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School Librarians Face Reopeni1

BOOKHUB offerings available from Van Meter (Iowa) Community School District. In Park County, Wyoming, the number of COVID-19 cases is relatively low—only 31 reported as of August 11—and K–12 schools plan to open in-person on August 30. That’s with the understanding that the plans could change at any moment and teaching could shift online. “Part […]

Newsmaker: Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine, self-portrait With everything from New Yorker covers to New York Times–bestselling graphic novels under his belt, cartoonist and illustrator Adrian Tomine has had a more than successful career. But his newest autobiographical book, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn & Quarterly, July), traces a lifetime of humiliations: disastrous book signings, rude reviews, […]

Rethinking Police Presence

Amid mass protests of police violence against Black people, some libraries are revisiting the ways in which they’ve historically interacted with law enforcement—such as by hosting police-led community programming like Coffee with a Cop, hiring off-duty police as security officers, or calling 911 on disruptive patrons. For example, Toledo–Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library (TLCPL) has […]

Advancing Digital Equity

Illustration ©ivector/Adobe Stock In an April 23 Public Library Association (PLA) webinar, “Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Strategies for Advancing Digital Equity Now,” three public librarians shared their experiences with everything from lending laptops and mobile hotspots to low-tech solutions like using sandwich boards and direct mail to advertise library services. Larra Clark, deputy director […]

International Innovators

The Taiwan Reading Festival. Photo: National Central Library in Taipei City, Taiwan Four libraries earned this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Their projects included smartphone training for seniors, multicultural events, a country-wide reading festival, and programming to raise awareness of Indigenous populations and their perspectives and needs. The […]

Bringing Books to the Desert

A boy reads at a Blumont library facility. Most books are nearly destroyed from overuse. Photo: Karen E. Fisher Deep in Jordan’s northern desert, in the refugee camp known as Zaatari, 76,000 Syrians live, work, pray, and—thanks to a campwide, refugee-run library system—read. In the low-resource, high-constraint environment of Zaatari, only about 82% of eligible […]

Responding to a Threat

How you and your staff react to a threat is paramount to the success of your response. The inability to react effectively may damage your facility or collections and could contribute to injury or death. This is an excerpt from Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians (ALA […]

ALA Virtual Preview

The American Library Association (ALA) made a historic decision to cancel its 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But in these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever for librarians and library workers to seek and embrace community and keep up with professional development opportunities. ALA Virtual (June […]

Coping in the Time of COVID-19

Illustration: Tom Deja On March 20, American Libraries Live hosted the webinar “Libraries and COVID-19: Managing Strategies and Stress.” Moderator Dan Freeman, director of ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions, led a discussion with librarians and health professionals on the front lines of the crisis about the library response to the pandemic and methods to reduce stress […]

The Rainbow’s Arc

The ALA Gay and Lesbian Task Force ­marching in the 1992 San Francisco Pride parade. Photo: ALA Archives Fifty years ago, under the auspices of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibilities Round Table, a small group of activists, librarians, and activist-librarians formed what was then known as the Task Force on Gay Liberation—the very first gay […]

What the Future Holds

Libby the Librarian greets students at University of Pretoria Libraries in South Africa. Photo: Mariki Uitenweerde/University of Pretoria in South Africa The world is changing rapidly: socially, technologically, and ecologically. Even while the “tech backlash” phenomenon is making headlines, libraries must still anticipate and adapt to digital advances and larger societal developments. How will these […]

Narcan or No?

Illustration: © Atstock Productions/Adobe Stock If your library were offered two chances to save a life, would it take them? The response might seem like an obvious “yes.” But for many public libraries the answer is more nuanced. In October 2018, Emergent BioSolutions, the company that manufactures the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (generic name: […]

2020 Library Systems Report

Photo illustration: © Dariusz Jarzabek/Adobe Stock (library); © nongkran_ch/Adobe Stock (circles) The library technology industry took some significant turns in 2019. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, acquired Innovative Interfaces and shifted the balance of power, strengthening Ex Libris’s position in technology for academic libraries and propelling it as a major player in public libraries. This move narrows […]

Emerging Leaders 2020

Librarianship is ever changing, and some of the people leading that change are newer members of the profession. They’re the fresh faces greeting patrons at reference desks, helping students with research, and experimenting with new ideas behind the scenes. These are the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders. Launched in 1997 as a one-year program […]

Newsmaker: Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez Photo: Bill Eichner Like many Dominican-American writers of her generation, Julia Alvarez has drawn inspiration from the Dominican Republic’s history (such as the legacy of dictator Rafael Trujillo, in her novel In the Time of the Butterflies) and her experience as a newcomer in the US (How the García Girls Lost Their Accents). […]

Bookend: Libraries over the Ai1

Ameet Doshi (right), director of innovation and program design and subject librarian at Georgia Tech’s (GT) School of Public Policy and Law, and Charlie Bennett, public engagement librarian and subject librarian for GT’s School of Economics, in GT’s campus radio station. Photo: Allison Carter/Georgia Institute of Technology Listeners of WREK-FM 91.1 radio station in Atlanta […]