Edmonton Public Library expands program helping homeless

The Edmonton Public Library’s outreach program, which focuses on supporting the city’s homeless population, is expanding to five more libraries. The program, which partners with Boyle Street Community Services, was launched in 2011 in response to the growing number of people seeking refuge at the downtown Stanley Milner branch. Jared Tkachuk, an outreach worker, explains … Read more…

Summit presents plans to provide high-speed broadband in schools and libraries

Some 110 school leaders from across the nation attended the National Connected Superintendents on November 20. The event was part of the Obama administration’s 5-year plan, ConnectED, to provide nearly universal high-speed broadband connectivity to schools and libraries. Currently, fewer than 40% of schools have access to high-speed Internet. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan … Read more…

Neil Gaiman: Libraries are ‘cultural seed corn’

In this interview with Toby Litt, British author Neil Gaiman talks about the immense value of libraries and describes himself as a “feral child who was raised in libraries.” He notes that he was three or four when he first started visiting his local library and was “hooked” at the point that he could persuade … Read more…

SLC Public Library Considering Opening 24 Hours a Day

Beginning in early 2015, a two-year pilot project may enable the Salt Lake City Public Library’s downtown branch to stay open 24 hours a day. According to John Spears, executive director of the library, the goal of the project is to give homeless people a safe place to go at night, while also serving other … Read more…

A Nationwide Outpouring of Support for Tiny Ferguson Library

Despite the recent violent protests that followed the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri, the Ferguson Public Library stayed open. Library director and sole employee Scott Bonner, who describes himself as having a “very broad definition of librarianship,” has received significant contributions that may enable him to hire additional help. He also plan to purchase … Read more…

50 million reasons to give thanks for school programs

In this pre-Thanksgiving post, Richard A. Carranza, president of The San Francisco Unified School District, thanks voters who recently passed the Children and Families First Initiative (Proposition C). The initiative provides $50 million in additional funding to San Francisco Schools in areas such as music and art, sports, wellness, and libraries. Proposition C supports the … Read more…

A Slice of Maker Pie: Stories from Three Learner Labs

This article explores how three libraries have “navigated a more serious route toward which slice of ‘maker pie’ would be most palatable to their communities and staff.” The libraries featured include the Simla branch of the Ebert County District Library (Colorado), the Middletown Free Library (Pennsylvania), and the Billings Public Library (Montana). Each library has … Read more…

How Libraries Are Advancing and Inspiring Schools and Communities

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has recently released a report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, that asks us “to reconsider how the library can serve communities in the 21st century.” The report focuses on the Chattanooga and Nashville public libraries for … Read more…

Focus on Relevance: Tell Politicians Why Libraries are Vital

In this post, Rebecca Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal, discusses the critical need to help politicians understand that libraries remain relevant and have a critical role to play. She discusses the experience of Kim Wyman, who was elected secretary of state of Washington and shortly thereafter started a “crash course” … Read more…

Libraries Add Economic Value to Local Communities

Ken Detzner, Florida’s Secretary of State supports public libraries, calling them “a place of learning, a hub for educational resources, and a community center.” According to an ROI study conducted by the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, University of West Florida, libraries deliver value to the areas they serve by supporting economic … Read more…

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