This edition of our Social Library series presents fresh ideas from libraries truly responding to community needs. From language classes in Cree to a lactation station for mothers, and from services for local veterans to a community discussion on news literacy, these libraries demonstrate the critical role they play in the lives of their patrons. If you'd like to see your library featured in a Social Library edition, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook.
- Regina Public Library in Canada is offering 12 weeks of Free Cree Language Instruction for all ages. The 90-minute classes are being streamed live via the library's Facebook page, with recordings for session 1 and session 2 now available! A CBC News article tells us that the Cree language is one of the most commonly spoken Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan, but that fluency in Indigenous languages as a whole, is at an all-time low. Widely requested by Regina residents, the Cree language program is open to all, and not limited to Indigenous people.
- The (Salt Lake) County Library in Utah kicked off their Teen Tech Month with Teen Tech Fest, a one-day interactive technology extravaganza showcasing what teens can do with technology. Before the Tech Fest, one of the librarians was interviewed in a three-minute segment on local TV, and after Tech Fest, the library shared photos of some of the exhibits. The theme of this year's Teen Tech Month is "Libraries are for creating" and "teens, ages 13-18, are invited to attend STEM programs and enter a contest for a chance to win a full scholarship to DevPoint Labs' part-time Full Stack Web Development course and other prizes. Receive a one-time fine waiver-up to $5 per card, per person-for attending a program or entering a contest."
- Santa Maria Public Library in California announced the launch of their new Veterans Connect @ the Library services, offering help for local veterans. A local news story provided additional details about the new offerings which include help accessing veteran benefits, including education, employment, health, housing, disability compensation and more.
- Estes Valley Library in Colorado is hosting Insights from the Experts: A Panel Discussion on Today's Media, in collaboration with the CSU Center for Public Deliberation. Last month, the library hosted a similar panel discussion with over a hundred attendees, so, as Diana Laughlin, the library's tech literacy librarian explains in an article in the local paper, they'll be hosting the next discussion in the high school gym to make room for more attendees, and to connect with younger members of the community. After receiving a Media Literacy grant from the American Library Association, the library began contacting people in the community—local media, journalists, educators and others—to speak to the ways community members can become "wiser news consumers, able to analyze and critique what we hear, see and read." The library features a section on News Literacy on their website collecting information on upcoming events, recordings of past sessions and other resources related to media literacy.
- Milpitas Library of the Santa Clara County Library District in California shared an article in the local news about their mobile lactation station for nursing mothers. "Located in the main hallway just before the children’s area of the library, the 7-foot by 7-foot pod offers mothers a private, safe and clean space to nurse their babies, or pump breast milk, while also keeping their other children within sight." The library's February press release points out the pod was installed last fall, and has been used by over 100 mothers.