A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

May/June 2013Volume 52, No. 3

Ann Patchett

A Partnership Between These Two Entities: A Conversation with Ann Patchett

While Ann Patchett is probably best known for her novels or even her ownership of Nashville’s Parnassus Books, she supported herself for many years at the beginning of her career as a nonfiction writer. With her new book, This is The Story of a Happy Marriage, she has collected many of these essays (previously published in Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s, among others) and assembled them, often rewriting them to more accurately reflect her experience. The cumulative effect is engrossing, leaving the reader with a panoramic view of Patchett’s life, where each piece shines a unique perspective on the events and people in Patchett’s world. Brendan Dowling interviewed Patchett on June 30, 2013, right before she keynoted the PLA President’s Program and Awards Presentation at the ALA Annual Conference.

New Product News – May/June 2013

OCLC’s Library Spotlight When a patron is looking for your library on the Internet, they might not always be able to find the correct information. OCLC has developed a new program called Library Spotlight, which pulls information from the World-Cat Registry and connects your library’s information with online directories like Yelp. Libraries can update their […]

Ten Essential Qualities for Success: A New Cataloging Librarian’s Guide from a Supervisor’s Perspective

During my career as a librarian and, in particular, as a supervisor, I interviewed many candidates for the position of cataloging librarian. Few were prepared to answer the question, “What are the essential qualities of a successful cataloging librarian?” The most popular response given was “detail oriented.” While the very nature of working as a cataloging librarian requires comfort in managing detailed tasks, there exist many more qualities essential to an effective and efficient cataloging librarian. The following ten qualities will help you achieve success in cataloging.

Lifetime Arts: Delivering Arts Education Programs for Today’s Older Adults

Increasingly important as community centers for learning and cultural access, libraries are struggling to respond to the changing needs of today’s older adult library patrons. One of the biggest related questions facing library system directors, branch managers, and programming librarians is what kind of programs can libraries provide that offer meaningful engagement for older adults—and how can libraries implement and pay for programs with limited staff and shrinking budgets? Through the development of their award-winning program, the Creative Aging Libraries Project, Lifetime Arts has cracked the code to this conundrum, already having partnered with 125+ libraries and assisted and trained 250 librarians to work with professional teaching artists and engaging thousands of older adults in nearly 1,000 visual, performing, and literary arts classes. This innovative program model is demonstrating how public libraries can fulfill their potential as community centers for positive and creative aging.

Planning to Thrive: Sustainable Public Libraries

Public libraries are at a critical juncture; usage is up while funding is down. Library leaders cannot afford to be complacent; we must adapt traditional tools and employ fresh thinking, new skills, discipline, and hard work. Ensuring the sustainability of public libraries should include attention to strategic planning, community building, and advocacy. It has become clear that neither public goodwill toward libraries nor libraries delivering excellent services will guarantee adequate support and funding—we need to find new ways to ensure that public libraries will survive and thrive in the future.

Bicycle Tourists: Staying Connected at Public Libraries

Each year thousands of bicycle tourists stop at public libraries throughout the United States. They are looking for a place to relax, access to computers and Wi-Fi, and a knowledgeable person that can provide information about the area. In this article, public libraries situated along transnational bicycle routes or statewide bike rides share their experiences in providing services to bicycle tourists passing through their towns and using their libraries.

Bee Ridgway Author Photo

As I Like It: A Conversation with Bee Ridgway

Bee Ridgway’s debut novel, The River of No Return, might be the most fun novel you’ll read this summer. A rollicking adventure that deftly weaves several genres, River tells the story of Lord Nicholas Falcott, who discovers his ability to time-travel when he jumps forward two hundred years during a battle in the Napoleonic Wars. […]

Promoting the Printz Award

During 2012, I spent every spare moment of my time reading and rereading young adult (YA) literature. As part of the 2013 Printz Committee, I joined eight of my fellow librarians in reading and discussing books. It was one of the highlights of my career. I learned so much about reading critically, discussing books, and evaluating literature, and these are skills that will stay with me and help me become a better librarian.

Every Day I’m Tumbling

Like Pinterest, Tumblr allows users to collect interesting things they find (or create) online and share them with people in their network. But where Pinterest allows users to gather what they find into curated collections, Tumblr is more focused on pushing material out on the web and watching other folks consume it. If Pinterest is a cabinet of wonders, Tumblr is more like an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant where delicacies come to you via conveyor belt.

It’s Been a Blast!

My year in office as PLA president has been a privilege and an honor. It occurred during a time in my life that now seems like an absolute whirlwind, both personally and professionally! On June 23, 2012, my term as PLA president officially began.