A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Food Center: Meeting Food Insecure Patrons Outside the Library

As a library, we have been long time supporters of our local food center. However, it wasn’t until the past few years that we actively began to provide programming at the center. It started as one of many places we were looking to try to share information about what the library had to offer, but it turned into something different over time.

illustration of food truck type vehicle with books in window

Pop-Up Libraries: Meeting Patrons Where They Are

The Wichita, Kansas, Public Library has a great idea: if the people won’t come to you, go to the people. Similar in concept to cities that are providing libraries in housing developments, the idea is a simple one. Readers may have forgotten how much they like to read, and just need to be reminded. So twice a month during the summer, a librarian takes a vintage trunk filled with a couple of dozen books down to the Pop-Up Urban Park (downtown Wichita) at lunchtime and offers literature to go with the food truck cuisine.

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Library Directors Group Enables Collaboration and Learning

The support from the community of library directors is one that I value greatly and am thankful to have.

We Are The Second Responders

In my view, librarians are second responders; a later role that is much needed and of significant importance.  We are the group that enters the picture during the second wave of disaster relief, when many others have forgotten or grown weary of hearing of the situation.

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Millennials Love Public Libraries

Pew Research Center finds Millennials most likely to use public libraries.

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Read & Reward: Kids Read Books to Pay Off Fines

Paying off fines can be as easy as reading a book or attending a library program for kids in Northern Illinois.

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Fantasy Football, Information Literacy, and the Library

In August 2015, I invited Evan Silva, fantasy football author/podcaster/expert, to speak to an audience at the Skokie (IL) Public Library (SPL). Silva, though well known in the fantasy football world, had never spoken at a library or similar educational institution and wasn’t sure why I would contact him. To me, the connection was obvious. Librarians help and teach our patrons to find the best information possible in order to make the best decisions possible.

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I Love Change: So Why Does It Still Scare Me?

Examining the personal and environmental effects of change to better understand it.

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Vanessa Grigoriadis On How Shoe-Leather Reporting Shaped Her Latest Book

Vanessa Grigoriadis’ Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus is a  thoughtful overview of sexual assault on today’s college campuses. Interviewing over a hundred students, parents, and university officials, Grigoriadis combines meticulous research with beautiful writing to produce a panoptic view of today’s college campus. A sensitive look at a painful topic, Blurred Lines is a must-read for parents of college-age children.

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Amy Stewart On Solving The Problems Of Her Characters’ Everyday Life

Amy Stewart’s Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions marks the third in the acclaimed Kopp Sisters’ series, which kicked off with 2015’s Girl Waits With Gun. Here, eldest sister Constance, now a deputy sheriff, bucks against a system where local women are being jailed under flimsy (yet legal) pretenses. As she fights to bring justice to two recently arrested women, her youngest sister Fleurette contemplates pursuing her theatrical ambitions, threatening to disrupt the close-knit family dynamic. With Confessions, Stewart mines an often overlooked period of American history, yielding rewarding results while providing a captivating legal thriller. Fans of historical fiction will be eager to see how the three Kopp sisters—the steadfast Constance, flinty Norma, and starry-eyed Fleurette—continue to surprise as they navigate their sharply changing world. Amy Stewart spoke to Brendan Dowling via telephone on August 4th, 2017.

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New Quick Reads — Jail and Prison Library Service

In the fourth installment from PLA’s “Quick Reads for Busy Librarians” series, Nicholas Higgins, director of outreach services at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, shares wisdom gleaned from years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons. But Higgins doesn’t just provide nuts and bolts information, he also considers the shortcomings of the American Criminal Justice system including embedded racism and harsh sentencing laws that have led to statistics like one in fifteen black men over the age of eighteen is incarcerated in this country. Higgins provides all this background as a framework in the hopes that readers will become more conscious of how they think and talk about prisons and prisoners.

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Experimenting with Technology

Sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto (CA) City Library is taking the lead in exploring the future of library services. As part of our mission to “inspire and nurture innovation, discovery, and delight,” the library explored how cutting edge technologies like robots and 3D design can be applied in libraries. Generous support from a Pacific Library Partnership Innovation Grant made this effort possible. 

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Other Duties as Assigned – Public Librarians in the Heart of the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse is reaching critical levels in many cities across the country. Some public librarians have taken on the battle firsthand.

Children reading

How To Raise a Reader

The editors at The New York Times Book Review, a weekly paper magazine, created a wonderful guide for parents looking for that answer, “How to Raise a Reader.” Editor Pamela Paul, and Children’s Book Editor Maria Russo offer easy-to-follow steps for parents and caregivers as well numerous book recommendations for ages birth-teen. The guide also features fun illustrations by Dan Yaccarino to bring it to life (much like illustrations in children’s books). Russo said the spirit of the guide is “encourage your children to read all kinds of books, in all kinds of places, and to talk about them and share their enthusiasm.”

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Graphic Novel Grants Reception at ALA Annual Conference

The reception brings together librarians, creators, publishers, and graphic novel enthusiasts to mingle and hear from each other.