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


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



Patrons can check out and return materials at D-Tech's self-service LendIT kiosks at any time of day.

All-Hours Access

June 3, 2019

LendIT D-Tech’s self-service library vending machine, LendIT, can be placed anywhere with a power outlet and internet connection with a fixed IP address. That could be right outside the library building or in a mall or community center. Users can browse available books on screen, with images and descriptions provided by the library’s discovery layer … Continue reading All-Hours Access


Betha Gutsche (seated) and Jennifer Peterson at the "Return to the Real" session, ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle.

Getting Real Again

January 28, 2019

“These are the new shiny things for [teens and 20-somethings],” Betha Gutsche, WebJunction program manager at OCLC, told attendees at “Return to the Real: The Library As Social Connector,” a Symposium on the Future of Libraries session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle on January 26. Analog objects give … Continue reading Getting Real Again


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Reimagine Programming

November 1, 2018

Why libraries must expand their community role is explained in Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, by Dorothy Stoltz with Gail Griffith, James Kelly, Muffie Smith, and Lynn Wheeler. The authors explain how to build a culture in which risk-taking is encouraged and “unlearning” is developed to spur innovation. They … Continue reading Reimagine Programming


Chicago Women's March materials collected by the Newberry Library. Photo: Newberry Library

Archive Arises out of Protests

January 31, 2017

The simple message was emblazoned on the sign found hanging, abandoned on a fence at Washington Square Park—across the street from Newberry Library in Chicago—in the days following the January 21 Women’s March. Homemade posters, pussyhats, and buttons with slogans like “Women’s rights are human rights”—it’s the stuff that suddenly emerges during public demonstrations and … Continue reading Archive Arises out of Protests


BikeSmart bikes at Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio.

The Freewheelin’ Library

September 8, 2016

With help from kids in the community, SCDL started its BikeSmart program in June 2015. BikeSmart allows patrons to use their library cards to rent bicycles at one of six bike lending stations in Canton and Massillon. The program has returned for its second season, which will run until about November 15. The program is … Continue reading The Freewheelin’ Library


Attendees at the Collection Development Discussion Group

Collaboration and Competition in Collection Development

January 10, 2016

To start the discussion, Priddle asked attendees to discuss any new or interesting collections, either at their own institutions or that they had heard about elsewhere. Lois Black, the special collections curator at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, mentioned a donation of 1,100 volumes from an alumnus to her institution. The donation was comprised largely … Continue reading Collaboration and Competition in Collection Development


Library stacks

It’s All in the Numbers

September 10, 2015

Calculating the growth of spaces and collections can be a source of anxiety for library managers, who must evaluate the various factors that affect growth from their own perspective. Many times the calculations fail, resulting in a building that is too large or too small. The costs associated with predictive errors can bleed budgets and … Continue reading It’s All in the Numbers


Ephemera from the local history reference collection at Albany County (Wyo.) Public Library in Laramie.

What To Collect?

July 29, 2015

Where to begin The patron base for your LHRC will help determine types of materials and subject matter to acquire. Another factor is how much space you have to house the materials. And, of course, your budget is an important consideration. What can your library afford? You may have to build slowly, but that’s okay. You … Continue reading What To Collect?