Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY ONE

On the first day of Summermas, my middle schooler gave to me: help at the library.-----------------------------------...more

Library Advocacy: Why Libraries Are Important

When I was five years old, my father took me to the Escondido Public Library to get my very first library card. I remember walking in, my small hand enveloped in his, and feeling my breath catch. That moment when the doors slide open, the smell of the books, and the laughter of the librarians created a sense of reverence in me that was not unlike what a religious person feels when entering into a place of worship. Actually, it was exactly the same. This was my temple, my church. I’m twenty-five now, but my breath still catches when those doors slide open....more

That Customer

The House of Learning: Libraries Now and Then

A House of Learning...more

There Is No Solace Anywhere, For Anyone Who Dreads To Go Home. . . .

  The title of this post is a quote from an autobiographical novel. Which one, and who said it? (Bonus points if you know!) This post is from an article for teachers and librarians that I wrote many, many years ago. I found it in a box of old papers I was cleaning out, as we are moving in a few weeks and I am throwing out anything and everything I haven't used in the last five minutes.  I’d forgotten about it, and this bothers me, because we should never forget about such things....more

E-books, I Kind of Want to Quit You

As I look at my relationship with e-books I'm starting to considering writing them a "Dear John" letter. Dear e-books, it's not me. It's you. Oh, there are still many things I love about e-books but lately my frustrations are reaching a level where I'm almost considering giving them up. ...more
I love my Kindle and liked to point out a short story by Isaac Asimov to middle-schoolers; in a ...more

Cookbooks Are Hot at Libraries

I have a cookbook problem. I like to be surrounded by dozens of cookbooks. It used to be that I'd go to the bookstore, hit the clearance section and end up leaving with a handful of them. That's changed in recent years. Now my browsing for cookbooks happens at the my library, and I'm not alone. According to Publisher's Weekly cookbooks are the number one non-fiction category in libraries. ...more

I read cookbooks a lot. :)

Contributing Editor Karen Ballum also blogs at more

Without libraries and bookstores, how "literate" can a city really be?

The annual survey ranking America’s Most Literate Cities was released this month, evaluating the USA’s 75 largest metro areas on six criteria that foster or support literacy: level of education, libraries, booksellers, Internet resources, and circulation of newspapers and periodicals. For the first time in five years, the #1 spot was not claimed by either Seattle or Minneapolis, although those cities still scored very well. Are you fortunate enough to live in or near one of the cities that made the top ten?...more

September is Library Card Sign Up Month: Do You Have a Card?

The American Library Association has declared September to be Library Card Sign Up Month. If you don’t already have a library card, you need to get yourself to a library immediately. A library card is one of the best investments you can make for you and your family and, in my opinion, a back-to-school essential. (I have two words for you - homework club.) Let me show you how I’ve used my library card in the past week. ...more

I adore the library! This week I used my card to check out Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, The ...more

It's Library Appreciation Week: Have You Loved Your Library Today?

Happy Library Appreciation Week! I love libraries, even more than that I appreciate them. My childhood would not have been the same without them, and it's not a stretch to say that my adult life would be quite the same either. Bloggers around the web are sharing their library love this week, as well as their library fears. ...more

Mine do. Have you talked to your library about this?

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