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Sarah Washburn's blog

Help Youth Find a Free Meal and a Safe Place This Summer

Last year was our first summer launching Range, an app that helps libraries, community leaders, and other trusted referrers locate free summer meals for youth.

We learned a lot. We learned who really used Range and how referrers shared information with youth and families. We learned that public librarians tended to print our posters to share Range with their community, we learned that food bank staff were using Range to refer youth and families to free meal sites, and we learned that app users wanted Range to also include information about safe places for youth.

And because we know libraries, we knew they were the perfect safe place.

Tell Everyone: Free Meals for Youth!


A recent TechSoup webinar on childhood hunger and tools to find free meals surfaced a lot of interest and ideas on how organizations can help fight hunger. (Watch the archive and download resources shared during the webinar.) If you're interested in tools to help youth in your community find free meals this summer, read on.

Do what you do best: helping after a storm


Libraries often play a big part in the moments and months after a natural disaster. Mostly, libraries offer refuge, comfort, and contact; they're a warm place with big hearts filled with folks who know how to find help. But after those first few days of extreme need, what else can libraries offer?

Get out there with the help of your Friends


There's a lot of talk about the value in leaving the library building. Not for patrons, mind you, but for staff. I'm often reminded of a marvelous tip I learned from Gail Santy, a presenter at the Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference last year (handouts from her presentation).

Sending help to Oklahoma libraries


My friend and colleague Susan McVey, State Librarian of Oklahoma, encouraged me to share a post from Anne Masters, Director of the Pioneer Library System, which is near areas affected by the recent and tragic tornado. Find out how you can help.

Hiring and Training Internet Mentors


Find resources and ideas for finding and training people who can effectively guide your community in Internet adoption.

Seven success-makers chime in


We've interviewed a lot of people from libraries for the Edge Initiative. In our interviews we're trying to uncover what factors or best practices aligned to create a situation for success in a particular benchmark area. In our seven published Edge Spotlights, we uncovered that it all comes down to...

A list of innovative programs, influenced by a tweet


Today I read Lee Rainie’s tweet (Director of Pew Internet Project) requesting examples of innovative library services and decided to send him a few highlights from this past year. To me, some of the more innovative library programs do not fall under bleeding edge tech or super cool gadgetry categories, but under smart uses of resources to meet community needs. This past year, many of the innovative programs I heard about were focused on extending the boundaries of the library through partnerships and through reimagining services the library  offers.

MidWinter has the Edge

Have you heard about the Edge Initiative? Whether you're a seasoned expert or a recent newbie to the Edge scene, please attend the Edge Update session at MidWinter in Seattle to learn about the new and improved benchmarks, strengthened by feedback from you and your library colleagues.

Help the Gates Foundation support libraries


It's not often an opportunity arises to provide the world's largest foundation your thoughts on your work, your field, and the resources your library needs to succeed. The Gates Foundation is asking for your perspective in an anonymous survey that will help them support today's libraries into the future.

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