Join us for a new video series!
In each episode, Diane speaks with local Arlingtonians who have made a difference in our community.
Join us for a new video series!
In each episode, Diane speaks with local Arlingtonians who have made a difference in our community.
You’ve been busy since our last report! Since June 15, over 56,000 print books and other library materials have been checked out or renewed, over 67,000 physical holds have been placed, and 163,000 items have been returned at all seven Library locations.
The ten most popular holds placed in the last 30 days are:
Book Covers showcases artists, musicians, their creative processes, alongside the books and stories that inspire them.
Recorded at home, or in the studio, these vignettes offer a glimpse behind the scenes into the working artist’s and performer’s private spaces, as well as each artist’s creative response to favorite books and stories.
Book Covers is a collaboration between Arlington Arts and Arlington Public Library, the intersection where people, art and ideas meet.
Join us for storytime on the Library’s Facebook page. Your favorite librarians will be reading, singing and rhyming with you!
A new storytime will be posted every Monday and Wednesday by noon. And if you miss one, no worries – the storytime video will be available to watch for two weeks.
Join us tonight on Facebook for a Watch Party at 7 p.m.
Or watch the video anytime on Youtube:
Arlington Reads: One Book, One Community
Recorded June 24, 2020.
Brooke Gladstone, NPR’s first media reporter, is the author of “The Influencing Machine,” and current host of “On the Media,” WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview. Gladstone is also the author of “The Trouble With Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time” and “The Influencing Machine,” a media manifesto in graphic form, listed among the top books of 2011 by The New Yorker, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, and among the 10 Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction by The Atlantic.
Gladstone was an NPR Moscow-based reporter, senior editor of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and the senior editor of “Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.” She is the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and many others.
Central Library will be closed to the public on account of voting on:
Since June 15, Arlington Public Library cardholders have returned 36,000 books, placed 21,000 new holds, and checked out 3,000 items. Proving, yet again, how much Arlingtonians love to read.
But what does this look like behind the scenes?
Two weeks into providing a new holds pick-up service, many of our library staffers have shifted from telework to on-site work. In the previous month, they worked hard to prepare Central Library to receive holds from all eight library locations and to create a safe way for patrons to pick up those holds. Long before that, however, staff took up the challenge of learning and implementing a new operating system - a system that had to be replaced before our contract ran out in July, in a process that had started 18 months earlier when a pandemic was a story in the Fiction section or a lesson in the Nonfiction section...
The safety of our patrons and staff always comes first! With that in mind, we built custom plexiglass barriers and created new work processes to safeguard everyone. And by shifting all our operations to Central Library, we have been able to create a safe and clean space where patrons can pick up holds and conduct essential Library business while maintaining safe social distancing. As with other industries, we acknowledge that waiting lines might be longer than usual during peak times, and looking ahead, we are working to communicate the status of pick-up conditions when possible.
A typical Monday morning now looks like this: Circulation staffer Charlotte, dressed in protective gloves and face covering, is checking in holds that will go on temporary shelves in the Auditorium. Later in the day, she will be joined by Branch staff after they finish processing the morning’s returns at their home branches.
Youth Services librarians Pat, Nico and Anne are getting ready to record a live story time video in the upstairs meeting room. Administrative staffer Charlie is waiting to make a materials-run and our Facility Manager Tony is climbing a ladder to install another temporary sign. Other staff are organizing books returned from patrons for their 72-hour quarantine. This is the new reality of daily operations.
We don’t know, yet. What we do know is, we will continue to serve our community. Some of our buildings may remain closed for the duration of the pandemic, our virtual services and online programs will continue to expand, and our digital and physical catalog will remain accessible.
What will our future library system look like? What will happen with our popular programs such as story times, language conversation and author events? All good questions which we have been studying since the beginning of this crisis. Many scenarios are being considered as we move into the fall and winter.
We know the last three weeks have not been easy! Not on you, and not on our staff. We appreciate your patience, and we understand your frustration. We hope that every day gets a little easier, and when it doesn’t, please let us know using this form - we welcome your feedback.
For Library account or catalog questions, please call us, or contact us through use Live Chat and Text.
Stay safe and hopeful,
Your Arlington Public Library Team.
Central Library is currently the only available pickup location.
To receive frozen holds, log into your account and click on “thaw” next to each item that you are ready to receive.
If you do not wish to pick up your holds at Central Library, you may cancel them or keep them frozen (frozen holds keep their place in line). Once other pickup locations are available you will be able to thaw your hold and update the pickup location.
When you place a new hold, only Central Library will be an option for holds pickup until Branch locations reopen for holds pickup.
Please use the catalog on the Library website to place holds until further notice.
In addition, some features and tasks are not yet working as expected.
Thank you for your patience as we work to solve these problem as quickly as possible.
Listen to the audio version of the newsletter with the embedded player below, and read the transcript, which includes additional resources.
This month the newsletter is read by Brittany Ham from the Accessibility and Collections Team, which includes the Talking Book Service.
I’m the newest member of the team, having only started with Arlington Public Library July of last year. I’m originally from Virginia Beach and outside of work I love baking, reading literary fiction, and hanging out with my scaly pet Carmen the bearded dragon!
All Arlington Public Library locations are closed until further notice. Here is how that impacts our Talking Books service:
While all in-person library programs have ceased, here are some helpful resources and events that are still operating in the area:
The Low Vision Learning Center Information & Resource Hotline Remains Open. Although the Prevention of Blindness Society’s DC Headquarters is closed to the public, you can still call to get answers to questions about available resources on reading, transportation, technology, and much more. The hotline is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM at (301) 951-4444.
They also host weekly Low Vision Town Halls, and recordings of these town halls can be found at https://anchor.fm/youreyesdc.
Metropolitan Washington Ear is still accepting new applications for their listener services, which includes daily readings of major newspapers and magazines and a talking books radio program. They can be reached at (301) 681-6636 or you can apply online at https://www.washear.org/
The Foundation Fighting Blindness VisionWalk program includes more than 36 walks in cities throughout the United States to fund research leading to treatments and cures for blinding retinal disease. This year, the in-person walks have combined and turned virtual into a National Virtual VisionWalk Day on June 6th. You can support this event by taking advantage of their online tools to let people know why you’re participating, build your virtual team of family and friends to join you, and on June 6th celebrate in any way you want – whether it’s a walk around the block (while social distancing) or a virtual hangout with your team. If you have any questions, please contact Michele DiVincenzo at email@example.com.
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind is offering virtual trainings for essential route planning, independent living skills training such as meal prepping, and community activities including their virtual Training Support Groups. To sign up or receive more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting with Zoom? Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, everyone is using Zoom to meet, and there is a free audiobook available for vision challenged people to learn about and run Zoom meetings: https://mosen.org/zoom/
Unfortunately, our last scheduled Blind and Low Vision Resource Group meeting in March was canceled due to COVID-19, and we don’t know when we’ll get to have our next one. But our last in-person meeting welcomed Karen Peltz Strauss as a speaker. Karen is a long-time disability advocate who was involved in writing part of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and most of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. She spent 11 years as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. She discussed telecommunications accessibility on a federal level. Some of the highlights included learning that:
Thanks, once again, to Karen for speaking with us!
We invite you to share with us what you're reading now or other books you've enjoyed so that we may share them with your fellow Talking Books patrons. We hope this will help us stay connected through sharing what we're reading. Each of us has written a brief review of a book we've read recently which is shared below. These books are available for download in BARD.
A week-long visit between two dear friends, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, brings us this thoughtful discussion on how we all can cultivate joy in our everyday lives, regardless what else may be going on. This book is not about religion but instead about the teachings of these two men, the nature of joy, and the importance of cultivating it in our own lives.
The first part of the book lays the groundwork for understanding the nature of joy, it is then followed by obstacles to joy, and the last part pulls it all together by providing readers with the eight pillars of joy as agreed upon by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The tone of the book is very conversational, and I felt the love and respect between these two remarkable men who have faced great adversity in their own lives but remain truly joy filled. This was a soothing and reassuring book in these not so soothing times.
Danny and Maeve Conroy, two young siblings, are living with their father alone in the Dutch House in the suburbs of Philadelphia after their mother abandons the family because of the house. Soon the father remarries an "evil stepmother"-like figure Andrea Smith, and ultimately Danny and Maeve are forced to leave the house of their childhood and strike out on their own. This story follows the lives of Danny and Maeve through the subsequent decades through Danny's point of view.
I am a fan of Ann Patchett, and I loved Commonwealth. Similar to that book, I appreciate the slow character development and the focus on sibling relationships. The Dutch House is also a character on its own, asserting its own role in this story. However, what really makes this book for me is Tom Hanks' narration - he makes Danny more lovable and approachable.
Note: some strong language.
Tom Hazard has a rare condition that causes him to age very slowly. Born in France in 1581, in the present day he appears to be a regular 41-year old man. His current life as an English schoolteacher trying to protect those he cares about from the sinister Albatross Society is interspersed with flashbacks to his dangerous and heartbreaking past. It is an enchanting mix of adventure, love, danger, heartache and the search for the meaning of life.
Note: some profanity.
This is an odd but strangely diverting book, a quality which I found to be particularly welcome in this unsettling time. Lillian had a tough upbringing which left its mark on her. She has recently agreed to serve as caretaker to her childhood friend Madison’s twin stepchildren while Madison supports her husband’s political ambitions. What’s the problem? Well, the kids have been known to burst into flames when their emotions run high. Over the course of the summer, Lillian helps Madison and the children and, eventually, herself as she comes to terms with what it means to love and be loved, to need and be needed. I was charmed.
Please note, there is some profanity.
Do you have a book you’d like to recommend? Please call or email us with a brief description of the book and why you liked it.
New Books available through Talking Books Topics, March—April 2020:
The Talking Book staff is here for you. We can help you select or download books, register for library programs or connect you with other information you may be looking for.
We champion the power of stories, information and ideas.
We create space for culture and connection.
We embrace inclusion and diverse points of view.