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Panel Discussion: Hebdo & the First Amendment

Panelists at the Charlie Hebdo event

The attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo shocked the small town of Darien, Conn., and patrons and librarians alike could not stop talking about it. Wanting to respond to community interest, the library invited two First Amendment lawyers, a local journalist and Rebecca Miller, editor-in-chief of Library Journal, to an open community conversation. The bulk of the evening was guided by audience members, who were encouraged to ask difficult questions.

Highland Park Library: Chicago Reads

The audience at the Chicago Reads event

Literary and cultural icons from the Chicago area read excerpts from their favorite works of literature to celebrate the library's 125th anniversary. The lineup included bestselling authors Elizabeth Berg and Jonathan Eig, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary Schmich, former "Today Show" correspondent Mike Leonard, the mayor of Highland Park, and other well-known journalists, essayists and artists.

Harry Potter Yule Ball

Yule Ball Attendee with owls

The Harry Potter Yule Ball is a free annual event for teens hosted by the Salt Lake County Library at the library’s Viridian Event Center. In 2015 — the third year of the event — it featured a presentation by the Rocky Mountain Muggles costume troupe, dancing with a DJ, a Diagon Alley, and free crafts and activities. This event is held from 7 to 10 p.m. and is for teens ages 12 to 19 only. It is presented in partnership with The Harry Potter Alliance, the Rocky Mountain Muggles and FantasyCon.

Remember When StoryTime

Pet sensory kit for storytime

"Remember When" StoryTime is an interactive storytime for older adults designed to get them engaged in sharing their own stories and memories. Each month is based on a different theme and includes stories, songs, pictures and props. Topics have included holidays, fashion, pets, school and family/home. I tend to coordinate themes with holidays -- for example, I might do a storytime about moms for Mothers Day. A few times a year we talk about travel, and we discuss a specific country. I even have little passports for them, and we stamp them.

Going Outside the Stacks: Library Partnerships for Community Festivals

Tents and patrons at the Literary Arts Festival
I don’t know about your community, but my small Florida town loves outdoor festivals. We have celebrations for everything: Bikefest, Corn Fest, Arts Fest, Craft Beer & Food Fest, etc. Being located on Main Street in the heart of downtown, my library is often filled with festival-goers using our restrooms and enjoying our air conditioning and water fountains. The library does book displays that fit the themes of whatever events are going on within the community. Chili Cook Off? Jazz Festival? Easter Egg Hunt? We have a book for that.

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