Owatonna Public Library: Library plays an important role in the community

This week, officials from the Owatonna Public Library had the opportunity to share with members of the Owatonna City Council the library’s annual report for 2014, and it truly was impressive.


But the library is more than numbers, just as surely as it is more than books. It’s a place where friends gather, where poetry is read and shared, where films are shown, and, yes, where people who might not otherwise be able to afford access to the Internet can get online and become part of the information highway.


Playing it smart

“Our people love their library. It’s an important part of our community.”

That’s how Owatonna Public Library director Mary Kay Feltes sums up her annual report, which she delivered to the city council on Tuesday prior to the regular council meeting. And she’s got the charts to prove it.


July 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Public Library Adult Education for Immigrants in North Carolina

Jones, Jr., Plummer Alston. 2015. “Public Library Adult Education for Immigrants in North Carolina.” North Carolina Libraries (Online) 73, no. 1: 12-19.

In the period from 1876, the founding year of the American Library Association, to 1924, the effective year of the National Origins Act with its quotas for immigrants, U.S. public libraries of the Northeast, the West, and the Midwest were busy organizing to serve the needs of the flood of millions of immigrants from Southeastern and Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.1 North Carolina did not receive any significant number of immigrants from this influx as they had earlier immigrants, including Germans, English, French, Irish, and Scots, from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. By 1880, these former immigrants were now established North Carolina citizens who had been assimilated, or Americanized, the term used at in the early twentieth century, and spoke English, albeit in differing and sometimes colorful accents and dialects.

June 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

ALA Kitchen Table Conversations-June 2015

We asked for your feedback, and we got it! ALA is influential and great for networking — but we can also be too complex, sometimes bureaucratic, and we send a lot of email. Well, we heard you loud and clear, and we are working on it. Help us stay on track. Through a series of “kitchen table conversations” at the 2015 Annual Conference, attendees will gather to dig deeper into the ALA member experience. Topics may include joining and renewing, reducing email “chatter,” and making sure you get the information that matters most to you. You do the talking; we’ll be there to listen, learn, and then act. Please participate in the conversation and help us shape a new ALA together.

June 1, 2015 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Heart of the Community – Lee County Public Library (FL)


Southwest Airlines and Project for Public Spaces are working with the Lee County Library System to bring fresh Placemaking ideas to the recently-completed Cornog Plaza, located on the grounds of the new Ft. Myers Regional Library. PPS participated in the design of the new downtown library and developed the concepts for the public spaces. We are thrilled to be able to refine and augment our original work by assisting the Lee County Library System with transforming the new plaza into a vibrant community hub. Working with the Library community and the people who live, work, play and relax in downtown Ft. Myers, we will expand amenities, tailor events, identify library and other programs that best utilize the new spaces around the library.

The goal of this effort is to establish Cornog Plaza as a welcoming downtown anchor and a great place that can serve as an inspiring new model of a dynamic urban space in Southwest Florida.

Through a multi-year partnership with Project for Public Spaces (PPS), the pioneering organization behind Placemaking, Southwest Airlines is committed to leveraging the power of Placemaking to strengthen connections between people and the places they share and to spark social, economic, and environmental benefits in communities across the country.

May 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Beyond Books: Outside the Box Program Helps Build Community with Public Libraries

More than just a place to read or find books, libraries today function as community centers, business incubators, town halls, senior and immigrant centers, places for adult education and after-school programs for children and teens. For the past two years, PPS has been engaging small communities and their libraries through the Outside the Box (OTB) program – a partnership between library service non-profit OCLC and Redbox that awards $5,000 grants and free technical assistance to libraries across the country. In 2014, 22 libraries received grants to launch small-scale Placemaking programs aimed at strengthening their library’s presence in the community. In some cases, this meant bringing public programming to nearby parks, inactive parking lots, or simply to Main Street.

May 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Libraries Stay Open After Death of Freddie Gray.

April 28, 2015.

All branches of the Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library stayed open and welcomed local residents, media and anyone else who needs to make use of them.

“It’s at times like this that the community needs us,”  Roswell Encina, the library’s director of communications, told MTV News. “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there. It happened in Ferguson; it’s happening here.”

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Pratt CEO Carla Hayden on live German TV, DW-TV, explaining why we’re open and importance of libraries.

May 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment


National Endowment for the Humanities logo

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2015) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant program, called “Common Heritage,” that will bring to light historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make them digitally available to the wider public and for posterity.

NEH invites historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the Common Heritage grant program, the first federal grant program of its kind. Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters, and works of art.

April 21, 2015 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

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