There’s a New Teacher in Town

Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an early literacy program for 3‑6 year olds (and their parents) to prepare for success in kindergarten and beyond. With hundreds of fun, interactive lessons in Math, Science and Social Studies, Language and Literacy, Art, and Music, the curriculum increases in difficulty as the user progresses through the program.

Miss Humblebee’s Academy assess cognitive skills at regular intervals for measurable improvement toward kindergarten readiness and offers a developmental observation checklist allowing parents to review and record social and emotional growth as an additional condition of preparedness. Libraries can also access aggregate data to see how young learners progress.

Sounds too good to be true? Read a review:

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Leaving Money on the Table

How to Get Started with Major Gift Fundraising from Individuals

Posted June 29, 2016

By David Baker, JD, Principal, Giving Design Group, Inc.

Giving Design Group, Inc. is one of the few companies that provides comprehensive fundraising & development services for libraries. David Bake, the founder of the organization, shares some knowledge on how to get fundraising for public libraries started. Read what he has to say!

Year after year, about 80% of charitable giving comes from individuals. The most recent Giving USA numbers tell us that 72% of annual giving comes from individuals and 8% of giving is received from bequests (the last wishes of previously living individuals). Only 15% of annual giving comes from foundations and 5% from corporations.

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Overcoming Barriers to Innovation

Posted June 22, 2016

By John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary

EveryLibrary is the first and only national organization dedicated to building voter support for libraries. They are chartered “to promote public, school, and college libraries, including by advocating in support of public funding for libraries and building public awareness of public funding initiatives”. Their primary work is to support local public libraries when they have a referendum or measure on the ballot. John Chrastka, the Executive Director of EveryLibrary, encourages libraries with a few important tips on how to overcome the barriers to innovation they most often face.

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The Gale and Google Integration at Work

Posted June 13, 2016

By Holly Hibner, Adult Services Coordinator, Plymouth District Library (MI)

As libraries continually seek to be a valued educational partner in communities, schools, and institutions, bringing trustworthy digital content into the natural path of their users has never been more important. To make it easier for people to find and use this relevant, authoritative information, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has partnered with Google for Education in two ways: providing intuitive integration of popular workflow tools through Google Apps for Education and indexing content in Google Scholar. With more than 50 million Google Apps for Education teachers and students worldwide, and an average of over 40,000+ Google search engine queries per second, Google is indisputably the place where people get their answers.

Information is truly at our fingertips now that Gale has become a Google for Education Partner. Many of Google’s popular tools like Drive, Docs, and Classroom are now integrated with Gale’s top products. Information seekers often look to Google for answers. Now they can combine the power of Google with the content authority of Gale databases.

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Bring All the Colors of the Rainbow to Your Collection

Posted  on June 7, 2016

By Liz Mason, Vice President, Product, Gale

Searching for an “unparalleled assemblage of newsletters, newspapers, and periodicals by, for, and about gays and lesbians?” Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, Part 1: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 brings together approximately 1.5 million pages of primary sources on social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world. Rare and unique content from microfilm, newsletters, organizational papers, government documents, manuscripts, pamphlets, and other types of primary sources sheds light on the gay rights movement, activism, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and more.

LGBTQ issues were at the forefront of the news in 2015. A major U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, high-profile transgender celebrity appearances, and many related stories dominated social news. Many media have declared the Rainbow Revolution in full effect. And while LGBTQ resources have been published for many years (the USC library began their collection in 1952), access to materials has been limited and not broadly publicized. In fact, libraries with significant LGBTQ collections remain small in number.

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Why Advocacy Matters for Public Libraries

Posted on May 31, 2016

By Rhonda Sewell 

Long gone is the notion of public libraries lingering in the shadows and doing little to advocate their value to their communities and promote their many offerings, programs, and activities. Advocacy and unapologetic promotion of our transformative systems is now a major priority. Such ideas hold a sacred place in our discussions surrounding public service, strategic goals, funding, construction, marketing, and digital implementation for libraries. Even the Twittersphere of endless hashtags has transitioned from reading sentiments to action items and rallying statements such as #LibrariesMatter, #LibrariesTransform, and #SaveOurLibraries.

Because doing more with less is a reality for public libraries, especially as competition for funding sources and customer demands increases, advocacy matters now more than ever.  “Advocacy, the process of acting on behalf of the public library to increase public funds and ensure that it has the resources needed to be up to date, is critical to the success of libraries,” states the Public Library Association (PLA)[i].

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Embedding Your Library in the Community: How to Overcome Obstacles and Lead Transformational Change

By Steven V. Potter, Director and CEO at Mid-Continent Public Library

What happens when your strategic plan blocks attempts at innovative programs?
One of the most innovative and community-changing programs I have seen in several years is Career Online High School. The immediate impact of this program at the early-adopting libraries was stunning to me. Clearly, a program like Career Online High School provides a very meaningful answer to that tired old question, “Since everyone has a Kindle, do we still need libraries?”

When I saw Career Online High School, I was amazed but unhappy.I know our strategic plan. I know our key performance indicators. I know our demographics and needs. I know Career Online High School does not easily align into our strategic direction, but I also know we have a diverse population and there are people in our community who could use this program. So that’s the end of the story, right? Not so fast! A program like Career Online High School can be a great opportunity to create a partnership with another organization.

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