Editor's Note: Calling all readers attending ALA's 2014 Annual Conference. For more insights on planning and managing controversial programs at your library, check out the session "Managing Challenges, Maximizing Impact: Policies and Practices for Controversial Programming," offered by ALA's Public Programs Office.
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Each night kids around the world may listen to bedtime stories as they are tucked in. Bedtime addition problems? Bedtime fractions? Not so much. The Bedtime Math Foundation is out to change that.
“We’re all about helping parents engage around math the same way they do around reading,” explains Diana Pecina, the foundation’s director of partnerships.
The American Library Association’s Washington Office recently launched “Libraries Matter,” a series of videos showcasing the ways libraries use federal funding to support early literacy, high-speed internet access, small business owners and new citizens.
Library supporters can use the videos to demonstrate the value of federal funding programs, such as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), to legislators, decision makers and community leaders.
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.