DiscoverFYI: The Public Libraries Podcast
FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast
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FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast

Author: Public Libraries Online

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Description is the companion website to the bi-monthly print publication “Public Libraries,” the official magazine of the Public Library Association.
44 Episodes
In this episode our guest is Jessica Bratt, Youth Services Manager at the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Library. Jessica began the DigiBridge partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, and received national recognition as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She writes reviews for library trade publications, serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Library Association, and on the ALA 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Award Jury Committee. She presents nationwide on “Let’s Talk About Race in Storytimes.” She was interviewed for MTV’s article “In Trump’s America, Activist Librarians Who Won’t Be Shushed.” Jessica is also currently a presenter with PLA's traveling workshop, "Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us." Her newest adventure revolves around trying to balance her gaming life with motherhood.
In this episode, Larra Clark, PLA and ALA Washington Office Public Policy and Advocacy Deputy Director, and Michelle Perera, Director of the Pasadena (California) Public Library discuss the 2020 census. With billions in federal funding at stake over the next ten years, it is crucial for libraries that an accurate count is taken. Clark and Perera detail how to help your community participate, how to partner with local organizations to reach sections of the community at risk of being undercounted, and more.
FYI 041 Ebooks For All

FYI 041 Ebooks For All


PLA/ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Deputy Director Larra Clark and Emily Wagner, Public Policy and Advocacy Deputy Director discuss the publisher changes to library ebooks and the publisher embargo which led to ALA's 'eBooks for All Campaign.' Clark and Wagner further discuss how libraries are taking action, the online petition, and also detail how you can get involved.
Our guest is Cordelia Anderson, a marketing and communications consultant who works primarily with libraries and nonprofits. She is the former director of marketing and communications at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library in North Carolina.
We talk with Oralia Garza de Cortés, Coordinator for REFORMA's Children in Crisis and Patrick Sullivan, Emeritus Librarian at San Diego State University, about the organization's efforts to provide books and storytime materials to children detained at the southern border.
We talk with Kate Coleman, Outreach Coordinator at the Hennepin County (MN) Library about the library's social services offerings, outreach, and more.
We talk with Rachelle Brandel, Adult Services Librarian at the Ferguson (MO) Public Library about PLA's 'Libraries Connecting You to Coverage' initiative and the Ferguson Library's efforts to help their community members enroll in health insurance during the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period.
Our guest is Sarah Garbis, Service Manager Community Embedded Library Service (CELS) at Hennepin County Library. This program pairs librarians with Community Liaisons to shape library practices and extend programs and services for communities that experience the greatest barriers to library access. The collaborative staffing approach—librarians and local liaisons working together with community—draws on the expertise of each. Librarians bring program and service development skills as well as expertise navigating systems. Community Liaisons have deep knowledge of a community, its people, culture, and language as well as expertise in community engagement and development.
Our guest for this episode is Sara Zettervall. Sara is the founding consultant and trainer for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She also works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis.
Our guest is social worker Jean Badalamenti, the Health and Human Services Assistant Manager at the Washington, D.C. Public Library. In her role with the library, she leads system-wide initiatives in a variety of areas. Since 2014, she has been developing programs, creating partnerships, and training DCPL staff to support customers experiencing homelessness. She also manages DCPL’s library at the DC jail in partnership with the DC Department of Corrections.
PLA's Brendan Dowling hosts a conversation with Lainey Mays and Christopher Connelley of the HarperCollins Library LoveFest team, and an interview with Juliet Grames, whose first novel, "The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna," will be released in the Spring.
The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world and studies show that children of teen parents are less prepared for school, perform less well, and have a higher dropout rate than other children. As many librarians know, it is challenging enough to get teens into the library for teen-specific programming, add a baby to the mix and it becomes nearly impossible. So how do you reach this group with crucial early literacy information? Go where they are! In this episode we talk with Clair Larkin, author of "Teaching Early Literacy to Teen Parents" the latest release in PLA's Quick Reads series. Larkin details how, just like all parents, teen parents want their children to succeed, and also how the library can support them in this mission by bringing early literacy programming into local schools. Using Every Child Ready to Read principles and programming tips from San Antonio Public Library’s “Little Read Wagon,” we discuss how you can create a similar program that meets the needs of your community’s teen parents.
Our guest is Elizabeth Fitzgerald, director of the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Culinary Literacy Center is the first kitchen classroom in a public library in the United States. Here we discuss the Culinary LIteracy Center, why culinary literacy is important, how libraries can offer this type of programming, and more.
We talk with Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library, Elissa Hardy about the emerging trend of employing social workers in public libraries, serving persons experiencing homelessness at the library, making the library and inclusive space, training library staff, and related issues.
This episode focuses on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, EDI for short and features three guest who've been working tirelessly in this arena. Amita Lonial leads our conversation. Amita, (she/her/hers) is currently the Principal Librarian for Learning, Marketing, and Engagement at San Diego County Library. She also currently serves as the co-chair for the PLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. Racial and social justice is something she have always been passionate about. Prior to becoming a librarian she spent 8 years in the non-profit sector working with organizations engaged in direct action organizing and policy reform. Working in public libraries has deepened her commitment to doing liberation based work in our communities and with library staff. Katie Dover-Taylor is a Reference Librarian at the William P. Faust Public Library in Westland, Michigan, where she focuses on library technology and digital literacy training. Katie has developed her understanding of power and oppression in public libraries through both community organizing and scholarship. In 2015 and 2016, Katie co-coordinated the Radical Librarianship Track at the Allied Media Conference, bringing the first official gathering of library-centric content to an annual conference which draws a diverse spectrum of creative and technology-savvy people engaged in social justice work. In 2017, Katie co-authored the chapter "Disrupting Whiteness: Three Perspectives on White Anti-Racist Librarianship" for Topographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in Library and Information Science. She is currently a member of PLA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. Mia Henry (she/her/hers) is the Executive Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Mia joined the team in 2014 with over 18 years of experience in nonprofit management, training facilitation, intergenerational community organizing, and civic and history education. Mia was the founding director of the Chicago Freedom School (CFS), a nonprofit organization that supports youth-led social change and youth-adult partnerships in community organizing. Since her work with CFS, Mia has been a consultant nationally with Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), and in Chicago with the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Schools, the University of Chicago Hospital, and the University of Chicago Oriental Institute. Mia is the owner and operator of Freedom Lifted, a small business dedicated to providing civil rights tours. She is also the founder of Reclaiming South Shore for All, a diverse, grassroots group of residents committed to mobilizing the South Shore (Chicago) community and institutionalizing systems that promote peace, youth leadership, and political accountability. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Harold Washington College, as well as a high school history teacher and International Baccalaureate (IB) program coordinator for Chicago Public Schools. Mia is deeply passionate about social movement history, positive youth development, and civic engagement through an anti-oppression lens. She serves on the Boards of Directors for the Mikva Challenge and the Community Justice for Youth Institute. Mia earned her B.S. from Rutgers University and her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.
We talk with Carolyn Martin and Sally James about providing Health Information Services and in particular evaluating health news. Carolyn Martin is a librarian who is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Pacific Northwest Region. Sally James reads health news critically and gives grades to stories and news releases as a part of a team at the nonprofit Health News Review. She also writes about medical research and other science as a freelancer from Seattle.
We talk with John Spears, Director of the Pikes Peak (Colorado) Public Library about challenges and opportunities in serving patrons experiencing homelessness at the public library, educating the public, tensions in the community, efforts to expand initiatives, and more.
In this podcast, we discuss Graphic Medicine, which can be defined as the use of comics (graphic narratives) in health sciences education and patient care. Our guests are Susan Squier and Ellen Forney. Susan Squier is Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Penn State University, where she taught graphic narratives (comics!) to graduate students. She is now Visiting Fellow at the Freie Universität, Berlin (the Free University, that is) where she is part of a collaboration called the PathoGraphics project, a study of the relations between illness narratives (also called pathographies) and comics about medicine, illness, disability and caregiving. She is a co-editor of the Graphic Medicine book series at Penn State Press, which publishes long form graphic narratives, graphic narratives for classroom use, and scholarly studies of works of graphic medicine. Ellen Forney is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me," a graphic memoir about her bipolar disorder. Her new book, the follow-up to Marbles, is a self-help guide to maintaining stability with a mood disorder. It’s called "Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life," and will be out this May. She teaches comics at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
We talk with Nicholas Higgins, director of Outreach Services at the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library. Higgins, author of the latest book in the PLA Quick Reads series, shares wisdom gleaned from his years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons; provides a thoughtful perspective on the American criminal justice system and shows how to provide the absolute best service to this group and the families they have left behind.
Librarian Kyra Hahn shares her experiences navigating the intense bureaucracy of the Federal Public Service Student Loan (PSLF) program and provides tips, advice, and explanations that can make the process easier for applicants.
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