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Table of Contents – Winter 2014 – Issue No. 1


The Library is the Hummingbird

By Jan Holmquist. Libraries are not schools or universities. You do not earn a degree from the library, but libraries are being the hummingbird by supporting lifelong learning on all levels.

The Best Kind of Friend

Libraries rely on Friends groups, foundations, and other volunteer and fundraising arms to generate enough money to pay for public programs and to help raise awareness about library services and their value to the community. The Library Effect interviewed James Fox, president of the Friends of the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, MA, to learn about his brand of entrepreneurial volunteerism.

Math: Good for You, Good for Us

By David Craft. In my optimistic hours, I like to believe that logic is a key component to both ethics and to social policy making, which are critical components to making the human race a more respectable lot. One can argue that math by itself will solve none of these. But, I think that to learn to be logical and to examine all the ifs, ands and buts that go into designing complicated systems and making large scale decisions, one requires practice, and math is a fantastic way to exercise the brain.

Partner with Libraries, Win at Marketing

By Liz Gotauco. Building strong relationships with local businesses and organizations is critical to any library’s ability to serve its community in a successful, fulfilling way. Libraries aren’t the only ones benefiting from these collaborations, however. Let’s take a look at what is in it for local businesses, non-profit organizations, municipal departments, and the general public.

Illustrating Life One Panel at a Time

By Sujei Lugo. Whether they are comic strips, fotonovelas, comic books or graphic novels, the sequential art format possesses a certain universality that transcends language and culture. Their dialogues, everyday situations, adventures and characters provide readers ways to enjoy and place themselves in the story, while constructing meaning, learning vocabulary and following ideas through text and images.

Library as Community Living Room

By Colleen A. Madden. Libraries today offer something for everyone. Our little library/living room, is in the center of our town; the heart, the hearth. We entered that living room to enjoy the Story Time, but we stayed to become part of the community. We began attending events frequently – some for children, like a puppet show or an arts and crafts afternoon, some for adults – a multicultural night, a poetry workshop. It was a place that fostered a love of books in children, but was also a social setting for adults, offering a “Mac & Cheese Bake-Off” inside, or an Astronomy Night outside under the stars.

Texas Libraries Roundup

By Claire Sewell. Texas is known for many things: our State Fair with a seemingly infinite variety of fried foods; famous and infamous politicians; the Alamo; cowboys, rodeos, tumbleweeds, and any other assortment of ideas conjured up by images of the south. As in many other states, budget cuts to Texas libraries have also become a well-known reality. Yet, in spite of reduced funds and staffing, libraries and librarians in Texas continue to persevere with a variety of innovative programs and initiatives focused on serving the needs of the state’s diverse population.

Designing Modern Libraries (That Work)

Tony Hsiao, Principal and Director of Design at Finegold Alexander Architects in Boston, MA, discusses what has learned and observed about how we use libraries today, what the incredible needs are of the library staff are in today’s world, and how he applies these insights when designing new libraries.

Continuing to Learn, Create, and Have Fun

By Shannon K. McDonough. Today’s older adults are younger than ever. Lifetime Arts, Inc. has had this figured out for the better part of the last decade, and furthermore, they understand that one key to improving the lives of older adults is active participation in the arts, and they are partnering with public libraries to do it.

Two Photos

Photography by Lorena Levesque Gregor. “What is always amazing to me is the fact that nothing is ever posed when I go to NY, these are just normal people living their lives in this magical landscape.”

Two Poems

Poetry by Norah Esty: “Pages” and “How to Be Poetry.”

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