NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library's VR Studio.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

September 1, 2017

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality” (VR). But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English. No recordings … Continue reading Making Virtual Reality a Reality



Hemlines perform in the basement of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Punk at the Library

May 1, 2017

What started as an archive to document Washington, D.C.’s fabled punk music history evolved into wider support of the city’s current music scene, including hosting basement shows—a punk staple—in the library itself. Librarians Michele Casto, Bobbie Dougherty, and Margaret Gilmore of D.C. Public Library (DCPL) explain how this unconventional venture increased visibility not only for … Continue reading Punk at the Library


SAPL’s digital wallpaper brings the library's ­collection into the community.

Digital Wallpapers Open Doors

March 1, 2017

Libraries are employing unique methods to make their digital collections available to patrons outside of the library. As a part of its Digital Library Community Project, San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) created digital wallpapers—virtual bookshelves that give patrons access to ebooks by simply scanning a QR code with a smartphone—that can be placed throughout the … Continue reading Digital Wallpapers Open Doors


Holocaust survivor Severin Fayerman, who died in 2015, shows his ­Auschwitz tattoo to students at Southern Middle School in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

‘How Would I Respond?’

January 3, 2017

Ann Yawornitsky first heard of the Holocaust in 9th-grade world cultures class. She found the news so shocking that at first, she had a hard time believing it. “I remember going home to my mom and saying, ‘Is my teacher making this up, or did this really happen?,’” Yawornitsky says. “Then I read the diary … Continue reading ‘How Would I Respond?’


A Self-Service Experiment

November 1, 2016

As libraries face cloudy funding forecasts and stagnant budgets, innovation and creativity become driving forces to increase a community’s access to library materials, programs, and services. With uncertainty comes an opportunity to reinvent and find new ways to serve a growing population of patrons. Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library (GCPL) used that opportunity to partner … Continue reading A Self-Service Experiment


Tiebrary

Community Ties

September 1, 2016

Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-racking. Looking your best often translates into feeling your best. But if you live in southwest Philadelphia, one of the city’s most economically depressed neighborhoods, where the poverty rate is a staggering 36% and unemployment is more than 16%—compared with national averages of 14.5% and 5%, respectively—then your … Continue reading Community Ties


To raise awareness of sex trafficking, posters were designed for bus stops and billboards.

Out of the Shadows

May 31, 2016

The statistics are disturbing: San Diego is one of the 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation, according to the FBI. And the city’s sex trafficking industry—estimated at $810 million—is the second largest underground economy after the drug trade. But San Diego Public Library (SDPL) Director Misty Jones and her staff want to … Continue reading Out of the Shadows


Stationary bikes at Troy University Library

Sweating in the Stacks

May 2, 2016

In February, Troy (Ala.) University Dean of Library Services Christopher Shaffer brought fitness to the ­libraries when he made available six exercise bikes for student use. The endeavor made national headlines. Here, Shaffer explains his motivations, the bikes’ reception, and plans for the future. The bikes were reasonably priced at $299 each, so I ordered … Continue reading Sweating in the Stacks


A billboard of Conquest of the Realm maps.

Engaging Students through Gamification

March 1, 2016

In 2015, teacher-librarian Tasha Squires of O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, Illinois, entered the Follett Challenge, an annual contest from Follett School Solutions that showcases schools with innovative methods for learning 21st-century skills. O’Neill Middle School won the grand prize—$60,000—and has used the funding to enhance its reading and writing program. Here, Squires explains … Continue reading Engaging Students through Gamification


San José (Calif.) Public Library’s privacy toolkit creates a personalized list of links, tips, and tutorials that reflect a user’s online privacy preferences.

California Library Creates Online Privacy Tool

January 4, 2016

The internet doesn’t have to be scary. That’s the message from Erin Berman, innovations manager at San José (Calif.) Public Library (SJPL), and Jon Worona, division manager for technology and innovation at SJPL. American Libraries invited Berman and Worona to discuss the library’s new Virtual Privacy Lab, an interactive site that teaches people about online … Continue reading California Library Creates Online Privacy Tool