All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

How Denver Public Library Balances Books and Being A Homeless Shelter

Denver Public Library 1
(From Colorado Public Radio, by

“A visit to the library likely means checking out a book or movie. But the Denver Public Library says its central location has another job these days — it’s somewhat of a homeless shelter.

“That is a role that we have not asked to play, but are playing,” says Michelle Jeske, the city librarian for Denver.

When the doors of the library open at 10 a.m. a mix of people usually wait outside to be let in. Some have materials to return or pickup, and others are seeking shelter.

James Short, who describes himself as residentially challenged, is one of the group waiting to get in. He’s a writer, and says he comes to the library nearly every day to work. Without a home, “I’d be drinking a lot more Starbucks coffee and using their internet,” Short says.

Of the crowd gathered at the Central Library on this day, Short was the only one willingto be interviewed. One man said he was too high to talk. Another didn’t want the plasma center to know he was homeless or he wouldn’t be able to donate.

Elissa Hardy, one of the Denver Public Library’s social workers, points out that the library is one of the few public bathrooms in the city. “We don’t open until 10 a.m. [weekdays]. So as you can imagine, if you’re leaving shelter at 5 or 6 in the morning, that’s five to six hours that you don’t have access to the bathroom.” Continue reading How Denver Public Library Balances Books and Being A Homeless Shelter

Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults

Detail view of class of Senior Citizens write Wikipedia in MLP, 2014-11-04
From the Pew Research Center

Roughly two-thirds of those age 65 and older go online and a record share now own smartphones – although many seniors remain relatively divorced from digital life

A record 46 million seniors live in the United States today, and older Americans – those age 65 and older – now account for 15% of the overall U.S. population. By 2050, 22% of Americans will be 65 and older, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.1

At the same time America is graying, recent Pew Research Center surveys find that seniors are also moving towards more digitally connected lives. Around four-in-ten (42%) adults ages 65 and older now report owning smartphones, up from just 18% in 2013. Internet use and home broadband adoption among this group have also risen substantially. Today, 67% of seniors use the internet – a 55-percentage-point increase in just under two decades. And for the first time, half of older Americans now have broadband at home.

Yet despite these gains, many seniors remain largely disconnected from the digital revolution. One-third of adults ages 65 and older say they never use the internet, and roughly half (49%) say they do not have home broadband services. Meanwhile, even with their recent gains, the proportion of seniors who say they own smartphones is 42 percentage points lower than those ages 18 to 64.

And as is true for the population as a whole, there are also substantial differences in technology adoption within the older adult population based on factors such as age, household income and educational attainment.

Seniors ages 65 to 69 are about twice as likely as those ages 80 and older to say they ever go online (82% vs. 44%) or have broadband at home (66% vs. 28%), and they are roughly four times as likely to say they own smartphones (59% vs. 17%).

Adoption rates also vary greatly by household income. Fully 87% of seniors living in households earning $75,000 or more a year say they have home broadband, compared with just 27% of seniors whose annual household income is below $30,000. Educational differences follow a similar pattern, with college graduates adopting technology at much higher rates than seniors with lower levels of formal education.

These younger, relatively affluent and/or highly educated seniors are helping to drive much of the recent growth in technology adoption among the older population as a whole. For example, smartphone ownership among seniors whose annual household income is $75,000 or more increased by 39 percentage points since 2013 – 15 points higher than the growth reported among seniors overall.

It also remains the case that older adults face unique barriers to using and adopting new technologies. Some 34% of older internet users say they have little to no confidence in their ability to use electronic devices to perform online tasks, while 48% of seniors say that this statement describes them very well: “When I get a new electronic device, I usually need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it.”

Still, older Americans who use the internet tend to view technology in a positive light and incorporate digital technology into their everyday lives. Fully 58% of adults ages 65 and older say technology has had a mostly positive impact on society, while roughly three-quarters of internet-using seniors say they go online on a daily basis – and nearly one-in-ten go online almost constantly.

(Read the rest of this article here!)


School library professionals invited to attend AASL’s virtual membership meeting

American Association of School Librarians


Jennifer Habley
Manager, Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will hold its annual virtual membership meeting at 5 p.m. Central (6 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Mountain, 3 p.m. Pacific) on Sunday, June 4, 2017. The annual membership meeting provides AASL members with a “state of the association” update via reports from AASL leadership.

As the membership meeting requires no official vote of AASL membership, all members of the school library profession are invited to attend. RSVP here to receive an email with a link to the online meeting space. AASL leadership encourages active participation in the meeting and will be available for questions via the chatbox during the presentation.

In appreciation of their attendance at the meeting, three AASL members will be drawn at random from the attendee’s names and gifted with either a tour during the AASL National Conference & Exhibition, a year of AASL membership, or a copy of the new “National Standards for School Libraries” when it launches in November.

Continue reading School library professionals invited to attend AASL’s virtual membership meeting

Net Neutrality Under Attack: How the FCC’s vote is likely to affect libraries

NetNeutrality logo

From American Libraries, by

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to begin dissolving Obama-era regulations regarding net neutrality, and reactions from the library community are not positive.

“I see it as a trend that is going to take us backward in time,” says Mike Robinson, professor of library science and head of the systems department at the Consortium Library of the University of Alaska Anchorage. “The internet is supposed to represent a democratization of access to information, and libraries are part of that democratization movement. Getting rid of net neutrality undermines that.”

The American Library Association (ALA) agrees, releasing a May 18 statement from ALA President Julie B. Todaro. “Net neutrality is critical to ensuring open and nondiscriminatory access to information for all, and today’s actions by the FCC endanger that,” the statement reads. “We are at risk of maximizing profits for commercial [internet service providers] and large content providers, while degrading internet access and choice for libraries and ultimately all consumers.” Continue reading Net Neutrality Under Attack: How the FCC’s vote is likely to affect libraries

It’s Here! It’s This Week! Postcard Party in the Park Happens Thursday!!

Clemens GardensWe are very excited to hang out in beautiful sunshine, talk with library people, and let everyone know how wonderful and valuable libraries are.

So we are hosting a Postcard Party in the Park this Thursday, and you are invited! (You, your family, friends, neighbors, polite strangers you met on the street – it’s a very inclusive invitation!)

CMLE HQ will provide postcards and addresses; you can write out quick notes to your stakeholders to tell them about libraries; and we will mail them. Quick and easy advocacy in action!

Thursday, May 25 from 11:00 to 1:00 we will be sitting at tables behind the Gift Shop at the Munsinger Clemens Gardens. Bring your lunch; we will provide snacks, postcards, pens, and addresses for your legislators. Beverages are available for purchase at the Gift Shop, and water fountains are nearby.

After our poll on the best day for this event, we have added a second time. We will also be there from 4:30 to 6:30 that afternoon. Stop by on your way home from work, or bring a sack dinner and enjoy the beautiful gardens, and the river! Snacks and postcards will again be available to everyone who attends. Bring your kids and sweeties and friends and patrons, and let them run around the garden while we have library fun! (Of course, everyone is invited to write out a postcard! But it’s not a requirement of having fun.)

We will provide suggestions for stakeholders who might appreciate some quick news for you, and give you some suggested wording to help you get started. This is your chance to enjoy yourselves in the company of other library people, chat about libraries, and do a little advocacy work to help us all!

Continue reading It’s Here! It’s This Week! Postcard Party in the Park Happens Thursday!!