A 320-square-foot library’s big impact on early literacy.

American Library Association • September 20, 2019
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Tiny but mighty

Meridian (Idaho) Library District’s Tiny Library was built from a recycled shipping container. Photo by Macey Snelson / Meridian (Idaho) Library District

What do you do when your library wants to expand its space for young learners but doesn’t have the money for a new building? You think small. Meridian (Idaho) Library District created the Tiny Library from a converted shipping container—and, with help from its partners, has seen indelible benefits in the community. The library is now developing a toolkit so that others can replicate its success. Meridian’s Communications and Marketing Specialist Macey Snelson explains how it all came about....

American Libraries Spotlight, Sept./Oct.

Librarian and activist Emily Clyburn dies at 80

Emily Clyburn

Librarian Emily Clyburn (right), the wife for 58 years of US House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress, died September 19 at the age of 80. She was a driving force behind her husband’s political rise, a civil rights demonstrator who went to jail for her activism, and a longtime librarian who helped raise more than a millkion dollars to help students afford college. Clyburn served at W. G. Sanders Middle School and Fairwold Middle School in Columbia, Charleston Naval Academy, Simonton Elementary School and Burke High School in Charleston, and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Columbia, from which she retired in 1994....

McClatchy Washington Bureau, Sept. 19; The State (Columbia, S.C.), Sept. 19; Orangeburg (S.C.) Times and Democrat, Aug. 4

Sponsored Content

What about Marijuana? by Jules Saltman

Researching the impact of past health policies

For academic institutions such as Vanderbilt—where researchers provide public health information such as the effects of tobacco control legislation to state and federal legislators—access and organization are critical for these historical references as well as their own research.

The university recently acquired Gale’s Public Health Archives: Public Health in Modern America, 1890–1970, a collection that supports scholars from various disciplines as they examine the impact of past health policies and practices.

Read the second of this five-part series on how librarians are building and growing relationships within the academic community.

Bringing book clubs online

Odilo Book Club

Carrie Smith writes: “Libraries support countless book clubs, both formal and informal. With increasing digital engagement, digital lending models for ebooks and audiobooks offer opportunities for book clubs to expand, and online platforms can bring together community members who couldn’t otherwise participate. These three companies offer resources and products to help libraries engage readers with digital book clubs.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Library windows shot out at San José State University

Entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Library, San José State University

Police responded to gunfire at San José State University September 19 after someone shot at a library window on the 7th floor, shattering it. Authorities say it happened around 6:20 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Another window on the 8th floor was found shattered, and three other bullet holes damaged a glass elevator shaft half a block away. The incident was limited to the library area and no one was injured. No suspects have been identified or arrested....

KTVU-TV, Oakland, Calif., Sept. 19; KGO-TV, San Francisco, Sept. 20; KPIX-TV, San Francisco, Sept. 19
ALA news

Bringing the library to the gym

Library vending machine at Mansfield YMCA

The Mansfield-area YMCA held a ribbon cutting on September 17 to introduce a new service being offered at the facility with the help of the Mansfield–Richland County (Ohio) Public Library. Members who use the facility will now be able to borrow books and movies from the library’s collection—through a specialized vending machine, the only one of its kind in the Mansfield area. Library Director Chris May says the library was looking for new ways to connect with the community, especially those who are hard to reach or don’t visit libraries often....

WMFD-TV, Mansfield, Ohio, Sept. 17

HBO films emotional scene at Newburgh Free Library

Mark Ruffalo

Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Library Director Chuck Thomas got a front-row seat to the action September 18 as he spent the day watching actor Mark Ruffalo and an HBO crew film a dramatic scene for an upcoming limited series based on a Wally Lamb novel of the same name, I Know This Much Is True. Ruffalo and a group of background actors performing as library staff and patrons repeatedly practiced a scene, set in the 1990s, in which Ruffalo’s character makes an impassioned spiritual statement protesting the Gulf War and uses a knife to sacrificially cut off his right hand....

Middleton (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record, Sept. 19

TARDIS Little Free Library in Mississippi

TARDIS Little Free Library in Mize, Mississippi. Photo by Lici Beveridge / Hattiesburg American

Perhaps the largest Little Free Library in Mississippi is in Mize. It is a full-size reproduction of the TARDIS—Time and Relative Dimension in Space—a well-known device in the Doctor Who TV series that combines travel across time and space. The TARDIS is “much bigger on the inside” and full of adventure and mystery, so was an appropriate and engaging vehicle for a Little Free Library, said Dick Ford, who built most of the structure and was instrumental in getting it located outside the R. T. Prince Memorial Library in Mize. However, it is not the only TARDIS Little Free Library, as there are at least 37 others....

Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, Aug. 5; Little Free Libraries, Mar. 22

Archivists race to preserve history from climate threat

Green-Wood Cemetery archives, Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Caroline Haskins

Caroline Haskins writes: “One day in early September, Archivist Tony Cucchiara gave me a tour of the massive archival system for Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, accounting for all 570,000 burials. Green-Wood has millions of pages of burial orders, lot information, and family information spread across three buildings. The information in these files is useful to historians studying disease, to genealogists, to descendants of the deceased, and to New York history generally. However, climate change poses threats to archives around the country. In a worst-case scenario, climate change could mean that irreplaceable records documenting the course of human history are lost forever.”...

Vice, Sept. 17
Latest Library Links

Libraries provide significant ROI

Park County Public Library, Cody, Wyoming

A single tax dollar invested in the Cody, Meeteetse, and Powell (Wyo.) libraries returned $4.28 in materials borrowed, program attendance, device training, public computer logins, and meeting rooms booked during the last fiscal year. According to a recent report from the Park County Library System, the county budget of $1,705,894 yielded more than $7 million in services, if they were purchased at retail price. Over the course of the fiscal year (July 2018–June 2019) books, movies, digital downloads, music CDs, and periodicals checked out totaled nearly 84% of the value for services. Programs, classes, and volunteer hours accounted for more than 6% of the total....

Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, Sept. 19

Jennifer Rothschild tweets to support library ebook lending

Jennifer Rothschild tweet on ebook pricing

Rachel Kramer Bussel writes: “In April, librarian Jennifer Rothschild tweeted about the disparity between ebook and print prices publishers charge libraries vs. the public, garnering over 4,000 likes for a Tweet that read ‘So here’s the thing—I am worried that publishing is killing libraries, and that will, in turn, kill publishing,’ the first in a thread exploring the issue. The thread became so popular that Rothschild, collection engagement librarian for Arlington (Va.) Public Library, has continued them, expanding from discussing publishers’ library ebook prices to comparing prices for specific books on national bestseller lists, and noting when publishers change their terms.”...

Forbes, Sept. 20; AL: The Scoop, Sept. 9
Dewey Decibel podcast

Photographic history of the Washington Monument

Washington Monument as it stood for 25 years. Photo by Mathew M. Brady, circa 1870

The Washington Monument reopened September 19 after three years of restoration work, and the Library of Congress takes a photographic look at its long history from conception through construction to completion. In 1856, when funding shortages interrupted construction, the monument stood only 156 feet tall out of a projected 500 feet. During the Civil War, the site was used for the grazing and slaughtering of government cattle, earning it the nickname Beef Depot Monument. Congress passed a joint resolution on July 5, 1876, to complete the monument, and the capstone was finally placed in December 1884....

Library of Congress: Picture This blog, Sept. 19

Baking isn’t hard when you have a library card

Cake pans for checkout at Patterson (N.Y.) Library

Emma Grillo writes: “T years ago Megan Waugh started taking her family to Bristol (Ind.) Public Library. Before long, they fell into a routine: Her kids would pick out their books in the manga section while she waited by a cluster of tables the library set up for group discussions and meetings. Last December, while she was waiting for her daughter, Waugh noticed a shelf in the corner. Instead of the expected books, magazines, and newspapers that libraries loan out, this shelf was lined with cake pans. There was a bundt pan and a skeleton pan, an Elmo pan, and a Christmas tree pan, all available with just the swipe of a library card.”...

Eater, Sept. 16

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