Graves County (Ky.) Public Library's bookmobile. Photo: Graves County (Ky.) Public Library

By the Numbers: Rural and Small Libraries

September 1, 2020

1982 Year the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) was founded by Bernard Vavrek, director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion (Pa.) University. 5 Number of days the ARSL Conference will take place, September 28–October 2. Previously scheduled for Wichita, Kansas, the conference has switched to a virtual format. … Continue reading By the Numbers: Rural and Small Libraries


Teen participants in Boston Public Library’s “Drag vs. AI” program test their makeup and props against facial recognition software. (Photo: Kathy Pham/American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts)

Dragging AI

September 1, 2020

In November 2019, Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Teen Central hosted a digital privacy instruction workshop for teens that centered on facial recognition technology. Titled “Drag vs. AI,” the workshop partnered BPL with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU-MA) and Joy “Poet of Code” Buolamwini, artificial intelligence (AI) scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology … Continue reading Dragging AI


Conscientious Cataloging

September 1, 2020

Tired of the delays, some librarians have taken matters into their own hands by making the change in their own catalogs, without waiting for LC to take the lead. Communicating inclusion Two early adopters of the change: Sol López, technical services manager at the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) at University of New … Continue reading Conscientious Cataloging


Illustration: Kwun Yee/Adobe Stock

Can You Hear Me Now?

September 1, 2020

Castro is one of many library leaders who found themselves managing their teams remotely because of the pandemic, developing new approaches to meet unprecedented challenges and continue providing vital services to the community. The insights these managers developed are valuable for those still perfecting their remote management style—or planning for a work-from-home future. Supportive management … Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?


Cruise: The Guide to Gay Entertainment in the Southeast. Photo: Queer Music Heritage

By the Numbers: Pride Month

June 1, 2020

1970 Year the Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA)—the nation’s first LGBT professional organization—was founded as the Task Force on Gay Liberation. (For more on the RRT and its 50th anniversary, see our story “The Rainbow’s Arc.”) 49 Number of years ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards have been recognizing literature related to the … Continue reading By the Numbers: Pride Month


Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, donated 100 3D-printed protective face shields to Beaumont Hospital in nearby Troy. Photo: Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan.

Using 3D to Make PPE

June 1, 2020

Jillian Rutledge, public services manager at Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library, learned about a PPE production initiative through a local branch of the national community revitalization project Main Street America. When her library closed its doors to patrons March 17, she obtained instructions online for printing PPE and tried various iterations before finding one that worked … Continue reading Using 3D to Make PPE



Illustration: Tom Deja

How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic

June 1, 2020

It’s an unprecedented situation. Conservators, who are experienced in diagnosing and repairing collection damage, say that historical information on sanitizing library materials is lacking. Besides a bit of anecdotal evidence in a 2019 Smithsonian Magazine article, there’s very little historical data available, says Evan Knight, preservation specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners: “There’s … Continue reading How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic


A flier from New York Public Library's Dorot Jewish Division. Photo: Dorot Jewish Division/New York Public Library

By the Numbers: Jewish American Heritage Month

May 1, 2020

2006 Year that US President George W. Bush proclaimed May Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). The month celebrates the contributions Jewish Americans have made since they first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654. 5th and Market Intersection in Philadelphia where the National Museum of American Jewish History—since 2018, the home of JAHM—is located. JAHM events … Continue reading By the Numbers: Jewish American Heritage Month



The Silent Book Club at Newport (R.I.) Public Library offers teens a space for quiet reading after school. Photo: Newport (R.I.) Public Library

The Sound of Silence

May 1, 2020

“Our Silent Book Club has been a surprising success—surprising because if someone had told me a year ago that relaxing on comfortable beanbags and reading whatever books we want to read qualifies as an actual program, I would have yeeted that person straight out of the library,” says Wolfskehl, using the popular slang term for … Continue reading The Sound of Silence


The Mobile Law Network RV visits two St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library branches per month. Photo: Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Meeting Legal Needs

May 1, 2020

Aaron Mason, Cleveland Public Library’s (CPL) director of outreach and programming services, says that example from one of CPL’s monthly legal aid clinics shows how a number of libraries are filling a significant need in their communities by connecting patrons to civil legal aid. Civil legal matters encompass noncriminal issues such as health care, housing, … Continue reading Meeting Legal Needs