How Libraries Are Adapting to Meet the Needs of Users

The global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the daily lives of American citizens. The closure of America’s libraries was one of the changes that were felt most. Seemingly overnight, millions of people lost access to their free source of entertainment, internet services, after-school programs, and so much more. Some libraries stayed closed for months, while others have still yet to open their doors. However, all libraries are doing what they can to adapt and meet the needs of their users.

The Rise of School Libraries as Technology Hubs

School librarians may be a relatively recent addition to school faculties, but their role has quickly become indispensable within the structure of a school community. Until the early 1900s people didn’t recognize the value of housing a library staffed by a professional librarian within school buildings. Throughout the 20th century, the landscape of school libraries has changed rapidly. They have been required to adapt, becoming not only reading and research experts, but also curriculum experts, and technology navigators. These professionals are often the technology wizards at their schools. School libraries have evolved in the past 50 years into tech hubs that are helping close the technological divide.

The Life-Changing Power of a Library Card

Most can probably relate to going through a difficult patch in life. That could mean financial struggles, loss of a job, mental health conditions, or anything that leaves you feeling anxious about your future. Where did you turn? Did you have a trusted friend or family member that could help you? Did you reach out to professionals such as a doctor or a therapist?

Libraries Bring Families Together Through Bilingual Storytimes

Pregunte en su Biblioteca Sobre Actividades Multilingües para Familias People from all over the world have settled in the United States and raised families. An increasingly common characteristic of American families is that many are bilingual. In many instances, grandparents and parents have strong language skills in their native language and young children have exposure to languages spoken at home in addition to English. With diverse populations in communities across the country and multilingual households on the rise, it only makes sense that libraries are creating multilingual offerings. For example, bilingual storytimes are a fun and interactive way for those who are wanting to connect with diverse languages and communities and develop skills in multiple languages.

In Defense of Free Choice in American Libraries

Recent campaigns by vocal minority groups are threatening the ability of library users in the United States to freely choose what they want to read. Brandishing books that they find objectionable and delivering impassioned speeches to school boards and elected officials, special interest groups have gained traction in recent months. Often targeting texts about race and sexuality, attacks on free choice are becoming increasingly aggressive and risk undermining the ability of libraries to provide their users with relevant and essential reading materials.

Libraries and Information Literacy: Now More than Ever

Have you heard of information literacy? Do you consider yourself an information-literate person? If so, ask yourself the following: Have you ever seen something posted on social media that just didn’t seem right? Maybe it even seemed manipulative? Have you wondered about journalistic bias and how to interpret it while still gaining new knowledge and understanding? Have you asked yourself, “Where and how can I develop the skills to distinguish fact from fiction in the news I read?” This article discusses information literacy, who’s involved with it, and how it benefits society.

Visit the Libraries of the World

There are many reasons to travel — to visit historic sites, museums, international sporting events, food tours, nature havens — but there’s another good reason to travel: Libraries. All over the world, there are libraries that attract visitors from across the globe, whether it’s for the beauty of the library’s architecture, its historical significance, or its special collections, among other reasons. Here are just a few libraries well worth traveling for, and know this is a short list. Note: Before making any travel plans, check with each library to see what pandemic restrictions are. Beyond the pandemic, some materials require appointments to view.

Libraries Are Resource Hubs During a Disaster

Libraries have always played a vital role in the lives of their community members. Providing access to knowledge becomes extremely important in a variety of situations. It’s not just mental stimulation and a haven of books that libraries can provide. They also take care of the well-being of their patrons by supporting them during disasters. This takes the form of physical safe spaces as well as somewhere to turn to when disaster victims need resources like technology or advice. As a result, those in the community can pull through tough times knowing they’ve got the library watching out for them.

Honoring Our Veterans and Remembering Our History

The recent Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day holidays were for celebrating those who made one of the greatest sacrifices for our country, veterans. These aren’t just distant heroes, they are those who grew up in our hometowns, someone’s best friend, someone’s child, and someone who had a dedication to serving our country. Libraries recognize the important role that veterans have played in all our lives and cherish their sacrifices by honoring them in millions of ways.

Libraries Foster Community Conversations

How does change come about? Often, through conversations. Libraries facilitate immense change as centers where conversations take place. An essential aspect of libraries is that people see them as safe, neutral, and open meeting spaces. In other words, just the environment needed to foster healthy and successful conversations about community issues. Libraries are embracing this and are hosting and facilitating community conversations. The pandemic has been an especially stressful time for productive community conversations. Not only are people combating misinformation, confusion, and fear, meeting for in-person conversations has become a risky activity. This creates even more division among community members and prevents healthy discussion of community problems.