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How Delaware Libraries are Powering Up with Zoobean

Since the advent of television, access to fast entertainment has been responsible for contributing to a long-term trend of declining leisure reading rates worldwide that has only been exacerbated by technologies such as the internet, smartphones, and social media. The American Time Use Study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that leisure reading among Americans hit an all-time low in 2019. While such technologies are here to stay and continue providing invaluable services in regard to information access and social connectedness, are we ready to give up on reading altogether? Public libraries in Delaware have decided to say “no!” to these trends by partnering with Zoobean to leverage this same information technology toward increasing reading goals across the state with their service Beanstack. Launched with the help of a successful appearance on ABC’s business reality show Shark Tank, Zoobean has grown to offer several successful tools that help educators, librarians, families, and teams read more by creating, promoting, participating in, and gaining insights from reading challenges.

American Labor Movement and Libraries

Labor unions are important, democratic, organizations that protect the rights of workers in the country. Unions are usually a group of workers who come together to stand up for their own rights but to also help further their interests and the interests of other workers like themselves. They achieve their goals through a collective bargaining process with employers and this results in things like better working conditions, pay, benefits, etc. Library workers in many states have their own unions that help them organize and protect their workplace rights. These organizations can be in a public library, school library, or academic library setting. The protection of rights for any worker should be a priority and especially so for library workers who play an important role in one of the most democratic institutions in the country. Unions have been able to aid library workers using a collective voice, receiving more public support than ever.

I’m a Librarian. Here Are My Very Favorite Things That We Do.

I was at the beach with my toddler son recently and got to talking with another dad, a financial advisor. After some small talk, he told me something interesting: “We really appreciate the library,” he said “My wife and I take our son there all the time. But I’m still not exactly sure what librarians do…” As a library advocate with around two decades in the business, that statement is like the smell of baked good to the Cookie Monster! Before he could even finish, I began to talk, giving him an only slightly condensed version of a mashup between “What Exactly Does a Librarian Do?” and “Day in the Life: Reference Librarian at a Public Library”. I gave him oodles of information, way more than he wanted — it was clear and organized, and unfortunately, not memorable at all. The problem was that I gave him the from-the-brain run-down of library work instead of approaching the question from the heart, sharing what librarians do that has kept me passionate about the work for so long. Thankfully, you and I are together for a few minutes so I could share with you my favorite things librarians do.

How Follett’s Changing the Book Fair

Every year, students around the nation look forward to the book fair, an event that rolls into town like a traveling carnival, transforming their libraries, gymnasiums, and auditoriums overnight into a wonderland of tables and shelves piled displaying colorful book covers, educational kits, and experiments, and toys and games of all sorts. This panoply of learning and entertainment captures the imagination of students, each item promising new worlds to explore, characters to meet, and challenges to be overcome. It’s no wonder many people hold fond memories of taking home their book fair catalogs and circling each item that catches their interest, bartering with parents and guardians for their most-wanted items in return for good grades, their best behavior, or chores and other services rendered.

Library of our Imagination

Libraries inspire the imagination. They help patrons find escape, find ideas for the future, find fun. Writers often get inspired to set stories within their walls. Sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, all the material below make show how versatile a stage your local library can be.

Library Spaces are Made for Everyone

Libraries serve a wide range of people like those with different backgrounds, disabilities, and culture. Because libraries function as a space for all members of the community, it is important to ensure that measures are in place to be as inclusive as possible. People from all walks of life use the library and if resources and library tools aren’t compatible with their needs, it can become a barrier rather than a support. The good news is that libraries everywhere are recognizing the steps they can take to help members of the community feel welcomed and comfortable with library spaces. From inclusive initiatives to staff training, there are plenty of ways libraries are making a difference.

Libraries Help Save the Planet!

Beyond their mission to share knowledge, libraries have been working to be environmentally friendly as well as to be a resource to show others how to be environmentally conscious. In their own way, libraries play a role in helping the environment since books are being reused on a daily basis by community members. Many libraries also take donations from universities, patrons, etc. which helps to give the books a new life. Beyond that, libraries have plenty of resources and well-trained staff members who care about saving the planet. When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, the library can be a great partner in implementing habits and learning about ways to be sustainable and green.

The Library is Your Startup and Small Business Supercenter

As a writer, I’ve spent a lot of time working from home over the past six years. My writing career and my library career have also overlapped in many ways; I’ve been a digital librarian, a full-time librarian and part-time writer, and a full-time writer and library advocate. Over the course of my professional life, I’ve helped professionals to use the library for their businesses, and I’ve also used my “insider” library knowledge to enhance my work as a writer and marketer. Together, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the library acts as a boost for small businesses and dream-seekers like you.

Secrets of Success for Every Book Club

Summer is the time for traveling, outdoor picnics, and plenty of reading. While many may have left reading behind at our local public library’s summer reading challenges as kids and teenagers, reading over the summer is still for everyone. Joining or hosting a book club is one of the best ways to get back into the routine of reading and checking books off your list. Book clubs these days are fun and exciting with even famous celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon getting involved. Book clubs can be as simple as picking a title, choosing your group, and gathering once a month for discussion. But, librarians can play a large role in enhancing your experience from helping with selection to all sorts of engaging additions to your discussions and readings.

Plan Your Post-Quarantine Travels Now Through Your Library

Have you been stuck at home, flattening the curve as cabin fever rises? The time for travel may not be now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least plan your first trip once you’re free from travel restrictions! And hey, it might help to take a bit of a mental road trip as well as you explore all the different places to visit during the planning process. Whether you are looking to make a day trip or plan to tour your state — or even the country — once the state of emergency is lifted, there are few stops full of more value than those of America’s public libraries. Many libraries to host special, rare, unique, or locally and historically relevant materials in their collections, making up what is known as a “special collection”.

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