Adrian Tomine, self-portrait

Newsmaker: Adrian Tomine

July 21, 2020

What pulls you toward recording the embarrassing side of things? I guess it’s two things. One is that no one would want a book about what a wonderful and exciting career I’ve had. And I also don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. It might be useful to some people to think that both … Continue reading Newsmaker: Adrian Tomine


Police in a library

Rethinking Police Presence

July 8, 2020

For example, Toledo–Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library (TLCPL) has announced that when it reopens after its COVID-19 shutdown, many of the security staff members in its branches will no longer carry arms or wear uniforms. In addition, TLCPL is forming a public safety working group that will “attempt to untangle complex questions about what safety … Continue reading Rethinking Police Presence


Advancing digital equity

Advancing Digital Equity

July 1, 2020

Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, moderated the event, joined by Betsy Fowler, director of Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library; Misty Hawkins, director of Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System; and Julie Walker, state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service. As nearly every aspect of … Continue reading Advancing Digital Equity


The Taiwan Reading Festival.

International Innovators

July 1, 2020

The Presidential Citations began as an initiative of former ALA President Loriene Roy (2007–2008). Presented by the International Relations Round Table, the awards recognize exemplary services and projects that draw attention to the potential for library services to create positive change, demonstrate sustainability, and provide a model for others. The winners are: Fran Galovic´ Public … Continue reading International Innovators


Photo: Libraries for Syrian Refugees

Bringing Books to the Desert

July 1, 2020

Among the camp’s adult population, literacy is low: 79% of its residents are from the agricultural region of Dara’a in southern Syria, where people are typically less educated than in a metropolis like Damascus. Before the Syrian civil war, Syrian schools and universities were considered among the best in the Arab world. Resourcefulness and creativity … Continue reading Bringing Books to the Desert



Author Yaa Gyasi (Photo: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation)

Newsmaker: Yaa Gyasi

July 1, 2020

One of the central themes of Transcendent Kingdom is the tension between science and faith. How did you approach the science aspect? It was really fun for me to do something so outside of my comfort zone. Talking to scientists, many of them conceptualized their work as a series of questions, as trying to get … Continue reading Newsmaker: Yaa Gyasi


Libraries rise to the challenge of maintaining services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos: Nicole Johnson/Grand Rapids (Minn.) Area Library (drive-through); Robyn Huff (reopening); Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library (e-sports); Tina Chenoweth (Animal Crossing)

Bookend: The New Normal

July 1, 2020

Some of our favorite examples of libraries meeting this challenge in creative ways, clockwise from top left: Michelle L. Johnson, cataloging technician at Grand Rapids (Minn.) Area Library, passes books through a drive-through window. The library averaged 50 pickups per day following the expiration of state stay-at-home orders May 18. Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library … Continue reading Bookend: The New Normal


Graphic: ALA Virtual, Community Through Connection

ALA Virtual Preview

June 9, 2020

ALA Virtual (June 24–26), the organization’s first-ever online-only member engagement event, will offer the programming, speakers, exhibits, and social networking attendees have come to expect from Annual Conference. Join your colleagues in this virtual space to learn, grow, and adapt together in these changing times. Note that all times listed are Central. Featured Speakers Opening … Continue reading ALA Virtual Preview


Illustration: Tom Deja

Coping in the Time of COVID-19

June 1, 2020

Freeman was joined by Maria Stella Rasetti, director of San Giorgio Library of Pistoia in Tuscany, Italy; Lisa Rosenblum, executive director of King County (Wash.) Library System; Loren Mc Clain, certified instructor for the National Council for Behavioral Health and Mental Health First Aid USA and senior academic advisor for the School of Science, Technology, … Continue reading Coping in the Time of COVID-19


The ALA Gay and Lesbian Task Force ­marching in the 1992 San Francisco Pride parade.

The Rainbow’s Arc

June 1, 2020

In the decades that followed, the group’s name changed periodically to reflect the evolving times, finally becoming known in 2019 as the Rainbow Round Table. But its mission—to serve the information needs of LGBTQIA+ library professionals as well as the information and access needs of the LGBTQIA+ community at large—has never faltered. LGBTQIA+ youth have … Continue reading The Rainbow’s Arc


Libby the Librarian greets students at University of Pretoria Libraries in South Africa. Photo: Mariki Uitenweerde/University of Pretoria in South Africa

What the Future Holds

June 1, 2020

Here we offer insights and predictions from five library thinkers who shared their perspectives at the Symposium on the Future of Libraries during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. From core values such as privacy and sustainability to more novel innovations such as the use of robots, we explore what the … Continue reading What the Future Holds