New York Library Association members and staffers meet virtually with Christina Henderson (bottom row, pink shirt), Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) handling education, workforce, and census issues for both the Senate leadership and Sen. Schumer’s personal office.

Pushing for Action on LSFA

September 14, 2020

LSFA (S. 4181/H.R. 7486) would establish a $2 billion emergency fund to address financial losses and bolster library services for libraries of all types, with priority given to the hardest-hit communities. Most of the funding ($1.7 billion) would go directly to states to meet local library needs such as avoiding furloughs, providing safe workspaces, or … Continue reading Pushing for Action on LSFA


REALM project researchers (Photo courtesy of Battelle Memorial Institute)

REALM Project Announces Test 4 Results

September 4, 2020

What about stacked books versus unstacked books? Or paper-based collection materials versus plastic-based items? How long should materials be quarantined? Are some materials safer to circulate than others? How can we mitigate exposure to staff and visitors? Is it safe to reopen? The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project aims to make these questions … Continue reading REALM Project Announces Test 4 Results


A floor plan for furniture removal at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library’s Eden Prairie branch. Illustration: MSR Design

Virus-Responsive Design

September 1, 2020

Traci Engel Lesneski, CEO and principal at Minneapolis-based national architecture firm MSR Design, which has worked with hundreds of libraries across the country, says libraries are ideal spaces for innovative design solutions. “It’s not a stretch to think about the ways that libraries have modeled what’s next in the world,” she says. “Libraries can talk … Continue reading Virus-Responsive Design


Top: Puppeteer Morgan Matens (left) and Children's Librarian Greg Hall pose with puppets from Nashville Public Library's in-house troupe, Wishing Chair Productions. Below: Scenes from their viral Facebook video "Curbside Baby." Photo: Samantha Saldana/Nashville Public Library (Matens and Hall)

Bookend: The World on a String

September 1, 2020

Wishing Chair Productions draws on the legacy of the prolific puppeteer Tom Tichenor, who worked in the library in the 1930s. After his death in 1992, NPL established a program in his honor that grew from small, single-performer storytimes to full-blown productions staffed by a team of 10 professional puppeteers. With marionettes, juggling, magic tricks, … Continue reading Bookend: The World on a String


Illustration: Kwun Yee/Adobe Stock

Can You Hear Me Now?

September 1, 2020

Castro is one of many library leaders who found themselves managing their teams remotely because of the pandemic, developing new approaches to meet unprecedented challenges and continue providing vital services to the community. The insights these managers developed are valuable for those still perfecting their remote management style—or planning for a work-from-home future. Supportive management … Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?


On My Mind, by Elizabeth M. Johns

Remote Control?

September 1, 2020

My information literacy classes, like so many others, have largely shifted to video chat platforms. It was a difficult, abrupt switch, even for those of us who have taught online for years. As online learning librarians know, a lesson designed for a physical classroom cannot easily move to an online space but requires transformation for … Continue reading Remote Control?


In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Not Beyond Critique

September 1, 2020

At the heart of this issue is vocational awe, originally defined by Fobazi Ettarh in her article “Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves,” which positions the profession as a calling and the institution as a sacred beacon of democracy. We’ve all read articles that portray libraries as “a city on a hill” … Continue reading Not Beyond Critique


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

From Reactive to Proactive

September 1, 2020

I noticed that youth library workers were, understandably, operating in reactive mode. But a quote from Bob Johansen, the author and futurist who introduced the VUCA Prime model in 2007, helped me realize this may not be the best method: “You have to be very clear where you’re going but very flexible in how you … Continue reading From Reactive to Proactive


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Stand Up, Speak Out

September 1, 2020

For 60 years Lewis served and advocated for our collective humanity. What many may not know is that his wife, Lillian, who passed in 2012, was his chief advisor and a librarian. Lewis’s legacy reminds me that service is the fundamental reason libraries exist and that reading and access to information—which are human rights—are necessary … Continue reading Stand Up, Speak Out


Staff (top) and patron views of Curbside Communicator.

Don’t Touch

September 1, 2020

Curbside Communicator Unique’s Curbside Communicator automates curbside pickups for holds and creates a simple communication link between patrons and library staff to facilitate the process. Rather than requiring patrons to reserve a time slot in advance, Curbside Communicator allows patrons to arrive anytime during designated hours and use their mobile devices to check in and … Continue reading Don’t Touch


Dewey Decibel: Library Architecture and Design

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Library Architecture and Design

August 17, 2020

First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Wardell Ross Jr., director of Houston operations for architectural firm Moody Nolan, who was project manager for Texas Southern University’s new Library Learning Center. Morehart and Ross discuss the library’s features and how its design reflects and showcases the heritage of the … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Library Architecture and Design


BOOKHUB offerings available from Van Meter (Iowa) Community School District.

School Librarians Face Reopening Challenges

August 14, 2020

“Part of our unwritten plan is to spend those first precious weeks when we can be together in person teaching those skills needed to access learning in a remote, virtual environment,” says Jennisen Lucas, district librarian for Park County School District and 2021–2022 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) president-elect. “We hope we will have … Continue reading School Librarians Face Reopening Challenges