2018 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

September 4, 2018 The following libraries are winners of the 2018 Library Building Awards, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association’s Library Leadership and Management Association. 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 anywhere in … Continue reading 2018 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

2018 ALA Award Winners

2018 ALA Award Winners

September 4, 2018

  Clara Chu BETA PHI MU AWARD Chu’s work is notable for extending beyond the classroom, most recently in support of Southeast Asian refugees. Letters in support of her nomination noted her encouragement, intellectual scope, and the care she takes with her students. Her multilingual contributions to the field include more than 40 articles and … Continue reading 2018 ALA Award Winners


Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library used a vacant space in a shopping center for its Sterling branch. Photo: Sam Kittner

Repurpose with a Purpose

September 4, 2018

When possible conversions loom on the horizon, libraries must be prepared. In all conversion situations, one of the major problems involves the building shaping the library rather than the library shaping the building. Many spaces may lack the basic functional needs of libraries, such as ceilings high enough for reflected uplighting, sufficient power supplies, workable … Continue reading Repurpose with a Purpose


As part of its DIY makeover, Francis W. Parker School in Chicago added beanbag chairs to its library. Photo: Francis W. Parker School

Design on the Cheap

September 4, 2018

Start with what you have The first step in any design project, big or small, is intense self-reflection. Brian Lee, architect and design partner at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, has designed libraries around the world, including the award-winning Chinatown branch of Chicago Public Library (CPL), which opened in 2015. He stresses the importance of research … Continue reading Design on the Cheap


Susan Orlean

Newsmaker: Susan Orlean

September 4, 2018

In the book you write, “Sometimes it’s harder to notice a place you think you know well…. I had to force myself to look harder and try to see beyond the concept of library that was so latent in my brain.” What is the most surprising thing that you learned about libraries or librarians while … Continue reading Newsmaker: Susan Orlean


April Aultman Becker, dean of library and research technologies at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, used Microsoft Publisher to design this series of bookmarks in her previous role as education coordinator at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center Research Medical Library.

Cutting Out the Clip Art

September 4, 2018

“The first flier I ever designed had a clip-art border,” confesses Lamarre, head of children’s services at Duxbury (Mass.) Free Library (DFL) and a freelance graphic design consultant. “I had no idea that that wasn’t the proper way to design an eye-catching flier.” Pixelated photos, inappropriate font choices, and other design depravities—including, yes, clip art—often … Continue reading Cutting Out the Clip Art


Screenshot from University of Minnesota, Morris's "Welcome to Briggs Library," featuring the school's cougar mascot, Pounce.

Pounce into the Spotlight with a Library Introduction Video

August 10, 2018

There was only one problem: We had never created a library video before. The process was as much an introduction to video making for us as the finished product was an introduction to the library for our students. Assembling the cast and crew As with any Hollywood blockbuster, a team had to be assembled to … Continue reading Pounce into the Spotlight with a Library Introduction Video



Attendees of the American Library Association's 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans display matching Michelle Obama T-shirts ahead of the Opening General Session. Photos: Cognotes and Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

2018 Annual Wrap-Up

July 18, 2018

Among the many big-name speakers in the Big Easy was former First Lady Michelle Obama, who opened the conference with an inspiring talk about work ethic, raising children, being a woman, striving for work/life balance, and the importance of remembering one another’s humanity. “I know that there are so many people in this country, in … Continue reading 2018 Annual Wrap-Up


Exhibit Hall opening, #alaac18

Tech in the Exhibit Hall

July 18, 2018

The conference brought together more than 750 companies and organizations in the world’s largest exhibition of library-oriented technology. This roundup describes a few of the products that caught my eye. It’s not a comprehensive report; there were just too many interesting items on hand to write about them all. Seeking synergies ProQuest is a good … Continue reading Tech in the Exhibit Hall