Pad with Free Pads 4 All written on it

Period. End of Story.

May 2, 2022

“The products are important, and normalizing the conversation is important,” says Eiko La Boria, founder and CEO of The Flow Initiative, a New Jersey–based organization devoted to stamping out social, cultural, and economic inequities associated with “period poverty.” She says libraries are a natural partner for her organization’s outreach: “I wanted to implement greater access, … Continue reading Period. End of Story.


Antiracist storytime

Antiracist Storytimes

May 2, 2022

“It was just joyful,” says Jessica Ralli, coordinator of early literacy programs at BPL. “It was a very diverse crowd and majority nonwhite.” About 75 families attended the event, which was minimally marketed because of concerns about gatherings amid the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. “The content was timely,” says Ralli, “and … Continue reading Antiracist Storytimes


Patron Xander Dianen returns a wagon to Summers County (W.Va.) Public Library.

An Uphill Battle

May 2, 2022

At the core of library work are stories. We listen to our patrons’ stories when we perform a reference interview, readers’ advisory, or a community needs assessment. We interpret these stories to supply our users with the best information and resources to fit their situation. Often, this is simple, but other times this requires close … Continue reading An Uphill Battle



Northwestern library workers assemble on campus

Getting Organized

March 1, 2022

Library unionization efforts are blooming around the country, taking place in public, private, and academic institutions of all sizes. In Maryland, Baltimore County Public Library workers have joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and in Colorado, Denver Public Library (DPL) staffers formed Denver Public Library Workers United, a unit of the Communications … Continue reading Getting Organized


Elgin (Ill.) Area Pandemic Team

Relief for Renters

March 1, 2022

In March 2021, Gail Borden Public Library District (GBPLD) received a grant contract from the Illinois Department of Public Health with a budget of up to $415,000 to create the Elgin Area Pandemic Assistance Team. Part of the department’s Pandemic Health Navigator Program, the project connects people with community and municipal resources that address pandemic-induced … Continue reading Relief for Renters


Photo of young people playing chess

A Winning Move

March 1, 2022

In 2001 it was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, which culminates with its heroes playing a giant, magical game of high-stakes chess, says HPL Librarian Alison Creech. In 2020, during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit put the spotlight back on the … Continue reading A Winning Move


Madison (Wis.) Public Library's first Native Storyteller-in-Residence, A. J. “Andi” Cloud, leads a harvest walk in the city’s Edna Taylor Conservation Park last fall. Photo: Madison (Wis.) Public Library.

Storytellers-in-Residence

March 1, 2022

At MPL, taking a conscious approach to diversifying our collection, staff, and services has been essential to our mission. In recent years, our programming efforts have followed a model that encourages staffers to connect with local communities and partners and amplify their voices through collaboration. Through conversations with our partners in the local Indigenous community, … Continue reading Storytellers-in-Residence


From Change Sings, by Amanda Gorman

By the Numbers: Poetry

March 1, 2022

1996 Year the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in April. According to the organization, the observance reminds the public that poetry matters and that poets have an integral role to play in our culture. 3 Number of books released by poet Amanda Gorman last year. Titles included the poetry anthology Call Us … Continue reading By the Numbers: Poetry


Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System partnered with pro soccer team D.C. United in 2020 to create Talon’s Workout Tapes. Here, midfielder Russell Canouse and his dog Lola demonstrate an exercise.

A Dream Team

January 3, 2022

What resulted was Talon’s Workout Tapes, a series of free exercise videos in English and Spanish that debuted in April 2020 on the library’s website. The videos, created by D.C. United’s communications department, featured the fan-favorite bird and team players demonstrating physical activities that kids and their families could do at home without any expensive … Continue reading A Dream Team