Families attend a drive-in storytime at Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library's Monfort Heights branch in 2020. Photo: Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library

Park and Read

May 3, 2021

Though its building was closed because of the pandemic, HPL staffers performed these innovative storytimes in parking lots where children watched the readers from the safety of their caregivers’ cars and listened along on the radio. The unusual format invited audience participation. With the song “Wheels on the Bus,” for instance, the words were altered … Continue reading Park and Read


Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library converted a former junk room into a private telehealth space with its own outdoor entrance. Photo: Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library

Healthy Distance

May 3, 2021

The pandemic has thrown digital disparities into sharp relief. Between Zoom classrooms, working from home, and costly data plans, even people with reliable online access can be stretched thin. Now, as virtual doctor visits have become more common, inequitable online access has become a public health issue, too. Pam DeGuzman, associate professor for the Department … Continue reading Healthy Distance


A health care worker from Schenectady County (N.Y.) Public Health Services (right) wheels in the vaccine while David Bradley (left), a member of Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library (SCPL) and spouse of SCPL Director Karen Bradley, checks in vaccine recipients. Photo: Karen Bradley

A Shot in the Arm

May 3, 2021

“Now, we’re getting these big commercial vehicles—these long tractor-trailer things that pull in here,” says Bradley. “It’s quite the image.” In 2020, many libraries proved essential to their counties’ coronavirus pandemic response by acting as testing sites, manufacturers of 3D-printed personal protective equipment, and donation centers for food pantries. In 2021, some are once again … Continue reading A Shot in the Arm



Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


Illustration: Open laptop that looks like theater with people sitting in rows of seats and instructor pointing at image on screen (©wei/Adobe Stock)

Fighting the Spread

March 1, 2021

“As medical professionals and librarians, we tell people what to do, but we don’t often explain why,” she says. “A lot of times people are like, ‘I don’t want people telling me what to do.’ But if they understand the science behind it, I think it really helps.” In response to the unfolding crisis, Daly, … Continue reading Fighting the Spread


A wooden kamishibai box, which contains illustrated cards ((Photo: Geo1208)

Think Inside the Box

March 1, 2021

Clack, clack! Siskind hits the sticks together, sets them down, and opens the flaps on the front of the box to create a small stage showing the illustrated cover of that day’s kamishibai storytime. Kamishibai, or “paper theater,” is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan in the late 1920s. Storytellers would ride into … Continue reading Think Inside the Box


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


By the Numbers: Midwinter

By the Numbers: Midwinter

January 4, 2021

107 Number of times the American Library Association (ALA) has held its Midwinter Meeting since 1908. This year’s event, which will be conducted virtually, is the last in its current format; ALA plans to introduce a new concept for 2022. 7 Number of times that ALA did not host an annual Midwinter Meeting since its … Continue reading By the Numbers: Midwinter


Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School students held a read-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit Grain of Rice Project. Photo: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School

Working Toward a Sustainable World

January 4, 2021

In 2019, Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School began a book club using selections inspired by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the organization’s blueprint for addressing global challenges like poverty and climate change by 2030. Batesville’s students use lessons they glean from the club to engage with their community and the world, earning the … Continue reading Working Toward a Sustainable World


The Masterpiece Book Club at Chicago Public Library’s Vodak–East Side branch hosted a Miss Fisher–themed holiday party in 2015. Photo: Nancy Devlin

Tales as Old as Time

January 4, 2021

For every meeting, Czulno would dress up as a character from books the club was reading and shows it was watching. For instance, when the group read the stories of G. K. Chesterton, she wore the black cape, hat, and glasses of Father Brown, the character who lent his name to the Masterpiece show. “It wasn’t just … Continue reading Tales as Old as Time