December 10, 2017

National Library Partnership Tackles Health Literacy Gap

More than 90 million Americans have low health literacy, hindering their ability to take control of and address their own health needs, according to a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Public Library Association (PLA) and its parent organization the American Library Association (ALA), together with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), are working to expand the extent to which libraries—among the most trusted of community institutions—can address this issue.

Closure Plans for Cincinnati Library’s North Building Spark Concerns

As the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) considers the future of its Main Library’s North Building, community members continue to object to the library’s lack of transparency regarding its plans, the elimination of public space, and possible conflicts of interest.

Balancing Connections and Collections | Library Design

In many types of libraries nationwide, staff are trying to make more space for people. Increasingly, libraries support learning that is social and emotional as well as intellectual, carving out room for learning commons, flexible spaces, quiet contemplation, and active collaboration.

Great Outdoor Spaces | Library Design

The best libraries don’t stop at the front door. Gardens and green roofs alike are beautiful and inspiring. The benefits of exposure to nature are much more than cosmetic: for individuals, research has related it to reduced stress, inflammation, and mortality; improved memory, job satisfaction, and eyesight; and greater social capital. For communities, successful public outdoor spaces not only improve the physical and mental health of residents, they have been shown to aid the environment, create a stronger sense of community, and even boost the economy.

Libraries from Puerto Rico to Florida Respond to Hurricane Irma

Arriving hard on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma cut a destructive swath through the northeastern Caribbean and Florida Keys. More than $50 billion worth of damage was reported in the United States, as well as 39 fatalities.

After Harvey Libraries Reopen, Organizations Step Up

Over a five-day period, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast area of southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana. More than 50 inches of rain fell, killing at least 66 people, displacing 30,000 others, and causing up to $190 billion in damages. When skies finally cleared at the end of August, libraries’ cleanup efforts began in earnest.

Texas Libraries Hit Hard by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey brought record-breaking rainfall and catastrophic flooding to southeast Texas during the last week of August. Unprecedented rainfall in the Houston-Galveston area caused what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott described as “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” Area libraries have sustained damage from water and wind, although at press time floodwaters were still so high, and local roads so impassible, that assessment was impossible.

GPO Requests Recommendations to Update Federal Deposit Library Rules

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) director Davita Vance-Cooks has asked the Depository Library Council (DLC) to recommend changes to Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the U.S. Code, a request that has some members of the government information community concerned and others encouraged. Chapter 19 codifies GPO’s Federal Deposit Library Program (FDLP) into law, guaranteeing that the government will provide its information for free to the general public, and has not been significantly revised since the early 1990s.

Libraries Across America To Celebrate Solar Eclipse on August 21

On Monday, August 21, all eyes—or at least, all those with adequate protection—will be on the first total solar eclipse to cross the country from ocean to ocean since 1918. The path of totality will cross the entire United States from west to east starting at 10:15 a.m. PDT in Pacific Palisades, OR (west of Salem) and ending at 2:48 p.m. EDT in Bulls Bay, SC (north of Charleston). More than 1,000 libraries will hold viewing parties with safe viewing glasses during the event, and imaginative eclipse-themed programs have been happening all summer from Alaska to Maine.

Charlottesville Libraries Weather Violent Protests, Offer Unity

Public and college libraries alike faced challenges and tough choices this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, when clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters from social justice, civil rights, and anti-fascist groups took place on the campus of the University of Virginia and across the city, leaving three dead and 34 injured.