Rick Steves Photo: Tim Frakes

Newsmaker: Rick Steves

January 18, 2019

Steves will appear as an Auditorium Speaker at the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 27 to talk about the third edition of his book, Travel as a Political Act (Hachette Book Group, 2018). This month he releases Rick Steves Classroom Europe, a searchable resource of video clips that he hopes … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rick Steves


Preview of the American Library Association's 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle.

2019 Midwinter Preview

January 2, 2019

Featured speakers Opening Session Friday, January 25, 4–5:15 p.m. Philanthropist Melinda Gates, cofounder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has dedicated her life to transforming the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Core to her work is the empowerment of women and girls. Gates is the author of the forthcoming The Moment … Continue reading 2019 Midwinter Preview


Happy hour special at Miller’s Guild. Photo: Miller’s Guild

Emerald City Eats

January 2, 2019

Then, like the tech industry that refueled Seattle’s ailing aerospace economy, the food scene exploded. Cooking became an art, and the materials needed to create that art were close at hand—right at the famous Pike Place Market. The “buy fresh, eat local” philosophy, which places a premium on sustainable fishing and organic farming practices, now … Continue reading Emerald City Eats


2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

January 2, 2019

Michelle Obama at Annual At the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden conversed before an overflow crowd of 8,000. Obama spoke about her family, her career, and writing her memoir—and about getting her first library card at age 4. … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review


Librarians interviews for this story, clockwise from bottom left: Graham Tedesco-Blair, adult services librarian, Newark (N.Y.) Public Library; Fobazi Ettarh, undergraduate success librarian, Rutgers University–Newark in New Jersey; Chera Kowalski, assistant to the chief of staff, Free Library of Philadelphia; Nicole A. Cooke, associate professor and MS/LIS program director, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Tom Rink, instructor, library services, Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Homa Naficy, chief adult learning officer, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library; Amanda Oliver, MFA student, University of California–Riverside.

Other Duties as Assigned

January 2, 2019

As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned


net neutrality

The State of Net Neutrality

January 2, 2019

More than 35 states have introduced legislation to protect net neutrality, although only four (California, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) have passed laws. Several governors have also issued executive orders related to net neutrality. The details of state net neutrality actions vary significantly, but common provisions are: prohibiting all internet service providers (ISPs) in a state … Continue reading The State of Net Neutrality


Emily Cabaniss, company librarian and music assistant for the Seattle Opera. Photo: Kelly Clare Photography

Bookend: The Show Must Go On

January 2, 2019

“I hadn’t realized this kind of work was possible,” she says. “Every opera company has a person called a librarian, but they’re usually an orchestra librarian”—typically a music preparation specialist with ensemble experience who doesn’t, like Cabaniss, hold an MLIS. Hired in 2014 as the company’s first information professional, Cabaniss makes sure the artistic, music, … Continue reading Bookend: The Show Must Go On


Clockwise from top right: Pen Pictures, a book of channeled poetry by Robert Burns published in Lily Dale in 1900; the signature pink bookplate of Skidmore’s original library, the Cassadaga Lakes Freethought Association Library; memento mori hair bracelet found inside an 1882 channeled Spiritualist text titled Oahspe; Amanda Shepp examines The Sunflower, a Spiritualist journal published in Lily Dale, 1898–1909. (Photos: Brittany Ford)

A Librarian with Spirit(s)

December 27, 2018

Shepp was hired in 2014 as the facility’s first professional librarian and has been busily cataloging its more than 10,000 books, rearranging them into 28 thematic collections and seeing that its rare newspapers and pamphlets are digitized. “In addition to multiple collections that focus on aspects of Spiritualism, others cover the suffrage and freethought movements,” … Continue reading A Librarian with Spirit(s)


Mark Procknik (Photo: K&A Photography LLC)

A Whale of an Archive

December 27, 2018

It holds an immersive array of whaling-related materials: more than 18,000 books on US and international whaling history and New England regional history, 750,000 photographs, a 700-piece cartographic collection, 2,400 log books and journals—the largest collection in the world—and three first editions of Moby-Dick (Herman Melville worked in New Bedford as a whaler and used … Continue reading A Whale of an Archive


Maureen Brunsdale (Photo: Lyndsie Schlink)

Not Clowning Around

December 27, 2018

Don’t ask Brunsdale to name a favorite item; instead, “it’s the stories that draw me in,” she says, such as the contents of a 1907 letter from circus magnate Otto Ringling to his brothers, suggesting that they purchase the rival outfit of Barnum & Bailey. Among other highlights of the collection: an elephant harness and … Continue reading Not Clowning Around


Librarian Tara Murray (right) with Victorian-era stamp cases, stamps of the Duchy of Oldenburg from an 1863 album, and books from the American Philatelic Research Library collection. (Photos: Abby Drey)

Philatelic Relics

December 27, 2018

For the most part, APRL does not include stamps in its collection, “but they are occasionally included as collateral material. For example, the library owns two examples of the famous 1918 ‘Inverted Jenny’ error stamp, one of which was just recovered in June 2016 after being stolen from a stamp show in 1955. The first … Continue reading Philatelic Relics


Attendees at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. (Photos: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries and Cognotes)

Conference Candids

December 27, 2018

Attendees captured on camera, counterclockwise from top: Chelsea Johnson, librarian at Marshall (Mich.) District Library, tries her hand at steering a drone through an obstacle course. Jos Holman, county librarian at Tippecanoe County (Ind.) Public Library, reads from The Inner City Mother Goose at Stand for the Banned, a banned books readout. Alison Griffin (left), … Continue reading Conference Candids