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Each year the American Library Association (ALA) awards authors and illustrators of books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. The Schneider Family Book Award is one of them.Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen (ages 14-18), Middle School (ages 11-13), and Children’s (ages 10 and younger) book. The winning books are selected for their excellence as an artistic expression of the disability experience. The disability portrayed may be mental, physical, or emotional. Winning authors receive an award in the form of a $5,000 check and a framed plaque, emblazoned with a silver and blue emblem featuring a circle of boys and girls holding hands around a globe, symbolizing the equality of all children. Since the inception of the award in 2003, winning titles have included characters who deal with depression, blindness, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, deafness, synesthesia, dyscalculia, physical disabilities, and stuttering. READ MORE
Yes, it's time to bring a beloved institution into the 21st century -- but not by making it less effectiveAs a former head of the state library agency in Massachusetts and a taxpayer myself, I read with interest the recent Atlantic editorial in which an elected official from Swampscott, Massachusetts proposed public library user fees as a reasonable and "modern" solution to some perceived imbalance.Under this proposal, a 50 cent user fee would be added to each book circulated by the library. In addition to addressing the supposed tax inequity created by the current system of funding for the Swampscott Library, the proposal would generate an estimated $300,000 in additional funds for the library.  READ MORE
If it has been a few years or a few decades since you've ventured into your local library, you're going to be very surprised by what you find. No longer are these dusty institutions of quiet corners, musty books and stern librarians, they are home to bestsellers, coffee carts, teen rooms, community, and civic gatherings. Libraries offer computer classes, babysitting workshops, tutoring programs and literacy programs, most of which are free, or are offered at a nominal fee. Not all services mentioned in this article are available at every library, but it's worth finding out if your local library offers a similar option. READ MORE
The group "First Kidz" in Newport are raising money for the Camden Ouachita County Public Library which burned in a fire earlier this summer on July 3.The kids set up a lemonade stand at the Jackson County Public Library in Newport. After just two hours of selling lemonade the group raised $400.50 to donate to the Camden Library. READ MORE
The following blog entries were taken from photographer Robert Dawson's blog http://libraryroadtrip.wordpress.com. Photos reprinted with person of author. Photos within Yazoo City post taken by photographer Walker Dawson.Join me and my son, Walker, as we drive across the country this summer photographing public libraries. Our trip will complete 17 years of field work documenting this precious American resource. READ MORE
Interview with Anna Heinemann, http://www.annareads.com@annareadsbooks, annareadsbooks@gmail.comPhoto reprinted with permission of the author.About Anna READ MORE
On Saturday, March 31, 2012, the Hughes Middle School Green Team and Green Lab Urban Farm held a spring Plant Sale to raise funds to keep a full-time school library at Hughes Middle School from 9am to 3pm. Due to severe budget cuts the library is currently scheduled for 50% closure.The sale featured herb and vegetable plants of all varieties, including tomatoes, basils, lettuces, peppers, eggplants, chards, beans, squashes, cucumbers, and many more edible summer favorites! Shoppers were able to hand pick their own plants or purchase ready-to-go garden flats complete with a perfect selection of herbs, veggies, and annual flowers. Also on sale were many hearty “California Friendly” perennials that thrive in our local climate. READ MORE
If you love libraries and aren’t part of your local library’s Friends group, you may want to consider joining. Friends of Library groups can be found in nearly every community and on many campuses across the country.  These groups, made up of volunteers, raise money and increase public awareness about their library.  Money raised by these groups support such important library services as summer reading programs for children, author events, special collections, and new technologies. Some Friends work with their local libraries to get involved in politics, lobbying for advocacy efforts such as increasing the library’s budget, building new facilities, or even legislation that affects libraries. READ MORE
Students, faculty and staff at Arizona Western College (AWC) can now text questions to the college’s librarians and expect answers within a few minutes.The new feature, which the college shares with Northern Arizona University along with a campus and library, will allow library users to text general library questions or to book a study room.AWC added the feature mainly to accommodate students who had “on-the-go questions” but don’t at the time have access to a computer, said Jocelyn Bates, an information technology librarian at the college.“We knew that since they had smart phones, they had to be texting,” she said, noting a campus survey that indicated most students on campus owned smart phones.Most community college libraries offer some type of texting feature, said Sarah Raley, director of the Community College Library Consortium, which represents mainly two-year colleges in California. The majority of libraries on community college campuses use free basic text services, typically because they don’t have the budgets for more elaborate services that charge fees. Those systems, for example, can pool libraries so an employee from one of the participating colleges is always on call to answer questions, which save on resources. READ MORE
One day, when I was working as a reference assistant at an academic library, something went wrong with our wireless router.  While most students were understandably frustrated, one looked pleased.  “I’ve already downloaded everything I have to read,” she said. “Now I might actually be able to read them without feeling like I have to check Gchat and Twitter.”As a 2011 master’s graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information, I’ve embraced my alma mater’s mission of connecting people, information and technology in more valuable ways – while coming to believe that sometimes disconnecting is a valuable step toward fulfilling that mission.  I’ve therefore dedicated my Google Policy Fellowship at ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) to studying the impact of our networking technologies on our minds and trying to find ways to use this technology in ways that really do make us more productive, better educated, freer and happier, instead of stressed and scatterbrained. READ MORE

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