The Social Library, Volume 40

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy Geelong Regional Libraries on Facebook

It's hard to believe we've already reached Volume 40 of our Social Library series! We continue to discover new ways libraries are connecting with their communities, in creative spaces, through innovative programs and in meaningful and impactful ways. From Australia to Michigan, these five libraries are sure to inspire you in your work this week. We're pleased to be hearing from readers that they enjoy our weekly highlights of the great work happening in libraries. If you'd like to see your library featured in the Social Library series, please let us know via, or find us on Facebook.

  • Geelong Regional Libraries announced the opening of the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre in Victoria, Australia this week. Their Facebook timeline is filled with wonderful photos from the week-long festivities celebrating the new "dome" and includes news coverage from the Geelong Advertiser and from ABC. In a community especially "impacted by job loss from its traditional manufacturing base, Geelong is hoping for a library-led economic recovery."
  • Boston Public Library shared a post about what happens on a typical Wednesday in Teen Central. Since opening in February, Teen Central has become the go-to place for area teens to not only read and study but to also learn and use advanced digital software, explore many interests, and hang out with friends.
  • The Maple Grove branch of the Hennepin County Library in Minnesota hosted a Sensitive Family Time last week. The Center for Engaging Autism has trained librarians across Minnesota to better serve children on the spectrum in their communities. The libraries open their doors early for families living with autism, allowing for more sensory or less sensory input. The program includes activities, reading games and connections to other local resources for the families. [To learn more on this topic, there is a free course in our catalog, Serving Library Users on the Autism Spectrum.]Image courtesy Gretna Public Library on Facebook
  • Gretna Public Library in Nebraska hosted a Kitty Cafe with the Nebraska Humane Society. Most everyone loves a cat video, but we know you'll especially appreciate this one of kittens in a library! Have you approached your local animal shelter to offer to host an adoption event? What a wonderful way to bring folks to the library and to showcase materials related to pets and their owners!
  • Kalamazoo Public Library hosted the 15th Annual Great Grown-up Spelling Bee last week, raising more than $20,000 to benefit the library's early childhood literacy program. The library invites teams of eight adults (two courageous spellers and six outrageous cheerleaders) to compete in two 60-second rounds of fast paced spelling, with cheerleaders performing one 2-3 minute cheer in Round One. Prizes are awarded for best spelling, best costumes, most enthusiastic, most creative cheers and audience favorite, and hors d'oeuvres are served along with a cash bar. The event is recorded by Public Media Network TV and the library has shared an album of wonderful photos on Flickr.

Thanks to all of this week's featured libraries for such outstanding service to your communities!