Author Archive: Anne Ford


Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, uses drone delivery service Wing to transport library books to the town’s students. Photo: Courtesy of Wing.

The Great Outdoors

November 2, 2020

Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any of the 600 or so households that have a student in the district and that fall within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library … Continue reading The Great Outdoors


Marcus Samuelsson (left) and Osayi Endolyn [Photos: Angie Mosier (Samuelsson); Lucy Schaeffer Photography (Endolyn)]

Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn

November 2, 2020

Among the many talented Black chefs whose cuisine is highlighted: Cheryl Day of Savannah, Georgia’s Back in the Day Bakery; Gregory Gourdet of Portland, Oregon’s Departure; and former Top Chef contestant Nyesha Arrington of Los Angeles. Samuelsson and Endolyn spoke with American Libraries about their work—and about the racial dynamics of the food publishing world. … Continue reading Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn


Referenda Roundup 2020

October 27, 2020

To get the ball rolling, here we present library referenda that have appeared since last year’s roundup. Check back after Election Day (November 3), as AL brings you the latest in library-related yeas and nays—from Colorado, where Denver voters will decide whether to allow the city to spend money on broadband internet for libraries and … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2020


Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, uses drone delivery service Wing to transport library books to the town’s students. Photo: Courtesy of Wing.

The Great Outdoors

September 14, 2020

Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. Passek locates the book, checks it out, and drives … Continue reading The Great Outdoors


Conscientious Cataloging

September 1, 2020

Tired of the delays, some librarians have taken matters into their own hands by making the change in their own catalogs, without waiting for LC to take the lead. Communicating inclusion Two early adopters of the change: Sol López, technical services manager at the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) at University of New … Continue reading Conscientious Cataloging


The ALA Gay and Lesbian Task Force ­marching in the 1992 San Francisco Pride parade.

The Rainbow’s Arc

June 1, 2020

In the decades that followed, the group’s name changed periodically to reflect the evolving times, finally becoming known in 2019 as the Rainbow Round Table. But its mission—to serve the information needs of LGBTQIA+ library professionals as well as the information and access needs of the LGBTQIA+ community at large—has never faltered. LGBTQIA+ youth have … Continue reading The Rainbow’s Arc


Illustration: © Atstock Productions/Adobe Stock

Narcan or No?

June 1, 2020

The response might seem like an obvious “yes.” But for many public libraries the answer is more nuanced. In October 2018, Emergent BioSolutions, the company that manufactures the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (generic name: naloxone), issued a press release offering two free doses of Narcan to every public library and YMCA in the US. … Continue reading Narcan or No?



Librarians from San Francisco Public Library working at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned

April 24, 2020

Of course, being asked to take on tasks that fall outside their traditional job description is nothing new for librarians. But the unprecedented, widespread closure of libraries has made conditions especially ripe for staff redeployment—particularly since many localities consider librarians “city workers.” “All city and county employees, per our contract, work as disaster service workers … Continue reading Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned



Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo, Texas, is closed to walk-ins but offering curbside checkout services, as explained by this image from their website.

Staying Open during COVID-19

March 23, 2020

But as of Monday, March 23, a handful of public and academic libraries were still serving patrons in person. “[Southeastern Idaho] Public Health said that we should maintain services, and they’re the experts, right?” says Robert Wright, director of Idaho Falls (Idaho) Public Library (IFPL), which has canceled all programming but remains open for the … Continue reading Staying Open during COVID-19