Skip to main content

Intellectual Freedom: A Manual...

First published in 1974, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Manual has become an essential reference for library workers who need dependable answers to thorny questions about book challenges, patron privacy, and policy development for their institutions. The 10th edition, coedited by Martin Garnar, director of Amherst (Mass.) College Library and former president of […]

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, […]

Think Inside the Box

A kamishibai box is a small stage containing a sequence of cards that illustrate traditional folktales. Photo: Geo1208 The performance begins like this: Erica Siskind, librarian at Oakland (Calif.) Public Library, rides her bike to the front of the room, parks it, and pulls from her basket two sticks and a small wooden box. Clack, […]

Where Monarchs Reign

Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library When members of the Howard County (Ind.) Master Gardener Association became enchanted by the idea of creating a local butterfly habitat, their first stop was Kokomo–Howard County Public Library (KHCPL). Not for books and information […]

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 […]

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 […]

Collecting Coronavirus Stories

Patrons at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, submitted photos that include images of daily jokes, Zoom meeting signs, protests, and jigsaw puzzles. Photos: Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) coronavirus archiving project started with a cat. Monique Sugimoto, archivist and local history […]

Signing Stories

Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing […]

Ready for Action

A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon Sarah Preskitt has lived in Alaska for almost 40 years—and seen its climate change in ways the Lower 48’s hasn’t. “We used to joke that you had to arrange your Halloween costume over your […]

Bookend: The New Normal

By Terra Dankowski | July 1, 2020 Libraries rise to the challenge of maintaining services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos: Nicole Johnson/Grand Rapids (Minn.) Area Library (drive-through); Robyn Huff (reopening); Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library (e-sports); Tina Chenoweth (Animal Crossing) As communities struggle to contain COVID-19, their libraries ask: What do regular services look like in […]

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: […]

Bookend: Remote and Ready

Staffers at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, which closed its doors March 16 because of COVID-19, advertise the library’s remote-reference services in a group Zoom call. Photo: Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library Much has changed since Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library (CRPL) closed its doors March 16—but not the assistance the library strives to provide […]

Using 3D to Make PPE

Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, donated 100 3D-printed protective face shields to Beaumont Hospital in nearby Troy. Photo: Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, including face shields, surgical masks, and N95 respirator masks, is in critically short supply. To mitigate the ongoing crisis, some public and […]

Pandemic Forces Programs to Mo...

Salt Lake County (Utah) Library’s story sacks contain a blank book, a pencil, and other materials that serve as prompts to inspire storytelling. Photo: Melodie Kraft Ashley On March 12, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) Public Library (CDAPL) canceled its in-house programming. By March 13, Young Adult Coordinator Angela Flock and […]

Justice for All

Law Librarians of New England members Ashley Selima (left) and Stephanie Edwards work with Rhode Island’s early suffrage documents at a 2018 transcription party. Photo: Joe Graziano/Rhode Island Department of State When people in the US cannot afford an attorney’s services or don’t know the answers to legal questions, they often turn to their local […]

The Sound of Silence

The Silent Book Club at Newport (R.I.) Public Library offers teens a space for quiet reading after school. Photo: Newport (R.I.) Public Library When a friend and fellow librarian mentioned to Christina Wolfskehl that the most popular programming at her library focused on silent reading, she seemed almost embarrassed by the activity’s simplicity. But the […]

Meeting Legal Needs

The Mobile Law Network RV visits two St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library branches per month. Photo: Mitchell Hamline School of Law A mother of two told her partner she was taking the kids to the library—the only way her controlling partner would permit her to leave the house. While she was there, she met with […]