TeleStory Connects Familes at Brooklyn Public Library

My latest article on Public Libraries Online is up! Check it out, and here is a brief blurb: Public libraries, as part of their public service and outreach initiatives, regularly reach out to the prison community to help reintegrate and reinvigorate the incarcerated, hoping to also lessen the chance of recidivism. The Brooklyn Public Library has taken the matter one step further by opening up a video visitation center in its central location for families of the imprisoned to communicate with each other for free.

Do Not Go Gentle into That Gender Neutral Bathroom

My latest article on Public Libraries Online! On May 3, 2016, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced in a press release the implementation of new guidelines for transgender individuals, which allows for a welcoming and safe environment for all. “For the first time, CPS is providing clear guidance on restroom, locker room and overnight trip accessibility, and establishing support for employees and adults in addition to students.”These momentous changes came ahead of Obama’s administration’s guidance letter on transgender student’s rights sent to school districts on May 13. The language used by the federal government is similar to that of the CPS policy in that it supports the use of all facilities according to an individual’s gender identity, not to their biological sex.

Cuts Too Deep? England’s Public Libraries in Trouble

Check out my latest article from Public Libraries Online! Here is an excerpt:

Since 2010, spending cuts have drastically affected public libraries in the United Kingdom, particularly in England.[1] A BBC investigation discovered a startling trend: In the past six years, almost eight thousand paid staff have lost their jobs, which amounts to 25 percent of the total working force. In that same time period, over 340 libraries have closed, with at least another hundred slotted to close in the next year. Additionally, over 170 libraries have been “transferred to community groups,” which means that they are solely run by volunteers. The use of volunteers is the only number that has increased (by fifteen thousand) since 2010.[2] Is this trend signifying the end of UK public libraries?

To Charge or Not to Charge? A Tutoring Story

The Library Board of the Park Ridge Public Library, in a suburb of Chicago, has enacted a new policy: a $10 per hour fee for using the library space to tutor children. This applies to for-profit as well as not-for-profit tutors.The policy was enacted February 1, 2016, but the hourly fees were not applied until March 1 so that patrons had time to adjust to the new rule.

Read more of my latest article from Public Libraries Online for additional information in this complicated story.

Toronto Public Library Installs Book Kiosk at Union Station

Libraries transform not just by functioning as community centers but also through stepping outside the boundaries of the physical space and joining commuters on their journeys to and from work and travel. The Toronto Public Library is jumping on the bandwagon and is working on transforming its own community by adding a book-lending kiosk in one of its busiest train stations.

Read my latest article on Public Libraries Online for additional information!

Tech Centers are Coming to a Library Near You!

My latest article for Public Libraries Online: Public libraries will not be removing their books from their spaces to accommodate for technology, but we are instead seeing an increase in community partnerships, maker spaces/labs, and public interest for technology programs and technology help. And the Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska, is another aspect of what is a part of the future for libraries.

From Bookmobile to Techmobile

My latest article on Public Libraries Online: Tech mobiles are popping up in big cities as well as small, narrowing the digital divide for underserved communities. These tech mobiles offer a variety of resources including classes, Wi-Fi access, computers for the homeless to apply for jobs, opportunities for youth to mess around with technology, as well the ability for patrons to borrow Wi-Fi hotspots to take home. As the advent of technology becomes more and more a regular part of our lives and a requirement for schools, it’s imperative to provide the same opportunities for everyone in order to be able to become modern twenty-first century learners and professionals.