Oh, the places you will go, the things you will see at a PLA Conference!

Gale PLA Conference

By Carrie Stefanski

My first week on the job back in December, I was told to save the date for the 2014 PLA Conference and plan to stay to see David Sedaris. At that moment, I knew I made the right career move. My conference experience was everything I hoped it’d be and the conference itself was a whole lot bigger than I imagined. I had a couple conferences under my belt, but neither matched up to the greatness of PLA.

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Putting the “Pub” in Public Library

By Harmony Faust

To say I’m a fan of craft beer is accurate, but perhaps doesn’t paint the full picture. The fact is, for my husband and I, it’s “our thing.” We appreciate craft beer to the point that last month, for the fourth consecutive year, we traveled to the Annual Winter Beer Festival of the Michigan Brewers Guild. That’s right, Michigan’s Brewers Guild. This places us outdoors in the middle of February at a beer festival. The high was 24 degrees but surrounded by good beer and good friends, no one seemed to notice.

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The Cat’s out of the Bag. We’re Not Just Reference Anymore.

By Harmony Faust

I shared an inside secret with you in our first post and it felt liberating, so I’m going to do it again here. As a representative of a company with 60 years as a leading publisher of reference content, this secret is potentially risky to post, but no less true.

Whew. Okay. Here it goes…

I have heard several of our public libraries partners say…*gasp*…their patrons aren’t asking for reference anymore. That it’s hard to create excitement around reference. In fact, a much-esteemed leader in library land was so bold as to say, to my face, that we do ourselves a disservice by referring to our eBook platform as Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).

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From Robot Races to Maker Spaces: STEM at the Public Library

By Harmony Faust

Public libraries can and do play a strong role in fostering an interest and developing skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—among children, teens and adults alike. Gale’s announcements yesterday afternoon mean that libraries of all types will soon have additional support in delivering research assistance in these key disciplines.

Classes, workshops and events related to STEM concepts are already prevalent at libraries nationwide. Even with catchy names like Legopalooza, DevDev, HiTech and MakerLab, it’s clear that these programs pack some serious punch when it comes to boosting STEM skills.

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