Skip to main content

By the Numbers: Deaf History a...

Deaf actor Linda Bove played Linda the Librarian on Sesame Street for 31 years. Photo illustration: YouTube (screenshot); ©R. Gino Santa Maria/Adobe Stock (television) 15Number of years National Deaf History Month has been celebrated. In 2006, the American Library Association (ALA) and National Association of the Deaf announced the month would be observed March 13–April […]

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, […]

Fighting the Spread

©wei/Adobe Stock When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading throughout the US in early 2020, Jessica Daly, consumer health librarian at hospital network Orlando (Fla.) Health, knew it was time for her—and other information specialists in the medical field—to step up. “As medical professionals and librarians, we tell people what to do, but we don’t often […]

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 […]

By the Numbers: Midwinter

107Number of times the American Library Association (ALA) has held its Midwinter Meeting since 1908. This year’s event, which will be conducted virtually, is the last in its current format; ALA plans to introduce a new concept for 2022. 7Number of times that ALA did not host an annual Midwinter Meeting since its inception. No […]

Working Toward a Sustainable W...

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 […]

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 […]

Responsive and Responsible

A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials. Photo: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections It’s not news that libraries and museums have a long and problematic history of mishandling Indigenous materials. From exhibiting culturally sensitive items to retaining materials that were unlawfully seized, […]

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 […]

By the Numbers: Teens and Libr...

#MurderTrending, a dystopic novel by Gretchen McNeil, ranked first on the 2019 Teens’ Top Ten list. Photo illustration: © Wayhome Studio/Adobe Stock 1957Year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) was founded. 6–8Dates in November that YALSA will host its 10th symposium, “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens.” Originally scheduled […]

Drawing the Line

University of Kentucky in Lexington is attempting to remove a 1934 mural by artist Ann Rice O’Hanlon (detail shown here). Photo: Mark Cornelison In the 1930s and 1940s, federal programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) paid artists and artisans to create thousands of artworks. Some of those works ended up on display in […]

By the Numbers: Rural and Smal...

Graves County (Ky.) Public Library’s bookmobile. Photo: Graves County (Ky.) Public Library 1982Year the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) was founded by Bernard Vavrek, director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion (Pa.) University. 5Number of days the ARSL Conference will take place, September 28–October 2. Previously scheduled for […]

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 […]

Can You Hear Me Now?

Illustration: Kwun Yee/Adobe Stock When Boston College Libraries was forced to close its doors this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodrigo Castro, head librarian for access services, made a list. “I started identifying the tasks that individuals could do remotely versus tasks they could do onsite,” he says. “When you are in this situation, your […]

By the Numbers: Pride Month

Cruise: The Guide to Gay Entertainment in the Southeast. Photo: Queer Music Heritage 1970Year the Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA)—the nation’s first LGBT professional organization—was founded as the Task Force on Gay Liberation. (For more on the RRT and its 50th anniversary, see our story “The Rainbow’s Arc.”) 49Number of years […]

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 […]

How to Sanitize Collections in...

Illustration: Tom Deja Keeping libraries safe is important for both workers and guests. But during the current COVID-19 pandemic, questions about how to do that—particularly when it comes to materials and surfaces—have complicated answers. It’s an unprecedented situation. Conservators, who are experienced in diagnosing and repairing collection damage, say that historical information on sanitizing library […]