A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Teaching the Tech Side Hustle

More than a quarter of workers and job-seekers have a second source of income. By teaching a tech side hustle, your library has an opportunity to quickly deliver value–and dollars–to your patrons!

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Self-Publishing, Indie Authors, and Libraries

A recent article from the University of Arizona Press titled “Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity” provides a history of traditional self-publishing activities in libraries and shows how libraries can use self-publishing to foster community needs. I have a soft spot for self-publishing (I’m an indie author myself), and believe that libraries are missing out on an incredible opportunity. Our communities have so much hidden creative potential, but may lack the means to express it. Self-publishing services and local library recognition can help patrons find an outlet for their creativity. Most importantly, it puts locally created book content into the hands of other community members.

Scouts

Become a Reading Merit Badge Counselor

As a Merit Badge Counselor in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program, librarians can help scouts along their way to earning their Reading Merit Badge.

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Useful Apps for Your Library

We now have, by virtue of the Internet, enough links about apps to keep us searching for what we need for a very long time. Searching for “Librarian’s note-taking app” gives a result of 3,400,000 items. I don’t think there’s time to look and try out all of those. Of course, each of us have different needs for which some apps might be useful, but our particular way of working doesn’t fit the way the app wants us to work. So is it trial and error that we use apps? Do we get friends to suggest a good app for us?

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Wi-Fi Lending: Balancing Supply and Demand

Wi-Fi lending is a growing trend across public libraries in the United States. Gwinnett County Public Library in Georgia joined the ranks this year. The fifteen-library system in Georgia began lending ‘Connect Gwinnett’ Wi-Fi kits. The kits include a T-Mobile 4G LTE wireless hotspot, USB cable, and wall charger. Libraries are uniquely positioned to add Wi-Fi lending because they are eligible for generous lower-cost data plans as nonprofit entities. Many libraries across the country are adding this service, including New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Brooklyn and St. Paul.

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New PLA Podcast! FYI 022 – Serving Children of Incarcerated Parents

We talk to Megan Sullivan, writer and college professor (Boston University) about her book, “Clarissa’s Disappointment: And Resources for Families, Teachers and Counselors of Children of Incarcerated Parents” about how to best serve this group, the author’s own experience with parental incarceration, and more.

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Unlikely Experts: Learning on the Job

I recently attended a conference and saw a great presentation given by a team of talented Librarians, who didn’t know what they were talking about…literally.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Closes the 2017 ALA Annual Conference

Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to more than 3,000 people on the final day of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference. “Democracy and libraries go hand in hand,” she told the crowd, which erupted in applause.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Stephanie Powell Watts holding a copy of Watts' book

Sarah Jessica Parker Kicks Off Book Club Central

Actress and philanthropist Sarah Jessica Parker announced the title for Book Club Central at the ALA Annual Conference.

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Build a Better World: Collaborative Summer Reading Program 2017

It’s that time of year again when our nation’s youth flock to their local public libraries to participate in this year’s summer reading program.

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Epic! App Raises $8 Million to Keep Kids Reading

The creators of the Epic! app, a digital library service for kids, raised $8 million in a Series C round of funding led by Reach Capital, the education-specialized venture firm. Epic! plans to use the funds to expedite its growth, add to its team, and build out its platform for home and school subscribers. In the future, Kevin Donahue, co-founder of Epic!, even hopes to add virtual and augmented reality content to the app.

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FYI 021– A New Model for Library Service to Business

We talk with Gillian Robbins and Caitlin Seifritz librarians in the Business Resource & Innovation Center (BRIC) at the Free Library of Philadelphia about the BRIC and new ideas for updating the library model of providing services to business, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits.

teens using a computer

Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia Program Expanding

With 12 participating branches, 4 of which are geared towards tweens, while the other 8 are for high school students, Chicago Public Library is planning to add YOUmedia centers to 5 more branches by 2018 with the generous gifts from BMO Harris Bank and Allstate.

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ESL Programs Position Libraries as Welcoming Places

The communities libraries serve are becoming more diverse. In seeking to move beyond the tired label of being “just about books,” libraries must engage with these communities through outreach and engagement.

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Boston Public Library’s Book Wash Machine

Yes, you read the title right. Book. Car Wash. I have seen some innovative things in libraries such as seed lending, tie lending, RFID tags, and 3D printing, but I have yet to see anything like this.