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Newsmakers: Trish Adlesic and 1

From left: Filmmakers Trish Adlesic, Nazenet Habtezghi, and Sheila Nevins. The trio codirected The ABCs of Book Banning (MTV Documentary Films). American Libraries spoke with Adlesic and Habtezghi about the nomination and the ongoing fight for intellectual freedom. Photos, from left: Brandi Merolla, Nazenet Habtezghi, Valerie Chiang Book challenges and bans rage on in the […]

Newsmaker: Jesús Trejo

Jesús Trejo often has a full plate—literally and figuratively—when it comes to his career. The comedian and author is the host and executive producer of First We Feast’s Tacos Con Todo web series, where he bites into California’s taco scene alongside other comedians. He acts and writes for the Hulu’s This Fool. Last summer, he […]

Newsmaker: Antonia Hylton

Antonia Hylton speaks at the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore on January 20. Photo: EPNAC NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Antonia Hylton says she became obsessed with the story of Crownsville (Md.) State Hospital when she arrived at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a history student. Hylton spent years doing archival research and building […]

2024 LibLearnX Wrap-Up

Washington Post columnist Michele Norris (right) speaks with ALA President Emily Drabinski at the opening session of the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore on January 20. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries Freezing temperatures in Baltimore could not stop librarians from exchanging hot ideas at the American Library Association’s (ALA) second in-person LibLearnX conference. Held January 19–22, […]

2024 LibLearnX Preview

LibLearnX heads to the Charm City this year, and what place could B’more enticing? The American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX conference will be held January 19–22, bringing collaborative learning activities, networking opportunities, celebrations, and author talks to the city of Baltimore. Designed for active learning, the conference will offer more than 100 educational programs in returning […]

Bite into Baltimore

Steamed mussels at The Choptank Hi, hon! Welcome to Bawlmer. Established as a port and shipbuilding town in 1729, Charm City has long been home to a diverse bunch of hardworking residents. Maybe that’s why we have more than 200 distinct neighborhoods here, each with its own personality and flair. For visitors to our town, […]

2023 Year in Review

Another record year for book challenges Photo: OntheRun Photo/Adobe Stock Preliminary data from the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) through August 31 showed a 20% increase in reported book challenges for 2023—surpassing the record set in 2022. The data also showed an increase in challenges that targeted multiple titles, with libraries in 11 states receiving challenges […]

Referenda Roundup 2023: Campai1

A yard sign developed by Neighbors United for Progress in support of Columbia County (Wash.) Rural Library District is displayed by a resident. In last year’s Referenda Roundup, American Libraries noted the growing trend of organized groups of voters fighting library levies due to those groups’ opposition to libraries carrying materials by and about LGBTQ […]

In Their Own Words

Steve Phan discussed moving from Washington, D.C., to Kentucky amid COVID-19 for Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library’s (JCPL) Pandemic Stories Project. Photo: Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library Steve Phan, a park ranger with the US National Park Service (NPS), remembers driving to his office in Washington, D.C., after the first shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic […]

Spirit-Free Spaces

Adult patrons sample an array of sober cocktails at Grand Forks (N.Dak.) Public Library’s Music and Mocktails event in October 2023. The event brought together residents, local businesses, and live musicians. Photo: Windland Photography Alcohol-free events have gained significant traction in recent years. It’s a trend reflected in the growing popularity of wellness challenges like […]

Hot Topic

Aydin Kwan, adult services librarian at Sunnyvale (Calif.) Public Library (SPL), uses an induction cooktop available for loan. Since March 2021, SPL has circulated 12 cooktop kits nearly 300 times. Photo: Neha Paralkar When the existing gas range in his home began to malfunction, Brian Bunk considered replacing it with an induction stove. That decision, he […]

Show Us Your Beautiful New Lib1

Middle Country Public Library (MCPL) in Centereach, New York. MCPL was featured in the 2023 Library Design Showcase. American Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2024 Library Design Showcase, our annual feature celebrating new and newly renovated libraries of all types. The showcase will appear in the September/October issue. We are looking for examples […]

A Winning Case

A kiosk at Cleveland Public Library’s (CPL) South branch. CPL has four Neighborhood Housing Court kiosks throughout the city to assist residents who need to attend hearings. The economic impact of the past few years has disproportionately affected renters across the country. In the second half of 2021—when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

Newsmaker: Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood Photo: Justin Murphy/Out of the Attic Photography Romance author and doctor of neuroscience Ali Hazelwood saw her 2021 debut, The Love Hypothesis, become a New York Times bestseller and go viral on TikTok. Readers praised the book—derived from a piece of Star Wars fan fiction Hazelwood had written—for its classic tropes and STEM […]

Holiday Healing

Photo: Adobe Stock Though often referred to as the most wonderful time of year, the holidays can be the exact opposite for those mourning the loss of family or friends. El Progreso Memorial Library (EPML) in Uvalde, Texas, is one of an increasing number of libraries, with help from community partners, organizing programming about handling […]

Lighting the Way

Illustration: Gaby FeBland Poets Reginald Dwayne Betts and Randall Horton both discovered the transformative power of literature while incarcerated, and both have dedicated their lives since their release to bringing that power to others. Betts founded Freedom Reads, an organization that installs 500-book Freedom Libraries in prisons and juvenile detention centers. Horton cofounded Radical Reversal, […]

One of a Kind

Libraries of all sizes across the US are more than just information access points: They’re social hubs, technology centers, and can be safe havens for the marginalized. In rural areas and small towns in particular, libraries are often one of the few—or only—places to serve these functions in a way that’s free and accessible to […]

Figuring Out Fair Use

Why do librarians and teachers—the very professionals who specialize in information literacy, equitable access to information, and the advancement of learning—have so many anxieties and misconceptions about copyright? Many of us harbor an unfounded fear of copyright litigation. “Better safe than sorry” is a frequent assertion. But that attitude can keep users and creators of […]

CALA Turns 50

The Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. In the five decades since its formation, the organization has become known for its scholarship, awards, and humanitarian efforts—and has grown to include nine chapters across North America and the Asia Pacific region. CALA President […]