Monthly Archives: July 2013

Library Tag Sale Fundraising

saleIt’s summer and that means garage sale season! Everyone loves a bargain! Is this an opportunity for your library to do some fundraising? If you don’t have a local thrift shop or a community organized tag sale, you may want to consider trying it out! You probably already get lots of book donations and have experience with book sales, so why not branch out a bit and see if you can raise more money?

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Tips for Improving Your Library’s Interior

In a presentation at this year’s ALA annual conference, Nancye Browning, Assistant Director of the Louisville (Ky.) Free Library, and Traci Lesneski of the architectural firm Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. highlighted the importance of user expectations and the functionality and usability of the space when considering the interior spaces within the library. How easy is it to navigate the stacks? Can users easily find what they’re looking for? Do people expect comfortable chairs? A cafe? Space for conversation and meetings? You can read a program attendee’s summary of these experts’ advice, “10 Steps to a Better Library Interior” on the American Libraries magazine blog. A more detailed discussion of how to improve your library’s interior, authored by Ms. Lesneski, was featured in Library Journal’s Fall 2011 Library Design supplement. Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 steps:

  1. See with your customer’s eyes
  2. Remove barriers
  3. Use less for more impact
  4. Unclutter
  5. Consider the whole
  6. Support how humans use space
  7. Zone your interior
  8. Create a variety of experiences
  9. Light to shape space
  10. Embrace color

There is a wealth of great advice in this article on how to arrange or rearrange your library to best support your users’ activities, needs and expectations. Check out the full article online here.

Community Service at Your Library

United We Serve

United We Serve is a is a nationwide service initiative to help citizens improve their communities. As we celebrate Independence Day this week, it’s the perfect time to think about making a difference in your community.

Let’s Read, Let’s Move is an initiative specifically focused on addressing summer reading loss and childhood obesity. The initiative provides suggestions for involving your community in engaging children in summer reading and physical activities, along with providing information on healthy food options.

United We Serve provides tool kits to help you start service projects in your community, including one on reading with children, as well as one on starting a  STEM mentoring program. Both would tie in well with summer reading programming.

If you have an idea for your community that the tool kits don’t cover, don’t worry. They have a tool kit specifically designed to help you create your own project. Every community is different, so brainstorm an idea that will make the biggest impact on your neighbors!

Has your library started a service initiative to benefit your community? Share your stories in the comments!

Public Libraries and Health Insurance Information

From American Libraries:

The ALA Washington Office held a special informational session on Sunday afternoon to let librarians get a head start on helping their patrons enroll for healthcare through the new Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide reasonable health insurance for all Americans equally, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff replayed the video of President Barack Obama that debuted earlier in the day at ALA Council I. As the president explained, the 85% of Americans who already have insurance through work or Medicare will not have to do anything; but beginning October 1, the 15% who are uninsured will be able to choose from a menu of competing, affordable plans in what Obama calls “the largest healthcare tax cut for working families in our history.” About 7 million people are expected to sign up for coverage in the new marketplaces, but the heavy emphasis on web-based portals will put anyone without access to a computer at a disadvantage.

Read the full article online here.

Sunday’s session at the ALA conference once again highlighted the critical role of public libraries in providing access to computers and the Internet for people who do not have access in their homes or elsewhere. As government and other services increasingly move online, public libraries will be depended upon even more to ensure that all Americans have access to the services they require. Along with providing access inevitably comes providing information. Public libraries can also serve their communities by being a primary source of information on the Affordable Care Act and all the health care options it entails. The above article recommends a few web resources as primary points of reference on this issue:

  •, from the  US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Health Insurance Marketplace, geared toward librarians and others assisting others in applying for coverage
  • Medline Plus, a great general resource for health and medical information from the National Institutes of Health

For information with more of a local focus, check out the website of the North Dakota Insurance Department. Stay tuned for additional information and resources as the October 1 implementation date of the Health Insurance Marketplace approaches.