2021 Library Systems Report (Illustration: Tom Deja)

2021 Library Systems Report

May 3, 2021

Only a few minor acquisitions took place in this deeply consolidated industry last year. Unlike in 2019, none of these transactions altered the overall balance of power among competitors. Vendors made extraordinary efforts to help customer libraries cope with changed services while they continued product development agendas looking beyond current circumstances. Responses to the crisis … Continue reading 2021 Library Systems Report


The library employment landscape

The Library Employment Landscape

May 3, 2021

Even before COVID-19 struck early last year, the LIS job market was a competitive one. Now, with the pandemic’s one-year anniversary behind us, the employment landscape for librarians has become even rockier and more unstable for entry-level candidates. At Syracuse (N.Y.) University School of Information Studies, for instance, the job placement rate for graduating LIS … Continue reading The Library Employment Landscape


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt


Photo: ©Marcos/Adobe Stock

Serving the Community at All Times

May 3, 2021

DPL’s Cultural Inclusivity Department is tasked with developing programs that help connect the library with its immigrant community. The department’s mission is to “collaborat[e] with Denver’s multicultural community to create equitable opportunities for learning, discovery, and connection.” This is done through Plaza and other intentional multicultural programming. DPL’s Plaza program has existed for more than … Continue reading Serving the Community at All Times



Monique Sugimoto, librarian and archivist for Palos Verdes Library District's Local History Center, points out over the coast. Photo: Erik Jay

Bookend: History Rolls On

May 3, 2021

Monique Sugimoto, an avid bicycle commuter—and archivist and librarian for Palos Verdes Library District’s (PVLD) Local History Center—enjoys pairing her expertise in the region’s past with her rides to work. “I’d give myself these little tours and thought it would be cool if we did an introduction to the peninsula.” Thus, Pedal PV—a series of … Continue reading Bookend: History Rolls On


National Library Week with Honorary Chair Natalie Portman, April 4-10, 2021

Newsmaker: Natalie Portman

April 5, 2021

As honorary chair of National Library Week, April 4–10, Portman is highlighting the role that libraries, librarians, and library workers play in serving their communities, especially during challenging times. Portman spoke with American Libraries about her love of reading, her new picture book for kids, and what libraries mean to her and her family. You … Continue reading Newsmaker: Natalie Portman





Valerie Wagley, counselor at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia, reads to kids at a bookmobile stop in summer 2020. Photo: Kelli Wood

The Road to Normal

March 1, 2021

“Would it be crazy if we packed our cars with books and drove them around?” Parrish remembers proposing. They put out word of their plan to give away books, and soon teachers, churches, school libraries, families, and even the local YMCA were donating books for the effort. Goochland County government loaned them a van. And … Continue reading The Road to Normal