The way Ciro Scardina sees it, “teaching is a performing art.” Scardina taught fourth grade for eight years before becoming the school library media specialist at P.S. 18 on New York’s Staten Island. Scardina’s lessons involve high-tech tools, all of which are available thanks to his impressive fundraising track record.
Not every library outreach initiative involves a traveling library housed in a souped-up Nissan Cube with more than $25,000 in audiovisual enhancements, an Xbox Kinect, a custom-built mount with a 37″ LCD screen, tower speakers, and much more. But not every librarian is Smitty Miller, whose showbiz background (she’s a former professional jazz singer) inspired Fraser Valley Regional Library’s (FVRL) Library Live and on Tour (LiLi). Since 2012, stereotype-shattering LiLi has reached more than 50,000 people through over 160 visits to local community events and social service agencies. LiLi has also issued 2,745 innovative Community Cards, which provide library membership to people with no fixed address, and has forgiven close to $16,000 in fines.
Classification is a cornerstone of library collections. After Emily Drabinski took a Theories of Classification class in library school and studied the “classification structures” of professional Scrabble players and high school wrestlers, she realized it was at the heart of human experience as well.
In the nine years that Teresa Runnels has been with the Tulsa City-County Library, she has been “a huge community builder for the American Indian Nations, bringing together five different nations to preserve Native American languages,” says Gary Shaffer, CEO of the library. Runnels, who is a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, was spurred by predictions that many languages would go quiet within 50 years. “Tribal languages are the key to access to an entire world of indigenous knowledge,” says Runnels. “The language opens access to tribal histories, literature, cultures, medicinal knowledge, and more.”
This past fall, Lindel Toups, the council chair of Lafourche Parish, LA, proposed a ballot measure that would strip $800,000, or about 11 percent, from the budget of the parish’s ten-branch public library system in order to build a new prison. Toups’s justification, beyond prison overcrowding? “They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English,” and library patrons are “junkies and hippies and food stamp [recipients].”
Karen Jensen is opening the door for talk about teens, sexual abuse, and consent, both in literature and youth services. In January, her blog Teen Librarian Toolbox (TLT) hosted its first Sexual Violence (SV) in YA Lit Virtual Panel, with YA authors Christa Desir, Trish Doller, and Carrie Mesrobian. More will follow, every other month: the March 26 broadcast features 2014 Morris Award winner Stephanie Kuehn and debut novelist Brendan Kiely. “Other topics will include examples of consent and healthy relationships in YA lit (May), SV in historical fiction (July), dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction (September), and a segment on sexual violence in the lives of boys,” Jensen says.
In 2011, Amed Demirhan took on his second library-building mission: the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa, a largely rural state on Nigeria’s northeast border, where educational opportunities are limited. His task was to reinvent the young but traditional library as a 21st-century facility.
Welcome to the 2014 LJ Movers & Shakers. The 50 individuals recognized here are passionate about what all types of libraries can do to enhance lives—for adults, teens, schoolchildren, infants, and toddlers. If there’s a common theme among their profiles, it’s that as much as the library is a place to go, it is also a place on the go—to wherever patrons or potential patrons are. The Class of 2014 brings the total number of Movers to over 650. It was difficult to select just 50 people to honor from the more than 225 nominations we received. There’s not one Mover, however, who hasn’t told us that they couldn’t succeed without their colleagues, so, in effect, the Movers & Shakers represent hundreds more who work in and for libraries.
Abre Biblioteca! Vitals CURRENT POSITION Librarian Center For Studies And Research Of The Amazon (nepeCAB) DEGREE MLS, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, 2000 FOLLOW, VISIT, LEARN cazadoresdebiblioteca.blogspot.com.br; www.institutolerparacrescer.org/2012/11/iii-barco-do-ler-para-crescer.html; biblioo.info Photo by Sebastião Alves The Amazon State Public Library, in Manaus, Brazil, closed in 2007 for renovation. Five years later, it was still closed. So was the […]