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

Want to Start a Garden? Now you can get Free Seeds at the Phoenix Public Library

The Phoenix Public Library has recently launched a seed library at the Harmon Library. This new program allows patrons to check out more than 100 varieties of fruit, vegetable, and perennial seeds with their library cards—three packets at a time. Patrons can “return” seeds by donating what they’ve harvested to the collection. This program joins … Read more

Myth or Reality: Younger Americans are Using the Library?

According to “Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations,” a study from the Pew Research Center, younger Americans ages 16 to 29 are much more likely than older Americans to use public libraries. In fact, approximately 60 percent of younger library patrons have done so in the last year vs. 45 percent of those 30 and … Read more

Booking Bands: Newton Free Library is Compiling a Boston Music Data Base for the General Public

The Newton Free Library is building a database of Boston-area music. It already has some 250 CDs in its collection, available to its patrons and others within the 43 other libraries affiliated with the Minutemen Library Network. “The Newton Free Library is always looking for new ways to connect our patrons with the arts and … Read more

Scores Come to Chattanooga Public Library to Study Library Innovation

Nationwide, libraries are losing funding, information is streamed into private homes, and increasingly, libraries are becoming static places. Chattanooga, however, is at the forefront of overcoming those challenges. In mid-November, more than 100 library directors and administrators from all over the U.S. kicked off an annual two-day summit hosted by the Library Journal—a gathering whose … Read more

Cool Stuff Librarians Do: Librarians without borders

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) originated as a student project of Founder and Co-Executive Director Melanie Sellar, who attended library school at the University of Western Ontario. The organization’s tagline is Putting information in the hands of the world. Now nearly 10 years old, LWB’s mission is to “improve access to information resources regardless of language, geography, or … Read more