Author Archive: Alison Marcotte

Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds

April 12, 2018

This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Making Connections at Your School Library.” You’ve said reading the lyrics to Queen Latifah’s 1993 album Black Reign changed your life and inspired you to start writing poetry. When students connect with and see themselves in the music, multimedia, and books they read, it changes their relationship with reading completely. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds


National Library Workers Day logo

National Library Workers Day 2018

April 10, 2018

And every year since 2004, the American Library Association (ALA) has celebrated librarians, support staff, and others for their valuable contributions on National Library Workers Day (NLWD), which this year falls on Tuesday, April 10. The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association (ALA–APA) asked patrons throughout the US to nominate stellar library workers for their hard … Continue reading National Library Workers Day 2018


2017 gift guide items

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers

December 8, 2017

Gifts Under $20 “Cool Story, Poe” Mug ($16) This 15-oz. ceramic mug features the star of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” giving a twist on the deadpan “cool story, bro” rejoinder. Perfect for the sarcastic coffee-drinker.   Novel Teas ($12.50) In addition to providing a great pun, these Sri Lankan black teas are perfect for … Continue reading 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers


10 Tech Trends

Top Library Tech Trends

May 1, 2017

American Libraries spoke to library tech leaders—members of the Library and Information Technology Association’s popular Top Tech Trends panel from the 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—to get the apps, devices, software, and best practices that you can adopt for your library right now and in the near future. 1. Take patrons on a virtual tour … Continue reading Top Library Tech Trends




Ken Redd uses a screen magnification program on an adaptive computer workstation at the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

Bringing Assistive Technology to Patrons

January 3, 2017

NJSL and other libraries nationwide have been joining forces with state agencies to improve their patrons’ access to assistive technology. Through a partnership with New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), TBBC has partnered with seven public libraries to provide accessibility programs for patrons with visual impairments. “Public libraries are learning centers … Continue reading Bringing Assistive Technology to Patrons


2016 American Libraries Gift Guide items

2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers

December 8, 2016

Gifts Under $20 Banned Books Matchbox Set ($8) For the librarian who appreciates banned books—and has a dark sense of humor—Out of Print’s Banned Books Matchbox Set includes the regularly challenged classics Slaughterhouse-Five, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, Song of Solomon, and, of course, Fahrenheit 451. Each tiny matchbox has a message on the back about … Continue reading 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers


Mentors and student reporters for Coal Cracker in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, gather for a journalism training session inside the Teen Canteen, an old bank building that used to be a popular hangout in the 1950s and 1960s. Krista Gromalski (back, left) founded the community paper. Photo: Nikki Stetson

Community Reporting

May 31, 2016

“It’s a very depressed area economically,” Gromalski says of Mahanoy City. “The coal region, which is made up of small towns, used to be booming. Now the mining industry has been gone for several decades, older people are getting older [and] younger people are moving away because there are no jobs.” To re-create pride in … Continue reading Community Reporting


Two-time Newbery Medal–winning author Kate DiCamillo is the 2016 Collaborative Summer Library Program National Summer Reading Champion.

Newsmaker: Kate DiCamillo

May 26, 2016

This year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set … Read!”, and two-time Newbery Medal–winner Kate DiCamillo is the 2016 CSLP National Summer Reading Champion. DiCamillo is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux. DiCamillo also served as the first National Summer … Continue reading Newsmaker: Kate DiCamillo


Author Megan McDonald (far left) reads to kids during a School Library Month event.

Newsmaker: Megan McDonald

April 18, 2016

How did you become this year’s spokesperson for School Library Month?  MEGAN McDONALD: It’s been amazing. I didn’t even really grasp what was being asked of me, but the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) came to Candlewick Press, my publisher, and asked if I’d be the spokesperson for School Library Month. I feel so … Continue reading Newsmaker: Megan McDonald


Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon facility, site of the gas leak in Los Angeles.

Providing Calm in the Chaos

April 5, 2016

On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Co. discovered a gas leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which was pouring up to 1,200 tons of methane into the air daily. Residents reported health problems such as nosebleeds, nausea, headaches, stomach aches, and respiratory issues. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on … Continue reading Providing Calm in the Chaos