An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation.Photo: Steve Hostetler

Libations in the Library

March 1, 2019

The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. “People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy … Continue reading Libations in the Library


Scissors cutting "gender" off of a library card

Ditching the Gender Data

March 1, 2019

That might sound like the opening volley of a gender-studies lecture. But when Erin Shea, supervisor of Ferguson Library’s Harry Bennett and Weed Memorial and Hollander branches in Stamford, Connecticut, wondered it aloud at a staff meeting last October, she was waxing practical, not theoretical. Specifically, she was questioning a common procedure followed by her … Continue reading Ditching the Gender Data


Residents of The Highlands at the Moorings of Arlington Heights assisted-living facility in Illinois enjoy a ­virtual tour of Monticello.

It’s Not Such A Small World After All

March 1, 2019

Many seniors are prevented from traveling the world—or even just taking a stroll outside—by limited physical or cognitive abilities. But now, thanks to virtual reality, older patrons of Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library don’t have to feel homebound: The world is coming to them. Mary Jo Lepo, the library’s senior and accessible services manager, first … Continue reading It’s Not Such A Small World After All


Columns Society members at University of Mississippi tell visitors about the Committee on History and Context plaque placed at Barnard Observatory.

What’s in a Building Name?

March 1, 2019

With the goal of reconciliation and justice, institutions across the US are increasingly undertaking formal measures to review who they’ve memorialized—evaluating names of buildings and monuments to determine connections to white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, university librarians and archivists are finding a role in these discussions, providing historical materials on the buildings … Continue reading What’s in a Building Name?


Kerri Price, a Charleston County (S.C.) Teacher Librarian Cohort member in University of South Carolina's Library Scholar program, works with students in her school library, alongside her therapy dog, Bailey.

The Value of School Librarians

January 15, 2019

Library advocates across the US are fighting to prove that every student is better off with a trained librarian in their school, but budget cuts are threatening school librarian positions across most of the country. Several states in the Southeast are facing a different crisis, however—a shortage of qualified school librarians to fill empty positions. … Continue reading The Value of School Librarians



Show Us Your Beautiful New Library

January 2, 2019

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


Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential


Roberta McCulloch-Dews, director of administrative services in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, listens during a speed-repping event at Berkshire Athenaeum.

Lawmaker Matchmaker

January 2, 2019

“I thought that maybe something similar could advance the city’s goals of getting information out to the public,” Griffin says. He adapted the format to allow residents one-on-one time with several local leaders at a single event. He wanted to appeal to people who might not feel comfortable speaking up at a city meeting or … Continue reading Lawmaker Matchmaker


Faculty and librarians work on a research sprint at the University of Kansas Libraries in 2017.

Academic Speed Trials

January 2, 2019

Karna Younger, faculty engagement librarian at Kansas University Libraries, says the idea of research sprints—during which faculty and librarians work together for about a week on the same project, and, more importantly, in the same space—is not a wholly new idea. But the approach is being formalized into a method that can be replicated. “It … Continue reading Academic Speed Trials


The Camp Fire in Northern California, as viewed by NASA's Landsat 8 on November 8. Photo: NASA

California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake

January 2, 2019

“Miraculously, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library system is still standing,” says Butte County Library Director Melanie Lightbody, noting that it’s one of the only remaining structures in town. While the library was not destroyed by the fire, the building and its contents have suffered extensive smoke damage. The five other branches in … Continue reading California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake


Judith A. Downie poses with growlers from CSUSM Library’s Brewchive. Photo: Brandon Van Zanten (Brewchive)

Tapping into Beer History

November 1, 2018

“Who’s collecting San Diego’s beer history?” This question—asked by Char Booth, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Library associate dean, during a brewing science certificate proposal review in 2016—launched what would become the Brewchive at CSUSM Library. In 2018, the archive received the American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. With the … Continue reading Tapping into Beer History