Partners in Connecting with Nashville’s Youth


By Allison Barney
Limitless Library Coordinator
Nashville Public Library

At Nashville Public Library (NPL), our story is about more than books. It’s about education, community, and enabling others to thrive. Our award-winning programs allow our entire city to dream, learn, see, do, and become more. Better yet, these programs don’t just happen inside our buildings. We connect with them right in their own communities. In fact, two of our very successful community programs, Limitless Libraries and the Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), use this model to reach thousands of children and youth through the public schools who might not otherwise have access to library resources.

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I Had No Idea! Changing How the Library is Viewed One Stakeholder at a Time

Josephine Community Library Oregon

By Vanessa Craig

Kate Dwyer, Education Outreach Librarian at Josephine Community Libraries, is used to hearing, “I had no idea!” She works diligently to reach out to members in her community that have no clue what modern day libraries offer.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center  found that, “…forty-six percent [of those polled] say that they know some of what their libraries offer and thirty-one percent said they know not much or nothing at all of what their libraries offer.”

Kate faces this unfamiliarity when she is presenting what their library offers to various community groups. Most attendees thought they knew exactly what the library offers, but after her presentation on all the databases, services, programs, and books their libraries offer, her participants often exclaim, “I had no idea!”

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Shifting Perception: Valued for what we do

Edmonton Public Library, 2014 Library of the Year

By Tina Thomas

Libraries have been at a crossroads of existence since I joined the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) five years ago – likely well before that and probably for many more years to come. In his article[1] outlining that “being essential” is not enough to sustain libraries, Rick Anderson highlights that an important thing libraries must do is provide value and a return on investment.

We know that if you ask 1000 people if they believe libraries are important the vast majority will say yes. But we also know that those same people may not know what the modern library does or even use the library themselves.

The challenge is libraries are often valued as an institution or idea, not for the services they provide. And, to Rick’s point, if the lofty idea of “essential” is all libraries have, we likely will be challenged to find support for the work we do in a sea of essential services.

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Michigan eLibrary Boosts Local Economy

Public Libraries support local business

By Gale Marketing Research Team

In June 2013, the Michigan eLibrary (MeL), a service of the Library of Michigan, added three Gale online resources – DemographicsNow: Business & People, BusinessInsights: Global, and Gale LegalForms – plus a collection of business-oriented GVRL eBooks to their portfolio.

The decision to purchase business resources for Michigan resulted in funding proposed by the office of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as part of his “Economic Gardening” initiative to grow businesses in the state, which was then enacted by the Michigan state legislature.

Before MeL had these new business resources available, libraries had to buy their own. Many didn’t have the funds to do so, according to Deb Biggs Thomas, Michigan eLibrary & Outreach Coordinator at the Library of Michigan.

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