Author Archive: Carrie Smith

Nebraska City (Neb.) Mayor Bryan Bequette (left) and his wife and daughter celebrate after solving a puzzle in the Morton-James Public Library’s escape room.

Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders

November 1, 2019

At Manitowoc (Wis.) Public Library (MPL), which hosts a free carnival every August, local representatives such as the mayor and aldermen hop into a dunk tank or serve as targets for the water-balloon catapult. Julia Lee, youth services manager at MPL, says getting local celebrities in the dunk tank helps break down barriers between residents … Continue reading Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders


The MERGE Headset adapts smartphones into VR viewers with access to games, 360-degree video, and educational content.

Alternate Realities, Simplified

November 1, 2019

MERGE While specialized VR equipment can be expensive and difficult to loan, MERGE offers a suite of apps and accessories to make augmented and virtual reality more accessible and portable through common technology including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The MERGE Cube is a small foam cube that, when used with its accompanying apps, allows users … Continue reading Alternate Realities, Simplified


OverDrive supports library-driven digital book clubs through publisher negotiation and marketing materials.

Bringing Book Clubs Online

September 3, 2019

OverDrive Digital Book Clubs Libraries that have digital collections from OverDrive are automatically part of the company’s global ebook club, the Big Library Read, which makes select titles available for unlimited checkouts for a limited period three times a year. In addition to this large-scale reading program, the company also provides support for community-wide and … Continue reading Bringing Book Clubs Online


On the Horizon for Accessibility

June 25, 2019

Reed Strege, director of library services at the Braille Institute of America, led “The Best in New Tech for Readers with Blindness, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities” on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., highlighting new and upcoming technology for blind and print disabled library users. “It’s a really … Continue reading On the Horizon for Accessibility


Saving Your Digital Life

June 25, 2019

Katlin Seagraves is the digital literacy associate at the Tulsa City-County Library where she manages the library’s Digital Literacy Lab. At “Save As: Preserving Your Digital Life” on June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., Seagraves educated attendees on methods for preserving born-digital personal data like photos and social media. … Continue reading Saving Your Digital Life


Discord in the Community

June 24, 2019

So many people came to the program, the drag queen held a second storytime immediately after her session. Now, even though the program is over, the library is still receiving around 50 emails per day asking them not to hold it. Sukrit Goswami, director of the Haverford Township Free Library, shared how he and his … Continue reading Discord in the Community



Toward Empowerment

June 23, 2019

Service decisions’ effect on marginalized communities was the focus of Brown’s president’s program, “Inequity and the Disappearance of Reference and User Services,” on June 22 at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Teresa Morris, reference and instruction librarian at the College of San Mateo, moderated a discussion between Nicole Cooke, program director … Continue reading Toward Empowerment



Patrons can check out and return materials at D-Tech's self-service LendIT kiosks at any time of day.

All-Hours Access

June 3, 2019

LendIT D-Tech’s self-service library vending machine, LendIT, can be placed anywhere with a power outlet and internet connection with a fixed IP address. That could be right outside the library building or in a mall or community center. Users can browse available books on screen, with images and descriptions provided by the library’s discovery layer … Continue reading All-Hours Access


From left: Melinda Shelton, Jefferson Bailey, and Makiba Foster discuss the Community Webs archiving program at DPLAfest 2019 in Chicago. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019

April 22, 2019

Archiving the local web In order to maintain their local collections, public libraries are looking to web archiving. “Community Webs: Empowering Public Librarians to Create Community History Web Archives” explored how two public libraries are using the Internet Archive’s Community Webs program. Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving and data services at the Internet Archive, … Continue reading Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019


Tracie D. Hall (center), director of the culture program at the Joyce Foundation, moderates a discussion between danah boyd (left) and Elaine Westbrooks. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons

April 22, 2019

DPLA has undergone changes since the nonprofit was founded nine years ago as an access point to a network of libraries’ digital holdings. Bracken emphasized that its core values would remain: collaboration; a belief in the transformational power of technology; and a commitment to being a better partner to communities, “especially those who have been … Continue reading Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons