Staff at the Fairfax County (VA) Library sent a new library card to “March” trilogy author John Lewis, who was denied one in 1956 because of his race.
When youth specialist Mary Shortino at the Johnson County Public Library (JCPL), a suburban system near Kansas City, KS, read Tanner Colby’s Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America (Penguin Bks.), she got excited. About a quarter of the book is about Kansas City, where racial real estate covenants first began, and the specialist, who is in her 50s, remembered when the city’s schools were first integrated. Shortino pulled in Angel Tucker, youth services manager of JCPL, and the two went to see Colby speak nearby in Kansas City, MO. Colby’s response to meeting them, says Tucker, was, “ ‘I should’ve come to your library,’ ” and with that, a collaboration was born.
On Halloween night, Friends and trustees of New York Public Library (NYPL) got a treat that didn’t require a costume: Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and NYPL President Tony Marx sat down together for a lively hour-long discussion of research, preservation, digitization, Hayden’s plans for the Library of Congress (LC), and the influence of Hamilton.
These days, collecting deep public input before the design phase of a new construction or renovation of a library is de rigueur, with methods ranging from focus groups to community outreach to social media. But a few libraries are taking it to the next level, not just finding out what patrons need or value and filtering that through the lens of librarian and architect expertise but also letting users directly drive design decisions in collaboration with the professionals.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, an estimated 650,000 children in Uganda have been orphaned by AIDS. The majority of them are now cared for by their grandmothers. The adult literacy rate reported by UNESCO is 73.9 percent, and only 66.9 percent among women; these discrepancies are particularly acute in AIDS-affected populations. In an effort to address these issues, the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project (NAOP), a nonprofit working on behalf of AIDS and HIV orphans in rural Uganda, has recently established two libraries for HIV- and AIDS-affected communities with support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF), a Canada-based nonprofit.
Nearly nine out of ten adults have difficulty using health information, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This isn’t surprising—thanks to the open access movement, there are a plethora of reliable medical sources out there, but many are not written for a lay audience. Meanwhile, drug companies on the one hand and anti–traditional medicine advocates on the other flood the Internet with authoritative-sounding contradictory material.
Iowa City Public Library (ICPL) prides itself on welcoming all members of the community, and recently found a way to extend that service by introducing an Autism Accessible Browsing Hour for all ages. The library’s bright and inviting children’s room plays host to a variety of kids of all abilities, including through its Sensory Storytimes for children on the autism spectrum, but the boisterous atmosphere can be too loud, too bright, and too busy for some children with sensory issues.
Partnering with Sprint, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is allowing students who don’t have Wi-Fi at home to check out portable hotspots.