A team returns a restored mural to the wall in Boston Public Library’s Bates Hall.

Saving Our Murals

November 1, 2017

It’s one of three murals in the library’s entryway, painted by artist John Theodore Jacobsen when the art deco building opened in 1934. Jacobsen was also a preeminent architect, helping lay the groundwork for Pacific Northwest modernism. But the mural was almost lost forever to water damage following a storm that hit the library during … Continue reading Saving Our Murals


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

By the Numbers: Native American Heritage Month

November 1, 2017

1990 Year that President George H. W. Bush, at the request of Congress, issued a proclamation designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations and variations on the name—including Native American Heritage Month and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month—have been issued each year since 1994. 567 Number of federally recognized … Continue reading By the Numbers: Native American Heritage Month


Flooded stacks of the Port Arthur (Tex.) Public Library. Photo: Port Arthur (Tex.) Public Library

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

November 1, 2017

Depending on their location, some libraries sustained significant damage from the ensuing flood waters, while others escaped with only a little cleanup required. The flood also affected many librarians and other library workers due to the damage to their homes. Public libraries Houston Public Library reopened 18 of its 42 locations on September 5, according … Continue reading Hurricanes Harvey and Irma


Mobile-friendly websites

Get Responsive

November 1, 2017

The profusion of mobile devices means that half of public library users who visit library websites do so from their mobile device. This proportion is likely to keep increasing. But just because patrons can access a library website on a mobile device does not guarantee that the site is easy to use. Sites that were … Continue reading Get Responsive





Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources

September 1, 2017

A natural fit “Librarians, by nature, curate resources,” says Jennifer Scotten, library media specialist at South Middle School in Lawrence, Kansas. Those curation abilities make librarians invaluable for implementing OERs, which can be overwhelming for first-time users browsing a seemingly endless catalog of online resources. For Kelly Hart, a 7th-grade English and language arts teacher … Continue reading Open Educational Resources


Walkers participate in “Let’s Book,” a reading and exercise program offered by Ligonier Valley (Pa.) Library. Photo: Ligionier Valley (Pa.) Library.

Walking History

September 1, 2017

“Besides the entertainment value, we also wanted to impart some history—it’s not fake news; it’s reliable news,” says Anita Doering, archives manager at LCPL. LCPL—which also offers the by-demand Footsteps of La Crosse historic walking tour—is not the only library to recognize that sightseeing ventures are the perfect vehicle to get employees outside the building and … Continue reading Walking History


NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library's VR Studio.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

September 1, 2017

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality” (VR). But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English. No recordings … Continue reading Making Virtual Reality a Reality


A library card from the Minneapolis Public Library (1905).Photo: Hennepin County Library

By the Numbers: Library Cards

September 1, 2017

1988 The year then–Secretary of Education William Bennett issued the challenge: “Let’s have a national campaign. Every child should obtain a library card—and use it.” The following year, the American Library Association declared September as Library Card Sign-Up Month. 500 Number of children who attended the October 14, 1988, kickoff event on the National Mall … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library Cards