Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

From left, authors Shaun David Hutchinson, Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, and Veronica Roth at the closing session of the 2019 YALSA Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, November 3.

Sci-Fi Can Save You

November 4, 2019

“I read a lot of genre fiction growing up,” said Roth, creator of the Divergent series. “Fewer women were in the driving seat of those books. [But Meg] had a lot of feelings.” Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants (Simon Pulse, 2017) and At the Edge of the Universe (Simon Pulse, 2018), agreed. “It’s … Continue reading Sci-Fi Can Save You



From left, YA authors Lauren Myracle, Sandhya Menon, Kekla Magoon, and Meredith Russo speak at the Opening Session of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Young Adult Services Symposium on November 1 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Really YA” Tackles Real Issues

November 4, 2019

At “Really YA,” a panel moderated by YALSA President Todd Krueger, bestselling authors Kekla Magoon, Sandhya Menon, Lauren Myracle, and Meredith Russo talked about the inspiration and experiences behind their latest realistic fiction works and the research they did to write their characters’ stories. “I wanted to show a trans girl who’s messier, and having … Continue reading “Really YA” Tackles Real Issues


K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

How to Build a Library

September 3, 2019

These libraries, each completed within the past three years, are now centerpieces of their communities. They have inspired awe and appreciation, increased user engagement, received architecture and design awards—and won over some of their critics. So how did these endeavors come together? How does a beautiful building become a reality? We asked three administrators—who have … Continue reading How to Build a Library


Mo Rocca

Newsmaker: Mo Rocca

July 24, 2019

In your podcast Mobituaries, you exhume little-known facts about both relatively unknown and iconic people and events. How do you go about picking a story that you’d like to pursue? I pursue stories about people and things that interest me. There are people who had obituaries the first time around when they actually died, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mo Rocca


From left to right: Marion Rorke, Sharon Streams, Lynn Connaway

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

June 25, 2019

“Questions are being raised about what is the role of libraries in this epidemic,” said Sharon Streams, director of OCLC’s WebJunction, at the outset of “Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities,” a June 24 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. More than 130 people die … Continue reading Addressing the Opioid Epidemic


Journalist and author Mo Rocca speaks at the Closing Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 25.

The Onus of Obituary

June 25, 2019

Which is why it’s no surprise that the CBS Sunday Morning correspondent’s forthcoming book, Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (November, Simon & Schuster), and podcast of the same name, commemorates people and things—from the station wagon to Neanderthals to Thomas Paine’s legacy—where the common thread is that they’re overlooked and no longer with us. Oh, and there’s another overlap: … Continue reading The Onus of Obituary


Golden Arches, Black Franchises

June 25, 2019

“The reason I’m conversant in [race, social justice, and public policy] topics is because it all started at the library,” she told those gathered for the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services President’s Program at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 24. Chatelain reminisced about being dropping off … Continue reading Golden Arches, Black Franchises


Figuring out the Fourth Factor

June 24, 2019

At “Show Me Money! Or Not?,” a June 23 panel at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., speakers from academic institutions reviewed five examples of case law to dispel confusion around fair use, specifically focusing on the exception’s fourth factor. “I think the reason fair use is the exception librarians … Continue reading Figuring out the Fourth Factor


Better Literacy for the Blackfeet Nation

June 24, 2019

That’s the number at which literacy levels of all types significantly improve, said Anthony Chow, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, at “Resources for Rural and Tribal Libraries,” a June 24 session at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Of the Blackfeet Nation individuals he … Continue reading Better Literacy for the Blackfeet Nation


Mark Miller (left), chair of the Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library board of trustees, and Koran Saines, Sterling district supervisor at the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Budget Bedfellows

June 24, 2019

Koran Saines, Sterling district supervisor for the Loudoun County (Va.) Board of Supervisors, asked the question at the beginning of “A Successful Budgeting Process,” a June 23 panel at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., to illustrate a simple but important point: Librarians should be having ongoing conversations with … Continue reading Budget Bedfellows


Universal Design for All Learners

June 23, 2019

“We often frame [disability or accessibility] as a problem, something to overcome, or something to deal with,” she told attendees at “Accessibility and Creation of Online Library Materials: Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL),” a June 22 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Johns chooses instead to … Continue reading Universal Design for All Learners