She’s not wrong. Libraries are so much more than just a collection of shelves to hold books anymore. If you’ve been in your local public library lately, you may have noticed they offer a plethora of programming for children, teens, and adults. Libraries are places where you can come and create. Whether its creating homework and projects for classes, creating resumes and job searches, creating arts and crafts in a planned program or event, or something even more unique, like using a 3D printer in a Makerspace; libraries are a place where you can do all of this and more. If you take the time to look around, you’d be surprised by how many things you are capable of creating at the library. Who knows, maybe the next bestseller that hits the library shelves will have been written in slow, but steady increments from a library computer or laptop.
How can you get creative @ your local library? Stop by and find out!
Welcome to Media Mondays! This meme is dedicated to all things media related: Music, Movies, TV, and possibly other electronics and gadgetry. Here’s how it works (you’re going to love how simple it is)… Just pick a topic that is related to one of these major media formats and discuss!
This video, brought to you by School Library Journal’s Tumblr page and YouTube, is the subject of my Media Mondays post because I think it highlights many of the things I think libraries should be doing these days. I love how much the people are enjoying themselves, and embracing Pop Culture as a part of the library’s atmosphere. This is the kind of thing that will bring in new patrons. People can see that the library is a place to have fun at, to celebrate not only books, but also our larger American life. I think more libraries should experiment with videos and using various media as a means to engage their public and, hopefully, inform them about the programs and services offered at the library. You could record videos of book reviews and post them (or any kind of reviews really), or show children’s programs or demonstrate how to do fingerplays and kid songs. You could even use videos as a means of explaining how certain services work, like a new book drop or the summer reading program. So many libraries are already doing it, but if your library hasn’t branched out yet, it’s time to get creative!
This is an article that I rediscovered today which was published a few months back, but it covers a good chunk of the things I would like to say about libraries in the US today. Things that I’ve had on my mind, and wonder how much people know about. Using information from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, and from the ALA’s State of the Library Report (linked in the image on the right) this article showcases just how much libraries are used in the US. (Spoiler: the answer is A LOT!) As the article states:
“Ironically, the best-kept secret about America’s libraries is that they are wildly, deeply, and incontrovertibly popular. They are as actively used as ever, if not more.“
I think a lot of people forget that libraries are not just book repositories anymore, and in reality, they haven’t been for a very long time.
Libraries today house far more than just books. Most every library now-a-days have computers and most also allow free WiFi access to patrons. I’ve worked in one or two where patrons are able to check out iPads, ereaders like Nooks and Kindles, and even laptops. And of course, I can’t forget e-books. You might be surprised to discover just how many e-books, and electronic audiobooks your library has access to. Many libraries also offer discount tickets to local museums. I’ve seen several who offer book club kits, or educational kits to parents and teachers. Ms. Clark also points out, in her article, one of my favorite new-ish trends: libraries that loan some pretty unusual stuff. (For example: household tools, fishing gear, and even baking equipment!)
And with all those many items being offered for public use, we still haven’t mentioned all the various programs and services that take place at public libraries each year. Everything from regular storytime programs, author visits, and book groups (for children and adults); to LEGO Clubs or Mini-Golf in the Library. Many libraries offer career and technology help for patrons as well. And of course, there is the library staff. Librarians are not only helping patrons locate information in books, but they are essential to helping children, teens, and adults wade through the quagmire of information that is available online.
There is a certain idea of the modern library and how it looks in America and other countries around the world. We tend to forget that this version of the library is not the only one that has ever existed. Libraries, in one form or another, whether for public or private use, have existed almost as long as civilization has been around. The library at Alexandria is one example. The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt had them too. In fact, archeological sites are still digging up libraries that date back more than 5,000 years. The point I’m trying to make here, friends, is that libraries, like people, have evolved to suit the needs of that civilization. Just because new technologies have become available does not mean that our modern library is doomed. It just means its time to adapt to a new model, and of course, there is going to be some argument and dissension over what that new model will look like. I for one, am excited to see where it will go.
As a final note: please remember to support public and school libraries. They really do make our communities and our world better.
Announcing the launch of the Public Library of Brookline’s Awesome Box!Did you just finished something that is AWESOME? Drop it in the Awesome Box! Then check out our AWESOME DISPLAY or visit BROOKLINE.AWESOMEBOX.IO to find out what everyone else thinks is awesome.Your pick for THE AWESOME BOX doesn’t have to be high art or the best book you’ve read all year, it just has to be awesome, however you define the word.
Don’t worry, we’ll CHECK IN YOUR RETURN and then add your pick to our Awesome display and online list.
Need more awesome suggestions? A librarian can help you find even more suggestions.
The Awesome Box display and online list is a randomly selected sample of materials Brookline folks love at the library. While we want to include all of your awesome suggestions, from time to time we may miss one. We apologize for any awesome suggestions that slipped by.
The Awesome Box is a collaboration with the Harvard Library Innovation Lab.
And now for the most important question: why does our AWESOME BOX look like a British police phone box from the 1960s?
Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and the undeniable fun of having a blue box of our very own, we decided that if we could make our awesome box a version of The Doctor’s TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) time machine, we would. Doctor Who is a show that has championed education, libraries, and learning throughout it’s run, and is undoubtedly awesome, so how could we resist?
We thank the remarkable gentlemen who built us our box and made it better than we could have possibly dreamed.
…a library is not just a reference service: it is also a place for the vulnerable. From the elderly gentleman whose only remaining human interaction is with library staff, to the isolated young mother who relishes the support and friendship that grows from a Baby Rhyme Time session, to a slow moving 30-something woman collecting her CDs, libraries are a haven in a world where community services are being ground down to nothing. I’ve always known libraries are vital, but now I understand that their worth cannot be measured in books alone.
Today Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, announced a multi-year partnership with Teaching Strategies, the educational company that publishes The Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD.
There are so many reasons why this is a good idea, some of which you can see from the images above that give some pretty good stats for the cause, but also because investing in children is the only way that our country can learn and grow and find our way to a better place. There are so many reasons to teach kids early. I could list all the articles I’ve read, but it wouldn’t do much good if you haven’t read them yourself. A child’s brain is an incredible thing. The things that they absorb from infancy is phenomenal, and librarians and day care providers and any caregivers should be doing all they can to encourage that growth. This is, of course, in addition to what parents and families should be doing. I firmly think that librarians can and should be a big part of this conversation, not only helping through activities like story times and Mother Goose on the Loose and sing-a-longs, but by helping parents learn about the materials that are out there and available to them, and helping them understand what it can do for their kids.