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2023 LibLearnX Preview

Photo: Todd Coleman Last year, the American Library Association (ALA) debuted LibLearnX: the Library Learning Experience virtually because of the pandemic. This year, for the first time, the conference will be held in person. LibLearnX—which will take place January 27–30 in New Orleans—is intended for members and nonmembers to engage in collaborative learning activities, networking […]

Crescent City Cuisine

Pickled mulberry pani puri at Mister MaoPhoto: James Collier/Paprika Studios From the thick, humid air rolling off the river onto wrought-iron-wrapped ­balconies to clanking streetcars and rollicking brass bands, New Orleans is a sensory feast. Make that a tasty sensory feast—I’d bet food is one of the first words out of anyone’s mouth when you […]

2022 Year in Review

Uniting against censorship attempts Organized book challenges continued to proliferate. From January through August, 681 attempts to ban or restrict library materials had been made in the US, with 1,651 unique titles targeted. In response to mounting censorship threats, ALA announced in May its Unite Against Book Bans campaign, a coalition with more than 60 […]

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Li1

After a year of unprecedented challenges and impressive successes, it’s time to celebrate the resilience of librarians. This holiday season, focus on gifts that highlight goodwill, inclusivity, and the joy of books. We’ve rounded up a list of presents that are fun, thoughtful, and affordable—most items are less than $40. And while you’re shopping, don’t […]

When It Happens to You

Illustration: Chelsea Feng High-profile book banning and boycott stories have included everything from Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee’s Everywhere Babies to Pizza Hut’s Book It! program, which some attacked in June for featuring LGBTQ books in celebration of Pride Month. These stories, especially when shared on social media, have accelerated the culture wars and negatively […]

Facing the Challenge

Illustration: Chelsea Feng As libraries, schools, and universities continue to confront unprecedented attacks on the freedom to read, the Public Library Association (PLA) invited library colleagues to participate in “Facing the Challenge,” a virtual town hall held March 4. As those who have endured book-banning attempts and related legislative efforts know, the experience is often […]

A Helping Hand

Ihor Poshyvailo, founder of Maidan Museum in Kyiv, holds the ceramic cockerel that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. Photo: Bohdan Poshyvailo/Maidan Museum Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dominated headlines since February, and the conflict has affected people globally—including American librarians. While it’s easy to feel helpless when war breaks out in another country, […]

Newsmaker: George M. Johnson

In their bestselling young adult memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), author and activist George M. Johnson tells the story of their life growing up Black and queer in the United States, while also addressing topics like racism, gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, and sexual abuse. The book has been […]

Boiling Point

The Army National Guard distributes water at Hinds Community College’s Academic and Technical Center on the Jackson, Mississippi, campus. Water distribution sites have been set up to respond to the city’s recent water crisis. The capital city of Jackson, Mississippi—the “City with Soul”—is the state’s second-largest metropolitan area, home to many colleges, museums, and libraries, […]

2022 Library Design Showcase

Fulton County (Ga.) Library System’s Central Library in Atlanta Photo: Jonathan Hillyer Welcome to the 2022 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries that address user needs in inventive, interesting, and effective ways. This year’s slate—similar to last year’s—features building projects completed during the ongoing pandemic. Despite continued challenges and […]

2022 ALA/AIA Library Building 1

The following libraries are winners of the 2022 Library Building Awards, sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (a division of the American Library Association) and the American Institute of Architects. The awards recognize the best in library architecture and design and are open to any architect licensed in the United States. Projects may be located […]

2022 ALA Award Winners

Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) recognizes the achievements of more than 200 individuals and institutions with an array of awards. This year’s winners, chosen by juries of their colleagues and peers, embody the best of the profession’s leadership, vision, and service as well as a continued commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and outreach. […]

Show and Tell

Libraries are complicated. They have a maze of departments, a specific method for retrieving books, and many rooms with different purposes: public and staff areas, service desks, and storage areas for materials, with varying access policies. Library signs can help guide users through this unfamiliar maze, allowing them to find what they came for with […]

Newsmaker: George Saunders

George Saunders Photo: Zach Krahmer George Saunders is best known for his dystopic short stories that satirize—and humanize—the absurdities of our shared reality. His forthcoming collection Liberation Day (Random House, October) is no exception, exploring themes of power, ethics, and justice amid backdrops of a hailstorm, a tyrannical government, and an underground theme park. American […]

Riders’ Advisory

RAR-Atlanta leaders (left to right) Sarah Cruz, Hannah Griggs, and Devin Cowens. Photo: Dessa Lohrey The gear library of the Radical Adventure Riders Atlanta chapter (RAR-ATL) isn’t the first of its kind for cycling gear, but it is one of the most organized and accessible. In researching other groups that loan cycling gear, “we hadn’t […]

2022 Annual Wrap-Up

Registrants browse the ribbon bar at the 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo: EPNAC From June 23 to 28, the American Library Association (ALA) held its 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition, its first major in-person conference since the pandemic began. Participants’ eagerness to gather and reconnect was palpable and seen in the […]

A Marketplace of Ideas

Daphene Keys, public services librarian at Houston Community College, poses with the Baker & Taylor mascots. Photo: EPNAC The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition returned to Washington, D.C., June 23–28, and the mood in the exhibit hall was only slightly subdued compared with previous in-person conferences. This year’s attendance of just […]