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2022 Library Systems Report

Illustration: Tom Deja Events of the last year have reshaped the library technology industry. Previous rounds of acquisitions pale in comparison to the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate, which has propelled the leading library technology provider into the broader commercial sector of scholarly communications. This deal signals that the gap in size among vendors is […]

A Career Path for Youth

Photos: ©Merla/Adobe Stock (coffee shop); ©Monkey Business/Adobe Stock (workshop, kitchen); ©Daria Trofimova/Adobe Stock (garden) No question: The coronavirus pandemic has warped the educational path for today’s young adults, in turn affecting their readiness for the workforce. In the past, many young people have sought out part-time employment in areas such as the food service industry […]

Rightsizing Your Collection

Illustration: ©cristinn/Adobe Stock Academic librarians have long grappled with issues of collection size, quality versus quantity, and maintaining a core collection. In previous eras, libraries provided access to content by acquiring and owning print copies of titles to allow immediate access to users. From a national perspective, we now understand that collections are hugely redundant […]

Newsmaker: Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki’s skill at portraying the queer teenage experience has earned her many awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award and a Caldecott Honor for This One Summer (illustrated by Jillian Tamaki) and Eisner Awards for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell). Her unflinching approach to telling these stories has […]

Bookend: Stranger than Fiction

Suzanne Noruschat, Southern California studies specialist for USC Libraries Special Collections. Photo: Anne-Marie Maxwell Long before the popularity of true-crime podcasts, there was True Detective, a pulp magazine published from 1924 to 1995 that, at its peak, chronicled real-life crimes for millions of readers. Edward S. Sullivan, an editor for The Los Angeles Examiner and […]

Recognition and Relief

Many things stick with you long after you graduate from college—the education you received, the friends you made, and, too often, the expenses incurred. For thousands of Americans saddled with debilitating college debt, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, has helped cut down […]

Special Report: Toward an Equi...

Illustration: David Alvarado Over the past two years, the pandemic has exposed the widening gap in the US among those with and without consistent access to the internet. Even as lockdowns have eased and most schools and libraries have reopened, the availability of reliable broadband, devices, and digital literacy training remains critical—whether for schoolwork, employment, […]

The Last Mile

Illustration: David Alvarado For librarians working to overcome the digital divide in rural communities, understanding the value of—and urgent need for—broadband internet service is just a starting point. Grasping the details of the equipment and infrastructure necessary for high-quality service is another matter and can be a major stumbling block for librarians not steeped in […]

The 411 on Funding

Illustration: David Alvarado In January 2021, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Council passed a resolution declaring support for broadband as a human right. Yet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that ­approximately 19 million Americans lack broadband access, and “even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe.” According […]

Moving the Needle

Illustration: David Alvarado Perhaps you’ve read about the new funding available for libraries to purchase laptops and hotspots, or you’re familiar with digital equity concepts but aren’t sure what they mean for your library. We talked with librarians and experts from the Public Library Association (PLA) and ALA’s Committee on Literacy about practical steps to […]

Getting There Together

During the pandemic, Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library launched Tech To-Go, a Chromebook and hotspot lending service, while Digital Durham (in North Carolina) created fliers in English and Spanish that explain the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. Coalition, alliance, task force, committee, collaborative. The digital equity coalition is a model that goes by many names, but […]

A Broad Look at Broadband

What Is Broadband? Broadband, or high-speed internet, is internet with a minimum download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps—known as 25/3 Mbps speed. There are 6 main types of broadband: broadband over power lines (BPL), cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), fiber, satellite, and wireless. Fiber […]

Creating Fundable Grant Propos...

Illustration: ©Sylverarts/Adobe Stock Grant proposals that include partnerships have a significant competitive advantage. Whether these partnerships are with other departments within the same library or with external groups that allow the funder to invest in multiple groups through one grant, collaborations can give you a leg up. But most people have little or no training […]

2022 LibLearnX Wrap-Up

More than 2,100 people attended the American Library Association’s (ALA) inaugural LibLearnX virtual conference January 21–24. The format of LibLearnX is designed to motivate, inspire, and enable discussions that shape the future of libraries and communities, emphasizing active and applied learning in a variety of formats. The lineup also included familiar ALA conference components: high-profile […]

Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma

Who is Rhone Talsma? On January 26, Talsma earned a spot in Jeopardy! history when he unseated fellow contestant Amy Schneider, who had racked up a 40-game winning streak, the second highest on the iconic game show. Talsma, multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, was the most recent in an impressive line of […]

Introducing LibLearnX

For many years, the leadership of the American Library Association (ALA) has been working to reimagine—and ultimately replace—the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits event traditionally held in January. ALA’s planning, which has involved gathering member input and incrementally tweaking the conference’s format, reflects the shifting dynamics in how associations conduct business and engage members, moving away […]

2021 Year in Review

Wong’s election makes ALA history At the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Conference Virtual, Patricia “Patty” M. Wong began her term as the first Asian American to serve as ALA president. The American Rescue Plan Act and libraries When President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11, […]