2021 Library Design Showcase

September 1, 2021

Higher learning D. H. Hill Jr. Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh Lord Aeck Sargent transformed D. H. Hill Jr. Library into an open, light-filled facility with an eye on the future. The removal of stacks on the second and third floors created new areas for study, academic support, and technology immersion. In … Continue reading 2021 Library Design Showcase


2021 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

September 1, 2021 The following libraries are winners of the 2021 Library Building Awards, sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (a division of the American Library Association) and the American Institute of Architects. The awards recognize the best in library architecture and design and are open to any architect licensed in the United States. Projects may be located … Continue reading 2021 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11

Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11

September 1, 2021

In the aftermath, American Libraries tried to make sense of the tragedy and our nation’s response, and consider their implications for libraries and American Library Association members. Our 2001 and 2002 reporting covered topics related to collections destroyed in the attacks, communities dealing with Islamophobia, restrictions imposed on civil liberties, and what librarian eyewitnesses remembered … Continue reading Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11


The Sphere, a sculpture by Fritz Koenig, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers partially intact. The unrestored sculpture now sits in New York City's Liberty Park near the National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA)

What Was Lost

September 1, 2021

Kathleen D. Roe, chief of archival services at New York State Archives in Albany at the time and now retired, says her team was prepared to deal with wet or dusty records or damaged collections. “We pretty quickly found out that either collections were pretty much okay because they were in a safe building that … Continue reading What Was Lost


Silhouette of mosque on gold background (Illustration: green2/AdobeStock)

Understanding the Other

September 1, 2021

Ghada Kanafini Elturk, a Lebanese American who was then working as community and cultural outreach librarian at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library, described the hostility against Muslims and Arab Americans in the months after the attacks. “Those Americans who are not familiar with my culture do not show respect,” she told American Libraries reporter Ron Chepesiuk … Continue reading Understanding the Other


Globe with arrow pointing to Newfoundland, inset photo of Gander Public Library exterior (Photo: ©cnky photography/Adobe Stock (globe); Gander (Newfoundland) Public and Resources Library (exterior))

A Safe Haven in the Sea

September 1, 2021

Gander’s small airport had evolved from a strategic post during World War II to a refueling station for transatlantic flights during the 1950s and 1960s. The planes began arriving on the day of the attack. Soucy, now retired, and then–GPRL Manager Glenda Peddle, who died in 2018, knew people working in air traffic control who … Continue reading A Safe Haven in the Sea


The Internet Archive’s Understanding 9/11 video archive features footage from 20 news outlets spanning the period from the morning of September 11 to September 17, 2001.

Archives of an Attack

September 1, 2021

One explanation for the staying power of these memories is that we witnessed them in real time, on television. New York City–based morning programs like NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America and local news channels broadcast the attacks to the country as they unfolded, giving viewers direct access to the raw tragedy and sensory … Continue reading Archives of an Attack


The Connecticut Four. From left: Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, George Christian, and Janet Nocek

Defenders of Patron Privacy

September 1, 2021

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), they challenged the climate of surveillance and government overreach that followed the September 11 attacks, showing the nation that librarians would stand by the rights of patrons and civil liberties. Here, the four share their memories of the experience and its resonance today with American … Continue reading Defenders of Patron Privacy


2021 ALA Award Winners

2021 ALA Award Winners

September 1, 2021

Joint Council of Librarians of Color Equality Award The Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) was the unanimous choice of the award jury. Formed in 2015 as a nonprofit affiliate of ALA, JCLC comprises five national associations representing people of color in the library and information profession: the American Indian Library Association, the Asian/Pacific … Continue reading 2021 ALA Award Winners


Sheva Moore at Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.Photo: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

Bookend: Over the Moon

September 1, 2021

A video librarian and researcher at Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Moore provides materials from the onsite video, photo, and audio collection to production companies, TV networks, advertisers, and private citizens with an interest in space and NASA. She also helps produce NASA’s social media content, segments for NASA TV, and science … Continue reading Bookend: Over the Moon


Colson Whitehead (Black man with braided hair pulled back, wearing leather jacket, looking just up and to the right)

Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead

September 1, 2021

Will the experience of having The Underground Railroad turned into a 10-episode miniseries for Amazon affect your writing? No, I don’t think it will affect my writing. It felt very separate. They optioned it five years ago, so it was always on the backburner, and occasionally I would talk to Barry Jenkins, the director, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead


Uptick in First Amendment Audits

August 26, 2021

“My heart sank,” Ryan says. She had learned about these encounters in 2020 and knew what they entailed. In First Amendment audits, individuals arm themselves with video cameras, proclaim themselves “auditors,” and enter public buildings, like police precincts and libraries, to record alleged violations. “I know what these people do, so when I heard it … Continue reading Uptick in First Amendment Audits