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Exploring the Past with Sanbor...

Walk the streets of any U.S. city today, and you might come across historic markers or masonry etchings indicating what the buildings used to be. It is always fascinating to learn what our neighborhoods, cities, and towns used to be —factories turned residences, street names changed, the places and spaces our predecessors lived, ate, and […]

Meet the 2021 I Love My Librar...

The American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 winners of its I Love My Librarian Award on January 11. Recipients were nominated by patrons nationwide for their expertise, dedication, and profound impact on the people in their communities. “During an unprecedentedly challenging year, librarians have risen to the occasion, providing much-needed resources to their communities from […]

2021 Midwinter Preview

The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual, originally scheduled for January 22–26 in Indianapolis, was always planned as a transitional event that would lead to an innovative new conference concept in 2022. The pandemic, however, necessitated bigger changes than anticipated, as ALA announced in August that this year’s meeting would be […]

2020 Year in Review

ALA Headquarters Move After 57 years on East Huron Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, ALA headquarters relocated to Michigan Plaza at 225 N. Michigan Avenue. ALA Welcomes New Executive Director Tracie D. Hall began on February 24 as the American Library Association’s (ALA) new executive director (ED). The 10th ED—and the first female African-American […]

Tarnished Legacies

A Lakota camp in 1891. During his presidency, Benjamin Harrison forced the Sioux Nation to divide among separate reservations in the Dakotas and sent the military to Wounded Knee. Photo composite: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Harrison, Lakota, tipis) For 67 years, Princeton (N.J.) University’s School of Public and International Affairs bore the […]

REALM Test Results

Our collective knowledge of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to evolve as researchers across the world work to understand and combat the virus. In such an uncertain information landscape, establishing best practices isn’t easy; it requires library workers to balance community needs with the best available guidelines for limiting the virus’s spread. Since […]

Mitigating Implicit Bias

Illustration: ©Feodora/Adobe Stock In January 2019, Jade Alburo, librarian for Southeast Asian and Pacific Island studies at UCLA, wrote a Twitter thread that recounted a patron’s experience searching a large academic archive. When the patron could not find materials on Vietnamese or South Vietnamese subjects, archives staffers suggested that he search with a pejorative term […]

By the Numbers: Midwinter

107Number of times the American Library Association (ALA) has held its Midwinter Meeting since 1908. This year’s event, which will be conducted virtually, is the last in its current format; ALA plans to introduce a new concept for 2022. 7Number of times that ALA did not host an annual Midwinter Meeting since its inception. No […]

Newsmaker: Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley When eight-time Grammy Award–winning reggae artist and philanthropist Ziggy Marley released Family Time, a well-received children’s album, in 2009, he didn’t plan to do more projects geared toward youth. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, he found himself at home full-time with his own kids and a new puppy. What resulted […]

Working Toward a Sustainable W...

Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School students held a read-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit Grain of Rice Project. Photo: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School In 2019, Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School began a book club using selections inspired by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the organization’s blueprint for addressing global challenges like poverty and […]

Tales as Old as Time

The Masterpiece Book Club at Chicago Public Library’s Vodak–East Side branch hosted a Miss Fisher–themed holiday party in 2015. Photo: Nancy Devlin Sheri Czulno, head library clerk at Chicago Public Library (CPL)’s Vodak–East Side branch, says she doesn’t consider herself much of a reader—but when she was asked to take over the branch’s Masterpiece Book […]

Responsive and Responsible

A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials. Photo: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections It’s not news that libraries and museums have a long and problematic history of mishandling Indigenous materials. From exhibiting culturally sensitive items to retaining materials that were unlawfully seized, […]

Raising Money for a Good Claws

Images from Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s 2021 Wild and Weird fundraiser calendar, featuring library workers and adoptable cats Created as a fundraiser with the help of local animal adoption agencies, Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s (MPLS) limited-edition 2021 calendar features librarians posing with adoptable cats. As the marketing manager for MPLS, I’m always brainstorming […]

Volunteer Vignette: We’re all

In today’s post, Sam Schireson interviews a By the People volunteer, Judith, who has gone above and beyond! By the People is a crowdsourced transcription program launched in 2018 at the Library of Congress. Volunteer-created transcriptions are used to make digitized collections more accessible and discoverable on loc.gov. You can read our other Volunteer Vignette on the Signal […]

Can you help? Seeking people t...

Experimenting toward the Digital Strategy Visualization of the American English Dialect Recordings Collection (held by the American Folklife Center) in Citizen DJ, a recent experiment from LC Labs. In LC Labs we work collaboratively across the Library of Congress, and with external partners, to advance and the agency’s Digital Strategy. We do this through experimentation, […]

Preliminary report on Lighting...

The Lighting the Way project team is pleased to announce the publication of Lighting the Way: A Preliminary Report on the National Forum on Archival Discovery and Delivery, which summarizes and synthesizes the activities and outcome from the event hosted by Stanford Libraries in February 2020. The Forum focused on information sharing and collaborative problem […]

Speculative Annotation in the ...

The following is a guest post by the 2021 Innovator in Residence Courtney McClellan, a research-based artist who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. With a subject focus on speech and civic engagement, McClellan works in a range of media including sculpture, performance, photography, and writing. She has served as studio art faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, […]