Author Archive: Terra Dankowski


Beth Crist, Dustin Landrum, and Wendy Cornelisen

Collaboration is Key

June 26, 2018

A room full of library professionals shouted out the answers: “Build a better team!” “Increase awareness!” “Reach new audiences!” “Share resources!” “Take pressure off overworked librarians!” “Build capacity!” “Avoid duplicating efforts!” For attendees at “Collaboration is Key: Steps to Building Great Partnerships with Outside Organizations,” an Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies–sponsored program at … Continue reading Collaboration is Key


Viola Davis

Viola Davis Takes a Bow

June 26, 2018

“This is one of my favorite cities,” she announced to an auditorium packed with library professionals. “You can blow a fuse in this city, though, between the vodka and the fried oysters.” Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-winning actor Davis was the Closing Session speaker at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans … Continue reading Viola Davis Takes a Bow


Maurice Coleman, Angela Ocana, Sara Benson, and Steve Thomas

How to Start a Podcast

June 26, 2018

Panel moderator Phil Morehart, associate editor of American Libraries, picked the brains of prolific Libraryland podcasters from wildly different professional backgrounds to help attendees understand what kind of content, show formats, gear, marketing, branding, and partnerships have made their shows successful—and how they got started. (Full disclosure: Terra works on the Dewey Decibel podcast.) Finding their niche … Continue reading How to Start a Podcast


Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs

June 25, 2018

At “Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs,” a session sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans in Sunday, members of ULC’s Learning Cohort discussed practices and approaches for public libraries that want to support contractors, small business, and startups in their communities. “Most businesses fail … Continue reading Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs


ALA logo

ALSC Changes Name of Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

June 25, 2018

“We made this decision in order to bring our awards program into consistency with our mission and our strategic directions,” says ALSC President Nina Lindsay. “ALSC’s core values include integrity, respect, inclusiveness, and responsiveness, and we found we needed to review the names of awards with those values in mind.” In a joint statement released … Continue reading ALSC Changes Name of Laura Ingalls Wilder Award


Jonathan Eig Pulls No Punches

June 24, 2018

Eig was up for the task. What culminated was Ali: A Life—a 640-page, multiple-award-winning exploration cobbled from more than 600 interviews with 200 sources (including religious leader Louis Farrakhan, fight promoter Don King, and boxer George Foreman) over five years. He shared with Auditorium Speaker Series attendees at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference … Continue reading Jonathan Eig Pulls No Punches


Jessica Ralli

STEM for Babies


June 24, 2018

So what does science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for our youngest learners look like? Librarians and early literacy experts explored that question at “STEM for Babies and Toddlers,” an Association for Library Service to Children–sponsored program at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 23. “Science is a way … Continue reading STEM for Babies



Everyday Advocacy

June 24, 2018

“We were able to get the Tea Party to support our millage increase. That’s probably the first and last time that would happen in Kent County,” he joked to attendees at the United for Libraries President’s Program, “Engaging Elected Officials with Your Library,” at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans … Continue reading Everyday Advocacy


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