Kids & Family at the Library of Congress website

LOC home page screen shot, librarian of congress history
Library of Congress home page

Library of Congress home page

As I have written before, the Library of Congress website contains such a wealth of information that it will take multiple posts even to begin to do it justice.

Even the Kids & Family page is difficult to describe fully. It comprises links to 14 other pages, some intended especially for young readers and others not.

The link to it on the library’s home page does not stand out. It is on the line of links below the 9 thumbnails.

Pages intended for young readers

Library of Congress, America's Library

America’s Library home page

The Young Readers Center is not a web-based collection. It is a room on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. It is open Monday through Friday except on national holidays.

Among other programs, it offers weekly story time for infants and toddlers. Continue reading

Chicago Public Schools vs school libraries

Elementary school library--quotations about libraries

Elementary school libraryHarold Howe, author of Thinking about Our Kids, has said, “What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.”

They must not think much about education in Chicago these days. They have taken school librarians out of the library and assigned them to classroom teaching.

I learned of the problem from a report on National Public Radio. I lived in the Chicago area for more than 20 years, and during the last 15 years or so of that time, I was married to a suburban elementary school teacher. We lived through a strike.

The news hit close to home, but I wouldn’t write about it if it had implications only for Chicago. Similar shenanigans appear all over the country, and not just with schools. Continue reading

Digital divide: broadband, the underserved, and libraries

digital-divide-circle

Digital divide

Education and economic well-being depend more and more on electronic information and communication.

Not everyone in the US has equal access to computers and Internet service.

Not everyone who does can use it through wireless devices (wi-fi).

The difference between the haves and have-nots is known as the digital divide. In partnership with the Federal Government and private foundations, public libraries take a leading role in closing the gap. Continue reading

5 more unusual and unexpected library services

Drones in flight

Drones in flight

All public and academic libraries offer the same basic services. Many offer unexpected services.

In some cases, they are the library’s response to unique local needs. In others, one library has seen how it can address a common need, and other libraries may start something similar.

At least some of today’s more recent basic services started out as one library’s experiment.

I reported on 3 unusual and unexpected library services a while ago. Here are 5 more. Continue reading

Wastes: Government websites you should know about

waste and recycling truck

waste and recycling truckDo you ever throw anything away? Then you are participating in a major social, economic, and environmental problem. We talk about throwing stuff away, but there’s no such place as away.

We can’t leave dealing with waste entirely to the government, either. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency website has a many pages devoted to Wastes. They provide a lot of useful information to help us make the best choices for our own waste management.

The index page has links to four major groups of articles as well as a “Wastes Quick Finder.” If you recognize the topic you want in the quick finder, click there.

Otherwise, finding the same articles requires a lot of clicking. The advantage to all that clicking, though, is that you will find topics grouped thematically, not just in alphabetical order. Continue reading