In August, the LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to eliminate late fines for overdue books and materials borrowed from LA County Library. In her announcements to staff and customers, LA County Library Director Skye Patrick shared that fines and fees for overdue materials impede access to vital library resources and services and contribute to economic hardship, especially for low-income families and youth. Other libraries have reported that fines and fees disproportionately impact their low-income communities, and going fine free has resulted in a significant increase in the return and borrowing of library materials. I am already hearing expressions of appreciation from parents visiting my library location. As one of the largest library systems in the U.S. with 85 libraries providing services to over 3.4 million residents across 3,000 square miles, the potential positive impact of the LA County Board of Supervisors’ decision is immense.
To extend our reach and eliminate any barriers to service, we have partnered with our county school system to provide student accounts. Students can use their school account number as a library card, granting them access to print and online library materials. After a year and a half of virtual school, students are back to in-person learning. Do they have all the materials they need to succeed?
Over the last two years, many of us have found success with packaged crafts and programs for children to take home and assemble. With more children returning to the branch, my creative co-worker, Renee Roberson-Tecco, has assembled interactive displays that double as passive programs.
Are you a project person? I am! Whether it’s scrapbooking, knitting, or making cards, I like to have a variety of projects to work on. In looking at my homeschool programming choices, it’s obvious that my “project personality” extends to the Library as well. I enjoy creating month-long series of programs, which culminate in some sort of project.
National Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 is upon us! Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15…celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. [Starting] in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Johnson, it was later expanded by President Reagan in 1988 to cover from September 15 to October 15 The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. — Library of Congress Why is Hispanic Heritage Month so Important? Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month every year is critical for American…
True confession time: when I was ten, I got kicked out of my local public library and never went back. In fact, unless I was specifically required to for a school assignment, I didn’t go to another library for a full fifteen years. On more than one occasion I told people how much I disliked libraries, and yet eventually I became a librarian myself.
Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at all levels can do this work with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on researching your community.
Now more than possibly ever before, folks are exploring the digital resources our libraries have to offer. Public librarians, now’s the time to think about partnering with your schools to offer digital library cards to students. As we enter Library Card Sign Up Month, it’s the perfect time to start this conversation. Many libraries offer this service and there are lots of ways to do it. Our program is a work is progress (more on that below) and I’m happy to share how we got it started and what we’ve learned.