A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘community services’

library reading room

The Obligation of Libraries

For me, the discussion raised another issue: is the library’s obligation to the existing demographics of the community or to a more diversified perspective? Specifically, consider collection development, programming, and displays. Should we offer only that which applies to our known community’s demographics? Or should we try to broaden outlooks and horizons? Many times our decisions in these areas are shaped by our users. We might put up a holiday display because we believe our community expects or supports that perspective. But are we sure? Should we, in fact, be displaying alternative views as part of an obligation to support lifelong learning? Would we draw more users if we expanded beyond our perceived local culture? Is this not part of obligation, also? While it may be easy to say we should do both–support our community’s demographics and expand on the status quo–the finances and/or politics of many libraries may not allow for such a broad spectrum of activities or materials.

Gravel and books

Public Libraries are the Place to Learn and Exercise your Rights

The public library is a go-to place for communities seeking social change to learn, plan, and exercise our rights in the face of widening concerns over police brutality. The Library as Refuge A recent Public Libraries Online, The Little Library That Lent a Hand, detailed how the Ferguson Municipal Public Library District in Missouri remained […]

colorful building blocks

Special Access Browsing for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Special Access Browsing is an after-hours program designed for kids on the Autism spectrum and their families. Our library opens up its Children and Teen Services Department when the library is normally closed just for this patron population. We also try to offer a craft or program at the same time. Our Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community has responded well to these events.

Finding Your “Happy Voice”

How do you feel when greeted by a disgruntled employee in a store or restaurant? Probably not too excited to spend your money there, right? A recent article from Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business points out just how important it is to greet customers in the most upbeat, positive way possible.

open sign

Up All Night at the Public Library

24/7 – what does that make you think of? 7-Eleven? Taco Bell? Las Vegas? How about your local public library? Back in my college days, our university library would stay open all night for a few weeks around the end of the semester. This was to allow students extra time to study for exams (remember cramming?) and complete their research assignments. Well, now the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) in Utah is proposing to stay open 24/7. Opening all hours is unprecedented, and as a result SLCPL has created a webpage to address their community’s questions and concerns – http://slcpl.org/24hours.

start-up

Working Outside the Box: Meeting the Needs of Entrepreneurs

On a national level, there are 17.9 million “solopreneurs,” individuals who operate their business completely on their own; this number is expected to swell to 40 million by 2019. These statistics make it necessary for public libraries to reach out to the entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in their communities.

Ferguson

The Little Library That Lent a Hand: Ferguson Municipal Public Library

If anyone doubt that libraries respond to their communities in times of emergencies, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library remained the one calming and stable constant in this Missouri town’s tumultuous life as schools, businesses, and other government agencies closed after the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

high tech makerspace

High Tech Makerspaces

The makerspace movement encompasses a wide berth from the basic to the high tech, and the free to the highly expensive. Determining what the library can afford, what it wants to accomplish with its makerspace, how best to utilize its resources, and whether partners can be found to support these efforts is incredibly important.

It’s What Works: Outreach to Probationers and Parolees

When most people think of parolees, their first thought probably isn’t to sign them up for a library card. But in Tifton (Ga.) that’s exactly what we do. Since October 2012, the Tifton-Tift County Public Library (TTCPL) and the Tifton Day Reporting Center (DRC) have developed a working relationship that has allowed the library to expand outreach activities in the community and has given the DRC one more resource to offer their clients.

library program

Maintaining Library Services During Hard Economic Times

This past summer we were in the midst of the how-are-we-going-to-fund our library discussion. It’s an age-old library question: how do we maintain our services, or (dare I suggest) how can we increase our services with a flat or reduced budget? The fear was real: do we reduce services at (or close) a branch or do we make drastic cuts at the main location?

prison fence

When the Prison Doors Slam Shut On a Teen: Hope in Literacy

Low literacy skills, poverty, and school dropout rates are common denominators for incarcerated teens. Gaining literacy skills create lifelong activities—improved self-esteem topping the list. Begin there and there’s hope for everything else to happen.

security cameras

Library Security is Everybody’s Job

Public libraries are reflections of their communities. This sometimes can include the uglier side of the public, like disruptive behavior, vandalism, or other criminal acts. How can we ensure our libraries are welcoming places?

stick figures holding hands

Free Library of Philadelphia Building Inspiration Initiative— An Innovative Model of Library Service

The Free Public Library of Philadelphia (FLP) recently announced a major initiative for renovation and expansion of select library structures, community outreach, and partnerships, funded in part with a major grant from the William Penn foundation. This initiative is worth taking a look at for at least two reasons: it will be an innovative model for library service and is an example of strategic funding.

credit cards

I Love My Library Card: A Dual Use Library/Debit Card

Frederick County (MD) Public Library (FCPL) has found an ingenious way to combine its patrons’ library card with bank debit cards.