Little Free Libraries putting books just down the street in Arizona

PHOENIX – The structure outside Barbara Hinske’s downtown home looks like a fancy birdhouse. But instead of being littered with bird seed it’s brimming with books. 

Dubbed Hinske Hall, it’s one of a growing number of Little Free Libraries decorating dozens of front lawns, storefronts and parks around Arizona, connecting to an international movement that encourages neighborhoods to share books.  “My little library is so much more than these two shelves; it’s a reading community,” said Hinske, a writer.  More than 50 titles jam the shelves. Hinske said the most popular are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and the children’s picture book “My First Plane Ride.” Audio books and magazines are also available to borrow.

2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Kathleen Meulen Ellison

Kathleen Meulen Ellison, teacher librarian at Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School in Bainbridge Island, Wash., has a special commitment to literacy and librarianship.

Her father is functionally illiterate, most likely due to an undiagnosed learning disability. Ellison, whose parents took her to libraries and instilled in her a love of reading, knew from an early age that she wanted to be a librarian, in part, so that she could help students like her father become confident readers.  Ellison said, “It's the best feeling when someone starts thinking of themselves as a reader... or at least stops saying that they don't read.”

Provost promises to prevent library deficit

After students and faculty expressed concern over UND’s Chester Fritz Library potentially losing resources, university Provost Thomas DiLorenzo has clarified several points of misunderstanding and promised there will be no reduction in the library’s resources.

“Whatever the deficit is, I’ll find the money,” DiLorenzo promised in a meeting addressing the library’s struggle for funding. “I always planned to find the money.”

In the last couple months, students and faculty have become increasingly worried about losing library resources.

Literary Landmark: Jones Library

On Oct. 24, 2009, in celebration of the Jones Library’s special association with Robert Frost, the library was placed on ALTAFF’s Literary Landmark Register. Recognizing Robert Frost’s role in Amherst’s literary heritage and his importance to the nation, the Friends of  the Jones Library System and the Trustees of the Jones Library joined together to support this nomination.   

2013 I Love My Librarian Winner Charlotte Carr Vlasis

Charlotte Carr Vlasis, librarian for the Chattanooga (Tenn.) School for the Liberal Arts, has made her library the hub of lifelong learning at her school.

That was how her nominator for a 2013 I Love My Librarian Award, Cindy Gaston, described her, writing that she “has created a library environment where research-based learning and passion for reading abound.”

Rural Bookmobile Program Provides Lifelong Learning

The Rural Bookmobile Program provides life-long learning opportunities by offering library services to citizens living in rural areas without access to public libraries.

Over 30% of bookmobile patrons are children!  Education in rural New Mexico is directly supported by bookmobile services.   Our student bookmobile patrons are champs!  A home schooled 6th grader participated in the Letters about Literature program offered through the Library of Congress.  Her essay won the 2013 Level 1 championship for New Mexico.  Many other bookmobile students received honorable mention.   Many K-12 and college students ask and receive study materials through the bookmobile services.

National Library Legislative Day: 40 years of library advocacy

National Library Legislative Day is a two-day advocacy event where hundreds of library supporters, leaders and patrons gather in Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress to champion national library funding. National Library Legislative Day also includes a virtual advocacy component for library supporters who cannot attend the Washington meetings—advocates have the option to work remotely to connect with legislators via phone calls, text messages, emails and social media platforms.

Colorado Administrator Forges New Path for School Librarians

As first appeared in Education Week August 19, 2013. Reprinted with permission from Editorial Projects in Education.

When $50 million in budget cuts over three years forced her school district to cut librarians' schedules from full to part time, Julie A. Bowline knew the loss of services for students would be difficult to bear.

Jennifer Jamison, School Librarian & 2013 I Love My Librarian Award-winner, Is Not Afraid to Dream

In her words, Jennifer Jamison, school librarian at Atlantic City (N.J.) High School, the library provides a space for her students that is “safe, nurturing and invites participation.” It also provides expertise that “students otherwise in an urban setting would not get.”

Jamison’s words are bolstered by the results at both the Atlantic City High School library and also the Pennsylvania Avenue School Library, which was named a 2013 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association.