Recently, Nancy Opalko, a children’s librarian at a public library who has paired with a local alternative school for the Great Stories CLUB, asked the program’s electronic discussion list two good questions: “How can I promote more interest in the book and get a discussion going?” and “How do the rest of you handle disruptive behavior?” Her questions immediately got a number of responses, many of which can be adapted and expanded beyond the Great Stories CLUB to work in your library.
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As librarians, we tend to be a goal-driven bunch. Whether it is launching a new program, increasing circulation statistics, improving patron experiences, or developing further skills through training or conferences, it always seems that the library community at large is in a constant state of self-improvement.
A new documentary film and biography, Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, will help audiences explore Louisa May Alcott’s extraordinary life and times. The film was directed by Nancy Porter and written by Harriet Reisen. The companion biography of the same name was written by Harriet Reisen and published by Henry Holt and Company.
Even though library programming is widespread, programmers still find themselves faced with having to persuade the library administration, board members, colleagues, and even patrons and the public of its value. As different agencies and library departments compete for limited funding, it’s important to be able to articulate why cultural programming is worth the investment.
As librarians, we tend to take for granted our love of reading. As we gather around our conference, lunch, and dinner tables our conversations often fall back on old favorites we recommend to a reluctant reader, new authors that are going to be the next big thing, and books that surprised our sensibilities or generated controversy. But what if we couldn’t have these conversations? For many adults and children living in our local communities, reading and discussing books is simply not part of their daily lives because of low literacy rates.