November 28, 2015

South Carolina Libraries Respond to Flooding


Over the weekend of October 3–4, Hurricane Joaquin brought record-setting rainfall and catastrophic flooding to the Southeast, leaving South Carolina in a state of disaster. In the central and eastern part of the state, rivers overran their banks, washing out roads, and bridges, breaching dams, and destroying property. To the south, high tides pushed water inland over sea walls. President Barack Obama declared the state a disaster zone, and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local efforts. The storm was what meteorologists call a “1,000-year rainfall event.” As of press time, the death toll for the state stood at 17, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said the cost of flooding could top $1 billion. Public libraries across the state began reopening Tuesday, and immediately began stepping in to help wherever possible—posting emergency information on their websites, helping people contact loved ones and insurance companies, distributing supplies, and serving as a place of shelter and connection.

“Libraries Are Essential to a City” | SLJ Talks to Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean

Karl Dean remembers his childhood public library as a place where “you could go to dream.” Recreating that experience resulted in Limitless Libraries, which brought public library resources into Nashville schools to enable every student to pursue their dreams.

San Diego Opens First Public Library Biotech Lab

Dr. Callen Hyland teaching a workshop at the Bio Lab
Photo credit: Pamela Stevens

The world’s first biotech lab in a public library celebrated its grand opening September 1 in the La Jolla-Riford Branch Library of the San Diego Public Library (SDPL). The Bio Lab is part of the library’s Life Science Collaboratory, which has hosted a variety of classes and talks from visiting scientists since it opened its doors in April. The Bio Lab, however, promises to take Collaboratory’s citizen science mission a step further.

First-Ever “Public Libraries & STEM” Event Forges New Alliances

Professionals from the library, education, and STEM fields gathered last week in Denver to participate in “Public Libraries & STEM,” the first conference of its kind to convene leaders from these arenas to examine current and future practices at the intersection of librarianship and science, technology, engineering, and math.

Ian Singer, VP and Group Publisher of SLJ, LJ, Horn Book Departs Media Source

Media Source, Inc., has announced that Ian Singer is leaving his position as Vice President & Group Publisher, Library Journals, LLC & The Horn Book, Inc., as of August 28.

Pictures of the Week: 3M’s Post-It ‘Partner for Pride’ Wall

Attendees of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference added their favorite diverse book suggestions to 3M’s heart-shaped display made of rainbow-hued Post-it notes.

ConnectHome Program To Provide Broadband for 275,000 Low-Income Households


On July 15 President Barack Obama announced the launch of the “ConnectHome” broadband initiative, which will provide high speed home Internet access to nearly 200,000 children in more than 275,000 low-income households. ConnectHome is the next step in Obama’s Connecting America initiative. In January the president announced planned steps to help ensure that reliable, affordable broadband would be more widely available, including the promotion of community-based broadband and a calling for State and local governments to roll back restrictive regulations. And the ConnectED initiative, which Obama announced in April, aims to connect 99 percent of American students to high-speed broadband in their classrooms by 2018.

MyLibraryNYC Brings Public Library Services to City Schools, 500,000+ Students

A unique partnership between New York’s Department of Education and the city’s three public library systems, MyLibraryNYC has made its way into 488 pre-K–12 schools across the city this past school year, serving more than half a million students and over 60,000 educators.

Boston Public Library’s Redesign in Progress

Children's Library 1

The average age of users in the newly renovated second floor of Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Johnson Building has come down at least a decade, according to BPL President Amy Ryan, and it’s easy to see why. The goal was to create a library that is flexible and responsive to user needs. BPL’s management is serious about the principles in its strategic plan, called the Compass. “We take those eight principles very seriously. We even take fun (Principle #8) seriously…. It really is about the user, the expectations of the user of all ages.” said Amy Ryan, BPL’s CEO.

We Need Diverse Books and SLJ Release Booktalking Kit

The We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Booktalking Kit is now available for download.