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Guide to Reading Levels

September 24, 2013

By now, we’ve gotten used to the idea that many children’s books identify a Reading Level (RL) somewhere on the jacket or back cover. This number is handy for parents and children’s librarians trying to find books of an appropriate comprehension level for young readers. But where did the number come from? It was generated … Continue reading Guide to Reading Levels


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Under Sequester

August 20, 2013

More than 260 librarians and almost 800 library technicians who work for the Department of Defense (DOD) are being furloughed 11 days, one day per week from July 8 to September 27, due to sequestration. While this is a personal financial hardship, we are also concerned about having to cut library services for our patrons: … Continue reading Under Sequester



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Retired, but Embedded

June 13, 2013

As librarians, our skills are as embedded in our personal lives as in our work, and they do not desert us when we leave our positions. After retiring in 2009, I began volunteering at Hedgebrook, a writing residency program for women on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington State. Inspired by its founder, Nancy Skinner Nordhoff, … Continue reading Retired, but Embedded


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There Are No Free Libraries

March 13, 2013

Over the past few months, an image has been making its way around social media to underscore the value of libraries. It’s a checkout receipt from “your local library” that lists various borrowed items—three DVDs, five books, one ebook, six CDs—and the cost to the borrower for each, all of which are $0. Below the … Continue reading There Are No Free Libraries


Libraries as Safe Spaces

December 11, 2012

Without a doubt, the past decade has experienced a sea change in favor of LGBTQ rights. During the 2012 election, voters decided on a series of landmark ballot initiatives at the state level that championed marriage equality; a sitting president (and vice president) has for the first time voiced support for same-sex marriage; and the … Continue reading Libraries as Safe Spaces


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Creating a New Tradition

November 20, 2012

Half a dozen tweens are crowded around several large tables stacked with odds and ends in the windows of the Meekins Library in the center of the small town of Williamsburg, Massachusetts (population 2,500). Two girls kneeling on the floor are pulling things out from under an old oak table that has been part of … Continue reading Creating a New Tradition



My Year of RDA

April 18, 2012

I’ve been a librarian for 30 years and have seen a lot of changes during that time. I’ve welcomed them as new challenges, even as I’ve seen many of my older colleagues become very negative—whining, complaining, and vowing to retire before they have to alter their ways. But in the past couple of years, the … Continue reading My Year of RDA


Let’s Put an End to Socialized Intellectual Property

April 1, 2012

Ed. note: The following is the text of a speech given April 1 by retired United States Rep S. Douglas Maynard before the 4th Annual Restore Intellectual Property Protection for Economic Recovery Summit and Retreat. First of all, to the members of Restore Intellectual Property Protection for Economic Recovery, I wish to extend my sincere … Continue reading Let’s Put an End to Socialized Intellectual Property


Just Whom Do We Serve?

March 28, 2012

Chances are, your library is chock-full of people. Some are staff and there may be the occasional vendor. But the vast majority—those who visit libraries—are part of a group that library workers have had significant trouble defining. How library workers view library patrons reflects our philosophical worldview. Much has been written on how patrons perceive … Continue reading Just Whom Do We Serve?


The Conversation Continues @ your library

March 6, 2012

Many librarians are already exploring new ways to engage, embed, and integrate libraries into the life of their communities. Academic librarians are eager to deepen their engagement on campus—embedding services in the teaching, learning, and research processes. School librarians strive to collaborate more closely with teachers and integrate their programs directly into the curriculum. Public … Continue reading The Conversation Continues @ your library