Happy National Library Week!

National Library Week started yesterday, April 8th  and will end this Saturday the 14th.

What is National Library Week? From ala.org:

National Library Week (April 8- 14, 2018) is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries offer opportunity to all. The theme for 2018 National Library Week is “Libraries Lead,” and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland will serve as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair.

National Library Week 2018 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958. This national celebration is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate every year in National Library Week.

Main events taking place throughout the month of April are as follows:

You can read more about the 60 year history of National Library Week over at American Libraries Magazine’s website.

This year the National Library Week Honorary Chair goes to ballerina Misty Copeland.  Copeland made history in 2015 when she became the first African American woman (in the company’s 75-year history) in the company’s 75-year history.to ever be promoted to the position of principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.

She’s also the author of two New York Times Bestsellers: Her 2014 memoir  Life in Motion and  Ballerina Body, released last year. She also wrote a picture book titled Firebird which won the  Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award in 2015.

As we celebrate libraries this week, take time to get to know your local libraries a bit better.  Here are some past posts of mine that’ll get your journey started:

Learn about the various types of libraries through my Types of Libraries Infographic and learn Five Facts about Libraries from this infographic I created.

I also got the opportunity to conduct four interviews with librarians and library staff from libraries around the country! Here they are linked below:

ALA Library’s Karen Muller

Florida Department of Corrections’ Dean Peterson

New York Public Library’s Brandy McNeil

The Library of Congress’s Jennifer Gavin

Libraries are important to society and they need all of the support that they can get. Support your local library today!

 

 

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National Library Week Infographic: Types of Libraries

As we near the end of this year’s National Library Week, today’s post focuses on the different types of libraries that exist in our communities. Libraries can come in all shapes and sizes, they can be private or public and more. So here’s my infographic I created via Piktochart last year for Uncanny Pop.

typesoflibraries

National Library Week Throwback Interview: New York Public Library’s Brandy McNeil

Today’s post is an interview I conducted for Uncanny Pop last year with New York Public Library’s Brandy McNeil, manager of the New York Public Library’s technology programs, TechConnect.

The TechConnect program offers more than 80 free technology classes at libraries throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Classes include learning about computers and tablets, internet basics, Microsoft Office, video chatting, finding a job online and much more.

Read the interview below as McNeil shares her experience in creating innovative programs that help educate and inspire library users.

TA: What inspired you to work at the Library?  

BM: I wanted to continue my love of helping people, to teach them something new. The non-profit world was one that I hadn’t tackled and I thought it would be interesting to really understand what engages and moves people when they have free access to something.

TA: What is one thing about working at the library that you love?  

BM: I love that every day is different:  New challenges, new tasks. I love trying to come up with new ideas that our patrons may love.

TA:  How can libraries continue to promote library use?  

BM: Libraries can continue to promote library use by showing people that we are changing with the times.  If we show people that we can help educate them on their journey or at least give them the first steps in the right direction, we will continue to have patron usage.  We are not just books, but unfortunately, most people don’t realize that.  We have to stay continuously engaged with our patrons from elementary school and up so that we take the journey with people throughout every stage of their life.  I find it sad when I hear people mention the last time they went to their local library was when they were in elementary school or only to get a book for their child because they are missing the benefits that we have for them.

TA: What advice can you give someone who is interested in working in the library?  

BM: My advice to someone who is interested in working at the library is to have a passion for helping people and a continued passion for learning and wanting to know as much information as possible. You never know what type of question or need might pop up!

TA: How did the NYPL TechConnect Classes project come about?  

BM: The library wanted to proactively invest in the digital literacy of NYC.  So we decided that we needed to brand a program of innovation for patrons at the library where learning technology was at the forefront.

TA: How can libraries use technology more efficiently to create innovative programs that allow Library users to learn new technology and digital skills that help educate and inspire?  

BM: The best way to do this is by having a variety of staff who have a passion for technology and the skills to teach it.  In addition, there must be some type of leeway given to allow for experimentation so that innovation can happen, which would include the purchasing of technologies that patrons may or may not know about and technologies that patrons may or may not be able to afford.

TA: What are some challenges affecting libraries today and what can be done about them?  

BM: One of the challenges affecting the library today would be trying to change the mindset of people so they realize just how important and all the many benefits that libraries provide outside of the traditional use of books.  Another challenge is having enough funding to renovate locations where the basics needs of the building hinder the focus on programs that could be done.  There are branches that need computers labs.  However, due to flooding issues with the city streets, it hinders a computer lab from being able to be included in a location.

TA: Who is a librarian/library staff member that inspires you?  

BM: The library staff member that inspires me are the TechConnect training staff.  They really have a passion for technology and figuring out ways to help others with their digital literacy and that inspires me.

TA: What does the future hold for libraries?  

BM: Technology will be one of the biggest roles in the future for libraries. I think the future of the library will be about how quickly libraries can adapt to the changing needs and wants of patrons.

TA: What library projects are you currently working on?

BM:  I am currently working on Interactive Testing for patrons where they can assess themselves, as well as a Phase 2 to the very popular 10-week coding program called Project Code that boasts a waiting list that would probably wrap around a NYC block.

 

National Library Week Infographic: Did You Know? 5 Library Facts

National Library Week is in full swing and today’s post is an infographic that features five facts about the library. I made it last year for Uncanny Pop via Piktochart.

nationallibraries

National Library Week Starts April 10th

Next week on April 10th, National Library Week begins. Initiated in 1958, National Library Week, “is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.” Around the country, libraries of all types, big and small, celebrate with a variety of events and displays.

Special celebrations are held during the week which include the following:

  • Monday, April 11: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2015.
  • Tuesday, April 12: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
  • Wednesday, April 13: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

NLW-FBcover_0Each year a theme is assigned for the weekly celebration and this year the theme is “Libraries Transform,” and award-winning graphic novelist and the 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang will serve as Honorary Chair. You can learn more about the writer at his website geneyang.com.

160217-pao-national-library-week-2016-psa.indd

Last year over at Uncanny Pop, I posted infographics, book spotlights, and interviews with librarians and library staff. I’ll repost those articles here on my blog so stay tuned.

(Via ALA.org)