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The Library Needs Laughter

As library leaders, we need to do better, be funnier, and use humor liberally especially when times are tough and things are hard. Your staff, and ultimately your patrons, will thank you for it.

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Making Social Change: Promote Civility

The public library by our mission and place within communities across the country is in a position to help facilitate positive social change. 

jar of pickles

Anyone Can Make Homemade Pickles: Teaching Canning at the Library

As the homesteading and sustainability movement grows larger every year, a basic class in Canning and Preserving is just what your community library needs. Besides Raising Your Chickens and How to Live Off the Grid classes, canning and preserving is a hobby anyone can do in their home, with a minimal amount of cost.

person at library working on computer

Writer-in-Residence Project at Québec Library

During the visit of the first floor, I noticed a study room with glass walls. Inside a man sat, concentrated, in front of a notebook and a large, colorful candy jar which immediately caught my attention. Our guide explained that he was Mathieu Blais, the current “writer-in-residence”

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Mindfulness in the Library

After suffering from burnout for a while, I took a professional development course on mindfulness through ALA’s Online Learning platform. I heard a lot about mindfulness meditation but never practiced it. I was in a difficult state but I am improving little by little.

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PLA Podcast: FYI 026 Guest Eric Motley Author of Madison Park: A Place of Hope

PLA’s Brendan Dowling Talks with Eric Motley, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute about his new book, “Madison Park: A Place of Hope.” Motley shares stories from his childhood and about the place he was raised, an African-American community established by freed slaves, and elaborates on how those experiences shaped his journey all the way to the Bush White House.

people around a table having a meeting

The Best Meeting Ever

Have you ever asked your colleagues about the best meetings they’ve ever attended? While most of us have probably told war stories about mediocre to downright awful meetings, stopping to think about the very best meetings you’ve attended can be instructive.

ebook reviews

Review – Called Out: A Novel of Base Ball and America in 1908 by Floyd Sullivan

Today, professional baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry. But back in 1908, it was still experiencing growing pains. As the young game exploded in popularity, it was also rife with scandal, while unruly behavior from fans often gave baseball a bad name.

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Hurricane Harvey Did Not Spare Texas Libraries

Hurricane Harvey caused record-breaking rainfall to the Houston-Galveston area the last week of August 2017, as tens of thousands of Texas residents evacuated their homes for the crowded emergency shelters.

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Gathering Space: Meeting Room Policies in the Age of Charlottesville

If the library of the future is a gathering space, who will be allowed to gather?

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National Novel Writing Month Is Not Just for November

The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. Writers register at NaNoWriMo.org and keep a running tally of their progress, and share their novel’s current word count and synopsis.

Because Libraries are Partners in A Healthy Community Poster

Promoting Healthy Communities: Connecting Public Libraries with Health Information

Whether they’re searching the Internet, watching television, or browsing social media, Americans are bombarded with information related to their health, but the messages they’re receiving may not be understandable, reliable, or even credible. Faced with confusing medical terminology, conflicting reports, and a constantly changing healthcare system, people are looking to their local public libraries for guidance. That’s why the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is partnering with the Public Library Association (PLA): to help libraries meet the challenges of keeping up with evidence-based health resources and producing successful health programming.

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Libraries as Vibrant Community Hubs: A Report From the ARSL Conference

The Association for Rural and Small Libraries recently held their tenth annual conference. More than 550 librarians gathered to discuss issues and concerns unique to libraries in sparsely populated areas. Next year’s conference will be in Springfield, Illinois. 

barbed wire fence

A Day in the Life of a Prison Librarian

When someone mentions a prison library, some might picture a small, dark room in the bowels of a prison, a weary librarian toiling among old and outdated material, prisoners creeping among the stacks, guards alert for any sign of trouble. At least, that is how I pictured a prison library. That was before I worked in one for two years.

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Library Program Ideas for Media Literacy Week 2017

As trusted institutions that are accessible to all ages, public libraries are uniquely positioned to provide media literacy education through many programming options. The third annual U.S. Media Literacy Week will be November 6-10, 2017.