Category Archives: Programs

Apply Now: The Vietnam War programming kit opportunity

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History, by  Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
“More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Beautifully written and richly illustrated, this is a tour de force that is certain to launch a new national conversation.”

Public libraries are invited to apply to receive a programming kit for “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS stations beginning Sept. 17.  Apply now to bring a programming kit for “The Vietnam War” to your public library.

Fifty public libraries will be selected, through a competitive application process, to receive the kit, which will include a programming guide and a copy of the full 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights. The kit will help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history.

Recipients will also receive promotional materials, online resources developed to support local programs, opportunities for partnership with local PBS station(s), and more.

Participating libraries will be required to host at least one program related to the film before Jan. 1, 2018, along with other promotional and reporting requirements.

View the full project guidelines:

Or begin your online application:

Applications must be received by Aug. 1.

In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. “The Vietnam War” features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Learn more about the film at

The project is offered by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in partnership with WETA Productions in Washington, D.C.


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

Public Programs Office

American Library Association


Day Fourteen of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Peregrine Falcon (3938274380)

Libraries do all kinds of interesting things. And the Evanston Public Library has a very unique service for their community: a live camera on a pair of nesting peregrine falcons!

“Peregrine falcons have been nesting at the library since 2004. They occupy the nest (scrape) from March until June each year. There is an Evanston Peregrine Falcon Watch group for posting and sharing news and observations of the Evanston Peregrine Falcons.  Scientists from the Field Museum’s Chicago Peregrine Program band the young falcons each year.”

There are two newly-hatched baby falcons in the scrape right now, being sat on by the parents alternately. Pretty soon they will be big enough to stay warm on their own, and the parents will sit on the edge of the ledge where they are nested. Then you will see the parents bring assorted delicacies, including tasty pigeon parts (yum!).

The camera is inside the library’s third floor, and if patrons get too loud you might see the parents flapping and sending threatening looks in the window to shush them! Librarians may not focus on shushing people anymore (and good riddance to that antiquated practice!), but raising baby falcons gives these parents a different perspective.

Evanston is a wonderful library – I’ve visited it several times and even went to the very first falcon banding day! (Baby falcons are banded and given a quick check by staff of Chicago’s Field Museum; it’s so fun!) You can hear about some of their great programs in our podcast episode number four (available on iTunes or other podcast app; or on our website!), where they were our Spotlight Library of the week!

Edible Architecture Programs

Edible Book Contest Farenheit 451 (Bradbury)This is a solicitation for ideas from a library listserve; we are posting the initial question, and a few suggestions received. Have you done this kind of program? Share some ideas with us in the comments!

“I am doing an edible architecture program at my branch next month for children and families.  I am brainstorming edible supplies that I could add to this program.  I am dry to stay with dry goods and not use fresh fruits/vegetables for the sake of ease and prep time.  Some of the supplies I am considering:

  • Ice cream cones – cake and sugar
  • Pretzels – rods and sticks
  • Graham Crackers
  • Wafer Cookies
  • Fruit Loops
  • Marshmallows
  • Royal icing
 The children will have 45 minutes plus or minus to create within a few categories – the strongest, the prettiest, etc.  Do you have any other food suggestions?  Plus if you have done this program before any pros and cons?”

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Libraries stand firm in support of GLBT books


Macey Morales
Deputy Director
Public Awareness Office
American Library Association

CHICAGO — In a year when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) communities are facing divisive “religious freedom” and “bathroom privacy” legislation, libraries are working against legislating discrimination by fostering acceptance through the power of books.

The American Library Association (ALA), and hundreds of libraries will celebrate June 2016 as GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and books that reflect the GLBT experience.

The celebration is consistent with ALA’s commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings, as well as recognizing the significant contributions of GLBT authors, with the Stonewall Book Awards, the first and longest-enduring award for GLBT literature, as well as its Office for Intellectual Freedom’s response to the threat of censorship.

“We are pleased to continue our celebration of GLBT Book Month,” said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Libraries play a vital role in connecting people with information and resources, and librarians serve a critical need by making the works of authors and publishers of GLBT books available to the public. It is important that these voices be heard, and libraries not only provide a safe space for consumers of GLBT fiction and non-fiction, but a safe place on the shelves for authors serving a critical need in our society.”

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Hundreds of Communities to Celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 13

Summer Learning Day Logo


“BALTIMORE, MD –  What happens when learning takes a vacation during summer break? Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities hold our nation’s youth back – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading, and in life experiences like college and career exposure. In fact, the math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower – and higher – income students. See Summer by the Numbers Infographic here.

That’s why July 13 has been designated as National Summer Learning Day – an advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping all kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer. Led by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), National Summer Learning Day unites the country in advocacy efforts and celebrations hosted by hundreds of partner organizations from libraries to parks and recreation centers and civic and non-profit groups that intend to double last year’s goal and reach two million youth served. NSLA’s Smarter Summers, Brighter Futures website supports promotion of National Summer Learning Day with an events calendar, summer meals locator, and user-friendly resources for families, summer programs providers, and municipal leaders – all to help keep kids healthy and engaged during the summer break.

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