Photo of patrons at Tulsa (Okla.) City–County Library view an immersive exhibit on the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in spring 2021.

Confronting History

September 1, 2021

In the years after World War I, an affluent African-American community flourished in the Greenwood district of oil-rich Tulsa, Oklahoma, an area that came to be known as Black Wall Street. Then, in late May and early June 1921, racial tensions erupted and violent white mobs—spurred by a murky allegation of sexual assault—destroyed thousands of … Continue reading Confronting History




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


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


Images from Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s 2021 Wild and Weird fundraiser calendar, featuring library workers and adoptable cats

Raising Money for a Good Claws

December 30, 2020

Created as a fundraiser with the help of local animal adoption agencies, Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s (MPLS) limited-edition 2021 calendar features librarians posing with adoptable cats. Thus was born our 2021 Wild and Weird calendar. Each month features library workers from MPLS—all fully clothed, of course!—alongside an adoptable cat, including Cadillac Frank (a gray … Continue reading Raising Money for a Good Claws


Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories


Teen participants in Boston Public Library’s “Drag vs. AI” program test their makeup and props against facial recognition software. (Photo: Kathy Pham/American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts)

Dragging AI

September 1, 2020

In November 2019, Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Teen Central hosted a digital privacy instruction workshop for teens that centered on facial recognition technology. Titled “Drag vs. AI,” the workshop partnered BPL with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU-MA) and Joy “Poet of Code” Buolamwini, artificial intelligence (AI) scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology … Continue reading Dragging AI




Conte Flowers, Family Resource Center coordinator for Gallatin County (Ky.) Elementary Schools (one of the statewide participants), poses at a collection point. (Photo: Kelley Warnick/Gallatin County (Ky.) News)

Collections in Briefs

November 1, 2019

Campbell County (Ky.) Public Library (CCPL) has four branches serving 92,000 residents, about 9% of whom are living below the poverty line. When an instructor at an early literacy skills workshop mentioned that something as basic as lacking clean underwear can keep some children from staying in the classroom, the library’s managers brainstormed a creative … Continue reading Collections in Briefs


Tiny but Mighty

September 3, 2019

Meridian Library District’s (MLD) Tiny Library—a brick-red, 320-square-foot repurposed shipping container—stands out. As families cross the parking lot to the YMCA and spot the new building, we’ve heard kids ask “Can we go today?” and adults remark “This is so neat!” The Tiny Library was born out of the desire partner with other community organizations … Continue reading Tiny but Mighty