By Steve Zalusky

In communities facing crises, libraries have been first responders.  They responded in many ways to a variety of situations.

In 2012, a library worker at Sandy Hook Elementary School rescued 18 children from the gunman in a deadly shooting by hiding them in a library supply closet.

In 2014, following the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and the ensuing rioting in the community, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library stood apart as an oasis that provided art programming and tutoring for students whose classes were canceled.

A sign posted in the library said it all. It read, “During difficult times, the library is a quiet oasis where we can catch our...


by Nicholas Johnson, courtesy of

Socially struggling students have historically sought solace in the silence and solitude of their high school libraries.  “It was definitely silent,” Chimacum (WA) High School Principal Whitney Meissner said of her high school's library during the mid-1980s.

“I would go there to do research or get homework done, but I would never go there to hang out with my friends.”



by Nichole O'Conor, courtesy of YALSA

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2017 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

YALSA will name the 2017 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. on Jan. 23 in Atlanta during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2017 finalists are:

  • “Girl Mans Up” written by M-E Girard, published by HarperCollins;
  • “Rani Patel in Full Effectwritten by Sonia Patel, published by Cinco Punto Press;
  • ...

Some people claim that 70 is the new 50. Whether or not that is true, data clearly show an increase in the number of Americans over age 65. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of older Americans will nearly double by the year 2050. Between advances in health care and increased expectations for continued engagement in the public sphere, today’s aging population is more active than ever. Library programming reflects this shift, particularly in public libraries where seniors are already dedicated consumers of library services.

In 2014, with funding from an Institute for Museum and Library Services grant, the Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network launched a multi-year project with dozens of public libraries to provide arts instruction...


Review of the Day

Hale, Shannon (author) and Dean Hale (author).
Feb. 2017. 336p. Disney/Marvel, hardcover, $13.99 (9781484781548). Grades 4-7.
REVIEW. First published December 1, 2016 (Booklist). The popular but perhaps lesser-known Squirrel Girl comics leap into the realm of the novel thanks to the considerable talent of wife-and-husband team Shannon and Dean Hale. Doreen Green, a peppy 14-year-old with a gorgeous tail (tactfully concealed) and secret squirrel powers, is doing her best to make friends—both human and squirrel—in her new New Jersey town, but it isn’t easy. She’s been dismissed by the popular girls and local LARPers, but Doreen finds a BFF in hearing-impaired classmate Ana Sofía. When Doreen notices...
Legislative Action Center: Take action for libraries

Fixing a Stop Light Leads to Getting a Green Light for Community Action

The Red Hook (N.Y) Public Library proved it’s more than just a book-lender when it listened to residents’ frustrations and rallied the small town to protest a faulty traffic light, inspiring community members to address other problems together.  from a disadvantaged neighborhood felt underserved and misrepresented, the Hartford Public Library jumped at the chance to strengthen the neighborhood’s bond to the rest of the city...READ MORE

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