April 24, 2014

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Bigger on the Inside: Brookline (MA) Public Library’s TARDIS “Awesome Box”


Patrons at the Public Library of Brookline (MA) have an engaging new way to learn about the most recommended items in circulation, thanks to teen librarian Robin Brenner: An “Awesome Box” in the shape of a half-size TARDIS, Doctor Who’s sentient spaceship.

Libraries Still Inspire Positive Views, But See Shift to Online from In-Person Use

Libraries Still Inspire Positive Views, But See Shift to Online from In-Person Use

Fifty-four percent of Americans have used the public library at least once during the past year and 70 percent of parents have taken their child to a public library or bookmobile during the past year, according to a Pew Research Center report. The nationally representative survey of 6,224 Americans indicated that the overwhelming majority continue to have a positive view of libraries, but many are unaware of all of the services and resources that their libraries offer.

Community Reads: Librarians Partner with YA Author A.S. King to Engage Teens


Young adult author A.S. King has partnered with school and public libraries in four communities for multi-generational reads of her novels, producing some illuminating experiences and conversations between teens and adults. More towns and cities should try such projects, King and her librarian partners say.

Pictures of the Week: White House Honors Librarian; CPL Bookamania

Carolyn Foote and President Obama

The White House honored 10 connected educators, including SLJ columnist and school librarian, Carolyn Foote. The Chicago Public Library celebrated families and early literacy with its 20th annual “Bookamania 2013: All Families, All Year”, a free, daylong children’s book festival.

Evaluating Our Services | Fresh Paint

Teen Txtperts

In the past nine months at Gum Spring Library, we have hosted numerous programs, welcomed dozens of authors and presenters, discussed books, watched movies, made crafts, and so much more. We believe we have successfully figured out what our teens enjoy, and what they find less than thrilling. And throughout it all, we’ve continued to take the time to evaluate, assess, and reflect.

IMLS Grants $4.3 Million for School Readiness, Summer Reading Programs


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced that it is awarding $4,329,567 in grants to 20 museums and libraries in 17 communities in order to support the emerging role of these institutions in providing early learning opportunities, especially for low-income families.

Make It @ Your Library Launches Maker Space Project Website


Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with and the American Library Association, has finally launched its searchable website,, for librarians seeking maker space ideas and projects. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker projects in their own communities at low cost.

DeKalb Public Library and the Big Read Dilemma | Library Programming

Edith Craig, Communications Director, DeKalb Public Library; author Amy Timberlake

How does DeKalb Public Library do it? The library has earned seven Big Read grants from the NEA. Read on to find out how they nailed the True Grit western theme without the book’s reclusive author.

A Partnership for Success: The Jacksonville Public Library and University of North Florida Summer Tutoring Program

UNF student Tiara Hughes

In an August issue of SLJTeen, we covered a program run by University at Buffalo’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction that matched graduate students with 180 elementary school students to advance their reading and writing schools over the summer. We asked readers to tell us about other programs like it, and the Southeast Regional Library (FL) stepped up with their collaboration with University of North Florida’s education undergrads.

Getting the Word Out: Publicity That Works | Fresh Paint

Flier display

I’ve been told that I can turn any conversation into one about libraries, a book, or a “cool thing” my own library is supporting. I don’t just tout the library’s programs during a lull in conversation, though. I simply see a connection between person and program, need and service.

Pictures of the Week: Susan Cooper at the Puyallup (WA) Public Library’s Festival of Books

susan cooper

The Puyallup Public Library in Washington State celebrated its first annual Festival of Books from September 27-28. In partnership with Fantasium Comics and Valley Arts United, the library hosted a mini-comic convention, the Fandom Dance, an art-inspired poetry contest, and a guest lecture by the acclaimed author Susan Cooper—known for her “Dark is Rising” series and recent Ghost Hawk.

Chicago Public Library to Expand YOUmedia Program in 2014


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that he would expand the Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) YOUmedia digital skills program by $500,000 in order to serve 25 percent more teens in 2014. The program teaches web design, digital media production, and programming. The announcement comes just a week after the online expansion of CPL’s homework help program.

Helen Gurley Brown Trust Gives NYPL $15 Million for New At-Risk Youth Program


The Helen Gurley Brown Trust has given $15 million to the New York Public Library to establish NYPL BridgeUp, a new educational and anti-poverty program that will provide academic and social support to New York City youth. The effort aims to support at-risk youth and prepare them for success in life.

IMLS Awards More than $14.6 Million in Federal Grants to U.S. Libraries


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced grants for 42 library projects totaling $14,670,66. Recipients in 27 states and the District of Columbia received funding, including the American Library Association, which will research the efficacy of early literacy programs; Westport (CT) Library, which hopes to create a new model for maker spaces; and the Chicago Board of Education, which plans to improve school librarians’ use of mobile technologies.

EdLiNC Calls on FCC to Double E-Rate Funding


The Education Library Networks Coalition—which includes the American Library Association and the International Society for Technology in Education—is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to double the funding for E-rate, according to EdLiNC’s co-chair Jon Bernstein. The coalition also asks that the E-rate program offer more “scalable” goals for local entities, with limited national mandates.

Recognizing Readers: Enfield, CT, Program Honors Kids’ Burgeoning Literacy

First readers 2 full

Thanks to an innovative community effort, Enfield, CT, is fostering children’s literacy in unique ways. Our “First Readers” program—an expansive collaboration between Enfield’s libraries, schools, civic leaders, board of education, and families—honors learning to read as an important milestone in children’s lives, culminating in town-wide celebrations and even a yearly parade. It’s well worth the effort in creating a culture of literacy for kids, and inspiring them to learn.

Expanding Program Participation | Fresh Paint

Teens at PCs

Loudon County Public Library recently concluded their 8th annual Teen Film Competition which drew in 29 film submissions. Gum Spring Library branch hosted the film festival, but the program was open to all teen residents of the United States. Teen services librarian April Layne Shroeder shares how her library expanded its program participation

ALA Urges FCC to Accelerate E-Rate Goals


The American Library Association on Monday asked the Federal Communications Commission to accelerate the goals of E-rate, the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries. ALA’s statement specifically calls for faster deployment of high-capacity broadband and new strategic investments in infrastructure, as well as program changes to save costs and streamline the process so that more schools and libraries can participate in the program.

Queens (NY) Librarian Reads to Alligator to Reward Summer Reading

Wild Librarian Reads to Gator

New York City children’s librarian Susan Scatena of Queens Library at Whitestone this week has fulfilled the promise she made to her young patrons at the start of the summer by reading a story aloud to a live alligator. The unusual storytime fulfilled Scatena’s half of the pact she made with the children that at least 300 of them would register in her summer reading program and read at least 4,000 books. In fact, they exceeded their goal; 344 children registered and read 4,595 books.

SLJ/LJ Resources for September 11


September 11 marks a difficult anniversary. To help children’s and young adult librarians navigate the challenging teachable moments that the day might raise and to guide those librarians working in universities and public libraries to address the potential research needs of their patrons, our editors have compiled these resources.