Mary Minow

Following the Letter of the Library Law

June 23, 2019

Queries addressed topics ranging from privacy issues to unruly teens, from how to respond to police warrants to dealing with people experiencing homelessness. The topic of patron behavior—and attendant issues of penalty policy and compassion—struck a chord, as the session’s format evolved from question-and-answer to open exchange among librarians raising questions and weighing in to … Continue reading Following the Letter of the Library Law


From left, Mikel Gonzales, Dominique Robinson, Sommer Kinsler, Kelsey Coston, Sade Wilkins, and Cade Longsdon are a few of this year's selected interns. Photo: Tori Soper

Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter

June 18, 2019

“Libraries should be more inclusive, different-thinking, and innovative,” he said. “I want us to try and revolutionize libraries towards the better and change stereotypes.” Now in its third year, PLA’s III program offers summer internships designed to introduce students of diverse backgrounds to library careers. The III Kick-Off, a commencement where intern–mentor pairs attended sessions … Continue reading Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter


Making It Count

June 3, 2019

The 2020 Census kicks off next April. As always, some census takers will be out knocking on doors. But for the first time, people will also be able to complete the questionnaires online. Librarians can help provide space, equipment, and information to guide patrons through the process. Conducting a fair and accurate count isn’t as … Continue reading Making It Count


Campers prepare to remove personal belongings from the parking lot of Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings, Oregon, after the library board voted to prohibit the use of tents, tarps, structures, and furniture on library grounds. (Photo: Boyd C. Allen/Curry Coastal Pilot)

Give Them Shelter?

June 3, 2019

Ultimately, earlier this year the library instituted a camping ban, wherein anyone found between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. on the grounds of one of PPLD’s four branches could be ticketed for trespassing if they didn’t leave. “It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done,” says Spears. Some libraries across the country—particularly on the … Continue reading Give Them Shelter?


Spokane Community Court, held in the Spokane (Wash.) Public Library, connects about 1,000 participants per year with onsite social services.

Courting Libraries

June 3, 2019

That’s the reasoning behind the community-court model, which has been around since the early 1990s. Designed with restorative justice in mind, community courts typically focus on nonviolent cases. The legally binding sentences they issue usually include community service as well as a commitment on the part of the defendant to get help, such as drug … Continue reading Courting Libraries


Members of Books for Dessert, Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library’s book club for adults over 21 with intellectual disabilities, meet to discuss The Case of the Bicycle Bandit. (Photo: Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library)

Everyone on the Same Page

June 3, 2019

“When people with developmental disabilities become 21, that’s the end of education for them, as if they don’t need to keep learning like other people keep learning as they get older,” says Comer, a trustee of the Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library (PWPL). She enrolled her son in a local day program but found that … Continue reading Everyone on the Same Page





North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library Public Services Librarian Heidi Hartke (left) and Assistant Director Jennifer Jordebrek (center) record a podcast episode with Crystal Hall, director of programs at YPN (Young Parents Network).Photo: Melanie Harrison/North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library

A Podcast That Delivers

May 1, 2019

Many studies show that when parents get involved with early literacy, a child is better prepared for school—and life. That’s why North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library developed a monthly podcast aimed at busy, expecting families. Caregivers can learn about the literacy skills kids need to succeed—such as phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and print motivation—whenever and … Continue reading A Podcast That Delivers


Noah Lenstra

Exercise Your Resources

May 1, 2019

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, for instance, hosts Connections4Health, a program in which college student volunteers refer patrons to health resources, including those that address food insecurity, transportation, housing, and immigration concerns. In Ithaca, New York, Tompkins County Public Library teams up with Cornell University and Ithaca College for Ballet and Books, in which college students … Continue reading Exercise Your Resources


Dispatches, by Emily Rimland and Victoria Raish

Digital Badges

May 1, 2019

In education Digital badges encourage students to cultivate and showcase granular skills beyond their report cards and prepare them for the workplace. In Teaching with Digital Badges: Best Practices for Libraries (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), contributing author Amanda Rose Fuller details a workforce-readiness digital badge initiative developed at Aurora (Colo.) Public Schools. This program, designed … Continue reading Digital Badges