Andrew Carnegie, 1913 (Photo: Marceau, NYC)

Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy

September 30, 2019

Libraries are the critical component in the free exchange of information, which lies at the heart of our democracy. They hold our nation’s heritage, the heritage of humanity, the record of its triumphs and failures, and of its intellectual, scientific, and artistic achievements. American public libraries grant all people access to an ever-growing compendium of … Continue reading Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy


Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


Cokie Roberts. Photo: Lynn Goldsmith

Remembering Cokie Roberts

September 17, 2019

This interview first appeared in American Libraries’ May 2009 issue. Roberts died September 17. In We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, you write about women succeeding in professions that were traditionally considered the domain of men. How were you able to develop the confidence and determination it took for you to do so? I was raised … Continue reading Remembering Cokie Roberts


2019 Library Design Showcase

September 3, 2019 Welcome to the 2019 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. These shining examples of innovative architectural feats address user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. Renovations and expansions continue to dominate submissions, as communities find novel ways to conserve and honor existing spaces while moving them well into … Continue reading 2019 Library Design Showcase

ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

2019 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

September 3, 2019 Tutt Library, Colorado College, Colorado SpringsArchitect: PfeifferPhoto: Steve Lerum Calgary (Alberta) Public Library, Central LibraryArchitect: Snøhetta and DialogPhoto: Michael Grimm The Milstein Center at Barnard College, New York CityArchitect: Skidmore, Owings, and MerrillPhoto: Magda Biernat San Mateo County (Calif.) Libraries, Half Moon Bay branchArchitect: Noll and Tam ArchitectsPhoto: Anthony Lindsey Photography Toronto Public Library, Albion … Continue reading 2019 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

How to Build a Library

September 3, 2019

These libraries, each completed within the past three years, are now centerpieces of their communities. They have inspired awe and appreciation, increased user engagement, received architecture and design awards—and won over some of their critics. So how did these endeavors come together? How does a beautiful building become a reality? We asked three administrators—who have … Continue reading How to Build a Library


2019 ALA Award Winners

September 3, 2019

Mirah J. Dow Beta Phi Mu Award One nominator wrote of Dow that “her commitment to Beta Phi Mu’s motto, Aliis inserviendo consumor—meaning ‘Consumed in the service of others’—is ever present.” Dow, professor and director of the PhD program at Emporia (Kans.) State University School of Library and Information Management, has spent her career educating … Continue reading 2019 ALA Award Winners


"key" with Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library logo

Automatic for the People

September 3, 2019

But he says any move to automate would be about expanding services, not cutting staff. “I told that journalist, the conversation would regard whether we repurpose one of our staff, who is doing transactional work, to do more transformational work enhancing library resources and programs in senior living facilities or nursing homes or low-income housing … Continue reading Automatic for the People


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on a bookshelf in a target

Up to the Challenge

September 3, 2019

Build your foundation The first step is to be an excellent educator. Your lessons should foster “opportunities for learners to demonstrate personal curiosity and creation of knowledge” and “support the diverse developmental, cultural, social, and linguistic needs” represented in your community, according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards for … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


Raina Telgemeier (Photo: Joseph Fanvu Photography)

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

September 3, 2019

Telgemeier has also written two fictional graphic novels (Drama and Ghosts), four illustrated adaptions of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the new interactive journal Share Your Smile. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists. You wrote two … Continue reading Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier


School librarian and volunteer firefighter Dinah Wade

Bookend: Sparking a Love for Learning

September 3, 2019

Wade is library media specialist at Freedom Intermediate School, serving 5th- and 6th-graders in the city of Franklin, Tennessee—and a volunteer firefighter with the nearby Williamson County Rescue Squad. She started her fire training in 2007, the year she married a career police officer who also volunteers with the station. Since then, she’s partnered with … Continue reading Bookend: Sparking a Love for Learning


From left: Phil Morehart, Ekua Holmes, Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Myers, and Jason Reynolds at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

August 20, 2019

What’s changed in the 50 years since librarians Glyndon Flynt and Mabel McKissick first thought of the CSK Book Awards at the 1969 ALA Annual Conference? How have the awards impacted children’s publishing in the years since? Jacqueline Woodson: One thing, just now walking through the convention center, we saw all of these books written … Continue reading A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards