Lights, Camera, Libraries!

June 25, 2018

Daardi Sizemore Mixon, university archivist and special collections librarian at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU), and her colleague Monika Antonelli, outreach librarian, explained how, as part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration, the MSU library produced a 50-minute documentary titled Two Weeks in May. The basis for the film was Out of Chaos (Minnesota State University Mankato Foundation, … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Libraries!


Sarah Simms and Hayley Johnson of Louisiana State University discuss their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps at "The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice" on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers

June 25, 2018

For Hayley Johnson and Sarah Simms, speakers at “The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice” on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps started with a May 2016 newspaper article on letters from interned World War II–era Japanese American children. Johnson, head of … Continue reading How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero in conversation at the American Library Association (ALA) 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans

The Librarian and the Archivist

June 24, 2018

The two immediately began playing a friendly game of one-upmanship. Hayden kidded Ferriero about the Library of Congress (LC) being older (established in 1800) than the National Archives (1934). Then Ferriero mock-complained that in 1935, then–Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam refused to relinquish LC’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the … Continue reading The Librarian and the Archivist


What Is Access without Equity?

March 1, 2018

For community-based or other participatory archive models, digital technologies offer a way to meaningfully engage with materials. Yet what good is a digital archive if the community does not have internet available? How can an individual fully participate in using or shaping digital heritage resources if they do not have the computer skills, or even … Continue reading What Is Access without Equity?


The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Researching Sex

February 14, 2018

Today, sexuality and sexual issues remain at the forefront of news, from the rise of the #MeToo movement to the acceptance of gay marriage. Kinsey began the open discussion of sex with a marriage course he taught to seniors and married students 80 years ago in 1938 at IU. With the support of IU President … Continue reading Researching Sex


2016 Moving Trans History Forward conference. Photo: Courtesy of University of Victoria Office of the Chair in Transgender Studies

An Archive for All

January 2, 2018

University of Victoria (B.C.) Libraries is home to the largest physical collection of transgender-related material worldwide. Lara Wilson, university archivist and director of special collections, explains how the Transgender Archives has evolved from cataloged items to community outreach in its seven years. RSI was established in Chicago and open from 2001 to 2004. Its collection … Continue reading An Archive for All


Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. --Neil Gaiman

Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet

December 19, 2017

Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay “Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library” (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here … Continue reading Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet



Justin Schell (standing, top right), director of Shapiro Design Lab at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library, was an organizer of a data rescue event at the library in January.

Archiving Against the Clock

June 1, 2017

The effort began at University of Toronto and Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania prior to Trump’s inauguration and has since spread to as many as two dozen universities and libraries across the US and Canada. The fear that government research and information—particularly that produced by the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and the … Continue reading Archiving Against the Clock


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



Patricia Bearden (left) and Raquel Flores-Clemons present “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration" at DPLAfest in Chicago on April 20.

DPLAfest Comes to Chicago

April 25, 2017

Several presentations highlighted efforts to document, preserve, and share digital collections on social justice and community engagement. Preserving African-American history on Chicago’s South Side “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration,” led by Chicago State University (CSU) Archivist Raquel Flores-Clemons, Patricia Bearden, president … Continue reading DPLAfest Comes to Chicago