Category Archives: Public

Learning About Library Associations: Public Library Association (PLA)

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of ALA “dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals.” According to their website, PLA was founded in 1944 and has a growing presence around the world. They offer opportunities like continuing education and conferences for public library workers to network and grow their skills.

Visit their site to find out about their award and grant opportunities, some of which are currently accepting nominations! You can also explore their Publications and Resources page which provides access to a number of services to help public library staff in their job tasks and challenges.

Finally, you can check out PLA’s FAQ page or read their mission and goals to learn more about the association.


September is Library Card Sign-up Month!

It’s Library Card Sign-Up Month! As library people, we probably know most of the wonderful benefits of having a library card, but not everyone is aware of all the great things that become available with a library card!

Library Card Sign Up Month began in 1988. For more about the event’s history, read a thoroughly-detailed accounting in the August 24, 2015 entry at the American Library Association Archives Blog, A Library Card for Every Child: Library Card Sign-Up Month, by Cara Bertram. Then follow this link to view the American Libraries Association Council Resolution that started Library Card Sign Up Month.

ALA has some great resources you can use this month, including this press kit that has resources like this downloadable pdf containing twenty quotable facts about libraries. And I Love has this great list of ways to celebrate Library Card Sign Up Month!

Finally, watch and share this short video from Overdrive that details all the benefits of having a library card:

2017 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN

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(From Library Journal, By )

“In the scope of its programs, services, and collections; the incredible reach of its efforts in cooperation with other public agencies, departments, and local businesses; and its work to identify and fulfill needs of both the mainstream and marginalized people of Nashville and Davidson County, the Nashville Public Library (NPL), the Gale/LJ 2017 Library of the Year, is a model for the nation and the world.”

“NPL is a champion of diversity and inclusiveness and a literacy gladiator,” writes award judge Gina Millsap, director of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, KS, winner of this award in 2016. “Its culturally diverse programs and centers; its openness and hospitality that welcomes everyone, especially people who are marginalized, struggling, new to the community and this country, and its fierce determination to facilitate literacy and learning throughout the community…are inspiring.”

Education partner

NPL’s broad engagement with the local school system is unique in the United States. For example, NPL’s early reading outreach program Bringing Books to Life (BBTL) aims to elevate student third grade reading skills, one of the most important predictors of student success.

NPL educators deliver pre-K reading workshops across Nashville for teachers, parents, caregivers, and families, on weekends and evenings, in English and Spanish. Participants get supplies and tips for easy activities to incorporate reading, singing, writing, talking, and playing into their classrooms and homes. Continue reading 2017 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN

Day Ten of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Parking lots may seem boring, but as we know about libraries already: there is always the opportunity for something wonderful!

The Kansas City, KS Public Library is home to the most interesting parking garage I’ve ever seen! I was on a library research trip a few years ago, and this was one of the libraries I visited. (It’s great, by the way – definitely worth a trip!) But I didn’t know about this feature, so it was a fantastic surprise!

Library District Parking Garage

The Community Bookshelf is a striking feature of Kansas City’s downtown. It runs along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th Street between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue. The book spines, which measure approximately 25 feet by 9 feet, are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 spines which list 42 titles, reflecting a wide variety of reading interests as suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees. Their final selection was made on March 16, 2004. The bookshelf was completed between March and the fall of 2004.”



RUSA Summer Online Learning Opportunities

Direct ALL questions to Jennifer Cross, Web Services Manager at

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is pleased to announce summer 2017 online learning opportunities:

  • July
    • “Serving those who served: Working with the Veteran and Military Communities” Webinar – 7/13/17 
      In this webinar, two librarians who are also military veterans themselves will help librarians get started working with veteran and military-affiliated patrons by sharing some crucial background information about the veteran and military communities, including common pitfalls and FAQs. They will also share ideas, strategies, and success stories related to library outreach and programming for the veteran and military communities in both public and academic libraries.
    • The Google Driver’s Manual” Webinar – 7/21/17
      Google Drive is a great option for librarians to share with their patrons. Learn all the tricks Google Drive can do for you and your patrons (and maybe even your library).
    • “Successful Outreach and Marketing for any Library” eCourse – 7/31/17
      Do you want to improve your libraries outreach and marketing activities? Do you want to attract new patrons and reach out to underserved communities? Over the course of six weeks, participants will learn how to assess marketing needs, expand the reach of outreach activities, integrate free and low-cost tools into their outreach activities, and develop an outreach and marketing plan for the library of their choice.
  • August
    • “I am Not A Robot: Using Emotional Intelligence to Humanize Virtual Reference” Webinar – 8/24/17
      This webinar will assert that improving emotional intelligence will improve our overall virtual communication. This webinar will provide librarians and staff with an emotional intelligence toolkit to improve their virtual reference experience as well as provide tips for implementing a training program that incorporates emotional intelligence principles.

About RUSA
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, offers multiple online professional development opportunities year round that are open to the public. Whether you want to acquire new skills or sharpen your current skills, RUSA’s online courses and webinars offer convenient and flexible learning opportunities on both basic and advance topics. Basic topics may include the reference interview and readers’ advisory to name a few. For advanced topics we dive into specialty areas such as business reference, genealogy and topics related to prison libraries among others. RUSA members qualify for discounted registration rates including discounts on group registrations. RUSA represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services and collection materials they need.