World War I–era peace pins housed at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford (Calif.) University. The pins belonged to pacifist and feminist activist Alice Park.

Keep the Peace

September 1, 2023

Lucy Biddle Lewis, a fellow peace activist, walked in on this happening. Lewis told her contemporaries that she saw Addams and begged her to stop because scholars could learn from her life and work. There’s no record of when this interaction took place, but in 1930, Addams began donating her materials to Swarthmore (Pa.) College, … Continue reading Keep the Peace



Bookend: At the Heart of Medical History

June 1, 2023

“It’s not a traditional library,” says Michelle Rinard, referring to the museum’s Thorek Manuscripts and Rare Books Collection. As curator and manager of exhibitions and development, Rinard stewards the library—home to more than 1,000 volumes of medical books, journals, illustrations, letters, and manuscripts dating from the 16th century to the present. Among the collection’s rare … Continue reading Bookend: At the Heart of Medical History


Head curator Jenny Robb poses with collection items from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

Bookend: A Library of Laughs

May 1, 2023

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have graphic novels for a children’s audience,” says Robb, head curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) at Ohio State University in Columbus. “But now we have all kinds of stories,” she says. “Autobiographical, fantasy, adventure, you name it. It’s incredible to see this explosion … Continue reading Bookend: A Library of Laughs


Pieces from Library of Congress' Bob Hope Collection

By the Numbers: Humor

March 1, 2023

1976 Year that author Larry Wilde founded National Humor Month, held annually in April. 70 Number of oral history interviews available online through the American Comedy Archives, housed at Iwasaki Library at Emerson College in Boston. Interview participants include Margaret Cho, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. 628,300 Number of print materials … Continue reading By the Numbers: Humor


Four members of the US Army on an airfield

By the Numbers: Veterans

November 1, 2022

Veterans Day is November 11. 19 million Current number of US veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The figure refers to living people who have actively served in the armed forces. 115,000 Number of collections—which often include oral history recordings, manuscripts, and photographic materials related to an individual service member—held by the Veterans … Continue reading By the Numbers: Veterans


A toddler at Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library (AHML) enjoys tummy time while playing with Peek-a-Boo Mirror, a sensory toy in AHML’s collection.

A Sense of Support

May 2, 2022

That experience more than 13 years ago inspired her to start BTPL’s Youth Accessibility Support Collection, a set of items designed to meet the needs of children with various types of disabilities and learning needs. Since 2009, families have been borrowing from the collection, which includes adaptive toys, sensory storytime boxes, speech therapy cards, and skills … Continue reading A Sense of Support


Bookend: Stranger than Fiction

May 2, 2022

In early 2020, University of Southern California (USC) Libraries acquired Sullivan’s personal archive of 1,200 photographs and 50 meticulously annotated case files: murders, assaults, stick-ups, forgeries, grifts, kidnappings, and other criminal acts spanning from the 1930s through the 1960s. “Given the rest of our holdings—which focus on the social and cultural history of Los Angeles … Continue reading Bookend: Stranger than Fiction


Youth Matters, by Julia Torres

The Switch to Genrefication

September 1, 2021

Early on, students would often ask, “Miss, where can I find the ______ books?” I love few things more than finding just the right book for each student. But as the library’s lone staff member, suggesting books to those browsing titles can get overwhelming when I’m trying to teach class, check students into the workspace, … Continue reading The Switch to Genrefication


Illustration: Tom Deja

How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic

June 1, 2020

It’s an unprecedented situation. Conservators, who are experienced in diagnosing and repairing collection damage, say that historical information on sanitizing library materials is lacking. Besides a bit of anecdotal evidence in a 2019 Smithsonian Magazine article, there’s very little historical data available, says Evan Knight, preservation specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners: “There’s … Continue reading How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Getting to Know You (Again)

May 1, 2020

Collection Management Basics, 7th edition By Margaret Zarnosky Saponaro and G. Edward Evans Collection Management Basics sheds light on many facets of collection management. When it was first published in 1979, the landscape of library collections was much different, and this all-inclusive text has been revised through the years to keep up. Beginning with a … Continue reading Getting to Know You (Again)


COVID-19 materials cleaning

How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic

March 27, 2020

It’s an unprecedented situation. Conservators, who are experienced in diagnosing and repairing collection damage, say that historical information on sanitizing library materials is lacking. Besides a bit of anecdotal evidence from a 2019 Smithsonian Magazine article, there’s very little historical data available, says Evan Knight, preservation specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners: “There’s … Continue reading How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic