Guest Blogger

Inclusive 21st Century Communities #PLA 2022

The Neuse Regional Libraries Team presented their approach to building an inclusive community centering around four key programs: STEM 4 All cultural experiences using VR technology a social work intern program a series of community discussions culminating in a Juneteenth celebration All of these programs create key community partnerships and meet unique community needs.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Social Ties: A Community Art Project

Supplies for a community art project at the Simsbury Public Library

Each year at the Simsbury Public Library, CT we create our own Summer Reading theme. By creating our own unique theme, we can reflect our community and to be responsive to trends and themes that are important locally. Our 2021 Summer Reading theme was “Reading Reconnects Us,” which coincided well with the expanded library hours and services we were able to offer this summer. Our community was eager to return to in-person browsing, programs and volunteer opportunities and it was clear they were looking for opportunities to connect with others.

Guest Blogger

Partnership is Possible: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Public Libraries

Dolly Parton believes that, “You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children.” In support of this belief and in honor of her father who never learned how to read or write, she established Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), a program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, regardless of their family’s income. Local support from foundations, and/or governmental agencies pay for the cost that is required for each book mailed.

Blogger Kary Henry

Connecting with Early Childhood Professionals

Like many area libraries, the Deerfield Public Library has offered an annual Preschool and Early Childhood Fair. For three years, the Fair brought together early childhood professionals, so that our patrons could easily gather information and make informed choices for their families. The best thing to come out of those Fairs, however, wasn’t for our patrons, but connections for the early childhood professionals themselves.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Stories and Support: Serving Early Childhood Providers During COVID

Nearly every October our library is asked by our local Educare group to provide a book-focused training for early childhood care providers to go hand-in-hand with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Day. As in years past, this week I pulled a large stack of new books that provide early literacy experiences and work well in a childcare environment. Unlike years past, I presented from my home to attendees in their homes, over Zoom. While we couldn’t pass the books around like we normally do, attendees commented on how important it was for them to get to see new titles, especially in this year of CARES Act applications, extra cleaning procedures and heightened uncertainty. 

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You Still Can’t Beat Free!

word "free" written in white on a green field. The words free has a red $0 price tag attached

You Can’t Beat Free I can’t remember the first time I said “you can’t beat free” as a librarian — I think it was 2003. 17 years later, it’s still true. And public librarians – gosh – we can squeeze a nickle sideways, am I right? Well, if you’re done squeezing blood from a nickle, try FREE on for size! The Secret of My Success The secret of my success has been my ability to not just grant write, brainstorm and work with some amazing teams. More often than not, it’s my ability to locate free stuff. Lots of times, the free stuff snowballs into something mega, or just plain comes in handy. Many of my colleagues wonder how I’ve done it. It’s not that I fall backwards into free things for libraries. Oh contraire. Sorry, it’s a lot of work. Step One? “Oh, good!”, I hear you say. It’s…