From left: Phil Morehart, Ekua Holmes, Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Myers, and Jason Reynolds at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

August 20, 2019

What’s changed in the 50 years since librarians Glyndon Flynt and Mabel McKissick first thought of the CSK Book Awards at the 1969 ALA Annual Conference? How have the awards impacted children’s publishing in the years since? Jacqueline Woodson: One thing, just now walking through the convention center, we saw all of these books written … Continue reading A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards


Dewey Decibel Podcast: 50 Years of the CSK Book Awards

July 29, 2019

Episode 40 revisits that panel, joining American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart as he talks with authors Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (As Brave As You), and Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give); author and illustrator Christopher Myers (Firebird); and illustrator Ekua Holmes (The Stuff of Stars) about the history … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: 50 Years of the CSK Book Awards


Mariana Atencio

Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio

July 26, 2019

What were you reading growing up in Venezuela? Who were your literary heroes? Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits). Growing up, her novels were like the universe. She’s from Chile originally—she escaped the dictatorship and found a home in Venezuela. There’s a character in the book called Clara because … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio


Mo Rocca

Newsmaker: Mo Rocca

July 24, 2019

In your podcast Mobituaries, you exhume little-known facts about both relatively unknown and iconic people and events. How do you go about picking a story that you’d like to pursue? I pursue stories about people and things that interest me. There are people who had obituaries the first time around when they actually died, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mo Rocca


Libraries = Strong Communities rally in the exhibit hall. Photo: Cognotes

2019 Annual Wrap-Up

July 17, 2019

One News You Can Use session, “Confronting White Nationalism in Libraries,” was inspired by a toolkit published by the Western States Center, an advocacy organization focused on strengthening inclusive democracy, to help schools address the rise in racist extremism. Panel organizer Jarrett Dapier, young adult librarian at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, applied its recommendations to … Continue reading 2019 Annual Wrap-Up



George Takei

Newsmaker: George Takei

July 17, 2019

Why did you choose to tell your story as a graphic novel? It’s been my mission in life to tell the story of my childhood imprisonment and to raise awareness of that chapter of American history. There’s a new generation of young people, and we want to target them in the best way. I thought … Continue reading Newsmaker: George Takei


Photos: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Bookend: Exhibiting Energy

July 17, 2019

Jim Cowen, music reference librarian at University of the Arts Libraries in Philadelphia, takes the Star Wars READ Selfie Challenge. Shanna Hollich, collection management librarian at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, learns to play Illimat at the Gaming and Graphic Novel Pavilion. Carolyn Long (right), volunteer at STAR Academy Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee, poses … Continue reading Bookend: Exhibiting Energy



Perfectly Mariana Atencio

June 25, 2019

Atencio’s memoir, Perfectly You, traces her journey from coastal Venezuela—where she devoured the work of authors like Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez—to her graduate work at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City; from Univision to the English-language market; from shy new arrival to prominent cultural ambassador. Her 2017 TEDx talk, “What makes you … Continue reading Perfectly Mariana Atencio


From left to right: Marion Rorke, Sharon Streams, Lynn Connaway

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

June 25, 2019

“Questions are being raised about what is the role of libraries in this epidemic,” said Sharon Streams, director of OCLC’s WebJunction, at the outset of “Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities,” a June 24 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. More than 130 people die … Continue reading Addressing the Opioid Epidemic


Journalist and author Mo Rocca speaks at the Closing Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 25.

The Onus of Obituary

June 25, 2019

Which is why it’s no surprise that the CBS Sunday Morning correspondent’s forthcoming book, Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (November, Simon & Schuster), and podcast of the same name, commemorates people and things—from the station wagon to Neanderthals to Thomas Paine’s legacy—where the common thread is that they’re overlooked and no longer with us. Oh, and there’s another overlap: … Continue reading The Onus of Obituary