Idress Siyawash’s mobile library

Bikes and Books in Afghanistan

February 25, 2020

Siyawash’s voice cracks as he recounts this scene from a small village in Afghanistan. Siyawash, a student at Jahan University in Kabul, is founder and chief of a small organization called Read Books (in Pashto: Ketab Lwast), a mobile effort to improve youth literacy rates in Afghanistan by providing books and reading instruction to children … Continue reading Bikes and Books in Afghanistan


Photo: Emily Uhrin, archivist at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media

Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin

February 7, 2020

With renewed attention on the pioneering host, including an Oscar-nominated Hollywood portrayal, Uhrin spoke with American Libraries about Rogers’s legacy and coming to know him through his work. Describe the holdings of the archive. Do you have a favorite? We house Fred Rogers’ personal and professional papers. The collection includes correspondence (he was a prolific … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin


Making Brainy Babies

January 27, 2020

Tyson Barker, of the University of Oregon in Eugene’s psychology department, detailed how the human brain develops over the course of a lifetime. The brain changes the most during early childhood, and adverse experiences and stressors can hinder development, he said. He highlighted the importance of creating positive spaces in which children can be introduced … Continue reading Making Brainy Babies



Former school librarian Helen Adams recalled the rise in surveillance technology in schools after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

No Minor Concern

June 25, 2019

“Ensuring library users’ confidentiality frees them from fear of retaliation or intimidation as a result of reading a book, visiting a website, or consulting other library resources,” said Candice Mack, senior YA services librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library system. “This is regardless of age.” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, interim director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual … Continue reading No Minor Concern


A Louisville (Ohio) Public Library patron uses an LED softie, a large beanbag cushion with an integrated light source and fiber optics, that produces a calming effect. (Photo: Michael Damron)

A Sensory Wonderland

June 3, 2019

Louisville (Ohio) Public Library opened an innovative Sensory Space in August 2018 with the help of a $50,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. It offers teen sensory relaxation sessions, adult sensory exploration, sensory storytimes, and other activities for patrons on the autism spectrum. Louisville is one of the first public libraries to offer … Continue reading A Sensory Wonderland


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


Students at Overlook Middle School in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, built a pyramid with EverBlock bricks.

Ready, Steady, Build!

September 4, 2018

EverBlock EverBlock took the typical plastic brick toy and made it larger—almost the size of a cinderblock. The bricks fit together with lugs and can be used to build modular furniture, walls, and even small buildings. As a free-play tool, the possibilities are vast, limited mostly by the size of the play space and number … Continue reading Ready, Steady, Build!


Drew Alvey (in red shirt), manager of Houston Public Library's Stimley–Blue Ridge branch, models interactive play for families. Photo: Houston Public Library

Bringing Libraries to WIC

June 1, 2018

It’s a question that Marisa Conner, manager of youth and family engagement at Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL), says her staffers are often asked when doing outreach at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) centers. She explains: Many WIC clients, particularly those originally from other countries, aren’t sure what a library is or whether it … Continue reading Bringing Libraries to WIC


Chris Hartgerink, PhD candidate at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, at the “Being Open About Open: Academic and Research Libraries, FAIFE, Copyright, and Other Legal Matters” session.

Opening Up: Day Five at IFLA WLIC

August 25, 2017

“The legacy of the paper era is two opposing forces: what’s good for science and what’s good for the people who communicate science,” he told attendees at the “Being Open about Open: Academic and Research Libraries, FAIFE, Copyright, and Other Legal Matters” session of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library … Continue reading Opening Up: Day Five at IFLA WLIC


Digital Media Recommendations for Our Youngest Patrons

June 25, 2017

Brooke Newberry (early literacy librarian, LaCrosse [Wisc.] Public Library), Stephanie C. Prato (head of children’s services, Simsbury [Conn.] Public Library), and Mary Schreiber (youth collection development specialist, Cuyahoga County [Ohio] Public Library) set out to clarify the revised standards for the under-18 months, 18–24 months, and 2–5 years groups, and provide actionable tips in an … Continue reading Digital Media Recommendations for Our Youngest Patrons