The Modern Librarian Does More Than You Think

The modern librarian does more for their libraries and patrons than reading books and restocking shelves. Librarians are qualified, educated professionals encompassing a wide variety of skills and an even wider variety of roles — many often don’t work with books at all! But yet to many, a stereotype about librarians persists. A plainly-dressed clerk, likely with glasses. They’re carrying a stack of books somewhere, perhaps restocking a shelf. If approached, they may tell you where to find something, or perhaps look up a title in the computer before heading off once again into the labyrinth of shelves or back behind the mighty fortress of the desk. If you make too much noise, they’ll get cranky.

Digital Equity Means More than Just Access to the Internet

Libraries are known for providing many important services and resources to their communities. However, for those who aren’t as familiar with library landscapes, the top things that come to mind that libraries provide are books and computers. This isn’t surprising especially because libraries are major supporters of literacy when it comes to knowing how to read and how to navigate digital spaces. Books and computers are also some of the most commonly seen objects in the library. At first glance, it can be easy for some to assume that these are the focuses and miss out on additional resources like classes, programs, skilled staff, etc. Closing the digital divide has been an important mission that libraries are working to tackle. The rise in technology use and the need for technology on a daily basis has revealed the huge gap that some communities face. This is why libraries are also stepping into new roles and developing new strategies in order to best help library patrons. Libraries are places that provide equity of access for everyone regardless of their own means. Taking a step towards the future and working the better the present involves a dedication towards digital equity.

Libraries Defend the Truth and Preserve History for Young People

One of the aspects of libraries that I love most is that they truly exist for the advancement of their communities. Whether a library serves a school, a university, a small town, or a larger city, it acts as an entity that shares resources and information that is correct. At times, this means that libraries share facts and materials which are not necessarily politically correct; librarians must be concerned with providing truth, as opposed to advancing their personal opinions.

The Holden Effect and Picking Exactly the Right Book (at the right moment)

Whether you love to read fiction or non-fiction (or both), every reader should have a few huge reading experiences in their lives — books that lead to big decisions, massive realizations, or a re-framing of a world view. Though I’ve worked in libraries for two decades now, I still love drifting through libraries and bookstores in the hopes of discovering a book that will thrill and amaze me. Throughout those years of work and wandering, I’ve identified some concepts (heuristics, even) that help me help other readers to get the best experience when choosing books. One of those ideas is something I’ve taken to calling the “Holden Effect.” You might know that Holden Caulfield is the pissant protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s enduring novel Catcher in the Rye. It’s obvious by the way I described young Holden that I read Salinger’s novel too late to identify with Caulfield and find the novel meaningful. And that’s the essence of the Holden Effect: Coming across a book at the wrong moment to fully appreciate it.

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?  

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.