Articles

Fifty years ago this upcoming September, the University of Massachusetts saw the groundbreaking of a new student library. In addition to the library’s groundbreaking, this year is the 45th anniversary of the dedication of the tower and the 25th anniversary of the renaming of the building.The following information was sourced from “The Campus Guide: University of Massachusetts” by Marla Miller and Max Page, an online university wiki page, and archived issues of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian.The history of the University LibraryNow a centerpiece in the UMass skyline, the library is the antithesis of counsel given to the University founders in 1866 by the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. As written in “The Campus Guide: University of Massachusetts” by UMass professors Marla Miller and Max Page, Olmsted urged Massachusetts Agricultural College to only build low, small buildings. READ MORE
Sipping in the stacks. Boozing amid the books. Whatever you call it, libraries and Friends groups are doing it: serving alcohol after hours, usually as part of a fundraiser, and usually with great success.The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting.“People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy James, programming coordinator for Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library (JCPL). “When was the last time you went to a big fundraiser or a wedding without alcohol? I think people see libraries as a place to take your child for storytime, which is wonderful, but not as a place to kick back with other adults. If we’re going to change that view, I think alcohol is part of that.” READ MORE
The Bethlehem (NY) public library will open its new self-service studio, which facilitates video making, podcast recording, file conversions and helpful software applications to empower residents to become skilled editors, with a ribbon-cutting event and celebration.To be open seven days a week, the ADA-compliant studio space, known officially as Studio Makerspace, will be accessible to anyone with an Upper Hudson Library card who can schedule a three-hour session at a time through the library’s online calendar. It will be available for anyone who can use it to create anything like YouTube videos, filmed interviews, broadcast sessions or audio podcasts. READ MORE
The American Library Association condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary challenge reports sent to OIF from communities across the United States.The Top Ten lists are only a snapshot of book challenges. Surveys indicate that 82-97% of book challenges – documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries – remain unreported and receive no media.Sometimes OIF receives information as the challenge is happening; other times OIF receives an online report years later. This affects the total number of challenges reported in any given year. Thus the Top Ten Most Challenged Books list should not be viewed as an exhaustive report. READ MORE
Actor, director, and writer Emilio Estevez shares his passion for libraries in his new video Public Service Announcements highlighting the crucial role libraries play in our communities and in our democracy, and we couldn't be more excited about it!  Estevez is an advocate for libraries and encourages others to join him, and plays a librarian in his new movie “The Public,” which he calls a “love letter” to libraries. “The Public” will open in theaters April 5—right in time for National Library Week (April 7-13). READ MORE
by Monique le Conge ZiesenhenneHenry came to the San Francisco Public Library after losing his son, then his job and then his home. Leah, a social worker in the library, introduced him to the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, which found him subsidized housing and counseling to deal with his depression. After a 12-week vocational training program, Henry joined the library staff as a Health and Safety Associate that helps others experiencing homelessness get needed resources. READ MORE
Narratives about libraries often portray them as “the great equalizer,” but achieving equity means more than just opening the doors to everyone. ALA’s Access to Library Resources and Services guide says that “equity extends beyond equality … to deliberate and intentional efforts to create service delivery models that will make sure that community members have the resources they need.”Libraries rarely design services to specifically exclude certain patron groups, but exclusion is often the unfortunate result of not considering the unique needs and circumstances of all community members. For example, after my son was born, I noticed that my local library offered programs for babies and toddlers only on weekday mornings. This made their programming to support early literacy inaccessible to the children of most working parents.A friend recently mentioned that her new hometown library charges patrons a small fee to place a hold on materials. Holds are often the only way to get access to bestsellers at any library. This effectively means that timely access to popular materials is limited to those who can pay. READ MORE
In 2016, two Cornell (NY) students founded a library to help out their peers who could not afford to buy textbooks. During the spring and fall semesters of 2018, the library rented out approximately 840 books and 100 iClickers.The Lending Library offers course materials on a semester-long loan, including textbooks, laptops, books and iClickers, according to the library co-presidents, Dominic Grasso ’20 and Natalia Hernandez ’21.The inability to afford textbooks and iClickers have prevented many students to take classes they are interested in. For some of them, this even means they have to decide between eating or paying for textbooks.  “I will have to not eat dinner for a week to afford this textbook,” Jaelle Sanon ’19, founder of the Lending Library, told The Sun. “[Or] for me to be able to eat, I’ll have to drop this class.”Sanon also recalled how she once had had to drop a class after calculating the costs of course materials. The Cornell experience is dependent upon those who can afford it, according to Sanon.  “It shouldn’t be like that,” she continued, “[That] different people at Cornell are having different experiences because they fall in a different tax bracket.” READ MORE
As reference librarian, Terri develops programs that provide more opportunities for learning and community engagement for students as well as local residents.  Her nominator said, “Terri is, in essence, the heart of the library–the beating, emotional lifeblood of what makes the library at CCBC a special place for all.” She is known for her special ability to engage with students with creative programming. For example, she holds “Game of Thrones” and “Peter Pan” -themed orientations for freshman to highlight all the resources that can be accessed through the library.By partnering with the local public library system, Terri helped start a community-wide program to encourage everyone to read the same book. Book discussions were held at the college’s library and public libraries throughout the county. READ MORE
It’s the elephant in the room, and no one can ignore it.  Tusks in the air, a wooden pachyderm greets patrons near the main entrance of Akron-Summit County Public Library on South High Street in downtown Akron (OH).  The hand-carved elephant lumbered more than 8,500 miles before finding a refuge at the Main Library. This month marks the 40th anniversary of its public unveiling.According to Mary Plazo, manager of Special Collections at the library, the elephant was a 1979 gift from Louis and Mary Myers of Myers Industries in Akron. It was carved from a single piece of teakwood in Thailand and shipped to the United States.  “The figure is 40 inches long, 56 inches high and 20 inches wide,” Plazo noted. “It weighs over 500 pounds.”Trish Saylor, manager of the Children’s Library, said former librarian Ione Cowen once told her that the Myerses donated the elephant because “it was so heavy that it was making their foundation sink.”It took five men to roll the elephant into the library — perhaps the city’s first pachyderm parade since the days when circuses marched into the Akron Armory.  With its curved trunk, flared ears, pointed tusks, gaping mouth and raised front foot, the whimsical carving made a good first impression. READ MORE

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