Cover art for the 2023 Library Design Showcase

2023 Library Design Showcase

September 1, 2023

Living History Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library, Walnut Hills branch The oldest branch in its system and the first of several of Cincinnati’s Carnegie libraries, Walnut Hills recently underwent its first significant improvements since its construction in 1906. The branch is now fully accessible. The architects preserved its French Renaissance–style details—red brick, a … Continue reading 2023 Library Design Showcase

World War I–era peace pins housed at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford (Calif.) University. The pins belonged to pacifist and feminist activist Alice Park.

Keep the Peace

September 1, 2023

Lucy Biddle Lewis, a fellow peace activist, walked in on this happening. Lewis told her contemporaries that she saw Addams and begged her to stop because scholars could learn from her life and work. There’s no record of when this interaction took place, but in 1930, Addams began donating her materials to Swarthmore (Pa.) College, … Continue reading Keep the Peace

Question the Bureaucracy

September 1, 2023

As of late, bureaucratic practices in higher education have been steeped in a neoliberal ideology that manifests as managerialism, or applying a corporate model to run a nonprofit or academic institution. Neoliberalism emphasizes capitalist free-market values, including a focus on efficiency, maximizing productivity, and individualism over collectivism. With managerialism, academic libraries are asked to adopt … Continue reading Question the Bureaucracy

Rachael Bild (left), teen services librarian at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, and Analú María López, Indigenous studies librarian and assistant curator at the Newberry Library in Chicago, at “An Introduction to Organizing and Collective Bargaining in Libraries,” a session at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 24.

The Reasons for Unions

June 25, 2023

At “An Introduction to Organizing and Collective Bargaining in Libraries,” a session at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 24, a panel of five Chicago-area library workers addressed these questions by sharing their experiences with organizing, winning recognition for their unions, and negotiating contracts at their respective libraries. … Continue reading The Reasons for Unions

Alejandro Marquez

Don’t Ignore Quiet Quitting

June 1, 2023

For some people experiencing burnout, the solution has been quiet quitting, the phenomenon of employees doing the absolute bare minimum. The quitting part is a misnomer. Individuals aren’t quitting their jobs; they are setting clear boundaries. Quiet quitting is about self-preservation. A January survey found that more than one-third of US workers have disengaged (up … Continue reading Don’t Ignore Quiet Quitting

Episode 83: Supporting Small Business

Call Number Podcast: Supporting Small Business

May 15, 2023

In Episode 83, Call Number highlights how libraries and librarians are supporting small business owners—particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Megan Bennett talks with Madeleine Ildefonso, managing librarian at Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). They discuss LAPL’s Be a Successful Street Vendor program, a new offering … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Supporting Small Business

Head curator Jenny Robb poses with collection items from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

Bookend: A Library of Laughs

May 1, 2023

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have graphic novels for a children’s audience,” says Robb, head curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) at Ohio State University in Columbus. “But now we have all kinds of stories,” she says. “Autobiographical, fantasy, adventure, you name it. It’s incredible to see this explosion … Continue reading Bookend: A Library of Laughs

Headshot of Jess Williams

Sustainable Service Models

May 1, 2023

Many academic libraries have pivoted away from subject-based or discipline-based liaison models, which have traditionally relied on designated staffers to build relationships with faculty and act as points of contact for specific services. They are now switching to team-based models that prioritize functions like teaching, learning, research support, outreach, and collection strategies. The idea is … Continue reading Sustainable Service Models

Screenshot for "Equity and Inclusion Strategies: How Does My Library Start?"

Efforts in Equity

March 28, 2023

At “Equity and Inclusion Strategies—How Does My Library Start?: Case Studies from the Borderlands,”  librarians from Texas universities along the US-Mexico border discussed bridging their libraries and communities and advised attendees on ways to kickstart inclusion efforts at their own institutions. Speakers shared practical advice for how to serve first-generation college students, building community networks, … Continue reading Efforts in Equity

Screenshot of "Building Bridges into Library Leadership" presentation

What Leadership Looks Like

March 28, 2023

During the panel discussion “Building Bridges into Library Leadership,” five women who were recently appointed to top positions within their institutions shared experiences, challenges, and advice, highlighting the importance of expanding opportunities for women. Rachel Rubin, dean of libraries and archives at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, in Canada, encouraged those in hiring … Continue reading What Leadership Looks Like

Man wearing a VR headset

On the Cutting Edge

March 1, 2023

American Libraries spoke with the creators of two initiatives—virtual reality programs for medical students at Greenblatt Library at Augusta (Ga.) University (AU) and a specialized book club for pediatric staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Both innovations were presented at the 2022 Medical Library Association’s Annual Conference and demonstrate the impact of medical librarianship. … Continue reading On the Cutting Edge

Pieces from Library of Congress' Bob Hope Collection

By the Numbers: Humor

March 1, 2023

1976 Year that author Larry Wilde founded National Humor Month, held annually in April. 70 Number of oral history interviews available online through the American Comedy Archives, housed at Iwasaki Library at Emerson College in Boston. Interview participants include Margaret Cho, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. 628,300 Number of print materials … Continue reading By the Numbers: Humor