Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

Staffers at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, which closed its doors March 16 because of COVID-19, advertise the library's remote-reference services in a group Zoom call.. Photo: Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library

Bookend: Remote and Ready

June 1, 2020

Director Dana Wishnick’s first priority was setting up the phone system to forward calls to staffers working from home: “We have about 20% of our community that doesn’t have access to computers or internet connections, and we really wanted to be able to serve them during this time.” To let users know that staffers were … Continue reading Bookend: Remote and Ready


Stacey Abrams Photo: Gerri Hernández

Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams

June 1, 2020

COVID-19, social distancing, and self-quarantine have become facts of American life. Meanwhile, the US is conducting primary elections and the 2020 Census. How do you see these events being affected by the public health crisis? What can be done to encourage civic participation during a time of fear? We have to remember this isn’t the … Continue reading Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams


Stacey Abrams Photo: Gerri Hernández

Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams

March 31, 2020

The spread of COVID-19 has ramped up significantly in recent weeks, and social distancing and self-quarantine have become facts of American life. Meanwhile, the US is conducting primary elections and the 2020 Census. How do you see these events being affected by the public health crisis? What can be done to encourage civic participation during … Continue reading Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams


Spanish-language census marketing materials used by Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library. Photo: Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library

Reaching the Hard to Count

March 2, 2020

“I was sent one of those letters,” says Rhonda Sewell, manager of external and governmental affairs for Toledo–Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL). “What’s at stake [in Ohio] is over $1,800 per person.” Sewell and others who joined the CCC decided that, to not lose federal funds, Toledo and Lucas County needed to hire a census … Continue reading Reaching the Hard to Count


Samantha Bee speaks at the Closing Session of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville February 29. Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios

High Stakes

March 1, 2020

“Of course we’re not living in the administration we want to be living in, naturally,” she told the crowd at the Closing Session of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 29. “As I sit here, the president is doing a press conference on coronavirus. I hope it goes really well and … Continue reading High Stakes


‘We’re in the Social Justice Business’

March 1, 2020

“Stories have value. And I think that libraries have inherently gone down a path that people have value,” the award-winning anchor, entrepreneur, and television host said at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 29. She added: “Like assignment editors, very rarely do they get thanked.” In her Big Ideas session talk, … Continue reading ‘We’re in the Social Justice Business’


Burton Reist, assistant director for communications at the US Census Bureau

Closing In on the Census

February 29, 2020

“It’s a critical civic effort, it affects everything political and economic in communities,” said Larra Clark, deputy director of the Public Library Association (PLA), at “2020 Census Countdown: What You Need to Know,” a February 28 program at the PLA 2020 Conference in Nashville. “The census doesn’t happen in the quarters of Washington—it happens here,” … Continue reading Closing In on the Census


From left: Jeffery Davis, Margaret Sullivan, Salvador Avila, Melanie Huggins, and Danielle Milam.

Human-Centered Spaces

February 29, 2020

“Architecture isn’t about buildings, it’s about people,” said Jeffery Davis, library planner and designer at Architectural Nexus in Salt Lake City. Davis, Milam, and fellow panelists at “Inclusionary Tactics that Flip the Script for Library Facility Planning,” a February 28 program of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville, emphasized that library design’s new … Continue reading Human-Centered Spaces



From left: Melanie Toledo (at podium), Carolyn Petersen, and Janessa Esquivel.

Supporting Tribal Libraries

February 28, 2020

At “Perspectives on Outreach to Tribal Libraries,” a February 28 program at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville, librarians from tribal libraries and the state libraries that support them offered tips for successful collaboration. Have a purpose. Are you from a state or public library that wants to reach out and network with … Continue reading Supporting Tribal Libraries


Author and education professor Bettina Love brings big ideas to the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville February 27. (Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios)

Calling on Co-Conspirators

February 28, 2020

Bettina Love, education professor and author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (Beacon Press, 2019), posed this question to attendees of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference’s Big Ideas session in Nashville on February 27. In her dynamic talk, she confronted the ways in which … Continue reading Calling on Co-Conspirators


Opening Session speaker Stacey Abrams on stage at the 2020 Public Library Association Conference in Nashville on February 26. (Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios)

Everyone Counts

February 27, 2020

“In 2018, I did not become governor of Georgia,” the nonprofit CEO, 11-year Georgia House representative, recent Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and author of the forthcoming Our Time is Now (Henry Holt and Co., June) told a packed auditorium at the Opening Session of the Public Library Association (PLA) 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 26. … Continue reading Everyone Counts