Author Archive: Terra Dankowski


Touger Vang (left), public services coordinator at Yolo County (Calif.) Public Library, speaks to attendees at the Project Welcome summit on February 6. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Resources for Resettlement

February 14, 2017

The refugee crisis isn’t new. According to the US State Department, more than 3.3 million refugees—persons fleeing their home country to escape persecution, war, or violence—have resettled in the US since 1975. But the summit seemed timely, as the legality as to who should be welcomed within US borders is tested, and debate among the … Continue reading Resources for Resettlement


(From left) Stephen Harmon, AASL president Audrey Church, Jeffrey Martín, ACRL president Ann Campion Riley

The Future of Learning

January 25, 2017

Martín, founder and CEO of honorCode, a program that aims to integrate coding into the K–12 curriculum, spoke about his experiences in developing a coding initiative at Atlanta’s Drew Charter School. “We envision Atlanta as the Silicon Valley for the South,” says Martín, noting that Georgia ranks third, behind New York and California, in the … Continue reading The Future of Learning


A Not-Unfortunate Ending

January 24, 2017

Neil Patrick Harris, before a packed auditorium at the Closing Session of the American Library Association’s 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits on Monday, joked that his name was the next to be added to a list of illustrious and prolific children’s book series authors. The award-winning actor, host, and magician talked about the inspiration behind … Continue reading A Not-Unfortunate Ending


We Need Diverse Books logo

Less Normative Collections

January 24, 2017

Though normative collections are a systematic problem and no one person is to blame, Manfredi said, the session sought to convey how librarians, educators, publishers, and reviewers are complicit in this problem. Manfredi began by identifying examples of microaggressions—comments or actions that may be hostile or demeaning to a minority or marginalized group—and popular misconceptions … Continue reading Less Normative Collections


The panel, from left: Fred Stielow, Susan J. Schmidt, Peter Pearson, Sally Gardner Reed

Directors, Trustees, and Friends Build the Future

January 24, 2017

Schmidt kicked off her 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits session, “Building the Future: Public Libraries and Their Trustees Making Future Policy Decisions Together,” in Atlanta on Sunday by painting a picture of the challenges directors, trustees, and Friends groups are up against. Panelists then presented tactics for ways these groups can leverage their relationships, to … Continue reading Directors, Trustees, and Friends Build the Future



Ryan Gravel

“Unfettered by Reality”

January 23, 2017

Gravel—who sparked the idea for the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile multiuse trail or repurposed rail lines that will eventually connect 46 neighborhoods—should know. His “ulterior motive,” he says, was simply creating a city that he wanted to live in. Gravel’s talk was testament to how one person with a bold idea can make a difference … Continue reading “Unfettered by Reality”


Scott Allen, Larra Clark, Margaret Caspe, Johanna Pringle

Changing Policy to Support Family Engagement

January 22, 2017

That was the question at the center of “Improving Federal and State Policy to Support Family Engagement in Libraries,” a Saturday morning panel sponsored by the Public Library Association (PLA) at ALA’s 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta. Caspe reinforced that family engagement is a shared responsibility, can happen anywhere, and can happen at … Continue reading Changing Policy to Support Family Engagement


ALA logo

Librarian of Congress Thanks Library Community at Council I

January 22, 2017

Todaro introduced a special guest, Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden, who gave remarks and thanked the library community for making her confirmation possible. 2014–2015 ALA President Courtney L. Young, chair of the ALA Executive Director Search Committee, presented the committee members (CD#10.2): Keri Cascio, Diane R. Chen, Joseph M. Eagan, Miguel Figueroa, Dora T. … Continue reading Librarian of Congress Thanks Library Community at Council I


Mary Davis Fournier, deputy director of ALA’s Public Programs Office, introduced the “Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change” session on Saturday.

Models for Change

January 22, 2017

Fournier spoke about the two-year Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative ALA is executing in partnership with the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD), with support from the Harwood Institute and backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The initiative began with training and review at … Continue reading Models for Change


American Library Association's 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta.Photos: Courtesy of ACVB and AtlantaPhotos.com

2017 ALA Midwinter Preview

January 3, 2017

We know that equity, diversity, and inclusion are instrumental to the success of libraries. As the American Library Association (ALA) gears up for its 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits (January 20–24) in Atlanta, it’s important to reflect on a variety of recent events—from the unrest after the presidential election to the Pulse nightclub shooting to … Continue reading 2017 ALA Midwinter Preview