Depending on where they live, up to ten percent of Americans suffer from some form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In their role as community spaces, some libraries are helping by providing light therapy lamps, the standard treatment for SAD.
In search of open discourse, dreaming of drones, a thank-you note, and more letters to editor from the April 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.
Libraries have long benefited from major donors that infuse dollars as well as strategic perspective at key junctures. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has stepped into that role with signature energy, most clearly illustrated by the Knight News Challenges, including two focused on libraries. By their very nature these call on libraries to speed new ideas to address big needs, and the robust response from the library arena has surfaced and celebrated a range of creativity.
Fears and hopes about immigrants and immigration have always been part of American society and politics. They have been manifest in many ways, some receptive and welcoming, others alarming and rejecting. While a host of obstacles, prejudices, and hostile forces are arrayed against immigrants, the public library is still one of the vital agencies making entry into our nation easier and more effective.
Some time ago, while I was working at a small state university, the library was approached by the English department, asking if we knew of some way of putting their biannual student journal online. This publication had been coming out periodically for approximately 15 years and contained essays, poetry, and short stories written by graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty occasionally assigned articles from it as required reading.
The word literacy is undergoing a transformation, with multiple literacies emergent, including those relating to information, civic engagement, multiculturalism, finance, and health—and, of course, reading readiness at the core. Let’s not forget news literacy, as the fake news crisis has made apparent. Libraries are doing so much exciting work to address illiteracies in their communities, and that work is more important than ever.