Library Journal

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting Children Into Reading

It is important that children are taught the value of reading at an early age.  This will help them with the necessary skills that will guarantee success in doing will in academic settings from elementary school to college.  Reading enriches curiosity and brain development if it is approached in an enjoyable way for kids. 

Librarians can contribute to instilling a love for reading by talking to the parents of children about the importance of incorporating time for reading among other extracurricular hobbies.  Librarians can also organize events and programs that invite children to choose their favorite books and make friends with other children who also have an interest in reading.

Here is an article for parents, as well as librarians and teachers, that offers tips on starting kids on the path to becoming a devoted reader:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Library Mascots

I find it interesting that many libraries have their own mascots to promote their services.  There are mascots that dress up as animals, and mascots that dress up as inanimate objects such as books or lamps.  These mascots can be appealing to children, which in turn, will increase frequent visitation of the library services.

One of the more interesting library mascots is Curious the Chameleon.  He is the mascot for the Calgary Public library.  It is a very colorful choice and would seem very appealing to getting kids to use the library.

Here is a page that shows pictures of the various mascots that are a part of the library community:

Here is an introduction to the Calgary Public Library Mascot:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Library Programs Geared Towards Autistic Individuals

Awareness of autism and learning disabilities has been in the news for the past few years in an efforts to increase education about the condition and to help autistic individuals make the transition into every day life easier.  Programs, such as Autism Speaks, are doing everything they can to allow autistic individuals feel like they are a normal part of society who have a voice.

There are ways in which libraries are helping to meet the needs of autistic individuals.  A starting point is to include book titles that discuss autism or characters who have autism.  Two good books that allow patrons to understand autism or Asperger's Syndrome are:  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and Marcello in the Real World.  Another method that libraries are using to help autistic children and adults is literacy programs that help in teaching the art of reading through non-conventional means.

This is a link to library programs that help children and adults with autism.

Here are some tips for librarians when communicating with children who have autism:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Virtual Libraries

Due to the prevalence of the Internet in our every day lives, libraries have gone online to service the needs of their users.  Some virtual libraries have been established in addition to their original brick-and-mortar counterpart to provide their patrons with additional services and membership perks.  Other virtual libraries have been created in place of not having a building complex in their local community, however, this can be an obstacle for citizens who are unable to afford the Internet so they would be able to access the virtual libraries.

There are many reasons why virtual libraries are needed in this day and age of unlimited technology.  The storage capacity that a virtual library can hold is greater than that of a public building.  The 24/7 availability of the digital library is also a benefit for users who either work or attend school during the day and need to use the library during the hours where it might be closed.  There is also the benefit of features for advanced searching that would give them the most accurate information about the resources that they need.

Here is a link to the original virtual library database, the WWW Virtual Library:

Here is an article discussing why libraries should warm up to the role of virtual libraries in the 21st Century

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Audio Books

Audio books have existed since the 1930s when Congress set up a "talking book" program for readers.   However, they truly came into the public's eye with the development of the cassette recording in the 1970s and 1980s.  In the 21st century, audio books are as prevalent as tangible hardcover and paperback books.  Technology has given rise to awareness of audio books and retail sites, such as and Barnes, have included audio versions of popular titles as an alternative for the book versions.

 Librarians need to be aware of the importance of stocking audio books among their collections.  Patrons with disabilities, such as blindness and dyslexia will benefit from being able to access audio book versions of titles they are seeking from the library.  The portability of audio books allows users to multitask and listen to books through their media devices while driving, walking or using public transportation.

Here is an article that lists the pros and cons of using audio books:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Inner City Libraries Need Your Help

In different areas of the United States, the government has made budget cuts that resulted in a decrease in the use of services and the amount of staff for libraries.  I remember first hearing about the library cuts in Philadelphia back in 2008-2009 that sent the library community in an uproar, and ignited a campaign to save the local public libraries.  The situation in Philadelphia also got people talking about whether or not libraries are still necessary in this day and age of technological saturation.

I believe that technology can only help in attracting patrons to the library, knowing that in many cities, the citizens can't afford computer access in their residences.  There are many creative ways in which librarians can encourage families and citizens to become frequent customers.  This starts with the children, who are in need of the library to help them with intellectual growth, curiosity, and discovery. 

Here is an article that discusses the budget cuts and library branch closings in Philadelphia:

Here is an article about how librarians are reaching out to children who live in unsafe parts of the cities and giving them a safe haven and an opportunity to enrich their minds:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Libraries in Africa

I have an interest in what libraries are like around the world.  Recently, I've been reading up on the increasing proliferation of technology in African countries.  This connects those who live in Africa with other parts of the world, which in turn, allows people from these other parts of the world to provide Africans with the knowledge and resources that other, first world countries have in abundance.

Volunteers from around the world are contributing by helping to donate materials and money to help build libraries in African nations.  Some of these volunteers are even traveling to Africa to help in constructing the buildings and facilities that will be the future libraries that will be a significant part of the African community.

Here are some links that go into further detail about how libraries are helping those who are natives of Africa.