Author Archive: Phil Morehart


Emerging Leaders 2018

May 1, 2018

Initiated in 1997 as a one-year program under former ALA President Mary R. Somerville and revived in 2006 under former ALA President Leslie Burger, Emerging Leaders recognizes the best and brightest new leaders in our profession. It’s open to librarians of any age who are new to the library profession and who have fewer than … Continue reading Emerging Leaders 2018


Junot Díaz

Newsmaker: Junot Díaz

May 1, 2018

Islandborn is your first book for kids. What was its inspiration? There were multiple inspirations. A lot of it was being a writer with godchildren, nephews, and nieces always saying, “Hey, will you write us a story?” And knowing that I should write them a story, because when I was growing up a kid of … Continue reading Newsmaker: Junot Díaz


Michael W. Twitty

Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty

April 27, 2018

Twitty serves as honorary chair of Preservation Week, held April 22–28, which focuses this year on cooking and community archiving. American Libraries spoke with him about what can be learned about the past through food and about his work with Preservation Week. What drew you to food and its history? Going to living-history sites like Colonial … Continue reading Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty


Catherine Soehner (left) and Ann Darling pose with their book Effective Difficult Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide (ALA Editions, 2017).

A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling

March 21, 2018

What made you want to write about this topic? We wanted to write it because we were both terrible at having difficult conversations. Catherine’s initial attempts led to people being angry and defensive. Or she chose to ignore problems, which made these situations worse. Ann had conversations but failed to address the real issues, so … Continue reading A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling


Inked RA

March 1, 2018

“Good readers’ advisory relies on creating a personal connection, and what’s more personal than a tattoo?” says Alison Kastner, reader services librarian at ­Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library (MCL). MCL began a tattoo readers’ advisory program as an offshoot of a successful 2011 social media campaign, in which it asked Facebook users to tell the library things … Continue reading Inked RA


Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez

March 1, 2018

What was the inspiration behind The Public? I was inspired by a moving 2007 essay called “Written Off” by Chip Ward, now-retired assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, published in part in the Los Angeles Times (and in full at tomdispatch.com under the title, “What They Didn’t Teach Us in Library … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez


Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz Gets Real

February 11, 2018

Junot Díaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books, 2007), and the upcoming kids’ picture book Islandborn (Dial Books, 2018), delivered a love letter to libraries when he addressed a capacity crowd as an Auditorium Speaker at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver. The talk was boisterous and effusive with … Continue reading Junot Díaz Gets Real


Imagining A Fine-Free Future

February 11, 2018

Gretchen Caserotti, director of Meridian (Ida.) Library District, began by asking the standing-room-only crowd why libraries charge fines. Answers ranged from“It’s a revenue stream for the city” to “It’s a tool to teach responsibility to younger patrons.” She said there is little research to support these, according to “Removing Barriers to Access,” a Colorado State Library … Continue reading Imagining A Fine-Free Future


A Welcome Place

February 10, 2018

“Libraries carve out a special place for refugees in our community,” said Joseph Wismann-Horther, integration partnership supervisor for Colorado Refugee Services Program. He said there has been a mischaracterization of refugees in the US in the media and by elected officials since the 2016 election. Libraries can help combat these falsehoods, he noted. Wismann-Horther began … Continue reading A Welcome Place



Prince George's County (Md.) Memorial Library System, Laurel Branch Library. Photo: Sam Kittner

Show Us Your Beautiful New Library

January 2, 2018

We are looking for libraries that are shining examples of innovative architecture and that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. Previous submissions have ranged from stunning restorations of historic Carnegie buildings to vacant structures that have been repurposed into libraries to high-tech facilities with audio and video production studios. If your library … Continue reading Show Us Your Beautiful New Library