Learning Spanish First

May 1, 2018

In California, more than 565,000 Spanish-speaking adults cannot read or write in any language, according to the 2010–2012 American Community Survey. This affects their ability to learn English, to support their children’s education, and to advance in the workplace. It often leaves them feeling vulnerable and isolated. In 2015, the James Irvine Foundation funded an … Continue reading Learning Spanish First


Members of an African drum and dance ensemble lead patrons in a performance routine as part of Richland Library's day-long Black History Month Fair on January 28, 2017. Photo: Richland Library

Every Month Is Black History Month

March 1, 2018

Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, needed a better way to reach its African-American community. Quincy Pugh, film and sound manager, explains how the decision to celebrate black history year-round and start “I Have a Problem with That”—a series of panel discussions that address challenging social issues—has boosted program attendance and engagement among its target … Continue reading Every Month Is Black History Month


2016 Moving Trans History Forward conference. Photo: Courtesy of University of Victoria Office of the Chair in Transgender Studies

An Archive for All

January 2, 2018

University of Victoria (B.C.) Libraries is home to the largest physical collection of transgender-related material worldwide. Lara Wilson, university archivist and director of special collections, explains how the Transgender Archives has evolved from cataloged items to community outreach in its seven years. RSI was established in Chicago and open from 2001 to 2004. Its collection … Continue reading An Archive for All



NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library's VR Studio.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

September 1, 2017

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality” (VR). But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English. No recordings … Continue reading Making Virtual Reality a Reality



Hemlines perform in the basement of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Punk at the Library

May 1, 2017

What started as an archive to document Washington, D.C.’s fabled punk music history evolved into wider support of the city’s current music scene, including hosting basement shows—a punk staple—in the library itself. Librarians Michele Casto, Bobbie Dougherty, and Margaret Gilmore of D.C. Public Library (DCPL) explain how this unconventional venture increased visibility not only for … Continue reading Punk at the Library


SAPL’s digital wallpaper brings the library's ­collection into the community.

Digital Wallpapers Open Doors

March 1, 2017

Libraries are employing unique methods to make their digital collections available to patrons outside of the library. As a part of its Digital Library Community Project, San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) created digital wallpapers—virtual bookshelves that give patrons access to ebooks by simply scanning a QR code with a smartphone—that can be placed throughout the … Continue reading Digital Wallpapers Open Doors


Holocaust survivor Severin Fayerman, who died in 2015, shows his ­Auschwitz tattoo to students at Southern Middle School in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

‘How Would I Respond?’

January 3, 2017

Ann Yawornitsky first heard of the Holocaust in 9th-grade world cultures class. She found the news so shocking that at first, she had a hard time believing it. “I remember going home to my mom and saying, ‘Is my teacher making this up, or did this really happen?,’” Yawornitsky says. “Then I read the diary … Continue reading ‘How Would I Respond?’


A Self-Service Experiment

November 1, 2016

As libraries face cloudy funding forecasts and stagnant budgets, innovation and creativity become driving forces to increase a community’s access to library materials, programs, and services. With uncertainty comes an opportunity to reinvent and find new ways to serve a growing population of patrons. Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library (GCPL) used that opportunity to partner … Continue reading A Self-Service Experiment


Tiebrary

Community Ties

September 1, 2016

Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-racking. Looking your best often translates into feeling your best. But if you live in southwest Philadelphia, one of the city’s most economically depressed neighborhoods, where the poverty rate is a staggering 36% and unemployment is more than 16%—compared with national averages of 14.5% and 5%, respectively—then your … Continue reading Community Ties