Movie Review: “the public” (written and directed by Emilio Estevez)

When the buzz about Emilio Estevez’s new film the public first began, many of my library colleagues and I were cautious. So pervasive are the poorly researched and/or downright insulting portrayals of libraries and librarians in the media, that a feature film with a library front-and-center had the potential to bring with it all sorts of frustrations. Would it depict librarians fairly? Would it be kind to our patrons? Did Mr. Estevez, who wrote, produced, and starred in the public, get it right?

“Dear So-and-So, I Love My Library!” and Other Words to Share Your Love of Libraries

In an article titled “5 Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Library Stays Around Forever,” I suggested that library lovers should routinely “…send [letters to] elected officials extolling the life-changing influence of your library. It doesn’t have to be long or complex; a few paragraphs and your signature are just right.” It’s a simple thing to do once or twice a year, but it makes a difference. While many elected officials implicitly understand that libraries are a smart investment, they may not always be able to bring forth the evidence necessary to defend them when facing the immediate demands of budget time. Why not help them think straight with a well-crafted letter of library support?

Slow Info: Where Libraries, Reading, and Well-Being Converge

Most people would agree that the level of stress is high in our society; many are worried about the present and the future. I posit that part of that anxiety is stoked by the speed at which many of us feel we are expected to absorb and respond to a panoply of information streams. A reaction to this reckless acceleration is the “Slow Information Movement” (SIM), founded by librarian Vanessa Kam, though the term “slow information” has been around since at least 2009. Based on a synthesis of my rudimentary research, “slow information” inclines towards the poles of certain dichotomies: Currency: Enduring over new Latency: More time between inputs over “one thing after another” Density: Higher information density over lower Length: Long-form over short Speed: Deliberate over fast

It’s Not Like the Library You Remember

If your vision of a library is musty stacks of books and a librarian shushing everyone, it’s time to take a trip back to your local branch. Libraries have reinvented themselves as vital 21st century resources and thriving community hubs for people of all ages. Today’s libraries are home to tech centers, makerspaces, arts and cultural programming, gaming resources and much more. Here are 13 things libraries offer kids today.

Millennials Are the Answer for Libraries, But What Are the Questions?

Inspired by EveryLibrary’s short library survey (take it here), here are some questions I composed while thinking about the subject of Millennials and libraries (and a few other things). Feel free to answer them to yourself as you read, or highlight and respond. I’m always in for a good discussion. Enjoy the questions!

5 Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Library Stays Around Forever

Libraries in the United States receive over a billion visits every year, so there are obviously a lot of library users out there. Why, then, am I always reading about libraries fighting for their very survival? The answer, in my opinion, is that most library users do not understand that without their active support, they will eventually have no libraries left to visit. Consequently, here are five simple ways to make sure that trouble and your library never meet:

Questions and Concepts that Uncover Fake News and Bias

Questions and Concepts that Uncover Fake News and Bias As teens approach the end of their high school years and prepare to make their way into the wide world, it’s important that they have the tools they need to navigate the flood of information that we all deal with. Parents can do a great service for their kids by helping them learn how to distinguish the good from the bad in the world of information, news and social media, starting with some key concepts, and libraries can be their partner in creating a new generation of informed, engaged young adults.

Listening for Early Literacy

A perennial staple of children’s library programming around the world continues to be public story times. While some communities have access to frequent events such as an infant-targeting Baby Bounce or the toddler-friendly Rhyme Time hosted by children’s librarians, almost all public libraries in the U.S. provide regularly scheduled and thematically varied opportunities for groups of small children and their care providers to enjoy experiences with books together.

Cooking up early literacy skills with your kids!

Cooking and literacy go hand in hand. Even the most basic recipe requires not only the ability to read, but to follow directions measuring ingredients and preparing them accordingly. Not only does cooking promote literacy, but many different kinds of literacy: of course reading and writing, but also math, science, technology, nutrition, health, culture and historical literacies, as well as culinary literacy, which is increasingly at risk with today’s kids. In this article we will show you how cooking can foster early literacy and highlight both library programs which combine cooking and literacy and ways to use your local public library’s resources to do this on your own.

These Tips Will Teach You How to Finish Over 50 Books a Year

For the last ten years I’ve finished 65–80 books a year. I’m not saying that to show off, I know people who read over 100 books a year without a second thought. The fact that reading combines entertainment, education, and inspiration is just one of the reasons many successful people make it a habitual activity. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if you read 20 or 90 books per annum as long as the books you experienced gave you a thrill. In the end, it’s not about how many books you’ve finished — there will always be someone who read more — as much as making the best of your life. Here are my tips to help you get more reading in: