Photo: Emily Uhrin, archivist at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media

Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin

February 7, 2020

With renewed attention on the pioneering host, including an Oscar-nominated Hollywood portrayal, Uhrin spoke with American Libraries about Rogers’s legacy and coming to know him through his work. Describe the holdings of the archive. Do you have a favorite? We house Fred Rogers’ personal and professional papers. The collection includes correspondence (he was a prolific … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin


Wes Moore

2020 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 6, 2020

“How much pain are we willing to tolerate when we know we don’t have to?” asked opening speaker Wes Moore, CEO of anti-poverty organization Robin Hood, US Army combat veteran, and one of many speakers who addressed race and inequality. His forthcoming book (with Erica L. Green) Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City … Continue reading 2020 Midwinter Wrap-Up


Andrea Telli, Chicago Public Libraries commissioner

Newsmaker: Andrea Telli

February 4, 2020

American Libraries spoke with Telli about her path to librarianship, her plans for CPL’s future, and the effects of CPL’s fine-free policy. I understand that you didn’t originally plan to become a librarian. I actually have a master’s degree in medieval and Renaissance Spanish literature. So marketable! Then I received a fellowship, and as part … Continue reading Newsmaker: Andrea Telli


From left: Punxsutawney Phil, 134 years old and living at the Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library since the 1970s, inside his burrow; at the front of the library, visitors can see Phil's Burrow through the viewing window. Photos: Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library

Burrowed in Books

January 31, 2020

You read that correctly. When Phil isn’t swarmed by media and visitors clamoring for his shadow-dependent spring predictions on Groundhog Day every February 2—last year 25,000 people gathered before the stump at Gobbler’s Knob—the well-known woodchuck lives in a burrow at the front of Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library. American Libraries talked to Jessica Church, director … Continue reading Burrowed in Books


Photo: A street in Philadelphia, site of ALA's 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits

2020 Midwinter Preview

January 2, 2020

Featured Speakers Opening Session Friday, January 24, 4–5:15 p.m. Author and social entrepreneur Wes Moore will open ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. Raised by a single mom in Baltimore and the Bronx, Moore overcame childhood challenges to become a Rhodes Scholar, decorated captain and paratrooper with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and White House Fellow to … Continue reading 2020 Midwinter Preview


Reading Terminal Market. Photo: Visit Philadelphia

The Philly Food Scene

January 2, 2020

Here are the best of the best, from faux-colonial taverns to historic food-hall cornucopias, whiskey bars to funky vegan eateries, and Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbords to Zahav, named the top restaurant in the country in 2019 by the James Beard Foundation. Conventioneers are doubly fortunate to have the three dozen food stands of 125-year-old Reading Terminal … Continue reading The Philly Food Scene


2019 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

January 2, 2020

Macmillan Ebook Policy Draws Fire Macmillan Publishers announced a policy preventing libraries from purchasing more than one copy of a new ebook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. In protest, American Library Association (ALA) launched the #eBooksForAll petition, which by November 27 had garnered more than 216,000 signatures. Said ALA President … Continue reading 2019 Year in Review


Above, a Congolese immigrant waves to the camera in a screenshot from a home movie archived by Home Made Visible. Below, metadata is collected for a photo submitted to Los Angeles Public Library's Mobile Memory Lab. Screenshot: Home Made Visible; Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Uncovering the Past

January 2, 2020

Caught on old home movies, each image offers an intriguing glimpse of a specific community. But if those movies stay trapped on dusty VHS tapes or forgotten reels of 8-millimeter film, their stories—and those of the populations they belong to—stay hidden. That’s why some libraries in the United States and Canada are offering patrons the … Continue reading Uncovering the Past


bystander training

Know Your Rights—and Theirs

January 2, 2020

Will that change? No one is certain. Though ICE’s official policy states it will avoid carrying out enforcement actions at “sensitive locations” such as daycares and places of worship, libraries are not specifically named among those locations. In this politically tense climate when immigration has been a major focus, some libraries wonder how they should … Continue reading Know Your Rights—and Theirs



Beth M. Lander, college librarian at the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, poses with a human skull set on green velvet. (Photo: Kriston Bethel)

Bookend: Medical Marvels

January 2, 2020

“That’s an excellent example of what it is like to work here,” she says. “You never know what might happen next.” The college shares its library with the Mütter Museum, an institution known for its macabre medical materials, which span centuries. Sometimes those artifacts find their way into the hands of playful coworkers, so keeping … Continue reading Bookend: Medical Marvels