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Virtual Reality — or VR for short — is everywhere these days, from Hollywood with Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster hit movie Ready Player Oneto your local public library. That’s right - one of the best places to learn about virtual reality, augmented reality and everything in between is the library, where introducing new technologies to the community is becoming as popular as summer reading and storytime.

Cue Up SYNC for Free Teen Audiobooks

For the ninth year, AudioFile Magazine is sponsoring an audiobook program that offers anyone aged 13+ the opportunity to download and keep a generous virtual shelf’s-worth of audiobooks. AudiobookSYNC is a summertime program designed to provide teens with plenty of varied opportunities to read with their ears. This year, the program runs from April 26 through July 25, with each of those 13 weeks bringing a new pair of free audiobooks to download and keep.

How to Get the Summer You Want

Summer is right around the corner and your local library is gearing up with summertime offerings for kids, grownups and everyone in-between. Whether you plan to be on the road visiting other library systems or sticking close to your home branch, libraries may be just the thing to keep the kids busy and your mind fed. Here are 12 of our favorite summertime library offerings….

5 Ways Libraries help US Veterans

Military veterans are among the bravest and most selfless people in our country. They have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. One of these freedoms is our freedom to access information. Often this information is accessed through libraries. Libraries have been a major facet of the American experience since Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731. At EveryLibrary, we believe it is only right that they have access to libraries when they return home. Here are the top five things, that a library can do for our veterans.  

Why the Value of Self-Reliance is at the Heart of Libraries

I recently returned to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s timeless essay “Self-Reliance”, and found it different from how I remembered it. Emerson’s self-reliance is rigidly individualistic, non-conformist, and solitary; a person must invent their own ideas, everyone else be damned. This differs slightly from our colloquial ideas of self-reliance as either self-made in a materialistic sense or the quality of a person who has achieved a lot through hard work (aka, “…blood, sweat, and tears.”). When we think of a self-reliant individual, many of us picture a pioneer-type in the Wild West, venturing out to explore the untamed wilderness and surviving to tell the tale. While not untrue in its essence, one may simply point out that though this person existed in the past, the West has been won. To that end, it must be asked: What is self-reliance in contemporary life?

Libraries: They’re for adults too!

Libraries are steadfast hallmarks of American society. Americans across the country have childhood memories of their local libraries. Often, as we escape childhood, our trips to the library become less frequent. As a result, libraries occupy a smaller amount of space in our minds and their troubles slip from the running list of concerns we have.

A New Mom’s Best Resource for Herself and Her Child: the Local Library

I’m not a mom, but from what I can tell, it is really hard work. Like, I have no idea how you do it, work. My mom is a library power user and she passed the library gene on to me. Big time. If I was a mom, I would have my kids at the library from the minute they could leave the house as infants. You don’t have to be a power user to love the library. And you don’t have to be a mom to fall in love with all that libraries offer. But, if you are a mom, the library is one of the best resources available to you. From parenting resources and social connection to early childhood development toys, arts and crafts, storytime and much more, the local library can be a new moms best resource for yourself and your child.

Library Storytime: It’s a Lot More than just the Story

Storytime is the Heart and Soul of the Library To many people, storytime and libraries go hand-in-hand. But surprisingly many new parents don’t know about the storytime programs available at their local public library. Not only is storytime a great free form of entertainment for parents looking for activities for their children, but library storytime can provide a bonanza of cognitive benefits as well. In many ways, storytime is the heart and soul of the library- not only does it bring together parents, caregivers and children but it also showcases the depth and breadth of your local public library’s commitment to your community with respect to early literacy and child development.

Building Your Tween’s World One Audiobook at a Time

Whether it’s via books, movies, or small screen media consumption, tweens take an interest in sampling a variety of genres. Fantasy, historical fiction, mysteries, adventure, and even horror can attract some initial curiosity that often leads to delving deeper and gaining a personal taste for tales in a similar vein. There are plenty of age-appropriate, professionally performed audiobooks that offer kids 10–12 the opportunity to taste such possibilities.

10 Library Projects That Will Rock Your Socks Off (that were funded through IMLS)!

I wrote an article recently about how Trump is coming after libraries and I wasn’t joking. In Trump’s FY2019 proposed budget, his administration has called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)! This misguided move is obviously bad for libraries because IMLS is the independent government agency that transfers the funds made available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) — the only Federal funding that is exclusively for libraries — to libraries all around the country! If we lose the IMLS, libraries will lose the ability to do some truly meaningful work. Below are 10 examples of important initiatives that were funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):