Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

Tenzin Kalsang, children's librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library's Williamsburg branch, performs Tibetan storytimes for users around the world. Photo by Todd Boebel.

Bookend: Beyond Words

July 8, 2021

But her program garnered tens of thousands of viewers, from patrons in her neighborhood to students attending a Tibetan school in Australia to monks living in Nepal. “I did not expect it would go that viral,” says Kalsang. “I’m a really camera-shy person.” Once or twice a month, Kalsang reads three picture books (past titles … Continue reading Bookend: Beyond Words




Padma Lakshmi and Juana Martinez-Neal

Food, Form, and Function

June 26, 2021

On its surface, Tomatoes for Neela (Penguin Young Readers, August), tells the story of a young Indian-American girl named Neela who collects “plump, juicy plum tomatoes” with her paati (grandmother) to make a sauce. But the picture book, illustrated by Peruvian-American mixed-media artist Juana Martinez-Neal (whose art earned her the 2020 Sibert Medal for Fry … Continue reading Food, Form, and Function


Stanley Tucci

His Life through Food

June 26, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, he wrote, directed, and starred in Big Night, a scrumptiously shot cult classic that introduced filmgoers to Primo and Secondo, brothers running an Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey, and their timpano, an encased, baked pasta dish as painstaking as it was showstopping. These days Tucci is hosting the CNN travelogue show … Continue reading His Life through Food


Brave Conversations: Kids' Club for Social Justice

The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids

June 26, 2021

“Kids are aware. The coverage of [these deaths] was nearly impossible to avoid and events like these continue to happen,” said CCPL Youth Services Librarian Katy Henderson at “Brave Conversations: Kids’ Club for Social Justice,” a June 25 program at the American Library Association’s 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual. “We were already seeking out … Continue reading The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids



Savala Nolan. Photo by Andria Lo.

Newsmaker: Savala Nolan

June 21, 2021

Growing up, did you encounter stories of other people who, like you, hold overlapping identities or experience a sense of dislocation? When I was a kid, people weren’t thinking about identity the way we do now. I was Black and white and Mexican in an era when we were expected to choose one lane and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Savala Nolan


The reader's road trip. Illustration by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries and Anastasia Krasavina/Adobe Stock

The Reader’s Road Trip

June 1, 2021

“A Literary Landmark is a source of pride for the community,” says Beth Nawalinski, director of United for Libraries, the American Library Association division that now oversees the program. Often the collaboration of Friends groups, community leaders, and literary organizations, these landmarks “demonstrate the power and synergy of those who support the library and literacy … Continue reading The Reader’s Road Trip


Ellen Keith, director of the Chicago History Museum Library, displays items related to the Great Chicago Fire. Photo by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Bookend: Archiving the Aftermath

June 1, 2021

“It’s just amazing how much the aftermath was documented,” says Ellen Keith, director of the museum library. The library’s holdings include period maps and stereographs (an early form of three-dimensional photographs popular in the 19th century) depicting the burned areas of the city, transcripts of the 1871 fire department hearings, a 1997 mayoral resolution exonerating … Continue reading Bookend: Archiving the Aftermath


Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations

January 24, 2021

“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, as a Black man, I realized I had to do something,” the Fox Sports analyst and former National Football League (NFL) linebacker told attendees at a Featured Speaker session of the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 24. “It’s my job … Continue reading Uncomfortable Conversations


The Future of Fundraising

The Future of Fundraising

January 24, 2021

“This [past] year I personally took charge of looking at our donors and thinking, ‘How can we fundraise during this difficult time?’” said Lauren Trujillo, director of the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Public Library Foundation (SBPLF). Trujillo, along with Andrea Lapsley, president of Texas Library and Archives Foundation (TxLAF) in Austin, moderated “The Future of Library … Continue reading The Future of Fundraising