supply activities that are not too pricey (we try to supply enough kits for 60 patrons) and too complicated for patrons to follow via printout instructions. With that being said, my library has successfully carried out twelve months of dynamic passive […]

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Make Your Library ADA Friendly, Not Just ADA Compliant

Having an ADA compliant library is necessary by law, but you can go above the ADA requirements to become an ADA friendly library and better help your patrons with different abilities.