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An Uphill Battle

Patron Xander Dianen returns a wagon to Summers County (W.Va.) Public Library. The wagons help users without access to transportation carry groceries up a steep hill. Photo: Austin Persinger/Summers County (W.Va.) Public Library In November 2021, the Hinton (W.Va.) Police Department took to Facebook with a complaint. The department said shopping carts abandoned across the […]

By the Numbers: Older American...

Photo: ©Lightfield Studios/Adobe Stock May is Older Americans Month. 1963Year President John F. Kennedy established Senior Citizens Month, now called Older Americans Month. 2030Year when all baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—will be at least 65 years old. 43%Percentage of baby boomers in the US who visited a public library or bookmobile over a […]

Relief for Renters

Elgin (Ill.) Area Pandemic Team members Anamaria Mora (seated, left) and Susan Tuominen provide information at Gail Borden Public Library District. They are part of a broader program set up by the state’s health department to connect communities with resources related to pandemic challenges. Photo: Laura Espinoza In spring 2021, a family of eight from […]

Big Ideas for Small Business

Illustrations: Gaby FeBland When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, it exposed the precarious financial situation of many small businesses in the US. About half of these businesses were operating with fewer than two weeks of cash reserves at the time, according to research by JPMorgan Chase. Though federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans […]

Understanding the Other

Illustration: green2/AdobeStock Islamophobia in the US existed long before the September 11 attacks. But as a traumatized country mourned and searched for someone to blame, fear and suspicion of those perceived to be Muslims or Arab Americans intensified. The FBI reported a 17-fold increase in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim crimes in 2001 over the previous year, […]

Aging Masterfully

Prior to the pandemic, Amy DelPo (center), administrator of older adult services at Denver Public Library, led in-person programs for seniors. Photo: Denver Public Library More than one in five people in the United States—or 73 million—is a baby boomer, according to the Census Bureau. By 2030, all boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—will be […]

Serving the Community at All T...

In early March 2020—before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the US in full—a typical Tuesday evening at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales branch of Denver Public Library (DPL) would bustle with activity, the smell of coffee brewing, and the murmurs of many voices. Some people would practice English together, while others worked on homework assignments or drilled […]

Bookend: History Rolls On

Monique Sugimoto, librarian and archivist for Palos Verdes Library District’s Local History Center, points out over the coast. Photo: Erik Jay From housing former military installations to settling neighborhood squabbles over lighthouse design to becoming overpopulated with wild peacocks, Palos Verdes Peninsula, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, is full of history. Monique Sugimoto, […]

The Road to Normal

Valerie Wagley, counselor at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia, reads to kids at a bookmobile stop in summer 2020. Photo: Kelli Wood When Goochland County (Va.) Public Schools abruptly stopped in-person learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, school librarians Zoe Parrish, Sarah Smith, and Susan Vaughn worried that […]

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, […]

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 […]