Tool libraries equip local do-it-yourselfers

An environmental movement needs a little extra oomph to make a big impact.

The farmers market movement, for example, offers great food, brings people together and supports local farmers. The alternative-vehicle movement, steadily driving interest in electric and hybrid cars, keeps us out of the gas station and gives us fun new toys to drive.

Tool-lending libraries might seem too unusual to become a full-fledged environmental movement. But they already have a foothold in Seattle, and they do more than just help the environment and reduce climate change.

Eminently practical, tool libraries save the average Joe or Jane real money. Most important, they build community.

2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Holly Camino

Being at the library is more fun than being at home.

That’s what one high school senior, John McCullough, said about the Buckeye Library in the Medina County (Ohio) library district.

McCullough said Holly Camino, manager of the Buckeye Library in the Medina County (Ohio) District Library, makes sure her library is welcome to the residents – and especially the children – in her rural community.

He said dozens of middle school and high school students who have nowhere else to go flock to her library.

Programs, participation grow at new North Pocono Public Library

MOSCOW — In nearly a year since North Pocono Public Library moved from a former liquor store into its new $3.2 million facility, library activity has surged by just about any measure.

Since moving the operation from the 1,300-square-foot building on Van Brunt Street to the newly constructed 8,000-square-foot facility on Church Street in June, attendance and participation in programs have quickly grown, according to library Director Susan Jeffery and children’s librarian Kelly Pulice

From Boots to Books

Luke Herbst, a US Army veteran, joined the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library’s (NPL) Special Collections Division as a library associate–paraprofessional in December 2010. Although the path that led him to apply for a public library  position was circuitous, it originated in experiences he had while in the military and stationed overseas.

Herbst served in the US Army from January 2001 to March 2009, including two deployments during the Iraq War. It was during this time that he developed his love of reading. Herbst would visit the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation tents (MWRs) on base when time permitted. MWRs often housed small libraries that contained books donated from a variety of places. In Herbst’s experience, having a book in hand to read during down time in Iraq or before bed was especially helpful.

Photos of Public Libraries across the U.S.

Since 1994, photographer Robert Dawson has photographed hundreds of the over 17,000 public libraries in this country.

“A public library can mean different things to different people. For me, the library offers our best example of the public commons. For many, the library upholds the 19th-century belief that the future of democracy is contingent upon an educated citizenry. For others, the library simply means free access to the Internet, or a warm place to take shelter, a chance for an education, or the endless possibilities that jump to life in your imagination the moment you open the cover of a book.”

2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Harold Forbes

Thanks to Harold M. Forbes, old newspapers are more than just yesterday's news.

Carrie Mullen, the director of West Virginia's university press, said Forbes, curator of the West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, has made important contributions to Chronicling America and the National Digital Newspaper Project, the Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers sponsored by the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ finally going digital

Harper Lee has signed on for Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to enter the electronic age.

Filling one of the biggest gaps in the e-library, “To Kill a Mockingbird” will become available as an e-book and digital audiobook on July 8, HarperCollins Publishers announced Monday. Lee, in a rare public statement, cited a “new generation” of fans in agreeing to the downloadable editions of her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.

Librarians reimagine book clubs with the help of technology

Libraries have long embraced the reading public and provided public forums for book discussion, long before talk-show host Oprah Winfrey renewed interest in book clubs in 1996.

In our more modern, connected, and ever-busy age, however, traditional library book clubs have been undergoing a quiet revolution. Lack of time, scheduling conflicts, mobility issues, desire for anonymity, and other factors have moved the conversation online—namely onto social media.

Tech-savvy librarians aware of these trends are using emerging technologies to both enhance physical book clubs and to replace them with online ones.

2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Dr. Shahla Bahavar

Dr. Shahla Bahavar's impact on the University of Southern California Libraries was summed up by Najmedin Meshkati, who nominated her for a 2013 I Love My Librarian Award.

"(She) has provided exceptional leadership in the provision of student focused instruction and services within the USC Libraries, with initiatives and impact that extends to the greater library profession," she said.

Early on, she said, Bahavar director of Public Services Division! libraries at USC, "mastered the challenge of bringing one of the very first Information Commons online as a fully realized student-focused service model."