United We Stand

September 1, 2022

Here are some strategies that helped us along the way: Talk with colleagues. Building worker power begins when workers talk with one another about their experiences on the job. When my colleagues and I started talking more, we realized that many of us shared the same issues and were able to discuss what we believed … Continue reading United We Stand


Lindsey Kimery

Book Battle in Tennessee

May 11, 2022

Country music star John Rich, who tweeted in January, prior to the bill’s introduction, that he’d met with Gov. Bill Lee and Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn about obscene books in school libraries, addressed the House subcommittee on K–12 education on February 23, comparing teachers, educators, and librarians to “the guy in the white van … Continue reading Book Battle in Tennessee


Meeting Every Maker

May 2, 2022

Acknowledging that gap, our research team set out to explore the accessibility of public library makerspaces. We did this through focus groups with disability advocates and stakeholders, with grant support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Every makerspace is different, we learned, but there were some common themes in our discussions with participants. … Continue reading Meeting Every Maker


On My Mind by Cynthia Kiyotake

Broadening Outreach

March 1, 2022

My eight-branch library system in the Denver metro area serves about 655,000 people across much of Arapahoe County, covering a diverse social landscape: lower-income communities, rural Coloradans, a county jail, and a variety of residential and commercial interests. Various groups within our libraries administer programming work collaboratively to meet the particular needs of children and … Continue reading Broadening Outreach


On My Mind with Rachel Ivy Clarke

Work Made Visible

January 3, 2022

Invisible labor is a concept from feminist scholarship that aims to bring attention to underpaid, unrecognized, and undervalued work, often performed by women. Household work is an example, but the term also applies to some intellectual work, like that performed in libraries. When a job is done well—a program goes off without a hitch, for … Continue reading Work Made Visible


Photo of On My Mind author Carolyn Schubert

Building a Better Tomorrow

November 1, 2021

Personally, I’ve observed an increase in conversations among librarians on social media about leaving the profession, which seems in line with broader trends. More people are considering changing jobs—as many as 66% of US workers, according to a study by Personal Capital and Harris Poll published in August. Others are retiring altogether; in May, The … Continue reading Building a Better Tomorrow


Photos of On My Mind authors Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Joyce Valenza

Stop Source-Shaming

September 1, 2021

Our investigation of student habits used a simulated set of Google search results to identify how 175 students, from 4th grade through graduate school, selected and judged resources for a research project. We found that, while students have been generally discouraged from using Wikipedia as a source, it remains a popular starting point. We also … Continue reading Stop Source-Shaming


On My Mind with Mercedes Rutherford-Patten and Nicki Viso

Starting a New Legacy

May 11, 2021

As representatives of the first generation of college graduates in our families, we face a distinct set of challenges entering grad school. Mercedes comes from a working-class family; both her parents held positions in manufacturing; Nicki’s parents pursued jobs in industries that did not require a college degree. Our parents encouraged and supported our decisions … Continue reading Starting a New Legacy


On My Mind with Fatma Ghailan

Tools for the Job

May 3, 2021

According to America’s Libraries: Powering Broadband Adoption, Access, and Use, a 2016 report from the American Library Association, about 90% of public libraries offer digital literacy training programs through which community members can engage in job preparation and gain new skills to aid in career advancement. The report also notes that those who receive formal … Continue reading Tools for the Job


Portrait of On My Mind author Lesley Garrett

Bookmobiles for Justice

March 1, 2021

During my time as an organizer apprentice with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, our chapter led a successful campaign in partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Kentucky Fairness and ACLU of Kentucky to pass a 2018 civil rights ordinance in the city of Paducah that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. … Continue reading Bookmobiles for Justice



On My Mind, by Elizabeth M. Johns

Remote Control?

September 1, 2020

My information literacy classes, like so many others, have largely shifted to video chat platforms. It was a difficult, abrupt switch, even for those of us who have taught online for years. As online learning librarians know, a lesson designed for a physical classroom cannot easily move to an online space but requires transformation for … Continue reading Remote Control?