Kathy McFadden (right), a staffer at Sussex County (Del.) Libraries, hands out rapid, at-home COVID-19 testing kits during a drive-through distribution event at Seaford (Del.) District Library in August 2021. Photo: Delaware Division of Libraries

Put to the Test

December 1, 2021

In Delaware, the Division of Public Health (DPH) approached the Delaware Division of Libraries (DDL) with a plan to distribute more than 75,000 BinaxNOW antigen self-tests through the state’s public libraries for three months from summer to fall 2021. “I think it’s a slam dunk that [health departments] would think of libraries,” says Alta Porterfield, … Continue reading Put to the Test


The Virtual Interview Lab at Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska

Acing the Interview

November 1, 2021

An estimated 19 million Americans—or 6% of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. And as more job interviews have moved online during the pandemic, those without access face a major roadblock to finding employment. That’s where Do Space has stepped in. In July 2020, the Omaha, Nebraska–based community technology library … Continue reading Acing the Interview


Academic Insights by Naomi Bishop

Fighting Medical Racism

November 1, 2021

I am a health science librarian at University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus. I am also Akimel O’odham (Pima) from the Gila River Indian Community. From a Native perspective, the needs of the community are greater than the wishes of the individual. Mask mandates are in place on tribal lands, and colleges and universities occupy … Continue reading Fighting Medical Racism


American Library Association logo

ALA Announces LibLearnX Will Be Virtual

September 15, 2021

On September 15, the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board issued a statement about transitioning LibLearnX (LLX), ALA’s upcoming conference, to a virtual-only format. The full statement follows: The American Library Association’s Executive Board announced today that LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, scheduled for January 21–24, 2022, in San Antonio, will take place virtually. “Given the … Continue reading ALA Announces LibLearnX Will Be Virtual


LIS and the Next Crisis

September 1, 2021

God gave Noah the rainbow sign No more water, the fire next time! (“Mary Don’t You Weep,” Black American spiritual) I will never forget Friday, March 13, 2020, the last day we worked in our building. It was also our admitted-student day, and several attendees had already arrived. Our staff quickly arranged a socially distanced … Continue reading LIS and the Next Crisis


Barbara Lison, IFLA President-elect, in her session "20 Trends for Discussion"

IFLA: Closing Virtually with a Call to Action

August 25, 2021

On August 18, the IFLA News Media Section presented “Libraries Enable News Literacy: Finding Solutions to Fake News.” Moderator Ana Krahmer, director of the Digital Newspaper Unit at University of North Texas Libraries, talked with panelists about how to support information literacy for the public. Presenters included data scientists Katharina Beckh and Vishwani Gupta from … Continue reading IFLA: Closing Virtually with a Call to Action


Young woman in blue shirt reads the 10th edition of ALA's Intellectual Freedom Manual

Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers

July 8, 2021

What were some of the biggest changes in the manual—such as new laws, policy updates, privacy rules, and technology issue—since the ninth edition in 2015? MARTIN GARNAR: One of the biggest changes was the sheer number of new interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights—eight in total, with topics ranging from religion and politics to … Continue reading Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Little Light to See By

July 8, 2021

I was almost through with a first draft when a nagging truth asserted itself, insisting I speak to it: that the challenges, uncertainties, and indeed, opportunities we have faced during and emerging from the pandemic have taken their toll on us, in the form of worry, fatigue, and stress. And yes, though I firmly and … Continue reading A Little Light to See By


Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Crosby Kemper III

Realms of Opportunity

June 29, 2021

Kemper started his position in January 2020 with “mixed messages”—he’d been appointed by a president who had proposed defunding IMLS over three consecutive years and unanimously confirmed in the Senate, which had approved increases for the agency over the same period. There was no time to process the president’s fourth proposed elimination before the pandemic … Continue reading Realms of Opportunity


Getting Back into the Community

June 26, 2021

“[During the pandemic], the definition of outreach was put to the test,” Zimmerman said. She detailed the ways in which libraries across the country pivoted in their outreach and service methods: offering contactless deliveries and curbside services, repurposing outreach vans to become delivery vehicles and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, making phone calls to connect with seniors … Continue reading Getting Back into the Community


Hands holding small red heart with banner -- text reads The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief

June 25, 2021

Through the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries will receive grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to support library services and operations. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant nonfederal grant opportunity for libraries. The funds support libraries’ efforts to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, … Continue reading ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief


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