Tag Archives: public library

The collection is all around

The Collection All Around: Sharing Our Cities, Towns, and Natural Places


Rob Christopher
Marketing Coordinator
ALA Publishing
American Library Association
(312) 280-5052


CHICAGO — Public libraries’ mission, skills, and position in their communities make them ideal facilitators of public access to local resources. In other words, the collection is all around, and libraries can help citizens discover historical, cultural, and natural riches that they might otherwise overlook. Providing smart planning and implementation advice, “The Collection All Around: Sharing Our Cities, Towns, and Natural Places,” published by ALA Editions, shows public libraries how to make the most of these outreach opportunities. Using ideas drawn from libraries from around the country, author Jeffrey T. Davis covers:

  • why this type of initiative is important, demonstrating how this model strengthens libraries with regard to community and institutional support;
  • programs for brokering public access to cultural venues via ticketing platforms;
  • using library event calendars to feature the programs and meetings of other city agencies, community organizations, and affiliated institutions;
  • the joint use of library cards as IDs, for banking, and as parking/transit passes;
  • ways that libraries can act as guides to local resources, including such examples of “pathfinding” as historical/cultural walking tours, navigating social services, and providing guidance on government benefits and civic involvement;
  • parklets, crosswalk murals, food truck roundups, and other programs for extending the public library beyond its walls;
  • initiatives for improving access and connections to natural surroundings such as nature-play environments, offsite StoryWalks, nature maps, and circulating outdoor gear and state parks passes; and
  • talking points for new and existing partner buy-in, planning advice for getting started and managing the launch, budgeting guidance, technology considerations, and other helpful tips. Continue reading The collection is all around

P.E.I. public libraries eliminate overdue fines for children’s materials

Prince Edward Island map 1775

(From CBC, Prince Edward Island, By Nicole Williams, CBC News)

As of June 1, P.E.I.’s public libraries will be eliminating fines for any children’s material that is returned late.

Roseanne Gauthier, youth services librarian for P.E.I. provincial public libraries, said the decision to eliminate late fees for children’s materials was an easy one.

“Of course, as a librarian, I really want kids to take the books home, so anything that makes it easier for families to take stuff home, I’m happy about,” she said.

Gauthier said library fees can often act as a barrier for families wishing to book out material for their children.

“Sometimes you do see parents or caregivers who are hesitant about having kids take something home, worried that they might get an overdue fine,” she said.

Incentive to return

While overdue fines will be eliminated, borrowers will still have to pay for a book’s replacement if lost.

However, Gauthier said books can be lent out for several months before being considered lost, and hopes that won’t discourage families from lending material.

“I think that in the end, the benefit of having families feel more comfortable with taking things home and not feeling stressed about having to get them back on time to the day, I’m hoping the benefit of that will outweigh any of the books that get lost,” said Gauthier.

(Read the rest of this article here!)

Dinosaurs roam Gail Borden Library in Elgin

London - Crystal Palace - Victorian Dinosaurs 1
From the Chicago Tribune

“On Monday, Gail Borden Public Library officially unveiled its Dinosaur Giants interactive exhibit, timing it with the launch of the library’s summer reading program.

“This is why it’s important to have these exhibits,” Gail Borden executive director Carole Medal told the dozens in attendance. “It’s wonderful to have them right in your backyard.”

The exhibit features four full-scale dinosaur skeletons, one dinosaur skull, and one full-scale flesh model of animals that once inhabited what is now part of Africa 110 to 135 million years ago.

The centerpiece is the Jobaria skeleton, which stands at two stories tall, its head and neck fitting in between the library’s spiral staircase opening.

While the skeletons are all made of plaster casts and not actual fossils, the exhibit nonetheless is impressive, said Medal.

“Each display is interesting, colorful,” she said. “Oh my God, jaws will drop.”

Curiosity bloomed from practically everyone who stepped foot inside the library Monday. A group from St. Mary’s Catholic School, children and adults alike, gaped at the Jobaria skeleton.

“We’re very lucky to have a library like this close to us, that our kids can come to from school and see this, it’s pretty impressive,” said Barbara Colandrea, the school’s principal.

Some actual fossils are sprinkled around Gail Borden. Near the entrance of the children section is the femur fossil of the Jobaria, weighing in at 350 pounds and 135 million years old.

The exhibit continues the library’s long run of attention-grabbing displays, such as castles, Legos, robots and artwork from childrens author Maurice Sendak.

“From beginning to end, this project was so exciting,” said Mary Amici-Kozi, the library’s exhibits manager. The first items and artifacts of the exhibit were delivered last week, and many staff members were working double-digit-hour workdays, said Amici-Kozi and Medal. The Jobaria skeleton took two days to set up.

It is also a return to dinosaurs, having done the same thing in the fall of 2005. Medal said that first exhibit was a game changer for the then-new library, which had opened only two years earlier.”

(Read the rest of this article here!)

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

A visit to the Paynesville public library!

When you visit the Paynesville public library, you immediately know this is a library where you will feel at home, where they are interested in your library experience, and where they have taken care to be sure you find what you want.

You can see that right away in this library, as you head right for this very welcoming desk! Great material, lots of colors, fun displays – it’s all right here! You come in here, and you know you are going to enjoy yourself, and find people who will help you get everything you need.

I love this display! Not only are the materials easy to see and easy to find, but look at that art on the wall! This kind of detail can really help attract your patrons to material around your library.

On a nearby wall is this creative and obvious statement that good times are to be found right here! Again, drawing this kind of attention to the great things a library has to offer means patrons can easily find things they want.

Helping patrons to feel comfortable in any library should be a priority for staff. In this library, you can see that a relatively small space is arranged to make it feel open; and this comfy couch would inspire people to plop down and enjoy reading a book, or a magazine, or the newspaper. Thinking about these kinds of uses for your space can be a great way to either drive patrons away from a dark, overcrowded library, or inspire them to come inside and enjoy all your great stuff!

I love to see bookshelves, and these shelves, with such a nice mix of titles faced out to draw the eye, neat rows, and those cool book kits, just makes you want to grab a whole bunch of books and go read them on the couch! (I’m sure that can’t just be me – look at those great materials!)

Involving members of the community in the work you do is a great way to inspire them to keep coming back to your library. And this community -created art is such a great demonstration! Each flower here was painted by a different person; so kids can bring their parents inside and show them the specific artistic masterpiece they created! Adding in art is always good, and there are several other paintings around this library. Adding in these bright colors makes any building feel more cheerful and welcoming!

While I can’t guarantee that everyone will be fortunate enough to get a personalized tour of this library – you just might! The staff are all enthusiastic about their work and their library, and you can see that not only in their excitement over their materials, but in this nice Juvenile Fiction collection!

And what is this space? It is inside the neatest library playhouse I’ve seen!! Built by library staff and family, this fantastic house is in the Children’s section of the library. You can go thru the door, if you are appropriately sized, and then test out the furniture inside. There are even all these great murals around the inside of the house – it’s fantastic!


I’ve said this many times, but every library I’ve ever visited had some interesting and cool things – and you can really see it here!

If we have not visited your library yet, we miss you!! Let us know when we can come visit!