A blog from the Ontario Library Service

Links we Love #4

Here is what I read last week.

One: Diversity in Public Libraries
5 min. read

Have you ever taken a class about serving diverse populations?  It might be a good idea to look into this if you haven’t. These can be eye opening for any learner, and can help library staff engage groups who feel, or are underserved. Techniques as simple as posting a sign with the languages spoken by reference and/or information desk staff can make all the difference when a patron decides whether to approach you.

Two: The Cobweb
30 min. read

What goes on the web, stays on the web. Wrong.  “The average life of a Web page is about a hundred days” writes Jill Lepore. For those of you obsessed with the glut of information on the web and what happens to it – this is a fascinating read.

Three: Check Out These Clever Kits for Teaching Your Kids to Hack Electronics
6 min. read

Plenty of libraries have growing collections of toys, kits and tools designed to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). If you’re wondering what to look for, this article gives some basic tips. And don’t be afraid of bringing in tools you don’t know. You can learn with your patrons, and often children’s knowledge will eclipse your own quickly (no matter what level you start at). That’s okay.

 If you’d like to experiment before you buy, OLA members can borrow lots of different items for free from OLITA’s lending library.

Four: Deb Fallows on the Local Library

Deb Fallows and her partner embarked on a 54,000-mile journey around America in a single-engine plane a little while ago, and their reporting is published in the Atlantic. The series is called City Makers: American Futures. And it shouldn’t shock us, but libraries feature heavily in their writing. A few articles:

  • The Library Card
    “As we traveled around the U.S. reporting on the revival of towns and cities, we always made the local library an early stop. We’d hit the newspaper offices, the chamber of commerce, city hall, and Main Street for an introduction to the economics, politics, and stresses of a town. The visit to the public library revealed its heart and soul.”
  • A Public Library Tells the Civic Story of a Town
    Greenville’s public library puts its past and present on full display: mills, racial history, internationalism, public-private collaborations, and culture.
  • Pitching in to Save a Library
    In San Bernardino, one way to help save the city is to save its library.

Five: More than half of N.L. libraries closing in wake of budget cuts
3 min. read

Newfoundland will lose more than fifty percent of its library branches over the next two years, due to a decision made by the library board in response to a major provincial budget cut. My gut instinct is that this is awful; lost jobs, and a loss of local community libraries. But, with such a significant budget cut, business as usual would have been impossible. We’ll have to see how the regional library model plays out, and whether they are given the support they need to become regional hubs.

Six: Lemon Rosemary Muffins
Prep time: 20 mins.
Bake time: 15 mins.

These muffins are savoury, not sweet. The olive oil, lemon and rosemary are a winning combination.