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FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast

Publiclibrariesonline.org is the companion website to the bi-monthly print publication “Public Libraries,” the official magazine of the Public Library Association.

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FYI 040 Library Marketing With Cordelia Anderson

Our guest is Cordelia Anderson, a marketing and communications consultant who works primarily with libraries and nonprofits. She is the former director of marketing and communications at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library in North Carolina.


5 Jul 2019

Rank #1

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FYI 035 - Whole Person Librarianship

Our guest for this episode is Sara Zettervall. Sara is the founding consultant and trainer for Whole Person Librarianship, which applies social work concepts to library practice. She also works at Hennepin County Library as the community engagement librarian for East African refugees in Minneapolis.


1 Feb 2019

Rank #2

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FYI 030 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This episode focuses on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, EDI for short and features three guest who've been working tirelessly in this arena. Amita Lonial leads our conversation. Amita, (she/her/hers) is currently the Principal Librarian for Learning, Marketing, and Engagement at San Diego County Library. She also currently serves as the co-chair for the PLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. Racial and social justice is something she have always been passionate about. Prior to becoming a librarian she spent 8 years in the non-profit sector working with organizations engaged in direct action organizing and policy reform. Working in public libraries has deepened her commitment to doing liberation based work in our communities and with library staff. Katie Dover-Taylor is a Reference Librarian at the William P. Faust Public Library in Westland, Michigan, where she focuses on library technology and digital literacy training. Katie has developed her understanding of power and oppression in public libraries through both community organizing and scholarship. In 2015 and 2016, Katie co-coordinated the Radical Librarianship Track at the Allied Media Conference, bringing the first official gathering of library-centric content to an annual conference which draws a diverse spectrum of creative and technology-savvy people engaged in social justice work. In 2017, Katie co-authored the chapter "Disrupting Whiteness: Three Perspectives on White Anti-Racist Librarianship" forTopographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in Library and Information Science. She is currently a member of PLA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. Mia Henry (she/her/hers) is the Executive Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Mia joined the team in 2014 with over 18 years of experience in nonprofit management, training facilitation, intergenerational community organizing, and civic and history education. Mia was the founding director of the Chicago Freedom School (CFS), a nonprofit organization that supports youth-led social change and youth-adult partnerships in community organizing. Since her work with CFS, Mia has been a consultant nationally with Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), and in Chicago with the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Schools, the University of Chicago Hospital, and the University of Chicago Oriental Institute. Mia is the owner and operator of Freedom Lifted, a small business dedicated to providing civil rights tours. She is also the founder of Reclaiming South Shore for All, a diverse, grassroots group of residents committed to mobilizing the South Shore (Chicago) community and institutionalizing systems that promote peace, youth leadership, and political accountability. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Harold Washington College, as well as a high school history teacher and International Baccalaureate (IB) program coordinator for Chicago Public Schools. Mia is deeply passionate about social movement history, positive youth development, and civic engagement through an anti-oppression lens. She serves on the Boards of Directors for the Mikva Challenge and the Community Justice for Youth Institute. Mia earned her B.S. from Rutgers University and her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.


17 Jul 2018

Rank #3

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FYI 025 Public Service Loan Forgiveness with Kyra Hahn

Librarian Kyra Hahn shares her experiences navigating the intense bureaucracy of the Federal Public Service Student Loan (PSLF) program and provides tips, advice, and explanations that can make the process easier for applicants.


7 Nov 2017

Rank #4

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FYI 017 - Libraries Ready to Code

Larra Clark Deputy Director for the Public Library Association and the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), talks with Marijke Visser, Associate Director at OITP, about ‘Ready to Code” a new ALA initiative in partnership with Google, that aims to investigate the current nature of coding activities in public and school libraries for youth and broaden the reach and scope of this work.


27 Feb 2017

Rank #5

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FYI 023 Serving All Families in a Queer and Genderqueer Way

In this episode we discuss providing the best library service for your LGBTQ community with our guest Joel A. Nichols. Joel is the author of the winner in this year's "Public Libraries" magazine feature article contest, for the article "Serving All Families in a Queer and Genderqueer Way," which you can read at www.publiclibrariesonline.org. He is an administrator for data strategy and evaluation in the Strategic Initiatives Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where he previously worked as a children's librarian and branch manager and the author of "Teaching Internet Basics - The Can-Do Guide" and "I-Pads in the Library" both published by Libraries Unlimited.


24 Jul 2017

Rank #6

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FYI 024 Guest: Nicholas Higgins -- Library Service to Jails and Prisons

We talk with Nicholas Higgins, director of Outreach Services at the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library. Higgins, author of the latest book in the PLA Quick Reads series, shares wisdom gleaned from his years of experience providing library service to incarcerated persons; provides a thoughtful perspective on the American criminal justice system and shows how to provide the absolute best service to this group and the families they have left behind.


17 Nov 2017

Rank #7

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FYI 021– A New Model for Library Service to Business

We talk with Gillian Robbins and Caitlin Seifritz librarians in the Business Resource & Innovation Center (BRIC) at the Free Library of Philadelphia about the BRIC and new ideas for updating the library model of providing services to business, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits.


16 Jun 2017

Rank #8

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032 - The Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center

Our guest is Elizabeth Fitzgerald, director of the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Culinary Literacy Center is the first kitchen classroom in a public library in the United States. Here we discuss the Culinary LIteracy Center, why culinary literacy is important, how libraries can offer this type of programming, and more.


8 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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FYI 039 REFORMA's Children in Crisis Task Force

We talk with Oralia Garza de Cortés, Coordinator for REFORMA's Children in Crisis and Patrick Sullivan, Emeritus Librarian at San Diego State University, about the organization's efforts to provide books and storytime materials to children detained at the southern border.


14 Jun 2019

Rank #10

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FYI 029 Serving Persons Experiencing Homelessness

We talk with John Spears, Director of the Pikes Peak (Colorado) Public Library about challenges and opportunities in serving patrons experiencing homelessness at the public library, educating the public, tensions in the community, efforts to expand initiatives, and more.


16 Mar 2018

Rank #11

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FYI 041 Hennepin County Library Social Services

We talk with Kate Coleman, Outreach Coordinator at the Hennepin County (MN) Library about the library's social services offerings, outreach, and more.


14 Jun 2019

Rank #12

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FYI 028 Graphic Medicine

In this podcast, we discuss Graphic Medicine, which can be defined as the use of comics (graphic narratives) in health sciences education and patient care. Our guests are Susan Squier and Ellen Forney. Susan Squier is Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Penn State University, where she taught graphic narratives (comics!) to graduate students. She is now Visiting Fellow at the Freie Universität, Berlin (the Free University, that is) where she is part of a collaboration called the PathoGraphics project, a study of the relations between illness narratives (also called pathographies) and comics about medicine, illness, disability and caregiving. She is a co-editor of the Graphic Medicine book series at Penn State Press, which publishes long form graphic narratives, graphic narratives for classroom use, and scholarly studies of works of graphic medicine. Ellen Forney is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me," a graphic memoir about her bipolar disorder. Her new book, the follow-up to Marbles, is a self-help guide to maintaining stability with a mood disorder. It’s called "Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life," and will be out this May. She teaches comics at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.


2 Mar 2018

Rank #13

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FYI 022 Serving Children of Incarcerated Parents

We talk to Megan Sullivan, writer and college professor (Boston University) about her book, "Clarissa's Disappointment: And Resources for Families, Teachers and Counselors of Children of Incarcerated Parents" about how to best serve this group, the author's own experience with parental incarceration, and more.


6 Jul 2017

Rank #14

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FYI 015 - Building a Digital Media Lab with Jeffrey Fisher

We talk with Jeffrey Fisher, author of the latest book in PLA's 'Quick Reads' Series "Building and Operating a Digital Media Lab." Topics include creating the right space; arranging funding; hiring and training staff; buying the correct equipment; writing policies and procedures, and more.


24 Oct 2016

Rank #15

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FYI 027 Evaluating Health News

We talk with Carolyn Martin and Sally James about providing Health Information Services and in particular evaluating health news. Carolyn Martin is a librarian who is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Pacific Northwest Region. Sally James reads health news critically and gives grades to stories and news releases as a part of a team at the nonprofit Health News Review. She also writes about medical research and other science as a freelancer from Seattle.


29 Mar 2018

Rank #16

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FYI 031 - Social Workers in Public Libraries

We talk with Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library, Elissa Hardy about the emerging trend of employing social workers in public libraries, serving persons experiencing homelessness at the library, making the library and inclusive space, training library staff, and related issues.


3 Aug 2018

Rank #17

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FYI 36 - Social Workers DC Public Library

Our guest is social worker Jean Badalamenti, the Health and Human Services Assistant Manager at the Washington, D.C. Public Library. In her role with the library, she leads system-wide initiatives in a variety of areas. Since 2014, she has been developing programs, creating partnerships, and training DCPL staff to support customers experiencing homelessness. She also manages DCPL’s library at the DC jail in partnership with the DC Department of Corrections.


22 Jan 2019

Rank #18

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FYI 016 Teen Social Justice Symposium - Erin Hoppes

PLA's Kathleen Hughes talks with Erin Hoopes. Erin is head of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Philadelphia City Institute Branch. We talk with her about an initiative she spearheaded at the Free Library, a Teen Social Justice Symposium.


30 Dec 2016

Rank #19

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Fyi 38 Libraries Connecting You to Coverage

We talk with Rachelle Brandel, Adult Services Librarian at the Ferguson (MO) Public Library about PLA's 'Libraries Connecting You to Coverage' initiative and the Ferguson Library's efforts to help their community members enroll in health insurance during the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period.


3 May 2019

Rank #20