Audio books

Digital Review Copies: Free Books for Librarians

A question I see asked all the time from librarians is “How do I get advance copies of books?” While I love getting physical review copies, seeking out digital review copies may be a lot more accessible for some and they’re certainly easier to come by. Whether you are making purchasing decisions, keeping up with trends for reader’s advisory, or evaluating books for storytime potential, digital review copies are more available than ever right now, so here’s a handy guide to some sources.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Libraries During COVID: Scenes from the Empty Library

Who would have thought this is where we’d be right now? Libraries all over the US are in varying stages of opening or closed depending on their communities. It’s a weird reality of libraries during COVID. And it feels so, so strange to be working in the mostly-empty library day after day, week after week. I’m having some major feelings about it all right now. Are you, too?

Blogger Abby Johnson

How to Help Homeschoolers and E-Learners

Schools are starting back up, but many of your families may be choosing alternatives to brick and mortar schools for the first time this year. Are you prepared to help homeschoolers and e-learners this fall? This is something we’ve been thinking about for the past few months at my library and I wanted to share the ways that we’re preparing to help new and continuing homeschoolers and our families who are choose virtual learning.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Book Care Packages: A Curbside Service

One new service my library has debuted since closing our doors to the public due to COVID-19 is Book Care Packages and they’re going like gangbusters. Patrons fill out a form on our website to request a Book Care Package (personalized selections) or a Grab Bag (“random” selections for either ages 0-3, ages 3-6, or ages 6-8). I’ve wanted to offer this type of service for many years. With our patrons unable to browse the shelves, now was the perfect time to get it going. Many libraries offer similar services. I based our Book Care Packages form on Seattle Public Library’s Your Next 5 Books reading recommendation forms. Other libraries offering similar services include Hinsdale (IL) Public Library’s Book Boxes, Coos Bay Public Library’s BookBox, Eisenhower Public Library’s YA’ll Read Teen Subscription Boxes, and Greenwood (IN) Public Library’s Your Next Favorite Book. Some of these libraries include trinkets or candy…

Blogger Abby Johnson

Black Books Matter

This article from the Washington Post is haunting me this week: White Americans, your lack of imagination is killing us by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons. Please click through and read this powerful piece, which was brought to my attention by Nora Rawlins of Early Word. Lemmons writes “…when it comes to black life in America, there’s only one conclusion I can reach about some white people: You don’t care to put yourself in our shoes. The consequences of this lack of imagination for black Americans are deadly.” It’s haunting me because, white librarians, this is what we do. And we need to get better at it.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Steer Around the Sharks #PLA2020

Have you ever seen a Deafblind person surf? Hmm. Neither had the surfing schools that Haben Girma approached about taking surf lessons. But Girma being Deafblind was not her barrier to surfing. What was stopping her from surfing was that people were not willing to try to make surfing inclusive. Until she found a company that was willing to work with her and teach her how to surf. This morning, we had the extreme pleasure of listening to Haben Girma, a disability rights lawyer who was the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law. Again and again, she implored us to break down barriers and make the choice to be inclusive to all. She is a phenomenal speaker and shared many moments from her personal life, from learning how to surf (with a guide accompanying her to steer her around other surfers and sharks) to salsa dancing to insisting…