Social Library, Volume 125

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy Lancaster Public Library on Facebook

Welcome to a new edition of our Social Library series, where we highlight innovative ways libraries are using Facebook to connect with communities. This eclectic batch of examples include a service puppy, a mock Caldecott contest, a year-long partnership with a local author and playwright, a new hot dog cafe and staff dressed like books. If you'd like to see your library featured in an upcoming edition, please let us know via or find us on Facebook.

  • Lancaster Public Library in Pennsylvania has added an event to their calendar for December 7, 2019, called Library Happening, to celebrate the library's unique role in the community. They're kicking off planning with an invite to local students, to submit an original piece of writing or artwork relating to the theme, "It Happened at the Library." Submitted work may be chosen for inclusion in a book and/or in a performance piece to be created by Lancaster-based author and playwright, Sandy Asher. Both the book and the performance piece will debut at the December event. We look forward to circling back after this wonderful year-long creative initiative!
  • Burlington Public Library in Washington caught our eye with this clever idea, for staff to dress like a book day! Check out the photos with the post, "On Tuesdays, we dress like books."
    Image courtesy Sonoma County Library on Facebook
  • Sonoma County Library in California is hosting a Mock Caldecott Contest this month! The community is invited to stop by a branch to cast their vote for one of eight books, selected by library staff, and which meet the criteria of books considered for the Caldecott Medal. The local press provided all the details, including mention that "All libraries have reserve sets available of all eight books, offering readers the chance to read (or listen to) all the nominees and vote right there." What a great way to get the community engaged, leading up to the much-anticipated ALA Youth Media Awards on January 28 (to be streamed live here, from the Midwinter conference). If you're a children's literature fan, check out Elizabeth Bird's predictions on School Library Journal.
  • Oak Lawn Public Library in Illinois has added an interesting service to their offerings, in partnership with Smilin' Clyde's Hot Dogs. Add hot dogs to your list of reasons to go to the library! A local news story about the new cafe tells us it's run by a father-daughter team and that they also serve breakfast sandwiches, donuts, lunch and dinner sandwiches, soup, pizza, salads, coffee and pop.
  • Chemung County Library District in New York made the news with their newest addition to the library family. Bernard the puppy will be the service dog-in-training at the Steele Branch for the next few years. Sherry Nichols, Bernard's trainer and the library's senior clerk, has trained fourteen(!) service dogs, ten at the library. She said, "The library is a great place to socialize a puppy. They get so much interaction with all kinds of different people, kids." Here's another video of Bernard we can't stop watching!