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The Library as 'Force Multiplier': Finals at the UT-Knoxville Library

nlenstra's picture
Man looking at laptop

University libraries can't be all work, all the time. In fact, when I entered the University of Tennessee's Hodges Library, one of the first things I saw was a poster advertising a monthly game night in the library. This program, which started in spring 2019, has become hugely popular, with some nights attracting more than 100 students.

Creating an Adult Speaker Series (in a Tiny Library with Zero Budget)

Man standing behind a microphone

My library is in the tiny town of Fenton, Iowa. To garner a bit of perspective about just how tiny we are talking, the nearest gas station is 13 miles away, groceries and job opportunities are 30 miles, and we are equal distance from Des Moines and Minneapolis/St. Paul, which will take you 2.5 hours of interstate, if you don’t stop to see the sights.

No school in town. No elder care facility. No bustling main street. Remote, yet we still pursue quality programming. 

Boulder Library Concert Series

A band sitting on the stage floor performing

Music is a powerful connecting force in Boulder, and our library's Concert Series has become a symbol of quality programming in our community. Featuring highly accomplished local to international musicians, our free concerts offer something for every taste: reflective meditations, lively jazz performances, inspiring string quartets and more.

We welcome patrons of all ages to experience live performances throughout the year. Concerts take place in our 200-seat Canyon Theater, which typically fills to capacity.

Plarning: Transforming Plastic Bags into Sleeping Mats

plastic bags

Our small branch library runs a volunteer operation in which many of our residents — many of them older or disabled — help to make sleeping mats for the needy and homeless. The process, called "plarning," involves cutting regular plastic shopping bags into strips and crocheting them into mats.

These mats are now in every patrol car in Live Oak, Florida, and hundreds of mats were sent to the panhandle of Florida after Hurricane Michael.

Deepfakes, Part 2: Resources for All Ages

dmignardi's picture
Hands holding puppet strings

Last month, our blog provided an introduction to deepfakes, a technique in which artificial intelligence-based technology is used to alter or produce video content, tricking viewers into believing that something happened when it actually did not.

This month, we follow up with more on this important subject, including resources and programming ideas for all ages.

Grandparent's Day

Granddaughter and grandmother reading together

Children aged 0 through pre-K were invited to bring the special “grand” in their life — Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, Opa and/or Oma — to this celebration of two generations. The program included crafts, Bingo, interactive fitness activities and a photo booth, as well as a storytime with the children's librarian and sing-along. 

Books & Bites

Three people standing behind a table with food to prepare

Books & Bites, a delightful cooking demonstration presented by St. Johns County librarians, combines our love of literature and food. We take a popular title, book or TV show, and look at historical events that surround it. 

Topics have included "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania," paired with the menu from the ship; "True Grit," paired with campfire cooking; and "Before We Were Yours," paired with Southern cuisine. We have offered the program since 2015.

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