Graphic of letters and legal scales

Libraries and the Law

June 1, 2021

We’ve assembled some of their most topical entries, touching on copyright issues for remote learning, face-mask exceptions, and liability waivers, among other things. The information in this column does not constitute legal advice, nor does it necessarily reflect the views of ALA or PLA. It is meant to serve as a starting point for librarians … Continue reading Libraries and the Law


Old-School Outreach

June 1, 2021

“The pandemic has highlighted the barriers to access that many people have regarding technology and reliable internet,” says Kathleen Montgomery, outreach manager at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). “It’s our mission to address these inequities.” To do so, libraries across the US have implemented creative concepts and partnerships that embrace analog technologies and platforms. … Continue reading Old-School Outreach


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Moving Forward

June 1, 2021

Thanks to all who joined me last summer on the virtual “Holding Space” tour, a conversation series with libraries. I will forever remember you as faithful partners and travel companions as we faced seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Thanks in part to our advocacy, libraries secured federal relief funding of historic proportions. ALA staff and leadership managed … Continue reading Moving Forward



Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, and Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Countering Anti-Asian Hate

May 26, 2021

Three ALA member leaders who have helped blaze the trail for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander library workers discussed with American Libraries their goals for the Association, their experiences with bigotry, and what libraries and library workers can do to counter hate. The three leaders are: Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, director of libraries, … Continue reading Countering Anti-Asian Hate


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt



Photo: ©Marcos/Adobe Stock

Serving the Community at All Times

May 3, 2021

DPL’s Cultural Inclusivity Department is tasked with developing programs that help connect the library with its immigrant community. The department’s mission is to “collaborat[e] with Denver’s multicultural community to create equitable opportunities for learning, discovery, and connection.” This is done through Plaza and other intentional multicultural programming. DPL’s Plaza program has existed for more than … Continue reading Serving the Community at All Times


Families attend a drive-in storytime at Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library's Monfort Heights branch in 2020. Photo: Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library

Park and Read

May 3, 2021

Though its building was closed because of the pandemic, HPL staffers performed these innovative storytimes in parking lots where children watched the readers from the safety of their caregivers’ cars and listened along on the radio. The unusual format invited audience participation. With the song “Wheels on the Bus,” for instance, the words were altered … Continue reading Park and Read


Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library converted a former junk room into a private telehealth space with its own outdoor entrance. Photo: Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library

Healthy Distance

May 3, 2021

The pandemic has thrown digital disparities into sharp relief. Between Zoom classrooms, working from home, and costly data plans, even people with reliable online access can be stretched thin. Now, as virtual doctor visits have become more common, inequitable online access has become a public health issue, too. Pam DeGuzman, associate professor for the Department … Continue reading Healthy Distance


A health care worker from Schenectady County (N.Y.) Public Health Services (right) wheels in the vaccine while David Bradley (left), a member of Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library (SCPL) and spouse of SCPL Director Karen Bradley, checks in vaccine recipients. Photo: Karen Bradley

A Shot in the Arm

May 3, 2021

“Now, we’re getting these big commercial vehicles—these long tractor-trailer things that pull in here,” says Bradley. “It’s quite the image.” In 2020, many libraries proved essential to their counties’ coronavirus pandemic response by acting as testing sites, manufacturers of 3D-printed personal protective equipment, and donation centers for food pantries. In 2021, some are once again … Continue reading A Shot in the Arm