Author Archive: Anne Ford


public speaking

Boost Your Public Speaking Skills

November 1, 2019

“I was just so petrified,” remembers Travis, who is advisor for information literacy and library instructional assessment at California State University, Long Beach. “I had actually prepared; I knew everything I should have said. It was just the idea of speaking in public that terrified me.” Years later, Travis has more than conquered her stage … Continue reading Boost Your Public Speaking Skills


Lindy West (Photo: Jenny Jimenez)

Newsmaker: Lindy West

November 1, 2019

American Libraries spoke with West about the book, body politics, and social media. Where does the title of your new book come from? The Witches Are Coming grew out of this phenomenon where people try to deflect accountability by claiming that any accusation of wrongdoing is a witch hunt and not real. It’s an obvious … Continue reading Newsmaker: Lindy West


Seniors dating

From the Library with Love

November 1, 2019

Fortunately, there’s the library—not as a place to make romantic connections per se, but as a resource for older adults who want to learn how to navigate the world of online dating. Several public libraries have begun offering programs that help older patrons safely and effectively meet potential partners on the internet. Among those are … Continue reading From the Library with Love


Referenda Roundup (Illustration: Tom Deja)

Referenda Roundup 2019

October 24, 2019

ALABAMA In Leeds, voters rejected a proposed property tax increase of 9 mills by 1,506 to 971 in January. The funds generated would have gone toward the construction of a new library as well as a new high school athletics complex and other projects. ARIZONA In Phoenix, Proposition 106—which would have capped budgets for some … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2019


Mind Your Business(es)

September 30, 2019

PLYMC Business and Investment Librarian Ed Koltonski offers these tips for supporting small business success: Work with local groups that also support business development. The BIC works closely with many other partners in the area, including the Youngstown chapter of the SCORE business mentoring network, the local business incubator, and other public libraries. “I’ve been … Continue reading Mind Your Business(es)


Students Olivia Ricketts (left), Simone Moonsammy (center), and Lydia Hall from the University of Georgia School of Social Work provide trauma-informed services and training at Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Library. (Photo: Caleb Guice)

Toward a Trauma-Informed Model

June 3, 2019

“She said she felt like she was being struck,” explains Caroline Sharkey. A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) on the faculty of the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work in Athens, Sharkey heard the story from a librarian acquaintance who witnessed the incident. As it happened, the woman had experienced domestic violence that led … Continue reading Toward a Trauma-Informed Model



Chicago Public Library STEAM Team First Assistant Librarian Alejandra Santana (left) reads to storytime attendees at Bubbleland laundromat.Photo: Chicago Public Library

Front-Loading Literacy

May 1, 2019

That’s why, in 1989, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Children’s Librarian Elizabeth McChesney (now CPL’s director of children’s services and family engagement) visited a local laundromat to introduce herself to families. How she responded to what she saw there would help change the landscape of children’s literacy initiatives for decades to come. “What I saw was … Continue reading Front-Loading Literacy


An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation.Photo: Steve Hostetler

Libations in the Library

March 1, 2019

The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. “People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy … Continue reading Libations in the Library


Scissors cutting "gender" off of a library card

Ditching the Gender Data

March 1, 2019

That might sound like the opening volley of a gender-studies lecture. But when Erin Shea, supervisor of Ferguson Library’s Harry Bennett and Weed Memorial and Hollander branches in Stamford, Connecticut, wondered it aloud at a staff meeting last October, she was waxing practical, not theoretical. Specifically, she was questioning a common procedure followed by her … Continue reading Ditching the Gender Data


Residents of The Highlands at the Moorings of Arlington Heights assisted-living facility in Illinois enjoy a ­virtual tour of Monticello.

It’s Not Such A Small World After All

March 1, 2019

Many seniors are prevented from traveling the world—or even just taking a stroll outside—by limited physical or cognitive abilities. But now, thanks to virtual reality, older patrons of Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library don’t have to feel homebound: The world is coming to them. Mary Jo Lepo, the library’s senior and accessible services manager, first … Continue reading It’s Not Such A Small World After All