Articles

James Madison once wrote that a “popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."Madison, who is recognized as the “Father of the Constitution” and a staunch advocate of open government, is honored each year on his birthday, March 16, which is celebrated as National Freedom of Information Day. READ MORE
Most visits between Deborah Hunter and her daughter end with Hunter at home, in tears.  Her daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after starting college. The disease has progressed to a point where Hunter’s daughter doesn’t believe her mother is really her mother.Instead, in her mind, they are simply friends.  “I had to learn how to compartmentalize our relationship,” she said. “I had a very clear vision that I wasn’t a friend, I was her mother, so that transition was hard. It’s still hard.”As much pain as her daughter’s mental illness has caused Hunter, it also serves as the driver for her work.  Hunter is a case manager with Family and Children’s Services’ homeless outreach team and works within the Tulsa City-County Library System. READ MORE
A lot of the people visiting the nine locations of the Lake County (IN) Public Library System are still reading the print editions of newspapers and magazines, and walking out with borrowed books tucked under their arms, according to Carolyn Strickland, who serves as assistant director of public library services.But Strickland, as well as other library officials across the Region, has seen the role of libraries broaden into areas that were not even imaginable when she began her career 30 years ago.  "We're trying to have the resources and services that our population wants or needs," she said.Among the more innovative efforts is the Spark Labs program at the LaPorte County Public Library, which is about as far as you can get from traditional image of a group of silent patrons being shushed by an angry librarian.The Spark Labs, which are offered at each of the seven locations and in mobile form, provide hands-on learning experiences in the tradition of shop classes or vocational education programs, according to Library Director Fonda Owens. READ MORE
Tabatha “Tabby” Farney, director of web services and emerging technologies and associate professor, is a treasured resource at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.She so impressed one colleague that when he nominated her for a 2016 I Love My Librarian Award, Donald Klingner called her “the best librarian I’ve worked with in my 42 years as a tenured or tenure-earning professor of public administration at public universities in Indiana, Florida and Colorado since 1974.”  High praise, but definitely earned, as her record as research librarian to the UCCS School of Public Affairs over a six-year period attests.During that time, she expanded access of scholarly information for faculty, students and staff. Her impact on the MPA (Master of Public Administration) helped it achieve a full seven-year accreditation from an international accrediting body, NASPAA (the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration).  “I know that her support services have contributed directly and in measurable ways to transforming lives – our own, our students, and in the communities we serve,” Klingner said. READ MORE
From local practices to national policies, there is growing acknowledgement that becoming an adult is a process, not just a date on a calendar. This concept is rooted in research that identifies a unique stage of physiological and social development between the ages of 18 and 25, known as Emerging Adulthood.1 It also reflects the challenges of a post-recession reality in which young adults often delay leaving their parents’ homes and health insurance policies.Libraries have responded to the concept of Emerging Adulthood in two major ways. First is the growth of educational programming that builds individual capacity, commonly referred to as “adulting.” A necessary step towards growing up is learning how to survive independently and, with a plethora of resources and deep connections to the community, libraries are well positioned to support that step. READ MORE
The Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library is named after NASA astronaut Theodore Cordy “Ted” Freeman, who died after his T-38 jet crashed in 1964.  The name reflects Clear Lake City’s status as home to the NASA Johnson Space Center.But the library, which belongs to the Harris County Public Library system in the Houston area, shows that NASA doesn’t corner the market on innovation.  That innovative spirit is palpable at the library’s Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab, where the library connects in meaningful ways with the community it serves. READ MORE
by Annette Shannahan, courtesy of Iowa City Press-CitizenHistorical societies and libraries provide many different types of documented information for their patrons. READ MORE
Will Torrence, a librarian at the South Philadelphia (PA) branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, offers far more than books to the local community. He fields questions all day long, a third of which are about health issues. He listens  to patrons, who often come to the library when they are in need—or even in crisis—and he tries to improvise solutions to their most pressing challenges. “We can’t do everything, but every bit of help we can give makes a difference,” he says. READ MORE
Andrea Bernard will go out of her way to serve her library patrons.  Just ask Stephen Ferguson, her nominator for a 2016 I Love My Librarian Award.  Ferguson said he lives alone on a dirt road in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. After undergoing major spinal surgery, he was housebound for four months.“Throughout the winter, in all kinds of weather, my librarian, Andrea Bernard, brought me an endless supply of books, driving her personal vehicle after library hours. Because Andrea takes a personal interest in all of her patrons, she knew just what books to bring me.” READ MORE
Perhaps no audience is more important during Black History Month than our nation’s youth, who will tend the flame of that history for future generations.An encouraging sign for the perpetuation of that legacy was the plaudits recently earned by civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis for “March: Book Three,” written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. The book captured an unprecedented four Youth Media Awards, including one of the prestigious Coretta Scott King Book Awards, at the annual ceremony held by the American Library Association in January in Atlanta.The Youth Media Awards, held each year at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, illustrate the important role librarians play in promoting the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults. Committees of librarians choose the winners and honor recipients of 19 major awards, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards. READ MORE

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