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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.

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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.

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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?

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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 […]

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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.

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

Supporting Autonomy while Setting Clear Boundaries

As library social workers, we are often asked how to address behaviors in the public library setting. Sometimes this is framed in the question, “How do we address homelessness (insert other social issues) in our libraries?” Despite the fact that people would like an easy answer to that question, there isn’t one, because wrapped up in the question itself are human beings — individuals, people with personal histories they’ve brought to the place they are now, inside your public library.

computer keyboard with padlock and key

The Drawbacks of Two-Factor Authentication

John Doe wanted an email address so that he could get a job. According to DMR Business statistics, as of October 26, 2018 there were 1.5 billion Gmail accounts, making Gmail one of the most utilized free email services available. In order to create the Gmail account, he needed to enable two-factor authentication. He borrowed his girlfriend’s cellphone to set this up.

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PLA 2019 Early Literacy Activities Calendar

Based on the Every Child Ready to Read practices of reading, writing, singing, talking, playing (and now counting), each download contains twelve months of learning activities, book lists, nursery rhymes, and more.

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New Podcast! Whole Person Librarianship

Our guest for this episode is Sara Zettervall. Sara is the founding consultant and trainer for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She also works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis.

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Libraries Lead with Digital Skills

ALA and Grow with Google launched a national tour of public libraries this week as part of a new partnership to expand resources and services promoting economic opportunity in cities and towns across the country.

children looking at a book

Figuring It Out

I’m good with teens and I know why. I listen to them and I don’t talk down to them. I treat them as whole people with complex emotions. I like to joke around with them and I enjoy making them feel like someone is listening. But how do I do this with children? How do I share library space with them in a way that is authentic and in a way that recognizes them as a whole person – even for those who don’t have language yet.