February 27, 2017

Paralibrarian of the Year 2016: Patricia Pacheco

Photo ©James Kegley, www.jameskegley.com

Just two years after she immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, Patricia ­Pacheco landed a library assistant position as the first bi­lingual staff member at the Sterling Branch of the Loudoun County Public Library system in Virginia. She had been a kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years and had dealt with children of all ages in her home country. Early on in her time in the States, she volunteered part time in the Ashburn Library of Loudoun County. So when the Sterling branch announced that it sought a bilingual staff member, Pacheco applied and was hired. That was back in May 2015.

Prisons & Publics | Outreach

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Many public librarians serving local jails and prisons note an increase in positive behaviors tied to inmates obtaining library services while inside and a desire to seek library services for themselves and their families upon release.

Healthy Choices | ACRL Preview 2017

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The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) convenes in Baltimore, March 22–25, 2017. This year’s ACRL conference highlights themes of leadership and change, but a closer look also shows a healthy—and hopeful—regard for the well-being of the academic library system from top to bottom.

From Pilot to Permanent | Innovation

LEADIN HERE Photos talking about Meridian Library District’s unBound tech branch. Top shows the exterior--a former bank. Don’t have IDs for everyone here, but you can say something about virtual reality stations (top l.); Digital Services Assistant Matthew Blackburn (l.) and Tech Library supervisor Nick Grove monitor progress on a 3-D printer; patrons making use of a recording booth built into the former safe, and patrons exercising their minds with creative play--or whatever you want to say. Photos ©2016 Macey Snelson, MLD

One of the most effective ways to test and evaluate a new program or service is to conduct a pilot project, but how do you scale up from there? How do you translate the small successes into sustainable, permanent additions to your library?

Measured Success | Budgets & Funding

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At EveryLibrary and LJ, we tracked 184 library elections in 2016. Nationwide, over 3.7 million voters cast a ballot in what turned out to be the most contentious election cycle of a generation. Libraries won and lost in blue cities and red counties alike.

Keeping Up | Budgets & Funding

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The financial news for libraries in 2016 was for the most part positive—overall, budgets are up modestly—but many, still rebounding from the recession and working to keep pace with needed capital improvements and technology requirements, still feel that they’re just getting by. Libraries, particularly smaller systems, continue to meet the challenge of working with what funds are available. But unexpected or one-time expenses for a library of any size can still result in tightened purse strings. Also, the rising costs of benefits for employees, as well as the uncertainties of the health-care marketplace, are an increasingly common concern.

Choosing Change in Charleston | Design Institute Design Challenges

BRING YOUR OWN Attendees brought their own tricky design dilemmas—and sometimes their own plans and props—to engage a variety of architects and vendors during the speed sessions. Top row, l.-r.: Joe Frueh from 3branch; and Bill Overton from Overton and Associates. Bottom row, l.-r.: VMDO’s Jim Kovach; and HBM’s Peter Bolek with Beth Steiner (ctr.) and Jenny Eyink, both from Auglaize County Public Library, OH. Photos by Kevin Henegan

At LJ’s Design Institute (DI): Charleston, held on Friday, October 21, at South Carolina’s Charleston County Public Library, attendees from around the United States delved into how best to transform their libraries to rise to their communities’ new challenges.

Jill Bourne: LJ’s 2017 Librarian of the Year

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When she arrived to direct California’s San José Public Library in 2013, Jill Bourne faced the effects of years of decimating budget shortfalls and service cuts. The effectiveness with which Bourne spearheaded her Library Access Strategy, opened the libraries, built new relationships with and support from San José’s civic leadership, and leveraged partnerships and fostered innovation—and is now reaching beyond the library to a new citywide Education and Digital Literacy Initiative—has won over a newly inspired staff and convinced our judges to name her the 2017 LJ Librarian of the Year, sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

Aspiration to Action | Diversity 2016

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What can we do? This has to be one of the most commonly asked questions in America—even before the recent presidential election brought a wave of hate crimes more pervasive than the one that followed the September 11 attacks. The ongoing impact of bigotry in America is, perhaps, the quintessential “wicked problem.” A legacy of housing discrimination continues to shape neighborhoods—and how they are served by schools, police, and, yes, libraries—to this day. Studies continue to show implicit bias along lines of race and gender that impacts hiring, promotion, compensation, and retention—and explicit bias is still with us. All of these factors feed one another, eluding simple solutions to any that leave the others out of the equation.

LJ’s Best Books of 2016

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Our picks for the Top Ten books of 2016, plus Top Five picks in genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and more.