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ALA Executive Board Supports APALA in Recognizing and Condemning Ongoing anti-Asian Hate Crimes

March 11, 2021

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands in solidarity with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in recognizing and condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. The ALA Executive Board affirms APALA’s March 3 statement in which it writes, “Our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities have been deeply impacted by attacks that have … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Supports APALA in Recognizing and Condemning Ongoing anti-Asian Hate Crimes




Valerie Wagley, counselor at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia, reads to kids at a bookmobile stop in summer 2020. Photo: Kelli Wood

The Road to Normal

March 1, 2021

“Would it be crazy if we packed our cars with books and drove them around?” Parrish remembers proposing. They put out word of their plan to give away books, and soon teachers, churches, school libraries, families, and even the local YMCA were donating books for the effort. Goochland County government loaned them a van. And … Continue reading The Road to Normal


Illustration: Open laptop that looks like theater with people sitting in rows of seats and instructor pointing at image on screen (©wei/Adobe Stock)

Fighting the Spread

March 1, 2021

“As medical professionals and librarians, we tell people what to do, but we don’t often explain why,” she says. “A lot of times people are like, ‘I don’t want people telling me what to do.’ But if they understand the science behind it, I think it really helps.” In response to the unfolding crisis, Daly, … Continue reading Fighting the Spread


A wooden kamishibai box, which contains illustrated cards ((Photo: Geo1208)

Think Inside the Box

March 1, 2021

Clack, clack! Siskind hits the sticks together, sets them down, and opens the flaps on the front of the box to create a small stage showing the illustrated cover of that day’s kamishibai storytime. Kamishibai, or “paper theater,” is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan in the late 1920s. Storytellers would ride into … Continue reading Think Inside the Box


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Building Morale in a Pandemic

March 1, 2021

I’ve heard countless stories of library workers who have gone above and beyond to support their communities during this time. But I’ve also wondered how many libraries surpassed expectations to meet their staffers’ needs. I spoke with several librarians about what they’ve done to support their workers as whole people. Early in the pandemic, administrators … Continue reading Building Morale in a Pandemic


Librarian's Library by Araceli Mendez Hintermeister

Engagement at a Distance

March 1, 2021

    Pivoting during the Pandemic: Ideas for Serving Your Community Anytime, Anywhere Edited by Kathleen M. Hughes and Jamie Santoro This collection includes 22 reflections from library staffers across the US on how public libraries have responded to challenges posed by COVID-19. Whether you seek to serve specific patron groups, address larger community needs, or … Continue reading Engagement at a Distance



ALA Midwinter Virtual wrap-up (logo in center, surrounded by headshots of featured speakers)

2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 3, 2021

Though this year’s event was the final meeting, it was a consequential one with more than 7,100 participants and marquee speakers such as Ruby Bridges, Ethan Hawke, Ziggy Marley, Cicely Tyson, Emmanuel Acho, US Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and new US First Lady Jill Biden. Many sessions centered on two major themes: equity, diversity, and … Continue reading 2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up


Boxes of medical supplies await use at Schenectady County (N.Y.) Public Library, which is serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site. (Photo courtesy Karen Bradley)

A Shot in the Arm

February 2, 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