It's National Library Week From Coast to Coast

We're smack in the middle of National Library Week, an occasion that Wallet Pop thinks is appropriate for giving your librarian a kiss (or other acknowledgment).

Across the nation, libraries are holding special events to remind people that even in this age of the Internet, libraries are still relevant.

One activity that I particularly like and can get behind is the concept of "Fine Free Days." The Craft Memorial Library in Bluefield, WV is allowing patrons to return overdue videos and books from now until the end of the month without being charged.

The Charles J. Keffer Library in Minneapolis is hosting a mini golf tournament on the campus of the University of Minnesota at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

In Indianapolis, Conner Prairie, a very cool historic village is giving visitors a $3 discount in honor of National Library Week.

And -- well, you get the idea. Things are happening. Wherever you live and read, your library is bound to be doing something special and free (and, boy, do we all like free), such as hosting a crafts fair or a story-telling event or showing a kids' movie.

Library Cards Out of Corn, in SF of Course

The San Francisco Public Library will start handing out unlaminated corn "EcoCards", though you'll still have the option of old-fangled plastic.

Our landfills are not overflowing with plastic library cards -- San Franciscans are neither that literate nor wasteful -- but, in an effort to be more environmentally responsible the library will next month kick off a test program featuring a run of 15,000 corn cards (the library usually hands out 60,000 cards yearly, so these may last a little while).

Fans of plastic need not despair -- you'll still have the option of getting regular cards (mine, says Joe Eskenazi, has crayon lightning drawn on it and was designed by a fourth-grader named Wing). But, if you agree to answer a few question over the next six months or so, the librarian will hand you the rather nondescript corn card. "We want to know how it works in your wallet and what happens if it gets wet," says library spokeswoman of six months, Michelle Jeffers ([email protected]).

Obama-themed License Plates to Benefit IL Libraries

A temporary license plate with a smiling President Barack Obama will have things looking up for Illinois libraries.

Proceeds from the $50.00 set of plates, which are good from Tuesday through April 17 for vehicle registration, will benefit the Illinois Library Association, including IREAD, the state's summer reading program.

Want one? Here's how.

Barnacles on the Ship of Librarianship

Tom Peters, "Barnacles on the Ship of Librarianship:"

In the past two years or so, however, as I thought about the state of librarianship, a wild and crazy idea keeps surfacing: What if libraries themselves are unnecessarily retarding the progress of librarianship? What if they have become barnacles on the ship of librarianship?

Tool for libraries: Pro PR Tips

cnet's Rafe Needleman hosts a blog outside his day job called "Pro PR Tips". For smaller libraries without their own press liaisons, Needleman's blog provides a variety of tips with some explanation as to how such is received on the press side. Sometimes biting, sometimes sarcastic, Needleman's posts provide unique looks at the pet peeves of journalists when involved in a public relations transaction showing things to avoid.


Milwaukee Library Is One of 25 to Host Black Baseball Exhibit

AP reports: The Milwaukee Public Library has been chosen to host a national traveling exhibit on baseball's Negro Leagues.

"Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience" will tour libraries from July 22 through Sept. 4.

The Milwaukee Public Library is one of 25 libraries nationwide chosen to host the exhibit, which treats baseball as a reflection of U.S. race relations. Details on the grant that funded the exhibit from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Who Knew Libraries Made Babies, Assisted Ascension of Everest

Adrants Points To a series of ads for The Alberta Library which tells us just how powerful informative and motivational books can be. Aiming to show just how much influence a book can have on a person's life, both positively and negatively, four scenarios are played out to humorous effect.


Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers

Today in the New York Times:

Publishers, authors and even libraries are embracing video games to promote books to young readers.

When PJ Haarsma wrote his first book, a science fiction novel for preteenagers, he didn’t think just about how to describe Orbis, the planetary system where the story takes place. He also thought about how it should look and feel in a video game.

The online game that Mr. Haarsma designed not only extends the fictional world of the novel, it also allows readers to play in it. At the same time, Mr. Haarsma very calculatedly gave gamers who might not otherwise pick up a book a clear incentive to read: one way that players advance is by answering questions with information from the novel.

“You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.”

Full article here.

Returning books could get $100 gas card

Returning checked out library books in Beaumount could net a $100 gas card, according to a news release.

In the "Bring them Back and Get Gas" program, patrons must return borrowed books and other materials inside the library. Those returned in the book drops won't count to-ward the prize.


In Celebration of Banned Books Week

From Shelf-Awareness today: Among the many volunteer readers, Matt Phillips, a librarian at the Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA and his daughter Sydney read Where's Waldo by Martin Handford (No. 88 on the ALA's top 100 banned and challenged books 1990-2000) in the library's Banned Books Weeks window. Adrienne Minock, teen librarian at Twin Hickory, wrote that the window has "gotten a lot of attention. We hear a lot of 'Mom, what are those people doing in there?' The best part has been hearing parents explain to their kids what the display is all about, which is exactly what we wanted to happen!"


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