Author Archive: Bill Furbee

A cartoon image of a woman snips off a chain attaching her to a graduation cap, meant to symbolize student debt.

Recognition and Relief

June 1, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


In 2020, Bloomington (Ill.) Public Library began holding plant swap programs, designed to be held outdoors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Branching Out

June 1, 2022

“Oh look, there’s Fred!” Davis recounts the plant’s original owner calling out, revealing the donated spider plant’s name. “And his babies are getting new homes.” These special reunions between plant owners and their beloved sprouts are the culmination of plant swap programs, where gardeners exchange their plant cuttings and share knowledge on how to grow … Continue reading Branching Out


Loan forgiveness

Recognition and Relief

March 15, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


Jeff Whalen, special collections librarian at Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library, records an episode of Don’t Know Beach about History: Short Histories of Long Beach in August.

Broadcasting the Past

November 1, 2021

That all changed in the 1950s, when parts of the neighborhood were partially destroyed to make way for Interstate 75. “[The area] will never be what it was,” she says. In an effort to share this history with her city, Parks started The West End Stories Project, a monthly podcast that preserves the fading narratives … Continue reading Broadcasting the Past


An ad used by Multnomah County (Ore.) Library to promote its Library Music Project.

Stream On

September 1, 2021

“Portland and Multnomah County really treasure their music and libraries, so it was a natural fit,” says Shawn Cunningham, director of communications and strategic initiatives at MCL, about the Library Music Project, which offers more than 250 locally produced albums to stream or download. The service also provided MCL with a gateway into the local … Continue reading Stream On


Old-School Outreach

June 1, 2021

“The pandemic has highlighted the barriers to access that many people have regarding technology and reliable internet,” says Kathleen Montgomery, outreach manager at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). “It’s our mission to address these inequities.” To do so, libraries across the US have implemented creative concepts and partnerships that embrace analog technologies and platforms. … Continue reading Old-School Outreach