Professional Resources

25 projects for eco explorers

CHICAGO — Though the daily news is filled with reports of climate change, severe weather, environmental distress, and endangered species, children’s librarians and educators might be uncertain how to incorporate these topics into their current curriculum. Christine M.

Recruiting and retaining younger generations for library boards, Friends groups, and Foundations

CHICAGO — According to 2016 Pew Research Center survey data, Millennials are more likely to have visited a public library in the past year than any other adult demographic. But despite being core library users, millennials and other younger generations are often underrepresented on library boards and library advocacy groups, including Friends groups and Foundations.

Celebrating how library workers are making a difference for their communities

CHICAGO — Libraries are community connectors, places where people come together, think together, and learn together. Libraries support and nurture strong, resilient communities. Day in and day out, the library workers at these institutions are doing much more than ensuring equal and equitable access to information; and their impact stretches far beyond the books, programs, and services they facilitate.

Pairing STEAM with stories

CHICAGO — Laying the groundwork for building children’s curiosity, openness to learning, ability to persist in the face of failure, and interest in connecting learning from one subject to the other are important objectives for today’s libraries. Partnering with cultural institutions, such as the Chicago Public Library (CPL) does with Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), libraries can forge powerful connections between literacy and science.

Information literacy and democracy

CHICAGO — We are all deluged with information. Much of it is useful, valuable, or enriching. But a lot of it is of dubious quality and provenance, if not downright dangerous. Misinformation forms part of the mix. The ability to get the most out of the information flow, finding, interpreting and using it, and particularly developing a critical mindset towards it, requires skills, know-how, judgement and confidence – such is the premise of information literacy. This is true for many aspects of human endeavor, including education, work, health and self-enrichment.

Ready-to-use gaming programs for libraries

CHICAGO — Gaming programs offer many benefits: they encourage patron participation, strengthen community bonds with the library, and when done right they can be incredibly popular. Elyssa Kroski, a bestselling author as well as an avid gamer herself, gathers programming ideas from public, school, and academic libraries nationwide in her new book “52 Ready-to-Use Gaming Programs for Libraries,” published by ALA Editions.

Open access digital scholarship in action

CHICAGO — Many in the world of scholarship share the conviction that open access will be the engine of transformation leading to more culture, more research, more discovery, and more solutions to small and big problems. “Open Praxis, Open Access: Digital Scholarship in Action,” published by ALA Editions, brings together librarians, scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and thinkers to take measure of the open access movement.

No-nonsense guidance on research support and scholarly communication

CHICAGO — As academic libraries move away from simply providing access to existing information and towards helping users create new knowledge, there is an opportunity for them to develop new services for the research community. To do this successfully, libraries need to have a knowledgeable workforce who are equipped to provide the support that researchers need on issues such as open access and research data management.

The history and future of the community archives movement

CHICAGO — The community archives movement has become an increasingly important area of research, recognition, and appreciation by archivists, archival scholars, and others worldwide. Community archives are now seen as being in the vanguard of social concerns and markers of community-based activism. This participatory approach exemplifies the ongoing evolution of "professional" archival (and heritage) practice that recognizes the importance of people’s ability to articulate and assert their identity.