Join the National Conversation About Mental Health
Libraries across the country are invited to join a national conversation about mental health over the coming months. These dialogues will bring people together at large forums, in small-group discussions, in city-wide deliberations, and online.
Coffee and Crochet Hooks: Crafting an Adult Hand Skills Program
Arts ’n crafts have long been a staple library program, but are typically aimed at children. However, crafting for adults has recently re-emerged as a popular hobby. The Greenpoint branch of the >Brooklyn Public Library has spent the last year experimenting with a monthly program called Greenpoint Hand Skills aimed at bringing in this community of crafters.
Featured Library: Beaufort County Library
A popular program presented by libraries each year is “One City, One Book,” which promotes literacy by encouraging a community to read—and discuss—the same book at the same time. Using a similar format, the Beaufort County (S.C.) Library is presenting “One County Reads One Country” this fall.
Help Complete Your Community’s Streets
In the spirit of this month’s feature article and the topic of civic engagement, I thought I’d highlight a program near and dear to my heart: Complete Streets. As the National Complete Streets Coalition notes: “The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone …”
Libraries and Democratic Life: Promoting Civic Engagement
I’m writing from outside the library world to talk about something powerful that can happen inside the library. I work with the Project on Civic Reflection, a national organization that helps get reflective discussion going in order to build community and deepen people’s understanding of their fellow community members and themselves.
Finding the History of Your Home
I live in a rehabbed condo in a building that’s about one hundred years old, and I’ve often wondered about who had lived there in the past, what the inside of the building looked like when it was first built, and how the building has changed over the years. If my home was in Fullterton, California, I likely would have been able to find much of that out.
Build Common Ground in Your Community
The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is accepting applications for Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion, a multiformat discussion program for public audiences to spark action, engagement, and reflection within the community.
Help Us Learn More about Your Civic Engagement Programs
The ALA Center for Civic Life is mapping civic engagement activities in libraries. We need your help! If you haven’t already filled out our survey, it’s not too late. We are interested in learning more about more about civic/community engagement activities in libraries.
Lunch with Books
I stumbled upon the hugely successful Lunch with Books program series at the Ohio County Public Library (OCPL) in Wheeling, West Virginia, and had to share.
All Together Now: One Book, One Community Programs
This fall, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) celebrates the tenth anniversary of one of its most popular programs, One Book, One Chicago. I have been with CPL working on this program for just over four years, and have learned more than I could ever share in one article.
Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion in the Public Library
In light of the still recent natural disasters and subsequent struggles it has seen, New Orleans is the perfect place to talk about civility and compassion in our communities. Mary Davis Fournier talked to conference-goers about the new program grant, “Building Common Ground” from the ALA Public Programs Office.
Support Community, Civility, and Compassion at Your Library
The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Fetzer Institute announced their collaboration on Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion, a multiformat discussion program for public audiences.
Featured Library: Southern State Community College
Fayette County in Ohio has been hard-hit by the poor economy and closing businesses. Recognizing this fact, the librarians at Southern State Community College’s library created programs for this year’s National Library Week, held April 10–16, that they hope will help pull the community together as well as let people know about how valuable libraries can be.
One Book, One Chicago
I had to highlight my local library system for choosing a novel by Neil Gaiman for its 2011 One Book, One Chicago citywide reading program. (It also helps that they’re offering a wide variety of interesting programming to go with the usual book discussions.)
Featured Library: Pierce County System
Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, Washington, will launch its fourth annual Pierce County Reads communitywide reading event this week. This is the first year readers were asked to vote for a book, and The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Pulitzer Prize winner Timothy Egan was finally selected.
With the 2011 Big Read application deadline just days away, I thought it would be a good time to review what a few libaries did for last year’s Big Read.
Featured Library: Toronto Public Library
This month, Toronto Public Library is launching its Human Library. To be offered in five branches on November 6, this pilot program will allow library cardholders to borrow from a selection of nearly sixty human books, individuals who have been carefully selected because of their unique life experiences.
Be an Armchair Traveler
I’ve been feeling the travel bug lately, but lack of time and money means I’ll be puting my dream vacation off, at least for a while. If I lived near Newnan, Georgia, however, I could travel vicariously through Newnan Carnegie Library’s Armchair Travelers program.
Libraries (and Cameras) Help Teens Show How They See It
Inspired by the ideas of a Harvard University historian, more than 200 teens at 21 California libraries teens explored place and history using digital cameras and notebooks in a recently completed statewide program—“How I See It—My Place” sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities (CCH).
Start a Conversation in Your Community
“Communities in Conversation” is a simple idea for a program with powerful potential. Communities can be defined as groups of people living in the same area with much in common but also holding a range of religious and ideological views.