A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
President Barack Obama

The Power of Books Shapes Path to the Presidency

Throughout presidential history, each of our 44 Presidents have expressed an eclectic list of their own favorites: James Madison’s—John Locke, William McKinley’s—Lord Byron while Warren G. Harding favored The Rules of Poker. Perhaps, no president since Abraham Lincoln has been as shaped by reading and writing as President Barack Obama. As Former President Obama prepared to leave office earlier this month, Michiko Kakutani, book critic for The New York Times, interviewed him about his favorite books and the impact books have had during his life.

illustration of green paper currency with dollar sign in middle

It’s Never Too Early to Start the Budget

With a new political climate in our country, and an economy that still hasn’t fully recovered from the crash in 2008, it’s safe to say that many of you building budgets will hear the phrase “based on a level fund scenario” (or something to that effect) when you are beginning your budget seasons. If you are new to budgeting, it’s important to realize what the folks saying this to you realize already that a “balanced budget” is really a cut.

white keyboard on black background

Your Mission: Technology Guru

While 77 percent of Americans have smartphones and nearly 50 percent have tablets, that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to use them well. A recent international study shows nearly 40 percent of adults age 16-65 have little to no technology skills.

Light bulb with the words idea written over it

Interlibrary Collaborations

If you organize a great program at your library, there might be another library where it will also be a hit. Don’t limit yourself to one library!

illustration of wifi strength bars

Library System to Receive State of the Art Technology Suite

The Brooklyn Public Library is undergoing a technology upgrade. New York State Assembly members have secured $3 million in state funds to provide a suite of technology in every branch.

people reading

Reading Parties Are Having a Moment

Literature becomes synonymous with fun at reading-themed parties and bars.

illustration of winter landscape

Library Program Combats Winter Blues

The Lawrence Public Library (LPL) in Kansas has started a new program for local patrons to help combat those pesky winter blues. LPL recognizes that many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and have scheduled times in their auditorium for patrons to come in and soak up some light from therapy lamps that mimic natural outdoor light.

symbol for library

Finding Your Way with Wayfinding

Wayfinding is a subject that planners and signage designers love, but nobody else understands. The word isn’t even in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

illustration boy at library

Ferguson Municipal Library Shares its Good Story

Few were surprised when the Ferguson Municipal Public Library in Ferguson, Missouri was named the 2015 Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year. In an e-mail sent late last month to those who were so generous with their support of the library, Bonner provided an update on what Ferguson has been able to accomplish and where he and his staff hope to take the library in the days to come.

illustration of person holding a sign with a question mark - face is obscured by sign

Fake Library Patron Causes Problems in Florida

We all know some strange things can happen in libraries, but a story out of the East Lake County Library in Sorrento, Fla., is leaving me scratching my head. A few staff members at the library decided to create a fake library patron called Chuck Finley, who “checked out” 2,361 book over nine months in an effort to boost the circulation stats of the library’s classic books. Now, one staff member could lose their job.

Museum interior

Patrons Can Check Out a Museum Pass with smARTpass App

A new app gives Twin Cities library card holders access to free and discounted tickets to local cultural institutions.

persons using computers in library

Free Courses Offered to Libraries by American Graphics Institute

American Graphics Institute, located in Woburn, Massachusetts has a wicked program for libraries. In this case, wicked is a good thing.

Booki Vivat Author Photo

Booki Vivat On Doodling, Finding Your Purpose, And Laughing At Life’s Mortifying Moments

Booki Vivat’s exuberant Frazzled introduces readers to Abbie Wu, a wisecracking sixth grader struggling with the transition to middle school.  Her two best friends have thrived in their respective activities, while at home she is bookended by a brilliant older brother and adorable younger sister. Abbie’s voice, by turns droll and vulnerable, is bolstered by Vivat’s […]

library sign

Ethics of Library Meeting Rooms

We have all heard that we are gatekeepers of information. This is true, but we must not forget that we are also gatekeepers of materials and services. Being that we have so much power and influence, our professional association, the ALA, has created a Code of Ethics and a Library Bill of Rights to give patrons inalienable rights as they use library resources.

photograph of a hand writing in a notebook

How Keeping Records Paid Off

When my library was renovated, the moving process involved notifying vendors, changing utilities, and managing our accounts. From the start, I kept copious notes of who I talked to and the content of our conversations. Here’s how it paid off.