Public Libraries — a Great ‘Life Hack’ for Families

Have you ever heard the term “life hack”? Coined in 2004 by technology writer Daniel O’Brien, a life hack refers to a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Life hacks can save you time, money and aggravation — to use a video game metaphor, they are the hidden cheat codes for going about your everyday business. Whether you are a new parent, a grandparent or an adult caregiver, public libraries can be a great resource for families with young children. Not only can you find books, movies and other media for you and your kids to enjoy, but there is a veritable treasure trove of games, programs, activities and services that you can take advantage of as well. Think of your local public library as a life hack for parenting!

Taking Control of Your Health and Wellbeing Starts at the Library

When you or a loved one have received a medical diagnosis, navigating the world of health information available can be a confusing and frightening prospect. Fortunately, your local public library can help you during this difficult time by providing valuable assistance in locating relevant, credible and authoritative sources for consumer health information. Libraries also serve as community centers for wellness, public health services and health support, often partnering with local hospitals or regional and national public organizations to provide various kinds of outreach services to library users.

Does Your Teen Need Volunteer Hours? Hit the Library!

Does your teen need community service hours for a club, organization, to meet the requirements for a scholarship, or to boost their chances of getting accepted to college? Look no further than your local library! Your local library is the heart of your community where librarians strive to provide excellent educational, social, and career-boosting opportunities. Librarians want to do everything they can to help young people in their communities succeed.

What I Want My Son to Learn from Libraries

On this, my first Father’s Day, I sat down to reflect on what I would like to teach my son to help him be a good person in his life. Naturally, my thoughts drifted towards libraries, and not for nothing; libraries and librarians have had an essential positive influence on my life. Out of so much that I have received from the institution and its heroes, the ideas that stand out the most aren’t necessarily the ones I’ve gathered from a lifetime of reading. Certainly, those are in abundance, but it is the very values of libraries themselves that speak to my heart asking to be passed on:

What Controlled Digital Lending does to Make Every Book Available Online

Sometimes, one of the more frustrating things about being a reader is that not every title you want is available in an electronic format. This is especially for books from the 20th century which were published before the “digital era”. It’s a funny reason why. When e-books first became commercially available in the 2000s, many authors, fearing that their book sales would be undermined by copies being distributed over the internet, chose not to make their works available in electronic form. If you have ever wanted to read a book that was out of print or difficult to find — even online — then you might be interested in a new concept that libraries are exploring called Controlled Digital Lending.

7 Things You Didn’t Know That the Federal Government Funds For Your Library

While most library funding comes from local sources, the Federal government supplies critical funds for some things the local community couldn’t provide on its own. Here’s a short list of seven specific services that Federal money supports for your library.

Start that Business at the Library!

Are you one of those people who spend all day at your current job dreaming about running your own business? You have a surefire product or service idea… but it’s just an idea. Normal people don’t just start a company, right? And besides, who would even know where to start? Sorry, but it’s time to put away the excuse that starting a business is a complicated, secretive process open to a select few — that’s just no longer true! Thanks to libraries who have taken on the challenge of supporting local small businesses in a variety of creative ways, you now have the information, support, and resources necessary for every step of starting a new enterprise. Let’s walk through the process of using the library to get a business off the ground — from your first business-minded visit to your local branch till the days when your company is thriving. Libraries have your back from start to finish.

Four Reasons Why Libraries Are Homeschooling Hotspots

As an experienced children’s librarian, some of my favorite and most frequent library visitors have been homeschoolers and their families. Nope, libraries aren’t the “shhh-ing” spaces they used to be. We have so much more to offer to homeschoolers than ever and we love the families which make up our local communities! So, why are libraries homeschooling hotspots? Here are four of reasons why libraries should be indispensable for homeschooling families, and what your library can do for your homeschoolers and you:

Free Teen Audiobook Season Arrives

Local libraries can enhance their services as an essential information provider for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, turning librarians into heroes that help grow local economies and new jobs. In the last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs have been created by small businesses[1]. Public libraries provide service to small businesses 2.8 million times each month, according to the OCLC report How Libraries Stack Up, verifying how important libraries are to small business success. As an example, the Free Library of Philadelphia by itself was reported to have provided over $4 million in direct support to local businesses.

A Summer of Reading, a Life of Adventure

I was eleven years old when my mother gave me my first Trixie Belden mystery one summer. That may have been one of the most impactful events in my life, setting the course for my eventual education and career choices and successes. More importantly, the love of reading first inspired by the Trixie Belden series resulted in many opportunities to instill a love of reading in other children, including two daughters (one of whom became an ELA teacher and school media specialist), my grandchildren, and more than a dozen students I’ve worked with through various volunteer mentoring programs over the years. I currently volunteer at the Center for Success in Detroit, which extended its programming last year to include the summer months. Alana, the 5th grader I currently mentor, improved two grade levels by the start of the new school year, especially impressive considering students typically lose some of the gains made the previous school year over the summer.