Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, donated 100 3D-printed protective face shields to Beaumont Hospital in nearby Troy. Photo: Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan.

Using 3D to Make PPE

June 1, 2020

Jillian Rutledge, public services manager at Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library, learned about a PPE production initiative through a local branch of the national community revitalization project Main Street America. When her library closed its doors to patrons March 17, she obtained instructions online for printing PPE and tried various iterations before finding one that worked … Continue reading Using 3D to Make PPE



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


Youth Matters, by Leigh Fox

Partners in Crisis

June 1, 2020

As youth librarians, our most important partners are schools and educators, which these days include many caregivers who have been thrown into homeschooling for the first time. In my system, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL), staffers have been busily figuring out ways to provide resources that our students, parents, and teachers may need as they … Continue reading Partners in Crisis


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Front Lines and Fault Lines

June 1, 2020

“Wow,” he exclaimed, asking where I had heard about it. I told him there were regular updates on the internet about supply distribution and, ­perhaps even more important, about the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by zip code. To which he responded earnestly, “But how many people have the internet?” I gestured toward his phone, … Continue reading Front Lines and Fault Lines




ALA COVD-19 Update

ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism

May 26, 2020

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in condemning xenophobia and racism. The ALA Executive Board endorses APALA’s March 13 statement, in which it “unequivocally denounce[d] the rise in racism and xenophobia against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism


COVID-19 policy update

HEROES Act Stalls in Senate

May 22, 2020

Despite the 101 representatives who called for $2 billion in funding for libraries, a bipartisan letter signed by 46 senators calling for new library stabilization funding, and a coalition of 35 national organizations, the HEROES Act provided only $5 million for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The HEROES Act does aim to increase digital equity. The House bill provides $4 billion to expand high-speed internet access to those who cannot afford it, … Continue reading HEROES Act Stalls in Senate



From left: Beth Staley, Katy Ryan, and Gabriella Pishotti of the Appalachian Prison Book Project in Morgantown, West Virginia. Photo: Raymond Thompson

Prisoners Pay to Read

May 22, 2020

Of concern to Ryan and others was the fine print: Tablet users would be charged up to five cents per minute to access most of the tablet content. This included otherwise free public-domain materials, such as books from Project Gutenberg. APBP facilitates prison book clubs, provides tuition for college classes in prison, and sends free books … Continue reading Prisoners Pay to Read


Dewey Decibel: Privacy Concerns

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Privacy Concerns

May 15, 2020

First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Becky Yoose, a library data privacy consultant with LDH Consulting Services, about Zoombombing—what it is, who it targets, and how to stop it. Next, Morehart talks with Peter McCracken, electronic resources librarian at Cornell University, about a privacy-services program instituted by the … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Privacy Concerns