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Newsmaker: Kathleen Hanna

Photo: Rachel Bright   Artist and activist Kathleen Hanna is most known as the lead singer of punk bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin. Hanna’s new memoir Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (Ecco, May) chronicles the challenges and triumphs of her life before, during, and after navigating the male-dominated […]

2024 Library Systems Report

Illustration: Jacob Stead The library technology industry had a quiet year in 2023. But in the absence of major business moves and acquisitions, companies set their sights on executing strategies to strengthen their market position. Previous cycles of business consolidation have yielded a layered landscape with distinct levels of competition. At the top, a handful […]

Show Yourself

Illustration: Rudzhan/Adobe Stock As school librarians, we are always rethinking how to convey who we are and what we do. To compete and remain viable, we need to work on our brand identity. You might be thinking, “Our school library has a brand?” Most of us associate the word with a name, logo, tagline, and […]

The Spice of Life

In February, Maynard (Mass.) Public Library featured fenugreek as its spice of the month. The library started its spice club in January 2022. Photo: Maynard (Mass.) Public Library Once a month, the aromas of unique herbs and spices waft through Maynard (Mass.) Public Library (MPL). These spices accent dishes like sweet and spicy tahini noodles, […]

Librarian’s Pet

Sister Stella, a resident of Queen of Peace, a retirement community for nuns, plays with Henry. The robotic dog belongs to Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, Illinois.Photo: Liz Kristan Liz Kristan wanted to bring four-legged friends to patrons who needed them the most. Kristan, outreach services coordinator at Ela Area Public Library (EAPL) […]

A Monumental Task

A nearly 100-year-old headstone that was revived as part of Christian County (Mo.) Library’s Uncovering History: Gravestone Cleaning program.Photo: Christian County (Mo.) Library During the pandemic, Christian County (Mo.) Library was looking to launch an ongoing service series that would bring staffers and patrons together outdoors. So it turned to some of the rural area’s […]

Newsmakers: Maia Kobabe and Sa1

From left: Maia Kobabe and Sarah PeitzmeierPhotos: M. Ruddell (Kobabe); Grace Han (Peitzmeier) In early 2020, Maia Kobabe (e/em/eir) was wrapping up promotion for eir memoir Gender Queer when e received an email out of the blue from Sarah Peitzmeier, a social epidemiologist working in LGBTQ+ health at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Peitzmeier, a […]

By the Numbers: Inventors

Photo: University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor May is National Inventors Month 135,850Number of items in the Edison Sheet Music Collection, housed at University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor. Thomas Edison, who invented the phonograph in 1877, spearheaded this collection as a way for his phonograph company to select vocal and instrumental scores […]

Bookend: Holding Court

Pickleball Librarian Drew Evans poses on the court. Photo: Ken Doll Photography Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, with participation more than doubling to 9 million players between 2020 and 2022. Drew Evans, a retired law librarian who has previously worked at Kansas State University in […]

At Our Core

When you’re president of the American Library Association (ALA), you get asked a lot of questions. “What are you reading right now?” (Pure Life by Eugene Marten.) “Aren’t libraries obsolete?” (Nope.) “Will the organized censors win?” (No way.) But here’s one that’s hard to answer: “What’s your favorite library?” When you’ve seen as many amazing […]

Scholarly Publishing for All

Last November, my home state of Iowa saw a flurry of activity relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), both positive and negative. A group of plaintiffs filed suit against the state over a law that would ban books in K–12 schools that purportedly depict sex acts. (A federal judge temporarily halted enforcement of the […]

Newsmaker: Dulcé Sloan

Dulcé Sloan Photo: Bronson Farr Two decades ago, while Daily Show Senior Correspondent Dulcé Sloan was doing summer shows at a community theater in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, the library was her main hangout spot. In the small town of 9,000 people, it was a place to gather with other young actors—and the only place with internet […]

Considering Cannabis

The legalization of marijuana in many states and municipalities in recent years has created a newly legal industry and budding entrepreneurs who can benefit from the expertise of business librarians. As soon as Washington state introduced an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis use in 2012, Seattle Public Library (SPL) librarian Jay Lyman started fielding questions […]

Talking Points

Courtney Waters (left), youth services manager at Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri, learns fencing moves from a Guild of Knightly Arts instructor.Photo: Photo: Mariah Luebbering When Courtney Waters saw young patrons taking an interest in fantasy and medieval history, she decided to introduce sword fighting at her library. “I’m always looking to […]

Meeting Neurodiverse Needs

Participants at LifeWorks, a residential community for neurodiverse young adults, hold bags from Warren County (Ky.) Public Library (WCPL). WCPL recently opened a satellite branch at LifeWorks.Photo: Warren County (Ky.) Public Library To fill in service gaps exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Warren County (Ky.) Public Library (WCPL) opened four satellite libraries. These one-room, full-service satellites, […]

Newsmaker: Hanif Abdurraqib

When poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib received a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, the foundation observed that he “is forging a new form of cultural criticism, one that is informed by lived experience and offers incisive social and artistic critiques.” This aptly describes A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (2021), winner of […]

By the Numbers: Recycling

Meridian (Idaho) Library District’s Tiny Library. 75%Percentage of recycled material required for each item featured in Mattapoisett (Mass.) Free Public Library’s RE-ART show, held in September 2023. Among the pieces local artists submitted: a robe constructed with upcycled quilts and a purse made from a vintage book. 1,000Number of volunteers who support the annual book […]

Bookend: Completing the Circui1

Kathleen Donahoe, robot archive processing archivist at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), poses with a selection of robots in CMU’s archive. Photo: Heather Mull How do you archive a robot? This is the question that Kathleen Donahoe, robot archive processing archivist at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Libraries in Pittsburgh, and a team of archivists, roboticists, and […]

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 […]