Book Hunters in Brief #121: Libraries Transform

Whoever came up with "libraries transform" as the American Library Association's theme for National Library Week 2016 deserves a raise. It is one on those rare things: a sentence in its simplest possible form--a noun, a verb and that's it--that communicates complex ideas.

Libraries transform lives--whether it be as simple as the right book at the just-right time in one's life, or access to job search resources, computer access, early, youth or adult literacy programs, English Language Acquisition classes or any of the services public libraries across the country provide day in and day out.

But libraries also transform themselves to meet the evolving needs of their customers and their communities. Today's public libraries are providing access to technology and maker equipment that spark creative thinking, spur innovation and drive small business, as well as to robotics and coding and other STEM programs for kids--not to mention "virtual" branches like Harris County Public Library's e.hcpl.net, where customers can stream movies, peruse magazines, read any one of thousands of eBooks without stepping foot in a brick and mortar library.

See? Those two simple words, "libraries transform," say a whole lot.

This week Book Hunters celebrates the public library's ability to educate, entertain and inspire--sometimes all at the same time.

This Book Is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind : Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.

Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Jumping Off Library Shelves: a Book of Poems  selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins ; illustrated by Jane Manning.

Biblioburro : a True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter.

Visit Book Hunters--itself, a new way of delivering a traditional library service: tailored reading suggestions--soon.