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



2020 calendar

2020 Voting and Census Timeline

December 2, 2019

Voter registration: Many states have deadlines to register to vote or update a voter registration (for example, if a previously registered voter has moved, changed their name, or regained eligibility to vote). To vote in a state’s primary or caucus, these deadlines are generally one month before. To vote in the 2020 general elections, these … Continue reading 2020 Voting and Census Timeline



Debbie Harry (Photo: Scott Sherratt)

Newsmaker: Debbie Harry

November 21, 2019

American Libraries spoke with her about music, art, libraries, and how climate activism is the new punk. Your life and image have been heavily documented already. Was it difficult to separate your memory of things from the photograph or the edited version of events? Oh, yes. Especially between me and Chris [Stein, Blondie cofounder and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Debbie Harry