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


Photos: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Bookend: Exhibiting Energy

July 17, 2019

Jim Cowen, music reference librarian at University of the Arts Libraries in Philadelphia, takes the Star Wars READ Selfie Challenge. Shanna Hollich, collection management librarian at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, learns to play Illimat at the Gaming and Graphic Novel Pavilion. Carolyn Long (right), volunteer at STAR Academy Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee, poses … Continue reading Bookend: Exhibiting Energy




Jeremy Brett, curator of Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives's Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire

March 1, 2019

Martin’s relationship with Texas A&M began in the 1970s, when he first visited Aggie­Con, a science fiction and fantasy convention held at the university, says Jeremy Brett (right), curator of the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. In 1993, Martin began shipping items to the archives, which now include more than 50,000 pieces. The … Continue reading Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire


Emily Cabaniss, company librarian and music assistant for the Seattle Opera. Photo: Kelly Clare Photography

Bookend: The Show Must Go On

January 2, 2019

“I hadn’t realized this kind of work was possible,” she says. “Every opera company has a person called a librarian, but they’re usually an orchestra librarian”—typically a music preparation specialist with ensemble experience who doesn’t, like Cabaniss, hold an MLIS. Hired in 2014 as the company’s first information professional, Cabaniss makes sure the artistic, music, … Continue reading Bookend: The Show Must Go On


Clifford Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning, at the Vanderbilt Television News Archive.

Bookend: News to Peruse

November 1, 2018

This year the archive of more than 1.1 million abstracted segments—including the only known coverage of its kind of the Vietnam War, the Apollo spaceflight program, and Watergate—celebrates its 50th anniversary. “We want people to have an objective record of what has been broadcast,” says Clifford Anderson (pictured), associate university librarian for research and learning, … Continue reading Bookend: News to Peruse


Liz Quakenbush and students at Orchard Park Elementary School in Indianapolis pose in the library.

Bookend: Shaking up Book Sales

September 1, 2018

For nearly 20 years, she held yearly used book sales at Orchard Park Elementary School in Indianapolis, where she is the media specialist. As her community grew more economically diverse, she wanted to help children add to their home libraries year-round, and she turned to her students for ideas. They wrote a business plan, set … Continue reading Bookend: Shaking up Book Sales


Bookend: Midday Masquerade

July 18, 2018

Bethany Mitchell, technology assistant at Vestavia Hills (Ala.) Library in the Forest, peers through a jester cutout. From left: Aisha Conner-Gaten (instructional design librarian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles), Tracy Drake (archivist at Chicago Public Library), and Aurelia Mandani (technology services librarian at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder Labs Library in … Continue reading Bookend: Midday Masquerade


Left: Christina Bryant holds an invitation from the Mistick Krewe of Comus (1900); top left: a dance card issued by the Twelfth Night Revelers (1899); bottom left: a costume design from the Léda Hincks Plauché Collection. (Photos: Susan Poag (Bryant, butterfly); New Orleans Public Library (costumes))

Bookend: Conservator of Carnival

June 1, 2018

“The invitations are definitely one of the highlights,” notes Christina Bryant, department head of the library’s Louisiana Division/City Archives and Special Collections. “They are each a miniature work of art and sometimes engineering,” she says of the elaborately paneled and intricately drawn creations. Other standouts in the Carnival collection, dating back to the 1860s, include … Continue reading Bookend: Conservator of Carnival


Nancy Down, head librarian of the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Libraries.

Bookend: Pop Culture Paradise

May 1, 2018

When researchers need to study these or other pieces of American ephemera created after 1876, they head to the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University Libraries. Founded almost 50 years ago, the library holds one of the largest comics collections in the country, as well as … Continue reading Bookend: Pop Culture Paradise


Alisun DeKock stands beside the species identification iPad in the Shedd Aquarium’s Amazon Rising habitat, as two South American tambaqui fish swim by.

Bookend: A Friend to the Fishes

March 1, 2018

The Shedd’s library of some 7,000 books is primarily for aquarium staff, interns, and volunteers and is not open to the public. The most popular materials in the collection are the field guides to various fish, plants, insects, aquatic invertebrates, and marine mammals. DeKock says that “staff members take them out on field trips because … Continue reading Bookend: A Friend to the Fishes