12 Stimulating Things You Can Do at the Library

I became a librarian because of the people — the library staff who were kind to me as a child, the interesting patrons who I helped as a teen volunteer, and all of the colleagues and friends I’ve made through my library life as an adult. Truly, for me, libraries stand at the intersection of so much of society — those who want to learn, play, meet new friends, and more, go there to achieve these things. Most public libraries have set aside meeting space and time for the very purpose of allowing community members to interact. Library staff foster this by facilitating groups for all sorts of enlightening activities, for example:

Back to School Means Independent Learning Too

Back to school time is here, which means new school supplies, a new routine, and the excitement and challenges of a new school year. Back to school season should also be a return to independent learning, with the help of your local library. Libraries offer an abundance of programs and resources for kids (and adults) who do well learning on their own. Librarians can help guide patrons to resources that best suit their needs and interests, and challenge independent-minded learners. Here are 11 ways libraries encourage and support independent learning during back to school season and beyond.

Media Literacy — Beyond the Buzzwords

It is easy to feel inundated by different types of media in our daily lives, from newspapers and YouTube videos, to Tweets and memes, to infographics and reports. Libraries are great places to go learn about different types of media, and librarians can help you answer questions about unfamiliar media and become a savvier consumer (and producer!) of media. Being a savvy consumer and producer of media is increasingly vital and increasingly challenging in the ever evolving media and technology ecosystems of the 21st century. At Every Library we are committed to supporting and advocating for the valuable work libraries and librarians do nationwide, including empowering people of all ages with media literacy, or the skills they need to find, use, evaluate, and create media.

Alarmed about fake news? The librarians can help!

On a chilly morning near the end of 2016, I met a friend for breakfast at a diner in Austin, Texas to talk about fake news. While this was not the start of some, admittedly strange, spy novel, it was the start of an educational project that’s still growing. As a librarian, I know it is just as important to teach kids how to look at news sources as it is to teach them to read. Librarians like me are focused on helping people of all ages become literate in a number of ways. But we are here in a particular way to help parents, educators, and their students know how to be literate about the media, news, and what they see online. With so much learning and entertainment happening online, it’s more important than ever

Stop Pretending that Libraries are a Business. They’re not!

Like clockwork, every few months, someone out in the world publishes an article in the national press about how libraries should be replaced by X company. The argument is usually pretty simplistic: Thingamabob Inc. does this one function of a library really well, so libraries are on their way out. Obviously, when reduced to its bare essentials, it sounds so silly! Libraries do a lot of things very well, producing value for their communities in ways that are fundamentally different than any business.

Micah Reads! This Inspiring Story Proves That Libraries are Extremely Important

NOTE: We saw this inspiring story on Facebook written by Steven Bellah and we got permission from Steven and Micah to share their story here. The guy holding the shirt is Micah. He has been coming to the Red Bridge Branch of the Mid-Continent Library for about a year and a half now. He walks about a half mile to get there. In the beginning, he would come in and check out about 10 DVD’s, multiple days a week. He told us he lived in a group home and the movies kept him entertained. He was just another satisfied customer.

There’s Something Wrong with the Library’s Image: A Pictorial Guide

Reading articles about libraries on a near-daily basis, I can’t help but notice that the images most often chosen to represent libraries are a shelf of books. Here’s a similar photo, but taken at an artistic angle:

5 Intriguing Reasons Public Library Staff is Crucial to Communities

I recently read a study in which researchers placed book-vending machines in “book deserts,” or low-income neighborhoods where there was little access to books, and studied their use. What they found wasn’t surprising: Access to books increased literacy and school-readiness. Even less surprising was this quote: “Our findings suggest that only having one side of the equation — access to books or adult support — is insufficient. Rather, both are necessary. Without access to books, one cannot read to children; without adult supports, children cannot be read to,” said Neuman.”

5 (Really Awesome) Download Services for Your Summer Travels

When I travel, I generally take a library book with me. It’s not that I intentionally travel with library books, it’s just that I always have at least one library book borrowed and travel time is one of the best times to get some uninterrupted reading done. If you’d rather not take a library book on the road, or if you prefer reading on your tablet, phone or other device, you have some really great options. Libraries have leveled up digital services and they now offer a variety of ways to download digital materials. This way, you can take books, music, movies and more with you on the road, without actually taking the materials with you. Here are five of our favorite library apps and downloads for your last minute travel needs.

Reversing the Summer Slide

The summer slide is not a fun waterpark extravaganza. It’s the slipping of learning that takes place during the summer when kids aren’t in school. For example, if your child is at a third grade reading level, it is likely that he or she will slide to a second grade reading level if no reading is done over the summer. Sometimes, it can take kids as long as three months to get back to where they left off a the beginning of the summer; and then they have Thanksgiving break and three weeks later, a two week break from the end of December through the first few days of the calendar year.