A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
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Free and Fresh Fridge

With several sound and successful food programs, CCPL’s next undertaking was the Free and Fresh Fridge which would house fresh fruits and vegetables in a fridge located in a discreet part of the library from which patrons could help themselves.

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“Whatever Job You Give Me, I’ll Learn” — Natalie Jacobson Reflects on Her Illustrious Career in Television News

For over three decades, Natalie Jacobson was a hallmark of the Boston media landscape, anchoring the nightly news on WCVB. In her new memoir, Every Life A Story, Jacobson reflects on her trailblazing career, from her circuitous career path to the seminal stories that highlighted her time on air. With candor and wit, Jacobson guides the reader through these key moments, showing how her childhood in a close-knit Chicago neighborhood prepared her for a career where she would go toe to toe with key political figures. Jacobson also pulls back the curtain and reveals the nuts and bolts of a television reporter’s life in the seventies and eighties, whether it’s diving deep into a local news story or navigating a television career while being a parent. Throughout her illustrious career, Jacobson remained committed to keeping the focus of her story on her subject. In this book, readers gain a sense of how her reverence and admiration for her community made her such a beloved figure in New England. Jacobson spoke to us about finding the right entry point into her life story, her choice to focus on local news, and her lifetime fandom of Ted Williams.

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HOW TO Manage Fiction Series

We are always there to help, but the “browsers” want to be independent, and this helps them – it’s embedded.

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New Podcast Episode! Celebrate National Voter Registration Day @ Your Library

Want to learn how more public libraries in your state can participate in National Voter Registration Day? NVRD is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating democracy, planned for Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

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Federal Broadband Funding Guidelines Now Available for States to Begin Planning, Applications

On Friday, May 13, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued the first round of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) documents for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), including the Digital Equity Act state planning grants. ALA advocated for this vital funding for broadband and digital inclusion funding, and ALA Public Policy & […]

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The Conversation Around Policing and Public Libraries

Police interference is often justified under the pretense that it keeps people safe, a reasoning that has been called into question in libraries across America, especially in recent years.

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Beyond Yuck and Yum: Programming with Picture Books about Food

When brainstorming ways to include food in library programming, it’s easy to think about the traditional ways in which food has been included in library programming – nutrition, cooking, and gardening/farming. What if food in library programming could build communities around food? What if it could start conversations about culture and food equity?

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Policing and Social Justice in Libraries

Catherine Hollerbach, Chief Operating Officer, Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Library, and Michelle Hamiel, Chief Operating Officer for Public Services, Prince George’s County Memorial Library (MD), presented a program at PLA 2022 called ‘Policing and Social Justice in Libraries.’ In this program they examined “the role that police officers and security guards play in making […]

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Inclusive Birding through the Library

In May 2020 Black birder Christian Cooper had the police called on him in Central Park in New York City. One result of the media frenzy that followed was that it brought attention to the long history of bigotry and exclusiveness in the birding world.

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Helping Patrons Keep Up in the Digital Age–Promising Practices in Libraries

Adults need digital literacy to access essential information, compete for jobs, and participate in education. These needs existed long before 2020, but were highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic as adults with developing digital literacy skills had difficulty accessing unemployment benefits, participating in virtual doctors’ appointments, and registering for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. During the pandemic, […]

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Overdue Party

When you are a kid, your birthday is one of the cornerstones of your year. Festivities, friends, and family, and birthday cake all come together to make it a special day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children were unable to properly celebrate their birthdays this year.

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Jennifer Close on How Politics, Pasta, and 90’s Cover Bands Informed Her Hilarious New Novel About a Family in Crisis

For nearly thirty years, the Sullivan cousins—Teddy, Jane, and Gretchen—have found solace in their family restaurant, JP Sullivans, a cozy establishment in Oak Park, Illinois. But in the fall of 2016, the cousins find themselves unmoored when their grandfather unexpectedly dies, their beloved Cubs finally win the World Series, and Donald Trump is elected President. Jane suddenly questions whether her husband’s newfound obsession with CrossFit is just an innocent hobby or an indicator that something is amiss in her once-stable marriage. Her younger sister, Gretchen, is unsure whether her popular 90’s cover band, Donna Martin Graduates, still has a chance at rock and roll stardom when the majority of their income comes from playing wedding receptions. Their cousin, Teddy, struggles to get his aunts and uncles to take him seriously as the new manager of JP Sullivans, all the while trying to figure out why his snobbish ex-boyfriend is suddenly frequenting the restaurant so much. What follows is a delightful comedy of manners as the three Sullivans navigate the unexpected twists of life, fortified by family and the restaurant’s phenomenal grilled cheese sandwiches. As she has done in her previous books, Jennifer Close depicts the complex of family and romantic relationships with a graceful charm and easy wit. Critics have raved about Marrying the Ketchups, with The New York Times singling out Close’s “merry sense of humor…[and] the knack she has of inventing story lines that have the feel of extremely good gossip told across a hightop table over a beer with an old friend.”

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FYI Podcast: The White Allies Handbook: 4 Weeks to Join the Racial Justice Fight for Black Women

In this episode our guest is Lecia Michelle. Lecia is a long-time librarian, activist, and author. Her forthcoming book “THE WHITE ALLIES HANDBOOK: 4 Weeks to Join the Racial Justice Fight for Black Women” (published by Kensington Books) will be on sale July 26, 2022. The book is a practical, actionable, explicit guide for people looking to not just “start a conversation” but to take concrete steps toward equality.

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“I’m Always Writing in Extremity of My Life” — Sara Baume on Her Gorgeous and Poetic New Novel

Sigh and Bell, drawn to each other by their similarly distrustful views of society, are relatively early in their relationship when they decide to ditch their dead-end jobs in Dublin and move to a cottage in the countryside. Over the next seven years, the two lovers, along with the dogs each person brought into the relationship, adapt to the steady rhythm of the natural world, shedding their past relationships and committing to a parsed-down life. The one constant in their life is the mountain that looms over them, a watchful presence that serves as the touchstone of their lives. Sara Baume’s Seven Steeples charts this unique love story—not only between the two lovers but also with each individual and their lush environment—with a graceful force that accumulates as the novel progresses. In spare and evocative prose, Baume pays tribute to living life on one’s own terms and forging a deeper connection to the natural world. Baume spoke with us about writing in extremity of her life and how her background as a visual artist impacts her writing.

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Libraries Can Really Change the Future

It was sheer good fortune that I went from working with cities and counties to working with urban libraries. Truly one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to me.