Bridging the Digital Divide One Load of Laundry at a Time

Wash and Learn Libraries are coming up with innovative solutions for reaching out to people all over the community. Their new strategies take into consideration the different types of situations people may be facing when it comes to access to things like books, the internet, and other educational resources. Recently, Libraries Without Borders came up with an idea to address this need for patrons by meeting them where they’re at in the community: laundromats!

7 Tips for Genealogists from the Library

Being curious about our family or hometown history is natural for humans. What’s great is that oftentimes there are plenty of resources out there just waiting to be discovered and incorporated into our research. Those who are just getting started may be uncertain about where to begin looking for information and have endless questions on the process of genealogy research. There’s plenty of practical advice that can help you take your first steps into the world of genealogy and public libraries, special collections, and research libraries will be the best places to guide you with your genealogical inquiries.

Your Library, A Hub for Tolerance & Diversity

In my professional experience as a librarian, I’ve helped others of many backgrounds to learn and grow together. Librarians serve diverse groups nationwide and touch the lives of countless individuals, including members of the LQBTQIA community, people of all ages and races, and children and adults of varying ability levels.

These are the Different Types of Librarians Found in a Public Library

It may surprise you, but just like there are different kinds of accountants, doctors, and lawyers, there are also different kind of librarians whose duties hardly resemble each others at all. While librarians in the United States tend to get the same graduate-level education earning some variation of an Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, once finished with school, they have many possible roads. The first question is, “Would you like to work at a public library, an academic/school library, a special library, a museum, or an archive? Once that is decided, each of these types of GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) institutions have many unique career tracks. While I feel all of GLAM is interesting, I’m going to cover public libraries here since it’s what I know best…

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.