There’s a slab of concrete near the loading dock behind Central Library in downtown Madison. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but it’s conveniently located right next to a vent that blows out hot air from the library. For those without anywhere else to go, it’s a desirable spot on a chilly night.

It was on this slab of concrete that library staff members happened upon a woman and her two children. The family had been using the spot as a place to sleep when the weather began to turn more frigid last fall.

Fearing the...


Content provided by ALA District Dispatch and I Love Libraries

The public, school or academic library in your area may seem far removed from the Beltway, but the fact remains that legislators in Washington, D.C., through their decisions, create ripples that reach right to your library’s threshold.

Copyright, funding for literacy programs, ensuring the presence of certified librarians in schools, privacy and surveillance and net neutrality are some of the issues facing federal scrutiny that affect libraries.

Advocates are needed to inform and influence legislators about issues that are critically important to librarians. And since they will depend on library services for decades to come, it is critically important as...


by Christopher Shaffer, courtesy of American Libraries

In February, Troy (Ala.) University Dean of Library Services Christopher Shaffer brought fitness to the ­libraries when he made available six exercise bikes for student use. The endeavor made national headlines. Here, Shaffer explains his motivations, the bikes’ reception, and plans for the future.

Troy University’s motto is “Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel, and the body to act.” I was thinking of those words as well as the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign when I came across an article on exercise bikes that featured tables for laptops from a company called...


by Steve Zalusky

Sylvia Cieply believes that reading can make a difference. Her proving ground is Orange County Juvenile Hall, where Cieply, one of the 10 winners of the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award, serves as school librarian.  Cieply, who directs the Otto A. Fischer School Library, located inside the juvenile hall, has changed the culture at the library.

Her nominator, Dave Busch, alluded to Cervantes in characterizing her approach to running the library. He said that after Cieply took over in December, 2010, “Sylvia handled her new assignment with aplomb,” bringing nine years of experience to the program. “The first credentialed teacher librarian to run the library program, her quest to bring a love of reading is quixotic...


Review of the Day

Klassen, Jon (author). Illustrated by the author.
Oct. 2016. 56p. Candlewick, hardcover, $17.99 (9780763656003). K-Grade 2.
REVIEW. First published June 1, 2016 (Booklist).

In this concluding volume of a thematic trilogy, Klassen employs all his trademark dry wit and deadpan humor to tell the story of a hat-related caper. Unlike its predecessors (

Legislative Action Center: Take action for libraries

Because John Shank Knows That New Educational Resources Mean New Opportunities for Learners.

One of the best strategies that I have employed to create change, improve the perception of the library, and promote the library’s integration into the university's curriculum is to take advantage of existing institutional initiatives. By demonstrating how libraries can contribute, support, and enhance an existing initiative....READ MORE

Libraries Transform

"Ken Burns: "My entire professional life is based on libraries."

Ken Burns: "My entire professional life is based on libraries."

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