Author Archive: Alison Marcotte

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


Los Angeles Public Library patron Dennis Levin returned The Story of Scotch, a book he checked out in 1950, during the library's recent fine amnesty campaign.

Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.

February 23, 2016

CPL’s “Welcome Home” program ran from February 4–18, while LAPL’s campaign, “LAPL Misses You,” was held February 1–14. The libraries waived late fees on all materials during the campaigns. CPL’s 80 branches received at least 20,000 items, worth about $500,000. This was CPL’s third time holding a fine amnesty program—the first was in 1985 just for … Continue reading Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.