Bookend: Stranger than Fiction

May 2, 2022

In early 2020, University of Southern California (USC) Libraries acquired Sullivan’s personal archive of 1,200 photographs and 50 meticulously annotated case files: murders, assaults, stick-ups, forgeries, grifts, kidnappings, and other criminal acts spanning from the 1930s through the 1960s. “Given the rest of our holdings—which focus on the social and cultural history of Los Angeles … Continue reading Bookend: Stranger than Fiction


Loan forgiveness

Recognition and Relief

March 15, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


Special Report: Toward an Equitable Digital Future

March 1, 2022

Even as lockdowns have eased and most schools and libraries have reopened, the availability of reliable broadband, devices, and digital literacy training remains critical—whether for schoolwork, employment, public services, telehealth visits, social connections, or civic participation. And this need will grow exponentially as technology infrastructure continues to evolve. Library workers have been working to address … Continue reading Special Report: Toward an Equitable Digital Future


Libraries are turning to the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit to improve and advocate for their broadband connections.

The Last Mile

March 1, 2022

Using a 2015 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), nonprofit consortium Internet2 and its Community Anchor Program (CAP) have worked with technology consultant Carson Block to develop a free, downloadable toolkit to help library staffers understand and improve their broadband services and technical knowledge, says CAP Director Stephanie Stenberg. Called the … Continue reading The Last Mile


The 411 on Funding

March 1, 2022

The pandemic threw the issue of unequal access to technology into sharp relief. Multiple funding bills have been proposed in the past few years—many with similar names—to alleviate this imbalance. However, staying on top of which bills have passed, what funding is available for libraries, and how librarians can get that funding can be a … Continue reading The 411 on Funding


Moving the Needle

March 1, 2022

1: Look around The first step is to take inventory of what digital programs, services, resources, and staffing already exist in your library and identify gaps and opportunities, says Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. “That’s the number one thing—where are you today? No matter who you are, … Continue reading Moving the Needle


During the pandemic, Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library launched Tech To-Go, a Chromebook and hotspot lending service, while Digital Durham (in North Carolina) created fliers in English and Spanish that explain the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Getting There Together

March 1, 2022

“During the pandemic, the number of place-based digital inclusion coalitions has more than tripled,” says Angela Siefer, director of the nonprofit National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a community of digital inclusion practitioners and policymakers. “The sudden awareness of digital inequities and the need for coordinated solutions caused folks to come together, [and] libraries are often … Continue reading Getting There Together


A Broad Look at Broadband

March 1, 2022

Unlike most other types of infrastructure—such as roads, bridges, energy grids, water lines, and sewage systems—the nation’s digital infrastructure is largely corporate owned and generates revenues from paying subscribers. Why Access Is Important. During the pandemic, technology has been a lifeline: 9 in 10 Americans said the internet has been essential or important to them … Continue reading A Broad Look at Broadband



Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi

March 1, 2022

Kendi spoke with American Libraries about having his work challenged in libraries and schools, the myth of neutrality in libraries, and how to raise the next generation of antiracists. Your books are among the most frequently challenged in the current wave of censorship attempts. What’s that like? I write books for the general public, for … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi