July 2010

Has Your Library Stepped Up to the Plate?

The Campaign for America’s Libraries is looking for stories showing how libraries are promoting the fifth season of Step Up to the Plate @ your library. From now until August 17, libraries are encouraged to submit stories, photos, and videos of Step Up to the Plate @ your library activities. They can send an e-mail to baseball@ala.org for possible posting to the Step Up to the Plate website.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The good news? Your library programs are so successful that people have to line up for them. The bad news? Your library programs are so successful that people have to line up for them. Offering programs that are extremely well-attended by patrons seems like the ideal, but a recent article on New Canaan Public Library’s overcrowding issue showed me that there’s a downside to success as well.

Only Fifty-Nine Days Until Talk Like a Pirate Day

As Dave Barry once wrote, “Every now and then, some visionary individuals come along with a concept that is so original and so revolutionary that your immediate reaction is: ‘Those individuals should be on medication.’” Now, I have no knowledge regarding the mental or physical status of International Talk Like a Pirate Day’s founders, but I do know pirates* are a great way to inject some fun into your library programming.

Science in the Summer

I admit that, during my high school years, I only reinforced the stereotype that girls are not good at math and science. (In fact, saying I was “not good” is probably being too kind; my chemistry teacher would likely suggest “utterly hopeless” as more accurate.) I can’t help but wonder what might have been, however, if I had had Science in the Summer at my library as a child.

New for July at EDSITEment

This month’s highlights: Don’t let the summer fly by without picking up a book from NEH’s Summertime Favorites—literary classics listed in appropriate grade categories; recharge yourself with To Kill a Mockingbird, published fifty years ago this summer; join others around the country in hosting a party to celebrate our “national novel”; and introduce timely lessons on senate confirmation hearings.

Featured Library: Henderson County Public Library

On July 4, 2010, the United States of America celebrated the 234th anniversary of the Continental Congress’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout the nation’s history, many notable politicians have worked diligently to maintain our independence and keep the peace. One of our most well-known presidents, Abraham Lincoln, spent much of his presidency trying to unite a divided nation. While dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Lincoln stated:

QA with Pat Chester, Traveling Exhibition Designer

"Pride & Passion: The African American Baseball Experience" exhibition panels


Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of Q&A features highlighting contributors to ALA Public Programs Office traveling exhibitions.

What’s New in Programming Librarian

I’d like to thank everyone who attended the Programming Librarian demonstrations at the Public Programs Office booth and the “Are You a Programming Librarian?” program during the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. I really enjoyed introducing the site to programming librarians who weren’t familiar with it yet (but were happy to find out about it!) as well as receiving feedback from those who were. I was also happy to introduce some new features available on the site; here’s a quick recap in case you were unable to attend:

PRIME TIME Family Reading Time

Editor’s Note: In case you missed it, this week we’re featuring blog posts on ALA Annual Conference programs. This entry focuses “PRIME TIME Family Reading Time: A Model Program for Strengthening Families & Building Communities,” designed to help programming librarians engage diverse, underserved neighborhoods of their communities through a family literacy program featuring humanities-focused content, quality children’s literature, techniques based on the Socratic Method, and collective learning.

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