2019 Best Practices from World Libraries Photo Gallery

Photo by Doina Gabriela Vanca

English Conversation Club for Grandparents

American Corner Tîrgu-Mureș, Mureș County Library, Mureș County, România

English Conversation Club for Grandparents is a club for adults aged 55-84 years old who want to learn and practice their English skills.

A simple English Conversation Club is the perfect opportunity for seniors to find more than just information at the library. They gain information, but also a beautiful friendship between volunteering teacher, the librarians and all seniors attending the Club.

Project Contact: Doina Gabriela Vanca, americancornertgm@gmail.com
Photo by Aung Than Htut

Reading Activities

Intensity Library, Intensity Community Center, Mandalay, Myanmar

Where there are people, there should be libraries. Where there is a library, there should be reading activities for the children to learn better reading habits and library culture. In our community center, there have been several classes, such as language education, computer training, guitar classes, and painting classes. In 2019, we decided to help other libraries by sharing reading activities.

Project Contact: Aung Than Htut, intensity.mandalay@gmail.com
Photo by Kawther Al Hajiri

Building Strong Readers

Qatar Foundation Academy Al Khor, Qatar

Kawther Al Hajri, a grade 12 Diploma Programme student, chose to complete her Creativity, Activity, and Service project to promote literacy. Her project included a number of activities throughout the primary and high schools. However, she recognized that capturing the hearts of young students was most impactful. She read to first and second grade students in English and Arabic over the course of a month, serving as a role model for them. Students are working to create a culture of reading and to promote that culture at the early grade levels, in the hopes of creating stronger students and stronger communities. While Qatar did not historically have a strong culture of reading, Sheikha Moza, Sheikha Hind, and the Qatar Foundation have recognized that education is fundamental to Qatar's development as a modern knowledge-based economy. Young people, like Kawther, desire that change and are leading the way for the students in recognizing that reading and libraries will create opportunities.

Project Contact: Nathalia Hardy, Senior School Librarian, nhardy@qf.org.qa
Photo by Public Library Cacak / Vladimir Simic

Be our Strongest Link: Let’s Move the Library Together

Public Library Cacak, Cacak, Serbia

In January, 2019, the Public Library Cacak together with the preschool institutions from the city organized the activity “Be Our Strongest Link: Let’s Move the Library Together,” beginning the move of the library holdings to the new library building. Through this activity the library wanted to emphasize the importance that libraries have as the oldest and most numerous cultural institutions. At the same time, this action was the symbolic mark of the beginning of moving books and inventory into the new library space of 3200 m² by forming a chain made of preschool children that would connect the old and the new library. In the chain, made of kids, teachers, librarians, city officials, and passersby, books were transferred from one hand to another and all of the participants represented the community's connection to the library. The first book in this human chain, Popular Poems for Children by the Serbian poet Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj (1833-1904), was given by the mayor of Cacak, and the last book during this activity, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was received by the director of the Public Library Cacak at the entrance to the new Children and Young Adults Department.

Project Contact: Bogdan Trifunovic, btrifunovic@gmail.com
Photo by Eindhoven Library

Play with Words

Eindhoven Library, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

We’ve invited several artists to engage children (ages 2 to 8) and their parents in a variety of activities to explore, discover, and experiment with new words. The wide range of available materials stimulates the children to take on whatever tickle their fancy, and an artist is always near to support and guide them. While playing, the children are learning new words!

Photo by Rochester Public Library

Naturalization Ceremony at the Library

Rochester Public Library (RPL), Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Rochester Public Library’s long-standing core value of being a welcoming and inclusive space was demonstrated when the library staff organized its first-ever Naturalization Ceremony. Since strong communities are created by having common bonds among individuals with different backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences, RPL supported and reinforced community connections by hosting this event. On October 29, 2018, approximately 41 individuals - representing 21 different countries - took their Oath of Allegiance and became eligible to vote for the first time in the elections held the following week. In all, 160 people shared in the experience at the special ceremony, including library staff who actively participated in the event by greeting attendees, providing a formal welcome, and offering a light celebratory meal with cake. A naturalized citizen, who has worked at the Library for over two decades, even sang the national anthem. One participant commented “I have never felt so welcomed before.” RPL was the first library in SE Minnesota to host a Naturalization Ceremony. By celebrating with new Americans and their family and friends, RPL demonstrated its commitment to strengthening the community.

Project Contact: Karen Lemke, klemke@rplmn.org
Photo by Studio of Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Craft Festival for Francophone Countries

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt

The Francophone Activities Center (CAF) of the Library of Alexandria combined the Egyptian art book I Saw This Thing Before with the idea of the classic conference to create the “Egyptian Craft Festival.” After the success of the first two years and continuing with the Library's mission to support cultural activities that reflects Francophones' richness and diversity, the CAF focused its attention on the positive role played by traditional crafts in the development of societies. In order to raise the value of artisanal work and the importance of exchanging artisanal skills through a funny and exciting educational environment, the CAF changed the title of the event to "Craft Festival of the Francophone Countries" and invited each year a country to be the Guest of Honor. The Annual Festival demonstrated the richness of Francophone countries in the field of crafts. During the workshops, the Egyptian communities, mainly students, learn a lot of information about product components, knowledge of the artisans, the country location, famous crafts of the country, and most importantly, they practiced the French language with artisans. They also built new partnerships for joining cultural and economic projects to import and export crafts and/or to exchange professional experiences.

Project Contact: Dr. Marwa EL SAHN, Director of Centre d’Activités Francophones (CAF), marwa.elsahn@bibalex.org
Photo by James E. Brooks Library, Central Washington University

Freedom to Read Table at our County Farmers Market

James E. Brooks Library, Central Washington University, Washington, USA

Every fall, we kick-off the ALA Banned Books week by hosting an information table at our county farmers market. We are joined by librarians from our local public library and school libraries. During the 4-hour market we get a constant stream of visitors of all ages to our table. They are always surprised to hear that books are still being challenged, and are eager to learn more and spread the word about Freedom to Read. In September 2018, we offered ALA's postcards to challenged authors, adding another layer of activism to the offerings.

Project Contact: Maureen Rust, mrust@cwu.edu
Photo by Salina Public Library

Lacewing Release

Salina Public Library, KS, USA

The library partnered with the Kansas State Extension Office to educate youth about lacewings, a beneficial insect that can help control pests. After learning about lacewings, the children were able to release the larvae into gardens around the library. Attendees learned more about their natural environment from experts and were able to take action and make a positive impact on a community space.

Project Contact: Lisa Newman, youthservices@salpublib.org
Photo by Recreation Centers of Sun City West

Virtual Reality for Seniors

R. H. Johnson Library, Recreation Centers of Sun City West, Arizona, USA

Virtual Reality (VR) offers a unique opportunity for aging seniors as their mobility and dexterity declines. It allows them to participate in interactive situations in a 360-degree world, on an endless number of topics. From roller coasters and shooter games, to travelogues and serene aquarium settings, popular titles run the gamut. If set up in small groups, VR experiences provide mental, social and even emotional stimulation, as well as physical exercise depending on the titles chosen and the participant's abilities.

With libraries increasingly becoming community centers with a wide variety of programming, VR can be an important addition for senior audiences in particular. For those who frequent the R.H. Johnson Library in Sun City West, VR has opened new horizons to individuals who have otherwise seen their worlds shrink as health issues crop up, driving abilities limit their sphere of contacts, and vision and hearing deficiencies limit activities. VR is a great way to reach out to an older demographic in ways never before possible!

Project Contact: Katy O’Grady, katy.ogrady@suncitywest.com
Photo by UVic

The Transgender Archives @ UVic Libraries

University of Victoria Libraries, Victoria, BC, Canada

The overwhelming reality for trans people during most of the 20th century has been profound isolation, silence, secrecy, and shame. However, knowing one’s history is essential to one’s identity. It has the potential to foster pride and dignity. Learning the history of one’s people can be done in many ways, not the least of which is through the examination of material records of the past. While trans, non-binary, or Two-Spirit people need to know their past as it intertwines with the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer people, they also need to know their past as a distinct and independent community. The Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria Libraries is the largest trans archives in the world. Since 2007, we have been actively acquiring documents, rare publications, and memorabilia of persons and community organizations associated with activism by and for trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people. Our records span over 160 meters or 530 linear feet (1.5 football fields long), go back over 120 years, and are in 15 languages from 23 countries on six continents. (Depicted in Photo: Dr. Aaron Devor, UVic's Chair in Transgender Studies, Founder & Academic Director, Transgender Archives)

Project Contact: Michael Radmacher, transarc@uvic.ca
Photo by Aulya Aprilianto

Ambiance of the Reading Area

IPMI Library, Jakarta, Indonesia

The IPMI library is a learning resource center for IPMI International Business School and supports its goal for preparing senior executives for global readiness. The library provides a comfortable and friendly atmosphere so that students can learn calmly and feel more at home. Besides regular services, the library is also building a strong community through programs including activity book review in collaboration with human resources community and "cultural exchange" activities in partnership with Friendship Force UK.

Project Contact: Sandra Margaretha, sandra.margaretha@ipmi.ac.id
Photo by Riecken Community Libraries

Community Libraries, Building New Generations

Riecken Community Libraries, Honduras - Guatemala

Riecken Community Libraries believe that when children, especially girls, in rural communities strengthen their leadership skills and are provided opportunities to promote women's and children's rights, they will have powerful impact on the community. Reading and technology are our libraries' toolkit to help build their skills and capacities. Riecken Libraries also have a broader goal of promoting free expression, individual empowerment, community service, volunteerism, as well as access to internet and new technology. Our libraries are building strong communities through promoting reading among children and young adults, offering support for young moms to meet and learn best practices in early childhood development and nutrition, helping women develop literacy, numeracy, leadership, and business skills, and providing at-risk youth - whether in school or out of school - a place to safely meet, engage with their peers, and develop critical thinking skills.

Project Contact: Paco Alcaide Canata, paco@rieckenlibraries.org
Photo by Shawn Miller, Photographer, Office of the Librarian – Office of Communications at Library of Congress

By the People (crowd.loc.gov) - Crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress

Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA

By the People is an initiative by the Library of Congress to connect with a growing community of volunteers who transcribe and tag digitized collections to make them more accessible. Launched in October 2018 on crowd.loc.gov, this program engages educators, lifelong learners, students, researchers, and the general public to bring lives and events in Library of Congress collections humming to life. Educators are introducing By the People into their classrooms to empower students to deeply examine the past. Pairing inquisitive activities with primary sources, students find history in real and meaningful ways. Lifelong learners share discoveries and questions with each other via History Hub (historyhub.history.gov). By the People’s community managers also join discussions, answer questions, and share announcements. These dynamic exchanges connect geographically distributed people to build community. By the People volunteers create and review text that improves search, readability, and access to handwritten and typed materials. As a result, those who are not fully sighted or cannot read historical handwriting can better engage with collections on loc.gov. By the People convenes interconnected communities around first-hand encounters with rich Library of Congress resources every day.

Photo by the UWI Mona Libraries

The UWI Mona Libraries Open Week: Reaching In and Out

Mona Library, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Libraries Open Week is an annual, multi-day community project that involves all stakeholders. This project enables library stakeholders to engage in mutual/interconnected activities that highlight the library. These events allow the library to reach out and showcase its resources to the UWI Mona community and beyond. Celebration of Books, the signature event adopted by our sister campuses, is a community gathering of UWI Mona authors highlighting publications from the previous academic year and honoring the contribution of writers to the knowledge base. Customer Appreciation Day is an occasion to fete our community with special incentives such as fines amnesty and giveaways. Another vital event, the E-Resources Fair partners with vendors in promoting electronic resources for academic success. Library Connect is a faculty event targeting lecturers and graduate students. New projects in the Library are promoted at this faculty coffee morning. The week ends with a staff social to acknowledge the internal community and the most critical resource - the library team's hard work.

Project Contact: Yolanda Tugwell, yolanda.tugwell@uwimona.edu.jm
Photo by Cornell University Library

Yarn Bomb the Gates!

Cornell University Library (specifically, Olin Library and Mann Library), Ithaca, New York, USA

The project supports strong community in different ways:

  • It expressed a welcoming message to library visitors. We want them to be amused and delighted, literally as they pass through the security gates, which could otherwise seem intimidating.
  • It encouraged participants to collaborate with each other. We set up crocheting stations for anyone to sit down by themselves or with friends and total strangers to help beautify the security gates. The work depended on bits and pieces from different individuals.
  • It also highlighted what is possible when people contribute their time and effort to a common cause. It is noteworthy that a project like this cannot be attributed to an individual. As one group, the participants (including library staff) were the creators.

Project Contact: Cornell University Library Communications, libcomm@cornell.edu
Photo by Jan de Vries

School 7 - The ‘Living Room’ for the Community

School 7, KopGroep Bibliotheken, Den Helder, The Netherlands

School 7, the new library of Den Helder, functions as the ‘living room’ for the community. Young people come to study and new Dutch citizens come to practice the language. Enthusiastic volunteers teach children how to program tiny robots or how to design games. There are a lot of story-time events and writers come to talk about their new books. People drink coffee, read magazines, or meet to catch up in the cozy Reading Café. The Adult Education Institute gives language courses and the Historic Association gives the inhabitants of Den Helder information about their local history. You can even get married in the characteristic theater hall. The library is designed in an intimate manner: there are many seating and work areas in between the stacks. During the renovation, the monumental school building has largely been left intact. The giant staircase, that can also function as a tribune, forms the heart of the building.

Project Contact: Anita Ruder, Head PR and Communication, a.ruder@kopgroepbibliotheken.nl
Photo by Mary Danko

Library Outreach at Police Department Barb-B-Que (BBQ)

Fletcher Free Library, City of Burlington, VT, USA

The Fletcher Free Library participated in the Burlington Police Department (BPD) Barb-B-Que because when we partner with other organizations at events we reach a broader audience that in turn helps us to make a stronger community. Our partnership in this event enabled us to reach new audiences, highlight library services, sign up new library patrons, provide a fun program, and demonstrate that we work with the BPD. Community folks who came to this event ate delicious free food, played games, learned about various community services, saw a BPD K-9 demonstration and had fun at the library table with button making that started with a typewritten message.

Project Contact: Mary Danko, Library Director, mdanko@burlingtonvt.gov
Photo by Eastern Kentucky University

Noel Reading Porch

Eastern Kentucky University Libraries, Richmond, KY, USA

The John Grant Crabbe Main Library is a place for students to gather, research, create, discover, and succeed. Community is built at EKU Libraries as students gather to accomplish these activities. One of the ways that we support them, their academic excellence, and their community, is through a series of student support events throughout the fall and spring semesters. This event is called Hot Dog, I Love EKU Libraries! and it takes place during National Library Week. We serve students hot dogs and lemonade, and they tell us what they love about their library or how we have supported them lately.

Project Contact: Krista Rhodus, Krista.Rhodus@eku.edu
Photo by the APGC library

Library at a Glance

Arya Post Graduate College Library, Panipat,Haryana, India

The APGC Library is considered the heart of academics and acted as a knowledge resource center which caters to the academic needs of about 5,005 students. Our library has a stock of more than 75,345 books, periodicals, national and international journals, online databases etc. The library is also equipped with the latest technologies like internet, DELNET, INFLIBNET, for updating the knowledge of students and the staff of the college.

The library shares the mission of the college and is committed to provide information leading towards excellence in education. It is also bound to help students gather multifaceted knowledge and thereby facilitate the process of development of holistic personality and character building of the students

Photo by Iuka Public Library

Summer Reading Program

Iuka Public Library, Iuka Mississippi, USA

The Summer Reading Program (SRP) is designed to help prevent the “summer slide” for children who are out of school. During the month of June, children are invited to participate in weekly activities at the library and encouraged to read, Read, READ as much as they can every week. Incentives and prizes are awarded to children who meet and exceed their reading goals. Community members are invited to read aloud to the children; for example, one week we invited the librarian from our middle school to read aloud to the children, some of whom would be moving to the middle school in the fall. Students from the high school, for example the Beta Club, have been invited to conduct a craft activity. A member of the Dulcimer Club that meets at the library brought an Irish harp that the children could touch and examine. The children can participate in the activities even if they do not read much during the month, and all activities are free due to sponsorship by the Friends of Iuka Library and local businesses. There are plenty of sports activities for children in the summer, so the library’s SRP fills a gap in the area of academics. Children need to be good readers in order to be successful in school and to be productive members of the community as adults.

Project Contact: Gwen Spain, gwen@nereg.lib.ms.us
Photo by employee at the library - Bo Dybsoe Hansen

Morning light, Big Windows

Roskilde Universitetsbibliotek RUb (Roskilde University Library), Roskilde, Denmark

The library building, the university students, the surrounding nature and the society in the Roskilde area are, for us at RUb, a strong part of our community. As seen in the photo, the big windows invite the surrounding community inside, but it also allows the users at the library to see the society and the beautiful nature neighboring the building. This is a continuation of the environment inside the library where we strive to always have an open, natural, inclusive, and warm approach to all of our users. This is something that is further underlined in the photo by the warm light glowing from the library. The bookcases, the work tables, and the hammocks give the impression of a library with room for both serious study and relaxation. This approach is important since RUb is both a university library and a public library, why we need to service a wide variety of people. The photo was taken in the early morning for our Instagram profile. As a newly started project, which gives us the possibility to further build our community and connect with our users online, we feel that it is the perfect depiction of “Libraries = Strong Communities”.

Project Contact: Anna-Katrine Edelfeldt Jacobsen, aedel@ruc.dk
Photo by Jo Anna Rohrbaugh

Making Finals a Little Less Ruff: Pet Therapy

Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA

This is my favorite event that the library sponsors. To my estimation, it best illustrates Joyner Library's (unwritten) mission: to help students meet their potential by providing encouragement and support. Through their sources and services, Joyner Library helps to make ECU's academic community a welcoming and enlightening place.