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A Winning Case

A kiosk at Cleveland Public Library’s (CPL) South branch. CPL has four Neighborhood Housing Court kiosks throughout the city to assist residents who need to attend hearings. The economic impact of the past few years has disproportionately affected renters across the country. In the second half of 2021—when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

A New Start

The spring 2023 cohort of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library’s entrepreneurship program celebrates after completing a six-month course to help cohort members start their own businesses. Photo: Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library More than 1.8 million people in the United States were incarcerated in a prison or jail at the end of 2021, according to […]

It’s in the Bag

Anna Pilston (right), branch librarian at Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Libraries’ Landrum Library, holds a Bag of Hope alongside a member of Operation Hope, a local nonprofit.Photo: Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Libraries Spartanburg County is the fifth most populated county in South Carolina—and it’s growing. In 2022, it had close to 346,000 residents, but nearly […]

Older Beginners

Students in the English for Older Beginners class at Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts, build their language skills through activities like field trips. Photo: Lynne Weintraub It’s not unusual for libraries to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) and citizenship preparation programs. But Jones Library (JL) in Amherst, Massachusetts, has designed a program specifically […]

Opioid Outreach

A pilot program at Banff (Alberta) Public Library offers fentanyl test strips to detect the presence of the potent synthetic opioid in drugs.Photo: Banff Public Library Opioid overdoses remain a significant health crisis not just in the US but also Canada. An estimated 32,630 Canadians died from an apparent opioid-related overdose between 2016 and 2022, […]

Libraries on Call

Each phone in Las Vegas–Clark County (Nev.) Library District’s Cellphone Lending Program was loaded with more than 50 social service provider contacts. Photos: ©carballo/Adobe Stock (person); Las Vegas-Clark County (Nev.) Library District (phone) When Las Vegas–Clark County (Nev.) Library District (LVCCLD) closed its doors at the start of the pandemic, the technological barriers that existed […]

Close-Knit Community

In March, Hickory (N.C.) Public Library held its Sheep to Sweater program series, designed to take patrons through five different stages in the wool and clothing production process. Photos: Hickory (N.C.) Public Library Hickory (N.C.) Public Library (HPL) Community Engagement Librarian Dacy Shute was looking to host a program that would celebrate the city’s agricultural […]

A Carrel and a Corral

Play areas next to desks give care­givers flexibility at Henrico County (Va.) Public Library’s Fairfield branch. Photo: Chris Cunningham Photography In January, images of some unusual new workstations at Fairfield Area Library—part of Henrico County (Va.) Public Library (HCPL)—went viral on social media and across national and international news media. What caught people’s attention: the […]

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 […]

Saving Afghanistan’s At-Risk W

The Afghanistan Ministry of Education homepage, as captured on August 16, 2021. Information about then–­Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi (pictured), a women’s rights advocate, has since been removed from the website. When the Taliban breached the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, Liladhar R. Pendse knew he had to do something. Pendse, librarian […]

Acing the Interview

The Virtual Interview Lab at Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska, is equipped with a computer, webcam, microphone, and ring light.Photo: Do Space An estimated 19 million Americans—or 6% of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. And as more job interviews have moved online during the pandemic, those without access face a […]

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, […]

Working Toward a Sustainable W1

Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School students held a read-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit Grain of Rice Project. Photo: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School In 2019, Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School began a book club using selections inspired by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the organization’s blueprint for addressing global challenges like poverty and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dragging AI

Teen participants in Boston Public Library’s “Drag vs. AI” program test their makeup and props against facial recognition software. Photo: Kathy Pham/American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts In November 2019, Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Teen Central hosted a digital privacy instruction workshop for teens that centered on facial recognition technology. Titled “Drag vs. AI,” the […]

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 […]