Debbie Harry (Photo: Scott Sherratt)

Newsmaker: Debbie Harry

November 21, 2019

American Libraries spoke with her about music, art, libraries, and how climate activism is the new punk. Your life and image have been heavily documented already. Was it difficult to separate your memory of things from the photograph or the edited version of events? Oh, yes. Especially between me and Chris [Stein, Blondie cofounder and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Debbie Harry


Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices


Joquetta Johnson

Lyrics as Literature

June 22, 2019

The selections stumped most of the crowd and presented Johnson’s thesis: Music lyrics—especially in hip hop—should be viewed and taught as literature. Doing so, Johnson said, can allow students to find deeper meaning in their favorite songs and open new worlds of personal expression, especially in regard to social justice issues. Johnson’s project “Lyrics as … Continue reading Lyrics as Literature


Dewey Decibel podcast: Insider's Guide to Washington, D.C.

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Insider’s Guide to Washington, D.C.

June 14, 2019

In Episode 39, Dewey Decibel explores where to eat and see live music during Annual. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Meredith Pratt, author of Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C. 2020 and the Annual Conference dining guide featured in American Libraries’ June issue, about the best places to dine in the district. Next, American … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Insider’s Guide to Washington, D.C.



Emily Cabaniss, company librarian and music assistant for the Seattle Opera. Photo: Kelly Clare Photography

Bookend: The Show Must Go On

January 2, 2019

“I hadn’t realized this kind of work was possible,” she says. “Every opera company has a person called a librarian, but they’re usually an orchestra librarian”—typically a music preparation specialist with ensemble experience who doesn’t, like Cabaniss, hold an MLIS. Hired in 2014 as the company’s first information professional, Cabaniss makes sure the artistic, music, … Continue reading Bookend: The Show Must Go On


More than 250 patrons attended a recent “Paint-Along with Bob Ross” event at Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library. Photo: Tracy Grosshans

Painting with Purpose

November 1, 2018

Patron paint-alongs During the events, patrons watch an episode of The Joy of Painting and paint along, while library staffers facilitate and provide canvases, paints, and other supplies. Some libraries hire Certified Ross Instructors, trained by Bob Ross Inc., to lead the workshops; others obtain video permissions from the official Bob Ross YouTube channel or … Continue reading Painting with Purpose


Maschine

Local Music Remix

November 1, 2018

Maschine Maschine is a music controller and sequencing software package by Native Instruments that can be used for creating and performing musical arrangements. It includes 16 pressure-sensitive pads for live performance or sequencing, as well as a “smart strip” that enables slides and pitch bends. The Maschine controller can function as a stand-alone device to … Continue reading Local Music Remix


Emily Elizabeth Lazio and Sean R. ­Ferguson perform a song from NYPL Sings! Songs for Our Children

Sing a Song of … Early Literacy

September 4, 2018

More than 40 current and former New York Public Library staffers and their friends helped create NYPL Sings! Songs for Our Children, an album that has found a ready audience in fellow librarians, early childhood educators, parents, and kids. Here, three of the album’s chief contributors explain how this project came to be. The idea … Continue reading Sing a Song of … Early Literacy


Hasan Minhaj at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 24. Photo: Laura Kinser

Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj

June 1, 2018

You share some intensely personal experiences in Homecoming King about being the child of an immigrant. Was it hard deciding what to codify into comedy? In a comedy special you have only 70 minutes, so a lot of times you’re working with coffee and you need to boil it down to comedy espresso. I’m trying to … Continue reading Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj