Nonprofits are everywhere. Wherever you are located, it's likely that there are numerous nonprofit organizations at work in your community that you've never even heard of. In 2009, the Hayward (Calif.) Public Library merged with another city department and took on the city's community grants program. They found that in this city of 150,000 there are over 2,000 nonprofit organizations!
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Karaoke Study Break was held the second to last week of our fall term. The last two weeks of term is often a time when students feel heightened stress, as exams, projects, research papers and deadlines loom on the horizon. Karaoke Study Break, an hour of turning our library Reading Room into a Karaoke party, was created as an outlet for stress relief.
In honor of Star Wars Reads Month in October, our library held programs related to the iconic movies. We capped it all off with a Star Wars Spelling Bee at the end of the month, at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday.
We picked specific words related to the movies and provided example sentences related to the movies to provide context. The event ended with a costume contest.
Together, Area Agencies on Aging and Councils on Aging constitute the public infrastructure designed to support America’s older adults. As such, they are natural partners for public libraries seeking to develop programs that lead communities “on the path to healthy aging,” as the ALA Health Literacy Toolkit puts it.
In September, I had the opportunity to attend both the annual Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) and the biennial Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) conferences. For me, the major take-away from both events is that libraries can help each other develop programs that address food insecurity.
With funding through ALA's Libraries Ready to Code, we collaborated with a community makerspace and the local Boys & Girls Club to offer coding programs at three locations.
In addition to the Boys & Girls Club and the community makerspace, we also held programs at the library. Participating students ranged from third grade through high school.
The Cooperative Extension System, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, exists to “encourage healthful lifestyles” by providing “non-formal education and learning activities to people throughout the country.” It emerged hand-in-hand with the land-grant university system and, over time, evolved from a focus on agricultural education in rural areas (4-H is part of the extension system) to a broader focus on health and food in both urban and rural parts of the country.