Friday, December 23, 2016

3 Amazing Ways Libraries Have Helped Their Communities

Libraries are doing amazing work for their communities and we wanted to highlight a few today that makes us proud to be a librarian. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Mental Health First Aid Training for California Public Library Staff

Due to a mental health initiative by the state of California, librarians from across the state are being trained to on how to work effectively and compassionately with people living with mental health issues. This new initiative isn't intended to replace professionals, but designed to connect people to the help they need, either it is finding a book or finding a professional to speak to.

Prisoners Video Chat With Relatives After Expansion of Library Program

Prison visits are in the midst of a big change. Instead of in-person visits, they are now installing technology for video chat visits. This is great for relatives who live far away but it comes with lots of costs, including the fees families have to pay to use the service and leaves out those who don't have the technology to connect online. To solve this problem, New York Public Library collaborated with the city's Department of Correction, putting the technology in every library where anyone can book an hour to talk with a loved one incarcerated at Rikers Island.

Assisting micro-enterprise businesses in success in Kings Mountain

Back in 2012, small businesses in Kings Mountain, NC were closing as fast as they were opening. The city investigated the problem and realized that new business owners weren't equipped with the knowledge and experience to run a successful business. So, Kings Mountain Library applied and won the LSTA grant, hired a Business Librarian who ran classes for these small businesses on topics like using door counters, having secret shoppers and learning from their experiences, having the police do a free safety and security audit (which they already do), technology access and education (especially all the great tools offered at the library), graphic designers to develop logos and helping them update their basic info on Google Maps. The program was a success!

Bonus Story:
Shelter dogs feel lonely and abandoned, so children practice reading books to them

Ok, this isn't a library story, but we think this is so cool and a great idea for libraries to adopt! In Missouri, children volunteer to read to shelter dogs. This encourages the dogs to hang out at the front of their kennel, which helps them to get adopted quicker. It also helps children improve their reading and public speaking skills.

Do you have any great library stories to share? We'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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