Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can Do More, Volunteer

April 16, 2010

The world is in fiscal meltdown, with libraries feeling the heat. Layoffs and budget cuts in Philadelphia, threatened branch closings in Boston, reduced hours and services in Charlotte, North Carolina: These big stories overshadow how commonly we simply lose staff without being able to afford to replace them. According to a survey conducted last fall … Continue reading Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can Do More, Volunteer


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Award Winning Author Katherine Paterson Is Ambassador for Children’s Reading

April 16, 2010

Katherine Paterson, two-time winner of both the National Book Award (The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Master Puppeteer) and Newbery Medal (Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I loved), is the second person to be named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. She takes over for children’s author … Continue reading Award Winning Author Katherine Paterson Is Ambassador for Children’s Reading


A Literature of Risk

April 15, 2010

Risky behaviors remain very real factors in the daily lives of 21st-century  teens. Ranging from physical and emotional violence to drug and alcohol abuse, from risky sexual practices resulting in STDs and unintended pregnancies to driving recklessly and carrying weapons to school, these behaviors make up the main threat to adolescents’ health, according to the … Continue reading A Literature of Risk


Gates Foundation, IMLS Research Proves Value of Online Access

April 14, 2010

The economic downturn has led to dramatic increases in library visitation across the nation, including unprecedented demand for free computer and internet access. Over the last year, Americans have flocked to libraries to get online and find help from trained staff to conduct job searches, complete online coursework, apply for government services, and learn new … Continue reading Gates Foundation, IMLS Research Proves Value of Online Access


Remodeling on a Budget

April 12, 2010

A review of recent plans and completed projects at a variety of California libraries instills a sense of excitement about the possibilities inherent in taking a low-cost approach to the remodeling of libraries. Interviews with sources involved with recent projects throughout the state reveal much of the thinking that has guided successful fiscally frugal remodeling … Continue reading Remodeling on a Budget


Everyday Existence

April 11, 2010

A confession: I am a library freak.  I believe deeply in the importance of libraries and think of librarians as some of the most amazing, committed, brilliant, and radical professionals I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet and work with. I believe that the future of the organization I founded, StoryCorps, will be tightly entwined … Continue reading Everyday Existence


A Circulation Renovation Cuts Expenses

April 8, 2010

With public funding becoming less available throughout the country, libraries are looking for ways to trim their current and future budgets. One library is using popular new technology to reduce staff costs, one of the biggest items in any library’s budget: The St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana, recently renovated the circulation … Continue reading A Circulation Renovation Cuts Expenses


Grow Your Own Librarian

April 6, 2010

In 2004, in response to the difficulties of recruiting professionals to work in public libraries in the state, the Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) embarked on an innovative program to improve public library services and “grow their own” librarians. Their solution was to create an intensive Librarianship Institute that not only immerses participants in the principles … Continue reading Grow Your Own Librarian


Librarians, Self-Preservation, and Construction Budgets

April 2, 2010

Money, money, money! Of course, money is a subject that occupies many of a librarian’s waking thoughts and occasional nightmares. However, money issues on a construction project can become so numerous and so stress-producing that you may feel tempted to sign up for the Foreign Legion or flee to Timbuktu. If you’re embarking on your … Continue reading Librarians, Self-Preservation, and Construction Budgets


Al Gore

Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore on the Environment and the Eternal Role of Libraries

March 31, 2010

Nobel Prize and Oscar winner, former vice president and, in his own words, the man who “used to be the next president of the United States,” Al Gore delivered the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture January 16 at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston. His message: The environmental threat facing the planet as a … Continue reading Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore on the Environment and the Eternal Role of Libraries