A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

News & Opinion › Page 3

laptop computer open notebook and pen

Digital Literacy Support in Libraries: More than Just Your Computer Classes

Digital literacy initiatives within local libraries are imperative to helping our patrons create and upload resumes, sign up and use email to communicate with friends and family, download an app to get a ride to the airport, create and edit a presentation to share at work, search for a new doctor online, create a movie to complete a school project, communicate with a computer technician when their device has issues, and so much more.

people having a meeting

Shifting Expectations for Staff in a 21st Century Library

To stay competitive in the today’s attention economy, it’s imperative that we pay attention.   

book shelves

Importance of a Collection’s Inclusivity

Wanting to have certain items labeled in a manner that excludes them from the importance of the overall collection is marginalizing, at best, and, more likely the case, insidious, at worst.

giant hand picking up tiny employee by head illustration

The Dangers of Micromanagement

If you’ve worked in a library for any considerable amount of time, chances are you’ve experienced micromanagement on some level.

Masked face behind laptop

People Don’t Care About Privacy 

When user data is king, libraries get left behind.

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

The Youth Opportunity Design Approach (YODA)

Did the word “YODA” catch your eye too?  Anything involving a little green, gruff voiced Star Wars icon would get anyone’s attention, right?  Well that and anything involving “Youth” jumps out at me too.  I attended PLA’s “The Youth Opportunity Design Approach” and got more than I anticipated!

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Preserving Local African American History at the Public Library

While working for Athens Regional Library System (ARLS), archivist Angela Stanley realized that the rich history of African Americans in her community wasn’t well-reflected in the library’s archival collection. So, with the help of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Match-Your-Project” tool, she was able to find and apply for a Common Heritage grant, which was developed to help small to mid-size organizations digitize archival materials and perform community outreach about preservation.

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

(Re)Building Latina/o Outreach: Steps to Engaging Your Community

By Andrea Castillo, andrea.castillo101@gmail.com. Partnerships between libraries and local Latino/a communities begin with relationship-building, both within and outside of the library’s walls, according to Miguel Ruiz, Latino engagement librarian for the Evanston Public Library, which serves a community of about 75,000 in suburban Chicago. As the Latino engagement librarian, Ruiz’s work focuses on outreach (going into […]

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Providing Immigration Services and Rebuilding Latinx Outreach

While attending the 2018 PLA conference in Philadelphia, I was thrilled to see a number of sessions that discussed the many issues that are affecting public libraries and their communities. Working at a public library in a densely populated Latinx neighborhood, I was hoping to attend sessions that would introduce me to resources and strategies to better serve this community. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is vital for libraries to support their Latina/o population. Two sessions that were the most impactful and beneficial to this cause, were “Providing Immigration Services in Public Libraries: Making It Possible is Not Impossible” and “(Re)Building Latina/o Outreach: Steps to Engaging Your Community.

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Reflecting Community: The Importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Library Staffing

By Rachel Masilamani, rachel.masilamani@gmail.com. PLA2018 offered several excellent programs related to serving diverse communities, and improving institutional equity and inclusion.  As a beneficiary of ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program, I have been personally and professionally engaged with these needs in libraries for my entire career.  I believe that a crucial component of any public library’s success in […]

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Drawing Millennials into the Library

“Millennials Take Over the Library” was a must-see session at PLA 2018. Presenter Jackie Flowers from the Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Public Library showed how her library has implemented user-centered design to draw in this often misunderstood generation of people. She sought to answer how libraries can successfully market to the millennial generation, when business and large corporations are having such a hard time drawing them in. As part of the millennial generation and working in a community with a large millennial community, this session interested me because I wanted to know how to draw in a greater millennial group into the library for more than just books or wifi. Flowers tackled this session with humor and a message that has stuck with me since.

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Building Meaningful Relationships through Community Engagement

At the 2018 PLA Conference, Maggie Killman, Youth Community Engagement Librarian, and Gabriel Venditti, Community Engagement Librarian, gave a presentation called Building Meaningful Relationships through Community Engagement, in which they discussed the importance of increasing community engagement by creating more adaptive public services.

ALA Spectrum Scholars-Dispatches from PLA 2018

Applying an Equity Lens: Shifting Resources to Reach Low Income Audiences

“Equity” is a word that seems to be on everyone’s lips. As a resident and public librarian in a region undergoing rapid economic changes, including the displacement of long-standing communities of color and lower-income neighborhoods, “equity” has certainly been on my mind and heart.

ebook reviews

Serendipity: Seemingly Random Events, Insignificant Decisions, and Accidental Discoveries that Altered History

To achieve fame and success requires a lot of hard work and determination. Yet it often requires some good fortune as well. Thomas Thorson tells many of these stories in his book, Serendipity: Seemingly Random Events, Insignificant Decisions, and Accidental Discoveries that Altered History.

A Prescription for Graphic Medicine

Graphic medicine is a rapidly growing area of creation, research and teaching that brings together the visual/textual language of comics with stories of illness and health care.