Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

Bronze statue of Ignatius J. Reilly, protagonist of A Confederacy of Dunces, that stands on Canal Street in New Orleans.Photo: Todd Murray

By the Numbers: New Orleans

June 1, 2018

7 Years since the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference was last held in New Orleans. 16,964 Number of Annual attendees in 2006, the year ALA was the first national group to hold a conference in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the convention center’s reopening. 1014 Dumaine Street address of the town house once … Continue reading By the Numbers: New Orleans


Drew Alvey (in red shirt), manager of Houston Public Library's Stimley–Blue Ridge branch, models interactive play for families. Photo: Houston Public Library

Bringing Libraries to WIC

June 1, 2018

It’s a question that Marisa Conner, manager of youth and family engagement at Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL), says her staffers are often asked when doing outreach at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) centers. She explains: Many WIC clients, particularly those originally from other countries, aren’t sure what a library is or whether it … Continue reading Bringing Libraries to WIC


Hasan Minhaj at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 24. Photo: Laura Kinser

Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj

June 1, 2018

You share some intensely personal experiences in Homecoming King about being the child of an immigrant. Was it hard deciding what to codify into comedy? In a comedy special you have only 70 minutes, so a lot of times you’re working with coffee and you need to boil it down to comedy espresso. I’m trying to … Continue reading Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj


Life and Activities of Shakyamuni Buddha Incarnate, 1486Photo: Library of Congress

By the Numbers: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

May 1, 2018

39 Years ago that Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week was first observed. In 1990, the week was expanded to the month of May. 1980 Year that the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association was founded. The group formally became affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982. 45th Anniversary that the Chinese American Librarians Association celebrated this … Continue reading By the Numbers: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month



Richard Kong, director of Skokie (Ill.) Public Library

New Library Leaders: Lessons Learned

March 26, 2018

Alcantara-Antoine—who at first didn’t pursue director-level leadership because she thought she was too shy and “didn’t see many directors who looked like [her]”—was one of four panelists sharing candid experiences and advice at the Public Library Association Conference’s “Wonderful World of Being a First-Time Director” session on March 22. Panelists included current first-time directors at … Continue reading New Library Leaders: Lessons Learned



Lisa Shaw (left) and Elizabeth Iaukea present “Libraries Strengthening the Talent Pipeline,” a March 23 session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia.

Careers over Jobs

March 26, 2018

“The skills for filling out a résumé and application become obsolete once someone gets a job,” said Levandowski, paraphrasing a quote she had read from Elisabeth Sanders-Park, author and president of WorkNet Solutions, a career consulting firm. “Helping a job seeker isn’t the end,” she said. “Workforce development can get people on a career path … Continue reading Careers over Jobs


Cindy Thornley, director of the Horry County (S.C.) Memorial Library, talked about library road trips at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Find Your Sister Library

March 23, 2018

The book in question was on heart health, and it helped a patron reclaim his life—so much so that he wanted to make a sizable donation to the Alexandria Library that would establish a travel fund for librarians. “I did not think it would happen,” said Thornley, who previously worked at Alexandria Library. “We didn’t … Continue reading Find Your Sister Library


Author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks at the Big Ideas session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Rethinking Relaxation

March 23, 2018

“Priorities, boundaries, mysticism,” said Gilbert. “This is the path I’m taking.” Gilbert, whose partner Rayya Elias died this year after a two-year battle with cancer, recounted how a deliberate approach to Elias’s illness and embracing the trauma helped her reframe what she wanted from her life. “It was extraordinary how galvanizing it was,” she said. … Continue reading Rethinking Relaxation


Opening Session speaker Sally Yates addresses attendees at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 21, 2018.

Objective Truth Will Save Democracy

March 22, 2018

Yates, former deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama administration and former acting attorney general, is perhaps best known for refusing to defend President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries and her testimony before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about Russian interference in the 2016 … Continue reading Objective Truth Will Save Democracy


Author, marketer, and consultant Kari Chapin addresses Public Library Association conference attendees in Philadelphia, March 21, 2018.

Prioritizing Possibilities

March 21, 2018

“These permission slips are for you to really think about what you want for yourself,” the bestselling author, marketer, and consultant told a morning crowd at the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia on March 21, turning attention to notecards placed on the chairs. “You are all grown people making your own choices,” she said. … Continue reading Prioritizing Possibilities