Language Learning and Libraries

Do you have an exciting trip on the horizon and need to learn a new language — or is there a New Years Resolution you need to make good on — but don’t know where do you turn? If the library isn’t your first answer, it should be! From free apps to books and CDs to conversation groups, the public library will get you set to speak, understand, and even read a new language. Public libraries offer a huge array of language learning resources including free subscriptions to online resources, books and CDs for checkout, in-person classes and conversation groups, and more! Forget the travel agent and the luggage store — your first stop to plan your language-learning trip is your local library.

A Teen Librarian’s Tips for Talking to Young People Over the Holidays

‘Tis the season for family gatherings where the teens and young adultsamong us are inevitably hit with a familiar onslaught of pryingquestions. Innocuous at best and insensitive at worst, small talk likethis usually comes from well-meaning relatives unsure of where else togo in conversations with young people. But the truth is this rote lineof questioning often leads to a dead end. Teens rattle off their prepared answers, grown-ups give an empathetic sigh, and that’s pretty much it.

Media Literacy for Every Producer

Published in partnership with the Center for Media Literacy. In our hyper connected world, everyone is a “media producer”. It is not just the people who create video, audio, or blog content. And it is not just the big studios or people in the media industry creating content any more — we all create content by using social media sites and communicating via text and images.

Memory Cafés Connect Families

Libraries help families facing dementia, early onset Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive issues for loved ones. With memory loss affecting 40% of all U.S. adults over the age of 65, an increasing number of individuals and the loved ones who care for them are finding themselves isolated from the life that they once knew. Knowing that this significant population of people wasn’t able to utilize many of their traditional services, public libraries started to look for a way to integrate this group, and in 2013, they came upon the idea of Memory Cafés — a support group with a special twist.

How Libraries Help Teens Tackle the Job Search

Finding a job is a lot like doing research for a paper. In order to find a job, teens need to know where and how to look. For teens with little or no work and job-seeking experience, the task can feel overwhelming and confusing! How does your local library fit in? For starters, there are many job postings online and libraries provide Internet access and computer usage at no charge. Libraries also provide one-on-one assistance to job seekers of all ages. It’s recommended that you call the library before you go and ask to book an appointment with a librarian. That way, a teen services or reference librarian can prepare to spend time giving “hands-on” help without interruptions.

Researching Your Way through a Million Results

Research has shown that false news stories travel six times faster than truthful news on social media. Fortunately, school librarians help students navigate a world where too much incorrect information surrounds them. Partnering with teachers and parents, school librarians offer essential lessons that not only help students with their current research project but also help develop critical literacy skills necessary for a lifetime of learning, researching, and reading.

Rogue Librarians and Activist Archivists!

We all — hopefully — have a story about a moment in library when something wonderful happened to light a love of reading in our hearts. Or in an archive where, through the magic of preservation and curation, history stayed alive and did not fade. There are ‘special collections’ that matter to whole communities and entire nations. And there are some that are special to just a few.

From The ‘Wall That Heals’ to Veterans Voices

Contributed by Miriam Anderson Lytle, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL.   It was a warm September day when The Wall That Heals drove into town. It was hailed on streets lined with school children waving American flags. A solemn parade of Warriors’ Watch Riders, fire trucks, dignitaries end-capped by Elgin Police Department squad cars rumbled through green-flashing signal lights. There was no stopping this semi-truck and its fans en route to Elgin’s city plaza. Vietnam Vets welcome here. Tears streamed down cheeks though most donned sunglasses to disguise emotion. It had been nearly 40 years since the war ended, but hearts were still broken, families still destroyed, a nation unhealed.

Media Literacy Starts at the Library

“Media literacy“ is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages in all their forms — from print to video to the internet and social media. “Media literacy“ is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages in all their forms — from print to video to the internet and social media. Media literacy combines deconstruction and construction of media messages since we are all consumers and producers of media.

Library Fun for Families with Young Children

Whether you care for a young child as a parent, a guardian, or as a job, every caregiver has had moments where you and your child are stuck at the house and bored. Maybe the weather outside is no good, the little one is tired of all their toys, or you’re simply craving interaction with another adult after being the dutiful parent, grandparent, nanny, or daycare provider all week long. This is where your public library saves the day! Public libraries seek to provide a place for young children and their caregivers to spend time, have fun, and maybe even learn some valuable early learning skills. What does that look like, you ask? Let me tell you about some pretty amazing services.