A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

News & Opinion › Page 2

cup of tea on top of a note that says mind full or mindful?

Mindfulness in Times of Extreme Stress

The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are relevant personally and professionally as we continue to live in the upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are enduring a collective trauma. What does this mean for us physically, physiologically, and mentally?

Post it note feature a light bulb (signifying bright idea) tacked to a bulletin board

Engaging with Patrons via Social Media

We’re learning how to connect with patrons on the fly. Here are a few ways my library is keeping our patrons informed and entertained on social media.

illustration of hands reaching up with hearts on them

Understanding the Community as a Librarian and a Neighbor

Food insecurity, a concern faced by many communities, has intensified in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

illustration of hands reaching up with hearts on them

Collaborative Resource Sharing in Difficult Times

As libraries shutter their doors and send staff to work from home during this crisis, many are scrambling to still offer content, virtually, to their communities. These tips will help you find high-quality and engaging content to share, as we all shelter this storm.

safety hazard sign that says safety measures keep safe distance and show three figures with arrows between them

COVID-19: The Impact on Public Libraries

Public libraries hustle to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Public Libraries Podcast logo

New Podcast! EDISJ with Jessica Bratt

Our guest is Jessica Bratt, Youth Services Manager at the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Library. Jessica began the DigiBridge partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, and received national recognition as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She writes reviews for library trade publications, serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Library Association, and on the ALA 2019 Coretta Scott […]

reading room of a large urban public library

Resisting “Vocational Awe” During the Pandemic

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s time to reexamine questions: Is vocational awe harming us? Is it harming the profession? Is it harming the public?

photo of dictionary definition of the word empathy

Building a More Empathetic Library Culture

In these times of great uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, empathy is a valuable skill in libraries. No matter our position or job title, we all have opportunities to lead, and can utilize this crisis to build more empathetic cultures within our organizations.

two hands making a heart symbol

Combating Stress During Times of Crisis

The same vocational awe that leads us to a career of tirelessly connecting people with free and equal access to information, resources, and each other, can lead to inevitable burnout under normal circumstances. In times of crisis, when environmental stressors abound, we must be especially careful not to forget that in order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves.

daily planner page with job interview written in red

Work Really Hard and Be Kind

To find a job when I was done earning my degree, I knew I would have to go above and beyond – I had to work really hard, and be kind. And spoiler alert: it worked.

Voting at the Library

Registering voters and serving as a polling place is one way libraries “live the mission.” Although state and local voting laws vary, many areas allow and even require public libraries to serve as voter registration sites and polling locations. Madison Public Library in Wisconsin is among them. “All 9 of our library locations serve as […]

illustration of a hand holding a clipboard

The Census Starts in Two Weeks

Are You Ready for Patron Questions? On March 12, millions of American households will begin receiving mailings inviting them to respond to the 2020 Census. To get an accurate count, everyone has to respond – if they don’t, our libraries and communities will lose needed funding. As the mailings arrive, and especially with the new […]

Dog surrounded by books

Dogs and Libraries: A Paw-Fect Match

A growing number of libraries are offering programs inviting therapy dogs to sit and listen as young patrons practice reading aloud inspiring a new generation of readers.

Election Year at the Library

From voting booths for kids to speed-dating candidates, libraries are encouraging all community members to participate in democracy.

Public Libraries Podcast logo

New Podcast! The 2020 Census and Public Libraries

In this episode, Larra Clark, PLA and ALA Washington Office Public Policy and Advocacy Deputy Director, and Michelle Perera, Director of the Pasadena (California) Public Library discuss the 2020 census. With billions in federal funding at stake over the next ten years, it is crucial for libraries that an accurate count is taken. Clark and […]