Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

Photo of George Saunders by Zach Krahmer

Newsmaker: George Saunders

September 1, 2022

In your forthcoming collection Liberation Day, “Love Letter” is about a grandfather who writes to his grandson in an authoritarian near-future, expressing contrition and caution about the political situation and observing that people are unpersuaded by others’ beliefs. Is this a speculative tale or do you think our country is at an impasse? In “Love … Continue reading Newsmaker: George Saunders


This movie poster is one of 3,000 items in the Witchcraft Collection at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Photo courtesy of Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

By the Numbers: Halloween

September 1, 2022

19th Century in which Halloween was popularized in the US, thanks in part to the arrival of Irish and Scottish immigrants. Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. 65% Percentage of US consumers who planned to celebrate Halloween in 2021, according to a National Retail Federation survey. 6 Number of live “ghostcams” … Continue reading By the Numbers: Halloween



Luvvie Ajayi Jones appears as Closing Speaker at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 28.

Making Trouble

June 28, 2022

“Disruption of this world is how we’re going to get to the place we actually want to get to,” Jones told attendees at the June 28 Closing Session of the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. “Maybe it wouldn’t be a dumpster fire if Batman wasn’t the one you had … Continue reading Making Trouble


Jane Park (left) and Christina Soontornvat appear as part of the American Library Association (ALA) President's Program at ALA's Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 26. Photo: EPNAC

‘This Is a Movement’

June 27, 2022

American Library Association (ALA) President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong convened a panel of authors, publishers, and literacy advocates to discuss these questions at “Advancing the Asian American Story,” a June 26 program at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. To better understand the strides the publishing industry is making with representation and … Continue reading ‘This Is a Movement’


Jennifer Embree, subject librarian and Sustainability Hub coordinator for Binghamton University Libraries, speaks at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 26. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Join the Hub

June 27, 2022

“Despite how big our school is, there was no sustainability office,” Embree said at  “Sustainability Hubs in Practice: How Libraries Can Develop Dynamic Spaces and Services to Help Foster an Action-Based Sustainability Culture in Communities,” a June 26 session at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. “Unless you’re … Continue reading Join the Hub


Tiffany Haddish

Bringing Joy

June 26, 2022

Haddish appeared as a featured speaker on June 25 at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. In a lively conversation with Andrew Medlar, president and director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, she spoke about her early experiences with libraries, her new picture book, and her outlook on life. “This is my … Continue reading Bringing Joy


KayCee Choi (standing at left) and Alicia Deal (standing at right), librarians at Dallas Public Library, present at "Deaf Culture: A Strategy for Inclusive Deaf Community Engagement,” a June 26 session at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by Rebecca Lomax for American Libraries.

Deaf Is a Culture

June 26, 2022

“After joining ALA, I saw a lot of changes,” said Hagemeyer, who now leads Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. While services and outreach to Deaf people have improved over the last 50 years, libraries could be doing more in this area. That was the takeaway … Continue reading Deaf Is a Culture


Seated at left, author and MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts speaks into a microphone. Seated to the right is author and professor Randall Horton. Both are presenters at "Defending the Fifth Freedom: Protecting the Right to Read for Incarcerated Individuals," a June 25 session at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by EPNAC.

‘Our Access Point to the Humanity We Cannot Touch’

June 26, 2022

“The Association’s membership is called on at this moment to interrupt the systemic information poverty that is going on in American’s detention facilities,” she said. As ALA prepares to revise its Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions for the first time since 1992, Hall was joined in conversation by a panel of advocates who are fighting for … Continue reading ‘Our Access Point to the Humanity We Cannot Touch’


Catherine Tong (seated at left), Bridget Kowalczyk (seated center), and Tiffany Bradford-Oldham (seated at right) speak about the speech and debate program they run at San José (Calif.) Public Library at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 25. Photo by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries.

Up for Debate

June 25, 2022

Since then, the library has offered six speech and debate series for grades 3–5 over Zoom, with each 12-week session focused on a different social justice topic, such as Black Lives Matter, anti-Asian sentiment, and climate change. Instructors from the program shared insights into their curriculum and success at “Inspiring the Next Generation to Champion … Continue reading Up for Debate


Illustrations depict five library jobs that are currently on the rise. From left to right: There is a man holding a magnifying glass, representing user experience librarians. A woman stands next to a lightbulb that is filled with gears and a plant, representing sustainability librarians. Game pieces of different colors represent directors of equity, diversity, and inclusion. A laptop with human arms represents open educational resources librarians. And finally, a person on a ladder lifting a slice from a pie chart represents data visualization librarians. These illustrations were made by Adobe Stock user Nuthawut.

5 Library Jobs on the Rise

June 1, 2022

Luckily for job seekers, that trend seems to have receded. CNBC reported in late March that there were a record 5 million more job openings than available workers. That tendency bears out across the library industry. “The number of library jobs advertised nationally since late 2021 has hit unprecedented levels,” says David Connolly, recruitment ad … Continue reading 5 Library Jobs on the Rise


Derek Meader, reference librarian at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, stands in front of Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, a 54-foot sparkplug-like structure adjacent to campus. Meader is the owner and operator of The Real Portland Tour, a sightseeing experience that stops at three Maine lighthouses. Photo taken by Michael D. Wilson.

Bookend: The Man with a Van

June 1, 2022

“You’re gonna get on a tour with a real local, born and raised,” says Meader, who is also reference librarian at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland. “The route literally goes by where I work [and] my high school.” During the two-hour excursion, the tour van stops at three lighthouses, including Spring Point … Continue reading Bookend: The Man with a Van