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


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




Race and Place

April 23, 2020

Tracie D. Hall is current ALA executive director. This article appeared in the February 2007 issue of American Libraries magazine, when Hall was assistant dean at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. By the time my grandparents purchased what my grandmother referred to as an “old … Continue reading Race and Place



From left: Muy-Cheng Peich, Jim O'Donnell, and Ann Okerson

IFLA: Providing Access without Connection

August 28, 2019

This session, chaired by Ann Okerson, senior advisor on electronic resources at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, featured presentations by members of the Offline Internet Consortium: IFLA, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (BSF), and Arizona State University (ASU). Presenters showcased initiatives and programs that bridge the digital divide by providing resources and access to networked … Continue reading IFLA: Providing Access without Connection


Illustration of library in field receiving signals from towers (Illustration: © Auguste Lange/Adobe Stock)

Wi-Fi in the “White Space”

May 1, 2019

But the library is reaching them using an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The grant provides broadband Wi-Fi service to Huron’s parks through unused parts of the television broadcast spectrum. Often called “white spaces,” these parts of the spectrum were freed up when most broadcasters switched from analog to digital signals in … Continue reading Wi-Fi in the “White Space”


Staff members of Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library assist seniors at a YMCA DigiLit class designed to help bridge the digital knowledge divide.Photo: Everett Blackmon

Allied Against Inequity

September 4, 2018

In San Antonio, residents of affluent neighborhoods are four times more likely to have broadband access than residents of low-income neighborhoods. “There’s definitely a need in the community,” says Candelaria Mendoza, library services administrator at San Antonio Public Library (SAPL). “We understand it’s not just about having the internet but having internet that’s fast enough … Continue reading Allied Against Inequity


What Is Access without Equity?

March 1, 2018

For community-based or other participatory archive models, digital technologies offer a way to meaningfully engage with materials. Yet what good is a digital archive if the community does not have internet available? How can an individual fully participate in using or shaping digital heritage resources if they do not have the computer skills, or even … Continue reading What Is Access without Equity?


Francisca Goldsmith

Audiobooks and Engagement

June 1, 2017

The traditional dilemma about whether listening equals reading becomes increasingly relegated to the same bin of disproved anxieties as our ancestors’ certainty that radio would kill thoughtful reading. As technology advances our access points to—and interest in—information and literature, the world of social and political possibilities blossoms. Where audiobooks were once limited to oral reading … Continue reading Audiobooks and Engagement


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Access and Resistance

March 1, 2017

When I started working at the library, we handed out time-limited computer access passes to anyone who wanted them. Users included library cardholders, people who were homeless, the residents of a local halfway house, and people who worked in the city but didn’t live there. I loved that we provided a valuable service to those … Continue reading Access and Resistance