The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.A list of all the 2017 award winners follows: READ MORE
The American Library Association selects “The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead, published by Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC, as the winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond, published by Crown, Penguin Random House LLC, as the winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.  The selections were announced this evening during the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony and Reception that are part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center, in Atlanta, Georgia from Jan. 20 – 24.The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 and recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the ALA and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. READ MORE
Imagine walking into a building and seeing a florist, a hair salon, and an art gallery. Would you guess you’re in a library?Probably not, but at the Salt Lake City Public Library, that’s exactly what you’ll encounter. “Having any of these within a flagship library is a unique arrangement,” says Andrew Shaw, the library’s communications manager. In addition, a café, a coffee shop, a public radio station, a writing center, and a library store occupy the first floor, steps from the main library entrance.While the library is the main focus, this mixed-use space “gives each visitor a sense of destination, of experience,” says Shaw.What first attracted Lyndon Tan, owner of The English Garden flower shop, to the library? “The idea of community and retail coming together,” he says. His business has been at the library since its inception, and in that time, Tan has watched as “this new library really became the living room of the community.” READ MORE
Images of drones flying above us conjure a variety of conflicting emotions: a sense of wonder and possibility and, yet, concern about potential consequences—particularly in relation to their use in warfare and surveillance. With the Federal Aviation Authority’s release of new regulations for drones in late summer, one thing is certain: use of this emerging technology will become more widespread. As with many other modern-day tools, libraries are prepared to help patrons understand how drones work, how they can be utilized constructively, and how to navigate the complex implications of their widespread use. READ MORE
Nearly a quarter of a century ago, Nazis threatened to march in the Chicago suburb of Skokie, home to a large Jewish population.  A prolonged court battle ensued, resulting in a compromise – the Nazis would hold their march in a Chicago location.In the meantime, the threat brought together groups of Christians and Jews in a show of solidarity, notably at a prayer service held at a local high school.Today, as our nation faces the looming threat of intolerance and hate speech in the wake of a bitterly contentious election, Skokie, a community serving a population that is over 40-percent foreign-born, is once again standing up to social injustice and bigotry, this time through one of its enduring cultural institutions, the Skokie Public Library.  That commitment was literally front and center, with the library posting signs at both entrances stating, “Everyone is welcome here.” READ MORE
When he got to the black-and-white snapshot of himself standing aboard a U.S. Navy vessel, veteran Louis Jawitz smiled and said his hair wasn’t quite that full today.Going through a slideshow for a crowd in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library (PA), Jawitz commented on personal photos that told the story of his years in the Navy. The images were for the most part simple, depicting life in service — soaring jets, faded hats, men in uniform.One of his favorite photos, though, showed what life is like for many who come back from war.  In it, a homeless man sleeps in a truck, an American flag draped around his torso.  “He was a veteran from the Korean War, and he had to live like that,” Jawitz said Saturday afternoon. “And today, they’re on the streets." READ MORE
Same-sex marriage has evolved from a far-fetched notion to established law in the United States over the past four decades. At the forefront of this modern civil rights movement has been a Yale alumnus, Evan Wolfson ’78.Wolfson wrote his Harvard Law School thesis on same-sex marriage long before it became a topic of national and local activism. He founded Freedom to Marry in 2001, serving as its president until the Supreme Court’s historic 2015 decision guaranteeing marriage equality. Along with his many other awards, Wolfson was honored with a Yale-Jefferson Public Service Award in 2016.Wolfson donated Freedom to Marry’s archives to Yale in 2015. The alumnus explained that decision to YaleNews: “When we confirmed that Freedom to Marry would, as promised, wind down after having achieved the goal and fulfilled the strategy we were created as a campaign to drive, we pledged it would be a strategic, careful wind-down that would capture the lessons and resources and make them available to other advocates, causes, and other countries, as well as historians and students. Yale already had a number of key LGBT collections, had a deep commitment to preserving and telling our story.” READ MORE
Lia Kharis Hillman has turned her library into a moveable feast.Hillman, fourth floor program manager at the San Francisco Public Library, drew upon her experience as a former chef to cook up a garden and food education program in library branches across the city.The program, which helps underserved families meet challenges they have in cooking and, as a result, promotes a healthier lifestyle, is one example of why she was one of 10 chosen for the 2016 I Love My Librarian Award.Carolyn Federman. her nominator for the 2016 I Love My Librarian award, for which she was one of 10 recipients, said, “Lia has started many programs that extend the role of the library to provide social supports for the community, and each of these programs is now an on-going part of library services thanks to her solo effort.” READ MORE
Unplugging, then, suggests stepping away from the usual routine, purposefully establishing a quieter zone for undistracted action, interaction, or inaction. Libraries are important sources of access to technology and this will not change. At the same time, libraries are, at their core, about connection. Sometimes, to make those connections, people need to unplug—and libraries have found innovative ways to help patrons achieve that. Learn more about how libraries are innovating in response to societal trends on the Libraries Transform website. Visit ALA's Center for the Future of Libraries for an indepth view into the impact of societal trends on libraries. READ MORE
For 40 years, the Aurora (Illinois) Public Library has been celebrating the holiday season in a way that incorporates all cultures and faiths.  It is an example of how libraries offer more than just books. They provide spaces for community interaction. And what better time to engage the community than the holiday season?  At Aurora, it began in 1976 with an exhibit called Christmas in Many Lands. At the time, Mary Clark Ormond was director of the library during that Bicentennial year.The goal was to reach users who hailed from other countries or maintained strong ties to their ethnic heritage. The library asked those users if they would be interested in decorating a Christmas tree using the designs and incorporating the legends of their own culture.The library purchased seven trees at a local Ace Hardware and deployed them around the circulation desk at the former main library on East Benton Street. It also set up a larger tree – the community tree – on the first floor and invited people to festoon it with tags bearing their names.Forty years later, the celebration has evolved into Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands.  For this year’s 40th anniversary, the library has the trees on display during the entire month of December at the Santori Library on South River Street. READ MORE