Author Archive: Emily Udell

Illustration: Kristen Solecki

After the Census

March 2, 2020

“Census data is the mother of all open data sets,” says Jeffrey Lambert, assistant director of digital inclusion and workforce readiness at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library (QPL). “It’s a huge resource about people who live in the United States, and it’s accessible to anyone.” Libraries have an important part to play in accessing that data, … Continue reading After the Census


llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote


Food for Thought

May 1, 2019

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in December 2018 reviewed 22 studies estimating that more than 30% of college students face food insecurity amid the rising costs of higher education. The report estimates that there are nearly 2 million at-risk students—most often they are first-generation college students, low income, or single parents. A … Continue reading Food for Thought


Roberta McCulloch-Dews, director of administrative services in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, listens during a speed-repping event at Berkshire Athenaeum.

Lawmaker Matchmaker

January 2, 2019

“I thought that maybe something similar could advance the city’s goals of getting information out to the public,” Griffin says. He adapted the format to allow residents one-on-one time with several local leaders at a single event. He wanted to appeal to people who might not feel comfortable speaking up at a city meeting or … Continue reading Lawmaker Matchmaker