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The PLA Blog | Official Blog of the Public Library Association

PLA Blog Now at www.publiclibrariesonline.org

Thanks for reading the PLA blog over the past several years! We are closing this site, but invite you to check out our exciting new web presence (PL Online) over at www.publiclibrariesonline.org.

PL Online is the online companion to Public Libraries, PLA’s official magazine. Like the print iteration, PL Online focuses on issues and topics that matter to public libraries and public librarianship. Updated daily, the site  features selections from the print magazine as well as unique content. With  well over thirty energetic bloggers, the site covers a very wide range of topics.

Take a look at some of our recent posts:

A look at women in Fantasy Fiction

An overview of OverDrive Read

A look at using Zinio to offer digital magazines at your library

An article on the dangers of sitting at your desk too long

A look at how Boston Public Library used social media to ‘be in the moment’

In addition to these varied and useful posts, the site offers hundreds of other posts on library topic in addition to author interviews and soon, book reviews. Posts are comment-enabled so you can share your ideas on the often thought-provoking topics, as well as share your own story or experiences. To stay up to date with what we are doing over at PL Online, like us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Public-Libraries-Online/153044881524577, or follow us on Twitter @publibonline and Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/publibonline/.

We are always seeking new writers to join our ranks – so take a look at the site and see if it is something you might like to do. If so, send an e-mail about why you want to write for us to Kathleen Hughes at publiclibrariesonline@gmail.com with the subject line “I Want to Be a PL Online Contributor” and we’ll send you more information about writing for us.

 

PLA hosts webinar with Britton, developer of first makerspace in a public library

At 1 p.m. CDT on Oct. 17, the Public Library Association (PLA) will host a live, hour-long webinar, “ Make Way for Makerspaces at the Library ” with Lauren Britton, transliteracy development director at the Fayetteville (N.Y.) Free Library, and creator of the first public library makerspace, the Fayetteville Fab Lab.

Makerspaces are innovative spots that introduce patrons to tools, like 3D printers and makerbots, not normally found in the library and offer patrons the opportunity to explore their interests, use new tools and develop creative projects. During this PLA webinar, participants will learn all about makerspaces including what they are, why public libraries should think about developing them and what elements need to be incorporated. Lauren will share project and programming ideas and examples of current library makerspaces, as well as answer attendee questions.

Registration for “Make Way for Makerspaces at the Library” costs $28 (PLA Members), $31.50 (ALA Members) and $35 (Nonmembers). Groups of any size can register for individual webinars for $129.

Reminder to join us at 1 p.m. central today for the Facebook Forum – “Help! I’m Not a Social Worker.” Ask questions and share ideas about dealing with the challenges of patrons who need extra service and come to the library to find it. No registration necessary. Just visit https://www.facebook.com/pla.org and join the conversation at 1 p.m.

The following open letter was released by American Library Association (ALA) President Maureen Sullivan regarding Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin refusal to provide access to their e-books in U.S. libraries. The open letter states:

It’s a rare thing in a free market when a customer is refused the ability to buy a company’s product and is told its money is “no good here.” Surprisingly, after centuries of enthusiastically supporting publishers’ products, libraries find themselves in just that position with purchasing e-books from three of the largest publishers in the world. Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin have been denying access to their e-books for our nation’s 112,000 libraries and roughly 169 million public library users.

Let’s be clear on what this means: If our libraries’ digital bookshelves mirrored the New York Times fiction best-seller list, we would be missing half of our collection any given week due to these publishers’ policies. The popular “Bared to You” and “The Glass Castle” are not available in libraries because libraries cannot purchase them at any price. Today’s teens also will not find the digital copy of Judy Blume’s seminal “Forever,” nor today’s blockbuster “Hunger Games” series.

Not all publishers are following the path of these three publishers. In fact, hundreds of publishers of e-books have embraced the opportunity to create new sales and reach readers through our nation’s libraries. One recent innovation allows library patrons to immediately purchase an e-book if the library doesn’t have a copy or if there is a wait list they would like to avoid. This offers a win-win relationship for both publishers and library users since recent research from the Pew Internet Project tells us that library users are more than twice as likely to have bought their most recent book as to have borrowed it from a library.

Libraries around the country are developing mobile applications and online discovery systems that make it easier to explore books and authors on the go. Seventy-six percent of public libraries now offer e-books — double the number from only five years ago — and 39 percent of libraries have purchased and circulate e-readers. Public libraries alone spend more than $1.3 billion annually on their collections of print, audio, video, and electronic materials. They are investing not only in access to content and devices, but also in teaching the skills needed to navigate and utilize digital content successfully.

Librarians understand that publishing is not just another industry. It has special and important significance to society. Libraries complement and, in fact, actively support this industry by supporting literacy and seeking to spread an infectious and lifelong love of reading and learning. Library lending encourages patrons to experiment by sampling new authors, topics and genres. This experimentation stimulates the market for books, with the library serving as a de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.

Publishers, libraries and other entities have worked together for centuries to sustain a healthy reading ecosystem — celebrating our society’s access to the complete marketplace of ideas. Given the obvious value of libraries to publishers, it simply does not add up that any publisher would continue to lock out libraries. It doesn’t add up for me, it doesn’t add up for ALA’s 60,000 members, and it definitely doesn’t add up for the millions of people who use our libraries every month.

America’s libraries have always served as the “people’s university” by providing access to reading materials and educational opportunity for the millions who want to read and learn but cannot afford to buy the books they need. Librarians have a particular concern for vulnerable populations that may not have any other access to books and electronic content, including individuals and families who are homebound or low-income. To deny these library users access to e-books that are available to others — and which libraries are eager to purchase on their behalf — is discriminatory.

We have met and talked sincerely with many of these publishers. We have sought common ground by exploring new business models and library lending practices. But these conversations only matter if they are followed by action: Simon & Schuster must sell to libraries. Macmillan must implement its proposed pilot. Penguin must accelerate and expand its pilots beyond two urban New York libraries.

We librarians cannot stand by and do nothing while some publishers deepen the digital divide. We cannot wait passively while some publishers deny access to our cultural record. We must speak out on behalf of today’s — and tomorrow’s — readers.The library community demands meaningful change and creative solutions that serve libraries and our readers who rightfully expect the same access to e-books as they have to printed books.

So, which side will you be on? Will you join us in a future of liberating literature for all? Libraries stand with readers, thinkers, writers, dreamers and inventors. Books and knowledge — in all their forms — are essential. Access to them must not be denied.

At 1 p.m. CDT on Sept. 19, the Public Library Association (PLA) will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Alternative Reads: Discovering and Sharing Great Indie Fiction with Your Patrons,” to introduce attendees to the wide array of books from small and independent presses, hybrid publishers and self-published works.

Presenters Dedra Anderson and Lisa Casper, both from the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, will provide insight into this burgeoning field and offer readers’ advisory to help you connect your patrons to lots of great reads off the beaten path.

Registration for “Alternative Reads: Discovering and Sharing Great Indie Fiction with Your Patrons” costs $28 (PLA Members), $31.50 (ALA Members) and $35 (Nonmembers). Groups of any size can register for individual webinars for $129.

PLA Literacy Programming – Quick Survey

Public libraries and librarians play a significant role in literacy programming within their communities. The Public Library Association (PLA) is interested in learning about which types of literacy programs your libraries have offered, are currently offering, or are planning to offer, and the types of literacy programming that you would like to learn more about, in order to offer programs to your communities.

Completing this short survey will help us plan to meet your needs more closely and as a thank-you for your time and effort, all completed surveys will be eligible for a random drawing of one free group registration to a PLA webinar of your choice. The survey will close on Friday, September 21. Thanks in advance for your participation!

Questions about the survey, contact Kathleen Hughes, khughes@ala.org.

Literacy Programming @ Your Library

The January/February 2013 issue of Public Libraries will focus on Literacy Programming at the Public Library. We’re looking for feature articles and shorter opinion pieces on that subject. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your library’s literacy programming efforts with colleagues across the country. Your article can focus on any type of literacy programming, examples include:

Adult Basic Literacy Skills – Literacy for adults.
Cultural Literacy – Ability to understand one’s own culture and the culture of others.
English as a Second Language – Fluency in the English language from a non-native speaker.
Early Childhood Literacy – Literacy for children.
Digital Literacy – Ability to use technology such as a computer or the internet on a basic level.
Financial Literacy – Ability to understand basic financial principles and manage one’s own finances.
Global Literacy – Capacity to understand the world on a global basis.
Health Literacy – Ability to understand healthcare information and make decisions towards one’s own healthcare choices.
Information Literacy – Learning to find and analyze information to solve a specific problem
Media Literacy – The ability to understand mass media.
PreGED or GED preparation – Learning the skills to fulfill the requirements of the General Educational Development.
Transliteracy – Literacy across various forms of media and platforms.

Feature articles are generally 2500-5000 words and Verso columns (opinion pieces) are 1500 words. For this special issue, we will select three feature articles and two opinion pieces. Please submit by November 17 to be considered for the literacy issue. All submissions will go through a peer-review process. More information about writing for PL can be found here. Please submit articles via our article submission system. Send queries or requests for more information to PL Editor, Kathleen Hughes, khughes@ala.org.

At 1 p.m. CDT on Sept. 19, the Public Library Association (PLA) will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Alternative Reads: Discovering and Sharing Great Indie Fiction with Your Patrons,” to introduce attendees to the wide array of books from small and independent presses, hybrid publishers, and self-published works.

Presenters Dedra Anderson and Lisa Casper, both from the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, will provide insight into this burgeoning field of fiction and offer readers’ advisory to help you connect your patrons to lots of great reads off the beaten path.

Registration for “Alternative Reads: Discovering and Sharing Great Indie Fiction with Your Patrons” costs $28 (PLA Members), $31.50 (ALA Members) and $35 (Nonmembers). Groups of any size can register for individual webinars for $129.

When: Tuesday,August 28 – 1:00-2:00 p.m. Central
Where: Every Child Ready to Read Facebook page
Guest: Saroj Ghoting, early literacy consultant

If you haven’t used Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) yet and need a nudge—join us for this facebook conversation! If you have used the kit and want to learn more—join us for this facebook conversation! Ask questions, share your ideas, and connect with other libraries about early literacy programming during this one hour Facebook Forum.

2nd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

Gathering at the Waters – Celebrating Stories, Embracing Communities will be held September 19-23, 2012 at the Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

The conference includes:
*Over 70 programs, 40 poster sessions, preconference programs, and more
*Opening General Session featuring Sonia Monzano
*Youth Author Luncheons featuring: Lauren Myracle and Sharon Flake
*Adult Author Luncheons featuring Da Chen and David Treuer
*Closing Session speaker Jamal Joseph
*Exhibits, social events, tours, and much more.

Registration and housing are now open — go here for more conference information and to register.

 

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