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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.

Cris Beam Author Photo

Cris Beam on Empathy’s Ability to be Both Personal and Exemplary

In Cris Beam’s I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy, Beam brings her formidable skills as a journalist to unpack how empathy is deployed in the 21st century, examine its origins in popular culture, and understand its fluid definitions. Along the way she shows the reader the role empathy has played from the […]

Public Libraries Podcast logo

New Podcast! Providing Health Information/Evaluating Health News

We talk with Carolyn Martin and Sally James about providing Health Information Services and in particular evaluating health news. Carolyn Martin is a librarian who is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Pacific Northwest Region. Sally James reads health news critically and gives grades to stories and news releases as a part of a team at the nonprofit Health News Review. She also writes about medical research and other science as a freelancer from Seattle.

cook books and measuring cup

Adult Programming: How to Have Cooking Demos Without Cooking

How can you have a cooking class without cooking in the library? Easy. There are many options that you can do that involves food prep without heat.

illustration of scales (justice)

Lawyers in the Library

As we all know, public libraries are bastions of knowledge, and are information citadels for the communities in which they reside. Libraries transform, and libraries lead.

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New Podcast! Serving Homeless Patrons with John Spears

We talk with John Spears, Director of the Pikes Peak (Colorado) Public Library about challenges and opportunities in serving homeless patrons at the public library, educating the public, tensions in the community, efforts to expand initiatives, and more.

scissors with pink handle on blue background

Easy Crafting for Your Library: Rag Wreaths

Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t always generate a ton of ideas as far as craft projects, but one craft we’ve done that can be changed to fit into any holiday is a rag wreath. The first time we did it, this craft had a green theme, perfect for St Patrick’s day and the coming of spring. You will need three things; wire hangers, sharp scissors-preferably those used for cutting fabric, and fabric. For this class, I bought 1/4 yard strips of different kinds of fabric, either green or patterned fabric that had green in it. I also had scraps of yellows and pinks just to give a nice contrasting color. Instead of buying a 1/4 yard of fabrics, you can now buy what quilters call fat quarters, which are usually remnant fabrics, cut into small quarters of fabric.

black keyboard with red 'danger' key

How to Avoid Becoming a Ransomware Hostage

Ransomware took down service at another public library system in January. The world of cybersecurity grows more complex each day. Staying informed about the risks is a step everyone should take to build a wall of defense.

illustration of multi-colored bicycles

Bike Check-Out: Coming Soon to a Library Near You?

More and more public libraries now include bicycles in their circulating collections. Find out why they do it and how it works.

Mario Giordano Author Photo

Mario Giordano on Sicily, the Two Fs, and his Glamorous New Detective

Mario Giordano’s Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions introduces an indelible new detective to mystery lovers in the form of the hard-drinking, charismatic Poldi, a Bavarian transplant who has moved to Sicily to drink herself to death. Her end-of-life plans, however, get interrupted when her handsome handyman is discovered murdered. Poldi soon finds herself thrust […]

Diane Barth

Diane Barth on How Noticing the Small Details Enrich Friendships

Diane Barth’s I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women’s Lives draws on Barth’s extensive experience as a psychotherapist to examine the complexities of female friendship. Barth interviewed a broad range of women about their relationships, discussing how their need for friendship transforms over time and common problems they encounter. The result […]

University of Wisconsin Concept to Create Library Hubs

We have all heard speculation about libraries of the future, and how they will look and function for their users. Here is a different concept for the future of academic libraries.

twitter bird with thought bubble

Library of Congress Slims Down Twitter Archive

The Library of Congress announced in December 2017 that it would no longer collect every stray thought, joke, announcement, or governmental policy change posted to Twitter.