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De Tocqueville’s assertion — that democracy succeeds through the democratic outlook of individual citizens — is the prerequisite condition for enlightened citizenship. It is the condition under which citizens make informed, value-based choices, and then share them with their government so that wiser and more democratic policies will be enacted.
Part of what makes public libraries so valuable and trusted is the comprehensive range of programs and services they offer. Community outreach provides critical services to the neediest. Early literacy and other learning programs support the youngest minds and encourage them to explore their worlds.
What about the older minds?
Explore issue books, videos, and other guides available to help librarians bring their communities together to talk in productive, civil, and interesting ways. A growing and diverse array of nonpartisan, non-agenda-driven materials about important public issues are available from the National Issues Forum Institute and other sources.
The presenters review and show examples of available materials; describe how these guides can support engaging library programs; and give examples of how librarians have used them in their communities.
Islam is the second-most widely practiced faith in the world, and international news items focus on events in Muslim-majority societies daily. Librarians face the unique challenge of reaching patrons with requested information and programming regarding this often unfamiliar culture, while managing reactions from others who may hold Islamophobic or anti-Muslim prejudices.
This month, EDSITEment provides a Common Core examplar with In the Time of Butterflies; explores Galileo’s universe; discusses the how the New and Old Worlds collided in America; traces the growing crisis in the Union in Antebellum America; and takes a look at a Halloween classic.
College and Career Readiness Lesson
The Beauregard Parish Public Library, located in southwestern Louisiana, has undergone dramatic physical and procedural changes during the last three years. We have relocated a branch, changed the interior of our main branch, and altered some of our major annual events. During this time, I have observed the way that public library staff members interact with and inform patrons about upcoming events and changes.
The King County Library System (KCLS) serves 1.3 million residents in western Washington State over a 2,131-square-mile area that reaches from the Cascade Range to an island in Puget Sound. (The Seattle Public Library is a separate system, serving residents of the City of Seattle.) Communities in King County are diverse, dynamic places filled with busy people, burgeoning ideas, opportunities of all kinds, and, on occasion, civic and other issues that stir considerable interest and potential conflict.