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Big Ideas, Tiny Spaces: A Whimsical Children's Area Makeover on a Shoestring

Three children reading in a bathtub

In our library, the children’s space is, by far, the most used. Sure, we’ll get an adult wandering in to look at books every so often, and the one teen that lives in town often parks herself beside my desk to chat, but each day after school (and every day in the summer), our children’s area is hopping!

6 Easy Demos, Contests & Tutorials to Fill Your Social Media Gaps

Screenshot taken from virtual Boggle game with Altoona Public Library

Toot, toot! Do you hear that? That’s the sound of me tooting my own horn. Not something I love to do, but I’m doing it anyway because … I wrote a book! It was not easy, and toward the end I never wanted to look at the manuscript again. But now that it’s here, I’m pretty excited about it and wanted to share it with you.

Wear the Dang Mask: Lessons from a Library that Re-opened Too Soon

My Mask Protects My Community illustration

Welp. After writing a post just a few months ago about my anxiety surrounding re-opening, my library is now closed … for a second time. We closed in March, then opened again in mid-May, after the governor declared that libraries were among the first wave of places allowed to re-open.

All seemed fine at first: our toys were put away, the computers were appointment-only, and everyone was encouraged to grab their materials (after sanitizing) and then leave.

Standing against Racism in My Rural Library

Photo of a rural road.

Let me start by saying that I am white. I am privileged beyond belief. I have never had to be afraid of being judged, dismissed or killed because of the color of my skin.

I feel too ignorant to speak on something as important as racism, and I want to stay in my lane. But I feel that for libraries to remain silent on what is going on in the world is to be complicit. That goes for tiny, rural libraries too.

Distanced, but Connected: Ways to Reach Your Whole Community

A child hanging a painting of a rainbow on the inside of a window

What a strange time we are living in. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit lonely and disconnected. Working in a small-town library can be rather isolating in itself, but when you’re cut off from your community, it’s easy to feel rather irrelevant.

With everyone stuck at home, is there even a way for library staff to connect with people? The answer is yes! I rounded up some out-of-the-box ideas for reaching patrons via social media. plus a few offline ideas for those who don’t have an internet connection.

A Strange Escape: Hosting a 'Stranger Things' Escape Room in a Tiny Library

A group of adults posing in front of a backdrop

An escape room was one of those things that I figured was out the question for a library as small as ours. For one thing, we don’t have any separate rooms to lock people into; our entire library is just one large room. Where would attendees escape from? Plus, escape rooms are complex, high-tech and expensive; it would be impossible to pull it off in a tiny library, right? Wrong!

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