Author Archive: Anne Ford

NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library's VR Studio.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

September 1, 2017

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality” (VR). But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English. No recordings … Continue reading Making Virtual Reality a Reality


The crowd reacts to Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Closing General Session. Photo: Cognotes

2017 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

July 19, 2017

Teens and tots At the Opening General Session, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani kicked things off with a few startling statistics: Last year, the United States graduated 40,000 computer science majors for 500,000 open jobs. Only one in four American high schools offer computer science as part of the curriculum. And today, only 18% … Continue reading 2017 Annual Conference Wrap-Up


opioid abuse

Saving Lives in the Stacks

June 21, 2017

“As this nation’s opioid crisis has exploded, the staff at the public library … have become first responders,” NPR’s Scott Simon told listeners. “And I gather the librarians there have been obliged to become involved in a way that—well, become involved in a way librarians aren’t usually asked to become involved.” What Simon didn’t say—but … Continue reading Saving Lives in the Stacks


An officer escorts five men from the Alexandria (Va.) Library in August 1939. They were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

“I Always Will Refuse”

June 1, 2017

August 21, 1939. Five African-American men—William “Buddy” Evans, Edward Gaddis, Morris L. Murray, Clarence “Buck” Strange, and Otis Lee Tucker—walk into the whites-only Alexandria (Va.) Library (now the Barrett branch library). Strange’s younger brother Bobby, 14, serves as lookout and courier. The men, who range in age from 18 to 22, ask for library cards … Continue reading “I Always Will Refuse”



Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

Offbeat Chicago

June 1, 2017

In downtown’s Millennium Park, the Frank Gehry–designed JAY PRITZKER PAVILION offers free outdoor concerts. On the evening of  June 23 or 24, bring a picnic and enjoy the strains of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, performed by renowned American pianist Conrad Tao. Not a classical-music fan? June 22 brings a concert by folk group Hurray for the … Continue reading Offbeat Chicago



Nikki Giovanni

Newsmaker: Nikki Giovanni

June 1, 2017

When you were growing up, what was your relationship to libraries like? We went to the Carnegie library that Andrew Carnegie had built for black Americans—Knoxville, Tennessee, was still segregated—and my librarian was Mrs. Long. I remember her getting books for me: “Well, Nikki, would you like to read this?” Some of the books I … Continue reading Newsmaker: Nikki Giovanni


FCC vs. ISP

Net Neutrality Under Attack

May 18, 2017

“I see it as a trend that is going to take us backward in time,” says Mike Robinson, professor of library science and head of the systems department at the Consortium Library of the University of Alaska Anchorage. “The internet is supposed to represent a democratization of access to information, and libraries are part of … Continue reading Net Neutrality Under Attack




Neil Patrick Harris

Newsmaker: Neil Patrick Harris

January 3, 2017

We’ve heard that Bridge to Terabithia is one of your favorite books. That can be an emotionally difficult read, given its tragic ending. Has becoming a father changed the way you approach children’s literature? Oh, absolutely. It’s important to us that our children not only read but understand the morals and messages behind the words. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Neil Patrick Harris