Carrie C. Robinson

Separate—and Unequal

October 6, 2020

Born in Mississippi in 1906, Robinson began her career as a librarian serving Black schools in South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana before settling in Alabama, where she initially worked for Alabama State College as an assistant professor of library education. In 1947, she helped organize a librarian section of the Alabama State Teachers Association, a … Continue reading Separate—and Unequal


Library Learning Center at Texas Southern University in Houston. Photo: Kayla Hartzog

2020 Library Design Showcase

September 1, 2020 Welcome to the 2020 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. These shining examples of architectural innovation—completed before the COVID-19 pandemic—address user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. As with past showcases, renovations and expansions dominate submissions, as communities find novel ways to conserve and honor existing spaces while … Continue reading 2020 Library Design Showcase

A floor plan for furniture removal at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library’s Eden Prairie branch. Illustration: MSR Design

Virus-Responsive Design

September 1, 2020

Traci Engel Lesneski, CEO and principal at Minneapolis-based national architecture firm MSR Design, which has worked with hundreds of libraries across the country, says libraries are ideal spaces for innovative design solutions. “It’s not a stretch to think about the ways that libraries have modeled what’s next in the world,” she says. “Libraries can talk … Continue reading Virus-Responsive Design


A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon

Ready for Action

September 1, 2020

In recent years, global warming has also led to worsening wildfires, invasive pests, and the melting of permafrost across the state. “There are some coastal villages that are literally sinking into the sea,” Preskitt says. In response, the city of Anchorage decided to brace for the impact of climate change by creating a formal framework. … Continue reading Ready for Action


ALA Award Winners 2020

2020 ALA Award Winners

September 1, 2020

Heather Ogilvie Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity Ogilvie was outreach librarian for Bay County (Fla.) Public Library when Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm, hit on October 10, 2018. Ogilvie herself had seven trees fall on her home, and her car was crushed, but she grabbed all the books, puzzles, and … Continue reading 2020 ALA Award Winners


Composite image of different people standing, sitting, and walking through a library space

Encoding Space

September 1, 2020

Various studies support the notion that space affects our mood and behaviors. From architects and interior designers to psychologists and neuroscientists to community developers and retail managers, numerous experts have discussed the impact of physical environments on the way we think, feel, learn, and act. Swayed by our surroundings We each respond consciously (and often … Continue reading Encoding Space


Top: Puppeteer Morgan Matens (left) and Children's Librarian Greg Hall pose with puppets from Nashville Public Library's in-house troupe, Wishing Chair Productions. Below: Scenes from their viral Facebook video "Curbside Baby." Photo: Samantha Saldana/Nashville Public Library (Matens and Hall)

Bookend: The World on a String

September 1, 2020

Wishing Chair Productions draws on the legacy of the prolific puppeteer Tom Tichenor, who worked in the library in the 1930s. After his death in 1992, NPL established a program in his honor that grew from small, single-performer storytimes to full-blown productions staffed by a team of 10 professional puppeteers. With marionettes, juggling, magic tricks, … Continue reading Bookend: The World on a String



BOOKHUB offerings available from Van Meter (Iowa) Community School District.

School Librarians Face Reopening Challenges

August 14, 2020

“Part of our unwritten plan is to spend those first precious weeks when we can be together in person teaching those skills needed to access learning in a remote, virtual environment,” says Jennisen Lucas, district librarian for Park County School District and 2021–2022 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) president-elect. “We hope we will have … Continue reading School Librarians Face Reopening Challenges


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