“I think people miss the environment of the polling place, and going to a drop box helps them re-create that,” says Oregon Library Association Vice President Arlene Weible. Oregon has conducted all elections by mail since 2000, but Weible says libraries hosting ballot drop boxes is a common practice in the state. The benefits of … Continue reading The Library as Ballot Box
At Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, librarians administering the Brooklyn Connections program are not only faced with the challenge of reimagining their outreach to the 35 schools and thousands of 4th–12th graders they serve but are also grappling with students’ day-to-day struggles amid the pandemic. Jen Hoyer, educating librarian with Brooklyn Connections, reports that many students … Continue reading Teaming Up for Teaching
Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. Passek locates the book, checks it out, and drives … Continue reading The Great Outdoors
LSFA (S. 4181/H.R. 7486) would establish a $2 billion emergency fund to address financial losses and bolster library services for libraries of all types, with priority given to the hardest-hit communities. Most of the funding ($1.7 billion) would go directly to states to meet local library needs such as avoiding furloughs, providing safe workspaces, or … Continue reading Pushing for Action on LSFA
What about stacked books versus unstacked books? Or paper-based collection materials versus plastic-based items? How long should materials be quarantined? Are some materials safer to circulate than others? How can we mitigate exposure to staff and visitors? Is it safe to reopen? The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project aims to make these questions … Continue reading REALM Project Announces Test 4 Results
Traci Engel Lesneski, CEO and principal at Minneapolis-based national architecture firm MSR Design, which has worked with hundreds of libraries across the country, says libraries are ideal spaces for innovative design solutions. “It’s not a stretch to think about the ways that libraries have modeled what’s next in the world,” she says. “Libraries can talk … Continue reading Virus-Responsive Design
Wishing Chair Productions draws on the legacy of the prolific puppeteer Tom Tichenor, who worked in the library in the 1930s. After his death in 1992, NPL established a program in his honor that grew from small, single-performer storytimes to full-blown productions staffed by a team of 10 professional puppeteers. With marionettes, juggling, magic tricks, … Continue reading Bookend: The World on a String
Castro is one of many library leaders who found themselves managing their teams remotely because of the pandemic, developing new approaches to meet unprecedented challenges and continue providing vital services to the community. The insights these managers developed are valuable for those still perfecting their remote management style—or planning for a work-from-home future. Supportive management … Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?
My information literacy classes, like so many others, have largely shifted to video chat platforms. It was a difficult, abrupt switch, even for those of us who have taught online for years. As online learning librarians know, a lesson designed for a physical classroom cannot easily move to an online space but requires transformation for … Continue reading Remote Control?
At the heart of this issue is vocational awe, originally defined by Fobazi Ettarh in her article “Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves,” which positions the profession as a calling and the institution as a sacred beacon of democracy. We’ve all read articles that portray libraries as “a city on a hill” … Continue reading Not Beyond Critique
I noticed that youth library workers were, understandably, operating in reactive mode. But a quote from Bob Johansen, the author and futurist who introduced the VUCA Prime model in 2007, helped me realize this may not be the best method: “You have to be very clear where you’re going but very flexible in how you … Continue reading From Reactive to Proactive
For 60 years Lewis served and advocated for our collective humanity. What many may not know is that his wife, Lillian, who passed in 2012, was his chief advisor and a librarian. Lewis’s legacy reminds me that service is the fundamental reason libraries exist and that reading and access to information—which are human rights—are necessary … Continue reading Stand Up, Speak Out