2021 State of America's Libraries Special Report (graphic featuring illustrated figures wearing masks, buildings, and icons representing library services and community during the pandemic)

ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19

April 5, 2021

Like many public institutions forced to close their doors, libraries adapted to a new way of doing business. Closures did not prevent library workers and libraries from serving their communities. Instead, shuttered physical spaces fueled significant innovation and opportunities to assist and support patrons and students remotely. As most libraries were closed to in-person visits, … Continue reading ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19


State of America's Libraries 2020

State of America’s Libraries 2020

April 20, 2020

Although the report focuses on 2019, libraries are shown to be on the front lines addressing societal and community challenges—a role they are certainly playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many libraries serve as first responders that take on roles outside of traditional library service that support patrons’ needs and community development. Functioning at various times as … Continue reading State of America’s Libraries 2020


Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on a bookshelf in a target

Up to the Challenge

September 3, 2019

Build your foundation The first step is to be an excellent educator. Your lessons should foster “opportunities for learners to demonstrate personal curiosity and creation of knowledge” and “support the diverse developmental, cultural, social, and linguistic needs” represented in your community, according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards for … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


Raina Telgemeier (Photo: Joseph Fanvu Photography)

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

September 3, 2019

Telgemeier has also written two fictional graphic novels (Drama and Ghosts), four illustrated adaptions of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the new interactive journal Share Your Smile. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists. You wrote two … Continue reading Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier


Dav Pilkey (center) with his Dog Man and Captain Underpants characters

Newsmaker: Dav Pilkey

April 16, 2019

Pilkey struggled with dyslexia and ADHD as a child. But being encouraged by his mother to read whatever he liked—”it didn’t matter if it was a magazine, or a comic book, or a bunch of Snoopy cartoons, or the Guinness Book of World Records,” he says—changed his life. He started drawing his Captain Underpants character … Continue reading Newsmaker: Dav Pilkey


The State of America's Libraries 2019

The State of America’s Libraries 2019

April 7, 2019

The report finds that library workers are on the front lines addressing community challenges. Many serve as first responders who take on roles outside of traditional library service that support patrons’ needs and community development. Functioning at various times as career counselors, social workers, teachers, and technology instructors, library staffers give special care to adopt programs … Continue reading The State of America’s Libraries 2019




Voters frequently visit libraries in person and online. From The State of America's Libraries 2018 report

State of America’s Libraries 2018

April 9, 2018

During this time of rapid social change, libraries of all types are providing welcoming spaces to an increasingly diverse population; working with the community to offer social service support and health resources, career, and small business development assistance; and combating fake news by providing tools to assess and evaluate news sources. The function of libraries … Continue reading State of America’s Libraries 2018


Attendees at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. (Photos: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries and Cognotes)

Bookend: Conference Candids

July 27, 2017

Attendees captured on camera, counterclockwise from top: Chelsea Johnson, librarian at Marshall (Mich.) District Library, tries her hand at steering a drone through an obstacle course. Jos Holman, county librarian at Tippecanoe County (Ind.) Public Library, reads from The Inner City Mother Goose at Stand for the Banned, a banned books readout. Alison Griffin (left), … Continue reading Bookend: Conference Candids