Solar panels on the roof of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Photo: McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability

March 2, 2020

Earth Day will be observed April 22. 1 Year ago the American Library Association (ALA) added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council committed to the triple bottom-line framework for sustainability: practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. 50 Number of years Earth … Continue reading By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability



Fourth graders at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, battle their custom Sphero robots.

Robots: Activate

March 2, 2020

“As soon as you popped a balloon, it got everyone’s attention,” Jill Merkle, library media specialist at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, says. “It was fun to see the students rally and root for one another.” Merkle and Kristen Pavlasek, who now teaches 3rd grade at Greensview Elementary, teamed up in 2018 to create … Continue reading Robots: Activate




Leah Elzner, a staff member at Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, Florida, looks over the latest binge bundles. (Photo: Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, Florida)

Ready to Binge-Watch?

January 2, 2020

Mirroring offerings from Netflix and Hulu, libraries are seeing renewed interest in materials through the creation of binge box collections—sets of movies and television shows on DVD with related themes and titles to help sate patrons’ binge-watching needs. “We were just going to do it for [a] summer and put it on display downstairs, but … Continue reading Ready to Binge-Watch?


San Antonio Public Library hosted the third annual San Anto Zine Fest in October. In 2018, the fest welcomed more than 1,000 attendees. Photo: Mari Hernandez

On the Zine Scene

January 2, 2020

“He was really excited about them,” says Kristina Gomez, MPL events and programming librarian. “I was really happy to see that he participated.” Though usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, zines pack a punch as an empowering form of personal and community expression. Small and self-published, zines are handmade publications … Continue reading On the Zine Scene


Photo: Man holding a video camera in the library

Free Speech—or Free-for-All?

January 2, 2020

The call represented a trend unfolding in public facilities across the country: individuals who arm themselves with video cameras, proclaim themselves First Amendment auditors, and enter police precincts, post offices, libraries, and other spaces under the auspices of the First Amendment right to free speech in order to record staff violations. The Connecticut caller was … Continue reading Free Speech—or Free-for-All?


Howard County (Md.) Library System’s Longest Table 2019, held at Howard Community College on September 21, drew 231 guests. (Photo: Geoffrey S. Baker/Howard County Library System)

Tables of Content

January 2, 2020

The origins of these events can be traced back to communal meals such as the World’s Longest Lunch, held annually across Australia. In 2015 the first Longest Table meal served 400 people along a two-block stretch of downtown Tallahassee, Florida. That inaugural evening was organized by city and county leaders, local nonprofit The Village Square, … Continue reading Tables of Content


Richland Library Main in Columbia, South Carolina, was featured in the 2019 Library Design Showcase. Photo: Garrett Rowland

Show Us Your Beautiful New Library

January 2, 2020

We are looking for shining examples of innovative library architecture that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. Previous submissions have ranged from stunning restorations of historic Carnegie buildings to vacant structures that have been repurposed into libraries to high-tech facilities with audio and video production studios. If your library is on the … Continue reading Show Us Your Beautiful New Library


Conte Flowers, Family Resource Center coordinator for Gallatin County (Ky.) Elementary Schools (one of the statewide participants), poses at a collection point. (Photo: Kelley Warnick/Gallatin County (Ky.) News)

Collections in Briefs

November 1, 2019

Campbell County (Ky.) Public Library (CCPL) has four branches serving 92,000 residents, about 9% of whom are living below the poverty line. When an instructor at an early literacy skills workshop mentioned that something as basic as lacking clean underwear can keep some children from staying in the classroom, the library’s managers brainstormed a creative … Continue reading Collections in Briefs


Seniors dating

From the Library with Love

November 1, 2019

Fortunately, there’s the library—not as a place to make romantic connections per se, but as a resource for older adults who want to learn how to navigate the world of online dating. Several public libraries have begun offering programs that help older patrons safely and effectively meet potential partners on the internet. Among those are … Continue reading From the Library with Love