The Social Library, Volume 19

Jennifer Peterson /

Image via Calgary Public Library  on Facebook

Welcome to Volume 19 of our Social Library in which we're pleased to spotlight five libraries and the ways they're connecting with their communities. With innovative programming and simple, but meaningful, uses social media, these libraries provide inspiration for all.

  • Tibetan monks from the Dzongkar Choede Monastery performed a ceremonial blessing last week, at Calgary Public Library's Central Library in Alberta, Canada. A Metro News article explains the mandala project is one of many being made throughout the area as part of a tour the monks are on to raise money for education and medical care in villages near their monastery. The library was honored to host the event, as a way to acknowledge Calgary's diversity and provide "a snapshot of that [diversity] right here in the library and the patrons can take some of that peace and compassion home with them and on their journey throughout the day, then we can begin to bring about change," said Katherine Cormack. The intricate mandala was created with grains of dyed, crushed marble. At the end of the week, when the mandala was swept away, patrons were invited to take some of the sand with them. Lynn Chazotsang, spokeswoman for the monks, explained that the sweeping away "symbolizes impermanence and reminds us that no matter how beautiful something is you must never get attached because it only brings suffering."
  • The Arlington Public Library in Texas is providing a wonderful way for patrons to connect on social media. With Pic of the Week, patrons are encouraged to tag the photos they take at branches and summer programs with #mysrc and #arlingtontxlib. A photo each week is then selected and featured as the Pic of the Week.
  • As part of their summer reading Superheroes programming, the Louisville Public Library in Colorado is hosting Natural Superheroes. This innovative class, designed for grades 1-3, "will explore the natural world around us and our ecological superheroes through Music, Movement, Ecology and the Arts!" What a fantastic way to leverage this summer's theme!
  • The Reisterstown Branch of Baltimore County Public Library has, in cooperation with their local nursery, created a Pizza Garden. The compact garden (essentially a large window box on legs) includes ingredients used in pizza, such as basil, onions, oregano, parsley and peppers. The wonder photos they shared on Facebook show young customers helping to tend and water the garden, with water collected in the library garden's rain barrel.
  • The Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio showcases their Summer Reading Club VolunTeens regularly on Facebook. The program provides a volunteer opportunity for teens 12-17. Here Damian shares why he enjoys volunteering at the Livingston Branch.

We look forward to seeking out next week's treasures from those we follow on Facebook. If you have innovative and impactful programs going on at your library that you'd like to showcase, let us know at, or find us on Facebook.

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