Baltimore resident Kevin Eaton walks past the Enoch Pratt Free Library at Pennsylvania Avenue on April 29 as police were stationed against many city buildings and on the streets.

Libraries Respond to Community Needs in Times of Crisis

May 15, 2015

A pretty typical moment for most librarians, Diggs says, except that Tuesday morning, April 28, was no typical day. Just 12 hours before, rioting had erupted across the street from the Pennsylvania Avenue branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, when protests against the high-profile death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray turned violent. As a … Continue reading Libraries Respond to Community Needs in Times of Crisis


Spirits of Oz

Leading Self-Publishing Efforts in Communities

February 27, 2015

Any library can position itself to guide local authors toward becoming savvy and competent independent publishers. Ebooks and print-on-demand options leverage the strength of their platforms to reach larger audiences and make publishing possible within the library. Libraries can support the growth and autonomy of local writers by connecting them to relevant technology, tools, and … Continue reading Leading Self-Publishing Efforts in Communities


The Allen County (Ind.) Public Library App

Libraries Explore Mobile Options

February 24, 2015

While there are vendors who offer apps that libraries can customize to their needs, some libraries have taken the step of developing mobile apps in-house. OCLS’s Shake It! was one of the first library-developed apps. Shake It! offers randomized recommendations of library materials based on age group, genre, and material type. After setting any combination … Continue reading Libraries Explore Mobile Options


Boise (Idaho) Mayor David H. Bieter at the opening of the Boise Airport library facility on September 10, 2014.

Digital Books Are Up in the Air

February 11, 2015

Digital resources in the form of ebooks, audiobooks, and other media are beginning to take flight—literally—across the country by way of airport library branches. Branches are have popped up in airports around the country, including Philadelphia International; Seattle–Tacoma International; Manhattan (Kans.) Regional; Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood (Fla.) International; Boise (Idaho); and San Antonio International, over the last … Continue reading Digital Books Are Up in the Air


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Ferguson’s Safe Haven

November 10, 2014

After being informed that classes would be canceled, Carrie Pace, an art teacher at Ferguson’s Walnut Grove Elementary, wanted to do something, anything, to help with the recovery. While driving through town she passed the Ferguson Public Library. That’s where she got the idea to use the facility as a place for kids to go … Continue reading Ferguson’s Safe Haven


Two different types of refreshable Braille display laptop readers demonstrated at the 2011 Universal Learning Design Conference, Brno, Czech Republic.

Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons

November 6, 2014

At the 37th UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2013, a parallel resolution passed overwhelmingly. Endorsed by the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and developed by its Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) section, the “Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability” (the LPD … Continue reading Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons


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A Novel in 30 Days

November 1, 2014

“It’s a natural partnership,” Lissa Staley, public services librarian at Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library (TSCPL), tells American Libraries. “We have everything you need to write a novel.” TSCPL offers two four-hour “write-ins” in November, allowing NaNoWriMo participants to work surrounded by others writers. A fiction-writing workshop and a kick-off event are held … Continue reading A Novel in 30 Days



Reference librarian Zac Laugheed of Denver Public Library.

Custom Library Book Bikes Roll Out Across US

August 13, 2014

“We were lucky with the weather, really,” Eric Litschel, adult services associate at Cleveland Heights–University Heights Public Library (CHUHPL), tells American Libraries. “The worst day I rode was probably a little over 10 degrees.” Sam Lapides, special projects coordinator at CHUHPL, says the library’s Book Bike program, initiated in spring 2013, was supposed to run … Continue reading Custom Library Book Bikes Roll Out Across US


Taking Aim at the Reality of Guns in Libraries

January 14, 2014

The complexities involved are exemplified by a court case in Michigan, Capital Area District Library v. Michigan Open Carry (CADL v. MOC). The library sued MOC in 2011 for conducting open-carry protests inside CADL despite firearms being forbidden there. MOC prevailed in the lower courts, and the state supreme court declined to hear CADL’s appeal … Continue reading Taking Aim at the Reality of Guns in Libraries


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Libraries on the Vine

December 3, 2013

“We avoided it for awhile,” says Gail Shackleton, director of library services at Appleby College, a 7–12 grade school in Ontario. She and library technician Stefania Mulyk administer the library’s social media presence, which already includes Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube. They waited to adopt Vine until four months after the app’s introduction because of … Continue reading Libraries on the Vine