Celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month

Library Card Sign-up Month is a celebration held each September during which librarians across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

This year, Stan Lee, comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-men, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, joins us as Honorary Chair.

A library card is a key resource in achieving academic success, and the library is the perfect place to spend quality family time together.

‘Agri-Terrorism’? Town’s Seed Library Shut Down

A public library in small Pennsylvania town offered a new public resource for its patrons: a seed library. That is, until the state Department of Agriculture pulled the rug out from under the plan.

Launched on April 26, the seed library at Mechanicsburg’s Joseph T. Simpson Public Library would have held. Its first seed trove, with help from the Cumberland County Commission for Women, came from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds.

On libraries, Las Vegas and Elvis

Who knew that Elvis was a convincing 3-D printer pitchman?

In late June, I attended the American Library Association meeting in Las Vegas along with 18,000 other library lovers – librarians, trustees, and library friends from public, private and academic libraries.

I went as a library trustee through a travel grant awarded by United for Libraries, a sub-group of library trustees, foundations, and “Friends.” I met library directors, staff, trustees, friends, and exhibitors of a wide array of goods and services and saw Elvis in action.

Literary Landmark: Windmill at Stony Brook

The windmill at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University of New York was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983).

The site was selected because playwright Williams spent the summer of 1957 living in the windmill and writing the experimental play “The Day on Which a Man Dies” in response to the death of his friend Jackson Pollock the summer before. 

Small-town libraries struggling to keep up with technology

A yellowing copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” has a much longer life span than the computer used to look up its location in the library.

For decades, American libraries served as a hub of timeless classics and new releases. But as technology has developed, so has the library's role.

Books still dominate the shelves in libraries throughout the country, but patrons are seeking more than stories. In rural communities, 70.3 percent of libraries reported they are the only place that provides free Internet and computer access to their residents, according to a 2012 report from the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Around the World: 14 Beautiful Libraries [Photos]

Some book collectors do not care very much about where they store their books. The English King Henry VIII, had a fine collection of books, but when visitors came to view them they were horrified by the conditions they were stored in, commenting on how they were stacked randomly on the floor and in untidy heaps covering every available surface. Thankfully, since Roman times, if not before, others have cherished books and wished to show them off to their best advantage.

Incredibly, until now, there has been no single volume tracing the history of library buildings through the ages. For the last three years, I have been traveling the world together with Will Pryce the architectural photographer, visiting and photographing 85 of the world’s greatest libraries in 21 countries. The result is The Library: A World History (Chicago University Press), the most complete account of library buildings to date.

With New Learning Labs, Teen Programming at Local Libraries Goes Digital

There’s some good news for libraries—and library patrons. The bleeding appears to have stopped. Library budgets—although not growing—are at least not shrinking any more, after years of tough going.

The recession slashed the budgets of most public libraries in the nation, leaving them struggling to maintain services, including the higher-cost digital services that community residents have come to rely on. E-books, internet connections, and 3D printers are the “World Book” set of years ago—the expensive, scarce resource that libraries provide when families cannot.