The American Library Association (ALA) has announced a promotional partnership with National Geographic Entertainment connected with National Geographic's new narrative feature film, "The First Grader" The film will be highlighted through ALA's advocacy website for the public,  Other partners include: Capella University (national sponsor), International Reading Association (lead promotional partner), National Education Association, ProLiteracy and LitWorld.  "The First Grader" will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on May 13, 2011 and expand to more major markets in the following weeks.  READ MORE
In honor of the American Library Association's National Library Week 2011 it seemed appropriate to take a look at how communities have created space for libraries.  While the word "library" harks back to the root word for book, that is by no means the sum total of what libraries bring to their communities.We who love to read, love information and learning, love to gather together for knitting circles, preschool playgroups, and a host of other community events know that libraries are the heart, the center, of such activities.I selected exterior photos for this presentation, since the variety of design reflects the wonderful variety of the communities themselves.  Some libraries are part of their school systems, some are owned by their township.  Some libraries are purpose-built, while others are creatively re-purposed buildings -- former residences, former grocery stores.  Each photo offers a link to more information about each library. READ MORE
Prom this spring might be more affordable for area high school girls who shop for their dress at the Union County Public Library.  The library [accepted] gently worn evening dresses for its consignment sale, said staff member Nicki Hertel. The gowns [were] sold from 9 a.m. to noon March 19 and 26 at the library.The sale is open to anyone who wants a low-cost prom dress, Hertel said. Those consigning dresses to the sale may set their own prices and 10 percent of the price goes to the Union County Friends of the Library, staff member Brittany Hudson said. Dresses can be donated instead of consigned, she said. READ MORE
Brad Rutter, all-time money-winning champion of ‘Jeopardy!’ along with fellow champion Ken Jennings, faced off in a three-day competition against IBM’s new super computer,’ Watson’. As predicted, Watson took the first-place honors, while the two human competitors finished in his wake. All competitors, however, earned handsome prize monies that will benefit charitable organizations of their choice. Rutter‘s earnings during the event were $200,000. $100,000 of his winnings will be donated to the Bradford G. Rutter Fund at the Lancaster County Community Foundation READ MORE
In a sign of changing times at academic libraries, Trinity University is offering buyout packages to prompt seven employees to leave its Coates Library.With the digitization of books, journals, newspapers and other materials, there isn't enough work shelving and cataloging to keep all 19 staff members busy, said Dennis Ahlburg, Trinity's president.“The library is not just a place for books anymore, it is a place for information,” Ahlburg said. “In terms of running the university, we want to use students' money and donors' money responsibly ... rather than have people sit around with nothing to do.”Other academic librarians in San Antonio report a similar trend, though many say they have managed to shift staff through attrition. READ MORE
South DeKalb’s Scott Candler Library will temporarily remain open four days a week. Last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the McAfee Road library would close April 1 because of budget cuts.After complaints from residents and a petition with 100 signatures collected by 12-year-old Sekondi Landry, the library board of trustees decided to keep the library open. The library will be open Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.“I’m so happy. I just got back from the library,” said Landry, who is home-schooled. “I go every day.” READ MORE
What defines a city? Some suggest the mundane (the state of electrical wiring for utilities and phone lines). Others point to basic needs like the quality of affordable housing and public facilities. But the heart of every city is defined by two things: the state of its public spaces, and the quality and condition of its public libraries. Indeed, a public library defines not only the city in which it sits, but the state of the society that created it.Great cities in history were known for their libraries: the ancient cities of Ebla (probably the oldest known, around 2500 BCE) and Ugarit in Syria, Nineveh in Iraq, Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople and Takshashila in India all had vast libraries. Alexandria's was said to be one of the largest. The ancient university of Nalanda, now sought to be revived, and said to be one of the first great universities in known history, had a magnificent library. READ MORE
For libraries, it is the best of times, and the worst of times. And for author Jon Katz, it is the best time to be talking about them.The popular author of over a dozen books on dogs, and the mastermind behind The Bedlam Farm Journal, came to Scituate Town Library last week to discuss his travels to the 12 different libraries he had visited in the past few months, and the struggles associated with each.  READ MORE
In March 1970, Marguerite Hart became the first children’s librarian at the Troy Library. She was hired to plan children’s activities and to develop a children’s collection for the booming youth population in the City. Hart was a native of Detroit. Before arriving in Troy, Hart was the children’s librarian at the Madison Heights Public Library for three years.Hart possessed a passion for libraries and their role in communities. She was determined to provide children with proper library services. She once said: READ MORE
COUNCILMAN GENTILE HOSTS ESSAY AWARD CEREMONYLocal Students Wrote About “Libraries of the Future”Councilman Vincent Gentile hosted an awards ceremony for local public school student essayists who wrote about the future they envision for public libraries as part of Councilman Gentile’s annual libraries essay contest. READ MORE