May 11, 2018

Rutgers Partners with Newark PL for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

Two New Jersey institutions—Rutgers University–Newark and the Newark Public Library (NPL)—have joined forces to bring racial healing and empowering dialogue to the campus and community.

San Diego PL Enlists Citizen Scientists as Bug Collectors

When the bug IS the feature, the result may look something like San Diego Public Library’s Catalog of Life @ the Library project. Launched in March 2017, the project provided bug collection kits that could be checked out of the library. Specimens’ DNA was extracted and barcoded, and became part of a global database.

City of Library Love: PLA 2018 in Philadelphia

For many attending the Public Library Association (PLA) 2018 conference in Philadelphia, the biggest challenge was simply getting there, thanks to an early spring Nor’easter that dumped snow from Washington, DC to New England on Wednesday, March 21. Just under 6,000 public library professionals and supporters registered to attend in person, with 1,821 exhibitors signed up as well.

Orange City Public Library Pressured to Label, Segregate LGBTQ Material

Update: The Orange City Public Library’s board decided on March 20 to group books by subject and subcategory rather than alphabetical order by an author’s name. The new categorization method will be implemented on a trial basis, with a few subjects to start, this summer. If patrons like the new system, explained board president Jared Weber, it will expand to the rest of the library. The board will vote next month on the request to revise library policy to require additional input on acquisitions.

Jerica Copeny | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

In November 2017, a few months after she became Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s (EVPL) civic data scientist—one of the few in the country at a public library—Jerica Copeny volunteered at the inaugural conference of Data for Black Lives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.

Megan Godbey | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

“Libraries fulfill their ultimate potential when they provide safe space for everyone…and empower patrons to realize their full potential,” says Megan Godbey. That philosophy underpins her work at the Nashville Public Library (NPL), where she initiated the Pathway for New Americans project, a partnership with the Nashville mayor’s office and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nashville was the third such library and the first to open “citizenship corners outside the library,” she says.

Eva B. Raison | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

“The longer I work in libraries, the more I see how our mission and core principles are tied to supporting a more just and equitable society,” says Eva B. Raison. This philosophy drives her work at the Brooklyn Public Library, which serves a population that speaks more than 90 different languages and hails from 180 countries, to be as inclusive and proactive as possible.

Chera Kowalski | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

For decades, the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington has been notorious for entrenched poverty, a high crime rate, and rampant opioid addiction. It’s the epicenter of an epidemic of fatal overdoses in a city with high rates of such deaths. It’s also home to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s century-old McPherson Square Branch, situated in a small park—nicknamed Needle Park for the addicts who routinely inject drugs there.

Roberta Koscielski | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Roberta Koscielski has a long history with the Peoria Public Library (PPL)—and with Common Place Family Learning Center, a community education nonprofit on Peoria’s south side, where she trained as an adult literacy tutor and eventually joined the board. That early connection set the tone for her entire 34-year library career.

Aspen Institute Releases Model State-Level Dialogue Report for Colorado

On January 31 the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries (DPL) released “Libraries: Building Community Resilience in Colorado.” The report presents the findings of The Aspen Institute Colorado Dialogue on Public Libraries, a meeting of community stakeholders and library leaders held on May 25, 2017, and builds on DPL’s work examining the evolving roles of public libraries and developing models to drive discussions between libraries and their communities.