Friday, September 30, 2016

New Facebook Groups for Librarians!

Last year, we wrote a post highlighting all of the Facebook Groups that are for Public Librarians. We recently updated the list and wanted to highlight below our new additions! Some of these groups are new and some we recently found! A few have been added since our original posting, so we included them below in cased you missed them.

Happy Facebooking!

A place to ask for collection development suggestions and support.
413 members

A lab for digital librarian developers—a place where new tech products and services for libraries and communities, media and publishing, are created and innovated—and a space for discussion. This is also our informal pool of librarian developer contractors we will go to when we need to hire for short-term, freelance, contract work. Thanks for allowing us to add you :)
269 members

Welcome to Flannel Friday's Facebook page! FF is a non-profit* international group of librarians and educators working together to share quality beyond-the-book experiences for children.
2,652 members

This is a place where you can post anything related to the libraries' resource sharing activities.
673 members

The Intellectual Freedom Fighters (IFF) want to get Intellectual Freedom issues on the minds, hearts, and tongues of the wider library community. We want to inform you about these issues and provoke tough conversations. We intend to create change in the wider library world. The IFF is an outgrowth of the ever-vigilant ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), which has been protecting your freedoms since 1973. [...] The IFF Group is here to get the whole library community thinking about Intellectual Freedom questions. We all face difficult issues and scary situations sometime, let's face them together. Comments are eagerly solicited, although uncivil or off topic posts may be deleted.
New Group! 58 members

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH LIBERTARIAN MEMES This is a group for sharing all your library, school, and learning memes! Invite your friends!
2,188 members

A group for libraries and librarians to share information related to holding conventions and festivals of all kinds, from book fairs to comic cons.
313 members

Library Communications Conference Group - join in the conversation about issues related to library outreach and communications. The Library Communications Conference connects marketing, public relations, special events, fundraising, outreach, and program development professionals for public and academic libraries.
590 members

This group is for topics related to library management- supervising, programming, budgets, advocacy, outreach, etc. Feel free to ask for advice, start a conversation, or rant. Though this is intended to be a safe environment, please be careful when discussing sensitive personnel matters. No sales pitches, advertising, bullying, harassment, or any other obnoxious behaviors will be tolerated.
1,260 members

Support for libraries who are experimenting with Pokémon GO programming and outreach. What to share here: your program ideas, your publicity samples, your event photos, news and commentary, funny memes appropriate for use on social media, research and analysis, trends you notice,and anything else you think might be helpful.
946 members

Our mission is to kick ass and save the day, library-style. We're a centralized location for collecting and disseminating information about urgent political or natural disasters' effects on libraries and library services.
524 members

Music Librarians

For music librarians!
453 members

Welcome to the REFORMA Think Tank. REFORMA is the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. In this space, librarians, community members, and activists who serve the Latino and Spanish speaking communities in the United States and beyond will be able to share ideas, recommendations, and benchmarks to support each other in providing better services to our communities.
556 members

Solo librarians (and librarians who work in small libraries) can come here to share ideas and engage in discussion. Librarians in any sort of institution (public, academic, school, corporate) are welcome!
319 members

For librarians with tattoos!
1,320 members

A group to talk about zine librarianship! How to build a collection, how to catalogue zines, how to organize zine events, and more! All zine librarians and archivists are welcome: academic, digital, DIY, public, school, volunteer, etc.
263 members

For more groups and to see the complete list of Facebook for Librarians, please visit our original post:

Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Hot Places to Find Free Professional Development

There is nothing like the feeling when you attend a professional development session that opens your eyes to something new and exciting. Even better if it is something new that you can apply back in your library. In our humble opinion, there is no better way to stay motivated on the job than constantly learning something new. But when to find the time to learn something new? Conferences can get expensive and the timing could conflict with your availability schedule.

Have no fear! There are many online options which you can do on your own time! Here are a few of our favorite places to go for Professional Development!

1.Wyoming State Library Training Calendar   

We have to give props to Wyoming State Library. They collect all online training and share it in a very convenient calendar. Find something you want to learn about but you can't attend the session? Most say to sign up anyway and they'll email you a link to the archived video.

2. Webjunction

If Wyoming's calendar is overwhelming to you, Webjunction is the place to visit. They take these events and divide them by category. They also provide FREE self paced courses and webinars (upcoming and archived past videos) to all library workers and volunteers.

3. Language Classes

If you have patrons that speak a language you don't know, it may be helpful to use your library's language programs (Mango or Transparent tend to be the most popular). If the library you work in doesn't have these programs, check your home town library or your state library. The language programs may also have quick guides to help library professionals, like Transparent's Survival Spanish for Librarians.

4. Free Online Courses

There are many other fee online courses if you start look by subject instead of profession. What do you want to learn more about? Google Analytics? Social Media Tips? Photography? There are free courses for them all!

45 free online classes you can take (and finish) by the end of this year
Genealogy webinars and courses (free and fee-based)
Free credit-eligible courses for in-demand jobs (free 10 day trial, though many libraries also offer this program)

5. Conference Materials from State and Small Conferences

There are many reasons why you may not be able to attend conferences, but that doesn't mean you can't benefit from them! Many of them (especially state and smaller conferences) will share their presentations and handouts online, freely available to anyone. Check them out after their conference ends! Some examples:

Massachusetts Library Association
Missouri Library Association (Google Drive Folder)
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy
Texas Library Association

So, there are endless places to learn. The question now is what time are you going to carve out of your calendar to learn something new?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ready to Go Book Display: Haunted Houses

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go!" Book Display. Once a month we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group (Adults, Teens, and Children) that you can promote within your library or order for your collection.


The Stopped Heart by Julie Myerson (Mar 2016)
Seeking a new life in the countryside, Mary and her husband move into a long abandoned house, but when unusual sights and sounds begin to occur Mary starts questioning if her grief has turned into madness.

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike (Oct 2016)
After moving to a new apartment complex next to a cemetery, a young Japanese family  experiences strange and terrifying occurrences that send the other residents fleeing their homes, ultimately leaving them alone with a dark, evil something, or someone, residing in the basement.

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz (Dec 2011)
The affluent occupants of luxury apartments, house in a 200-year-old mansion with a checkered past, enter into a terrifying waking nightmare when the haunted house reawakens, leaving no one  safe from its grip.

While renovating a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, contractor Melanie Turner is visited by the ghost of a colleague who needs her help in solving his murder so he can pass over to the other side. 

Rooms by Lauren Oliver (Sept 2014)
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family - bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna - have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein (Sept 2014)
When a boy tries to save his parents' marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets.


The House by Christina Lauren (Oct 2015)
Told in their separate voices, Gavin, a loner outcast, and Delilah, back in small-town Kansas after years at a Massachusetts boarding school, reconnect their senior year, but as their relationship deepens, it is clear that the eerie house Gavin dwells in will do anything to keep the two apart.

Harmony House by Nic Sheff (Mar 2016)
Relocating with her mentally ill father to the HJersey Shore in the aftermath of her alcoholic mother's death, Jen learns the creepy history of the manor house that becomes her new home and experiences strange visions that compel her to escape a past she didn't know was haunting her, and the mysterious, terrible power she didn't realize she had.

Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto (Aug 2014)
After her mother's sudden death, Chloe's childhood ability to see ghosts returns and she encounters the spirit of a man 157 years dead whose ghostly past love will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him away.

The House on Stone's Throw Island by Dan Poblocki (Aug 2015)
Jose Sandoval and Eli Barker are the youngest of the wedding guests trapped on a an island off the coast of Maine when a storm blows in - but this island is haunted by spirits seeking revenge, and the only clue that JOsie and Eli have is a scrap of an old Nazi uniform and a voice crying out for help in German.

Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton (July 2015)
When Jack enters the deserted house in his neighborhood, he finds a group of people who invite him to take the thirteenth chair in the room and share a story - in the house where the ghosts meet.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (Aug 2015)
Murdered by a spirit in her house, which was previously an insane asylim, sixteen-year-old Cordelia wanders the house, meeting other trapped ghosts and learning the house's dark secrets, searching for a way to save her family and perhaps herself.

Amity by Micol Ostow (Aug 2014)
Two teens narrate the terrifing days and nights they spend living in a house of horros.

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich (Sept 2016)
Sisters Silla, seventeen, and Nori, four, are trapped in their aunt's cursed manor and can only escape with the help of a mysterious boy.


Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Sept 2016)
Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis - and Cat is even less happy about the move when she is told that her new home is haunted, and Maya sets her heart on meeting a ghost.

Shadow House: The Gathering by Dan Poblocki (Aug 2016)
A house with an eerie past lures in and traps five children who must uncover clues to the house's history in order to escape.

A little boy explores his house to learn the scientific reasons why his house makes spooky sounds.

At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman (Aug 2014)
While trick-or-treating at the old haunted house on the hill, three children discover the many creatures that call it home, including goblins, vampires, and ghosts.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Downloadable Entertainment

You've gotten home on Friday night, ready for a nice, relaxing weekend, when all of a sudden, it hits you: you finished your book and you don't have another one! What's a librarian to do?! Luckily, you don't have to suffer a weekend of boredom as long as you have a reliable internet connection. No, we don't mean surfing the web. We mean Downloadable Entertainment from your library!

Of course, not all of these services are available at all locations, but if your local library doesn't offer it, take a peek at what your county or state capital library has. I don't know about every state, but I do know that, in many places, you can often get a free e-card and use it to access online amenities from home.





Ah, yes, the OverDrive Media Console. In many cases, this was a librarian's first look at ebooks, but things have changed a bit over the years. In case you're unfamiliar, OverDrive is a library-funded service that lets you download ebooks, periodicals, and audio books, and stream video to your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

  • Smartphone, tablet, and computer apps (available for iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac OS, Windows, and Windows phone) for easy downloading. Seriously, I've gotten so good at this that I can find and start downloading an audio book for my commute while I'm brushing my teeth.
  • The app is also super searchable and browsable - you can limit by genre, reading level, language, and also limit to what's currently available.
  • A very friendly website. Plug in what you like, and it will help you find books and videos that you're interested in. It also gives recommendations based on what you've read or looked at before. (The website also has a detailed "Help" section, with videos.)
  • Integration: Did you know that you can actually connect your Facebook account and your GoodReads account with your OverDrive account? It will link together all the libraries for which you have a card (for me, this is the library in which I work; the library in the town where I live; and the state library), and you can see all the items that are available at each location, and all the devices in which your account has been used.
  • You can now suspend your holds! This is a big, big plus for people who either have several books checked out (sometimes everything comes in all at once and you know that you can't finish them all within two weeks), or you might be unavailable during a certain time period. Don't lose your place in line, but don't lose your chance to read the book if it comes too soon, either!
  • You can renew select titles! If nobody is in line for a book, OverDrive will let you renew a title (if it's not available, it will put the book on hold for you). When you renew/re-download a title that you've had before, guess what - it picks up right where you left off! Bookmarks and last page read remain unaffected. 
  • OverDrive will send you an email and let you know when a book you have on hold is ready for you. Of course, this is only helpful if you check your email. OR! You can have OverDrive automatically check the book out when it's your turn! Bonus - as long as you can get the book read in your two-week window.
  • Download it, or stream it online. This works for both audio books and video content. You can use your computer, or a tablet or smartphone (Apple iOS or Android, only).
  • Sometimes that book that you're dying to read has a waiting list, and because everyone with a library card has as much right to read it as you do (in your whole network, no less), there can sometimes be quite a wait. (But it'll email you when it's your turn, which is nice.) 
  •  A finite number of titles you can have at any one time. This isn't really too much of a con, though, because even in the small network in which I work, you can get 3 titles at a time, and as soon as you return one, you can get another. (I usually have an audio book, an ebook, and a backup for whichever of those I'm closest to finishing. But, again, some people have multiple library cards, which means even higher limits.)
  • Not that this comes up much anymore, but... Downloading to non-tablet devices can be a pain. So you want to read that book on your Nook ereader? You first have to download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer, then download the book, then plug in the device to the computer and upload the book into the ereader. It's not that hard to do, but it's very hard to explain to someone who just got a device for the first time and isn't really tech-savvy. (That said, the troubleshooting section of the website is excellent.)







Hoopla is your best friend when you want streaming videos but don't want to pay for cable or subscribe to a service. They have audio books, movies, television shows, comics, music, and ebooks. You create an account with your library card, but then log in using your email and password. Borrowers can enjoy several free titles a month (the number varies depending on your library's subscription, but is often around 8 titles per patron per month). Simply stream online or download to your device.
  • Free! No strings attached!
  • Nothing to download, if you don't want to. If storage is at a premium, you're in luck: you can stream this media, so it won't take up space on your device. If you want to download and take it on the go, you can do that, too - simply download the app.
  • New, popular items. No, really! They update their catalog weekly.
  • No waiting! Seriously. You can get the Hamilton soundtrack, or The Girl on the Train without having to worry about digital rights and the fact that there's only one copy available - thanks to simultaneous usage, everyone who wants it can use it right now.
  • Another easily browsable website, and a great free app for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
  • Limited - You only get a finite number of titles a month, and that counts full movies, full audio books, and full music albums (even ones with multiple discs). BUT - each episode of a tv show counts as a single use, so don't dream of marathoning Downton Abbey just yet.
  • Streaming. Streaming is awesome, right? There's nothing to download! Unless you're listening to an audio book and they decide to retire it and rotate the collection. Those books can be many, many hours long. The good news is, you get a full 21 days to listen to them, which is great, if you're in a listening mood! 
  • Also, streaming means that you need a reliable internet connection, or you're going to use a lot of data.









Freegal (the name is a combination of "free" and "legal") is the music service you've been waiting for. All you need to do is log in with your library card and PIN, and you've got access to over 11 million songs and 15,000 music videos. (Some libraries have Freegal's streaming music service, and others only have the downloadable music option - check with your library to see what's available to you.) Freegal works with Sony Music, in order to provide access to some quality artists. Some libraries have even suspended adding to their CD collections, opting instead to subscribe to Freegal. You can download a set number (which varies per library, but usually around 3) songs per week, and you can also stream music (though there is a limited time per week that you can stream - our local library allows 3 hours of streaming per day, which is pretty nice).
  • You can keep the music! Once a song is downloaded, it is yours to listen to, burn to a CD, or add to a player.
  • Yes, there's an app for that. The Freegal app is available on Apple, Android, and even in the Amazon store if you have a Kindle Fire.
  •  No ads! Other live-streaming music services, like Spotify or Pandora, will either require a monthly fee, or sporadically play ads between songs.
  • Limited usage. You can get only a limited number of songs per week. Songs, not albums. Choose wisely. 
  • If you download a music video, that counts as two songs. Be aware.
  • Limited variety. Yes, there is lots to choose from, and there's some really great stuff in there, but you might not find the exact song you're dreaming of.







Do you like magazines? Have we got an app for you!  Zinio (billed as "The world's largest newsstand") is available for libraries, and let me tell you, I really enjoy this one. Each magazine has full-color spreads, which you can read online or download to a tablet.
  • New content and back-issues! Download with a click, and enjoy.
  • Keep your older issues as long as you want them. If you have the storage, you can keep them forever.
  • A wide selection of magazines. Zinio offers titles from Highlights to Forbes, ESPN to Good Housekeeping. My library recently got Zinio with a pre-selected assortment of titles, and I am still amazed at the titles that are offered. Included are big names like National Geographic and Martha Stewart Living, and also niche publications like Golf Digest and Vegetarian Times. There are titles for kids, too! The specific magazines available will depend on your library's subscription.
  • No limits - download as many as you want!
  • Email notifications - get a message as soon as a new issue is out.
  • Fully searchable. Not only can you search for keyword or title, but you can actually search the articles inside each publication. DUDE.
  • Zinio also has a website where you can purchase content, which can be confusing when you're first trying to look through it. (But it's ok - you don't need to spend a dime. Just make sure you login through your library and not

Online Classes

If you're thinking of spending a little more time working on something - and maybe getting a little more out of your time than just temporary entertainment - consider taking an online class. Many libraries have subscriptions to systems such as:
  • Mango Languages - Have you ever wanted to learn a language but you didn't have time or money to take a class, and Rosetta Stone is just way too expensive? Check out Mango Languages. They have 72 languages to choose from, and a great smartphone/tablet app that tracks your progress. There's even a version just for children.
  • Gale Courses - These are 6-week online courses that are taught by industry professionals in a variety of topics, for all ages. From "Introduction to Guitar" to "Project Management Fundamentals," they've got you covered. You even get an Award of Completion when you finish a course, so you can prove that, "yes, I've taken a class on that."
  • - is affiliated with LinkedIn, and has about 1500 courses to choose from, all of which are on-demand (no waiting for the next class session to start). The website will also give you recommended Learning Paths, so that if you're interested in, say, becoming a graphic designer, it will set out which classes will be helpful for you to achieve that goal.  This has a more professional slant than Gale Courses does, and focuses more on skills that will help you in a career, than just ones that you do for fun. Still, though - why wait to learn a new skill?

Still Bored?

We hope not. There are lots of options out there to choose from. Did we forget one of your favorite donwloadable entertainments? Please let us know in the comments here, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Friday, September 2, 2016

#LibraryHappinessIs Winning $100!

#LibraryHappinessIs a chance to win $100 and a Sally READ poster!

ALA is running a fun campaign during library card sign-up month. From now until noon September 22nd, patrons and librarians are encouraged to share what library happiness means to them on Twitter, Instagram, or the I Love Libraries Facebook page. Tweet, post a photo, or make a short video and use the hashtag #LibraryHappinessIs. One random winner will be selected at the end of the month!

And if you aren't already participating in September's Library Card Sign-Up month, head on over to ALA's official page. Snoopy is the official spokesdog and they have lots of free goodies for you to use!

  • Social Media Images and Cover Art
  • Downloadable Flyers
  • Sample Press Release
  • Sample PSA Scripts
  • Free artwork for library cards
  • Free artwork for billboards
  • 2 Free webinars: How to Leverage Snoopy to Run a Library-Card Sign-Up Campaign 
  • Free webinar: Using Door-to-door Marketing for Library Card Sign-ups

Let's all participate in the fun! How wonderful would it be to see Instagram and Twitter trending with #LibraryHappinessIs? For us, that'd be just as awesome as winning the grand prize.