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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.

White cross on red background (medic symbol)

Health and Wellness at the Library

From California to Singapore, new public library buildings are co-locating with spaces for exercise and health. Learn about this trend and try something new in your library.

illustration of mug of beer with foam

San Diego’s Craft Brewing Archive

Need a cold, refreshing look at brewing history? Look no farther than CSU San Marcos’s new Brewchive.

old document with cursive handwriting

Anti-Slavery Collection at Boston Public Library Gets a Digital Makeover

Library launches crowd-sourced transcription project to make 12,000 pieces of abolitionist correspondence searchable.

Barbara Lipska Author Photo

Barbara Lipska on Deciphering and Destigmatizing Mental Illness

In January 2015, doctors informed Barbara Lipska that her melanoma had spread to her brain. With her frontal lobe compromised by tumors, Lipska soon began exhibiting schizophrenia and dementia-like symptoms. The subsequent eight weeks were a harrowing ordeal for Lipska, who was unaware of the affects her illness had on her brain, and her family. Yet two months after she was diagnosed, the experimental immunotherapy doctors prescribed had successful results. With her mental health restored, Lipska applied her skills as a neuroscientist to dissect the physical affects on her brain. Her resulting memoir, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery, co-written with Elaine McArdle, is a moving account of her illness plus an accessible exploration of the relationship between the brain and behavior.

George Orwell

Books Vs. Cigarettes

Although George Orwell is perhaps better known for his scathing attack on totalitarian Stalinist communism in “Animal Farm,” and his dystopian futuristic novel “1984,” he also wrote an engaging short piece in 1947 called “Books vs. Cigarettes.” In this brief essay Orwell discusses a reluctance among many people to purchase books because of their perceived expense. Orwell challenges this general prejudice through an examination of the relative cost of book buying compared to the cost of other items and pursuits.

Ending Sexual Harassment at the Public Library

Sexual harassment has taken center stage recently, and it’s reached epidemic proportions in public libraries.

photo of packed book shelves

Finding Facts at the Library

What part will libraries play in 2018?  Many people believe libraries will continue to serve as the place for responsible information and fact-finding about the world we live in.  After 2017 and the spread of fake news, libraries may in fact supply the instruction and truthful guidance we are looking for.