Celebrating how library workers are making a difference for their communities

CHICAGO — Libraries are community connectors, places where people come together, think together, and learn together. Libraries support and nurture strong, resilient communities. Day in and day out, the library workers at these institutions are doing much more than ensuring equal and equitable access to information; and their impact stretches far beyond the books, programs, and services they facilitate. Featuring contributions from such library leaders as Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, the late Nicolette Sosulski, and Erica Freudenberger, “Libraryland: It’s All about the Story,” published by ALA Editions, collects inspiring first-hand stories from across the country that spotlight the countless ways in which library staff are making a difference for their communities. Edited by Ben Bizzle and Sue Considine, the uplifting personal narratives in this book include:

  • when a routine reference query inspired a librarian to reach out to a senior patron;
  • how a public library’s annual Diwali celebration has strengthened the social fabric of the surrounding community;
  • the story of a library that burned down, was hit by a hurricane, got sued twice, and yet still reemerged stronger than ever;
  • how the team at the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) of New York has strategically nurtured a culture of innovation by integrating Syracuse University students into the staff, holding technology “open houses,” and developing other initiatives; and
  • the intervention of a public library staff member that helped a mother keep her son enrolled in school and receive his diploma.

Bizzle is the founder and CEO of Library Market, a marketing and web development firm. He is a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, a John Cotton Dana Award winner, and author of the book “Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library.” For more than seven years, he was the director of technology and head of the creative team at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Considine is an independent international consultant and the former executive director of the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) in upstate New York. An experienced public speaker who presents on contemporary library issues such as innovation, leadership, and change management, she is a recipient of the Library Journal Mover & Shaker, WCNY Women Who Make America, PLA Charlie Robinson, and the White House “Champion of Change” awards.

Many book retailers and distributors are experiencing service disruptions or delays, including Amazon. For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at [email protected].

Originally published at https://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2020/06/celebrating-how-library-workers-are-making-difference-their-communities

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