Dispatches with Carli Spina

Inclusive Media

May 3, 2021

The tech company Cisco predicts that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic. In recent years, large libraries have jumped on this trend, producing recorded author events, tutorials, and promotional videos; since the pandemic began, the popularity of online videos has exploded even further. Ubiquitous as it is, much video content … Continue reading Inclusive Media




Portrait of On My Mind author Lesley Garrett

Bookmobiles for Justice

March 1, 2021

During my time as an organizer apprentice with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, our chapter led a successful campaign in partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Kentucky Fairness and ACLU of Kentucky to pass a 2018 civil rights ordinance in the city of Paducah that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. … Continue reading Bookmobiles for Justice


Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories




llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote


A child undergoes a hearing test at a Sense-Screening Storytime at Omaha (Neb.) Public Library’s Swanson branch. Photo: Omaha (Neb.) Public Library

Testing the Senses

November 1, 2019

Sight and sound are integral parts of storytime and early literacy, so it makes sense for libraries to take an active role in children’s eye and ear health. Across the country, institutions are hosting free vision and hearing screenings tied to children’s reading sessions. OPL started hosting its Sense-Screening Storytime program last September and has … Continue reading Testing the Senses


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Inclusive by Design

September 3, 2019

“When you can navigate a space, whatever that space may look like, and you don’t have to ask for help and you can do it independently, that’s confidence-building,” he says. When we think of some of the foremost goals of our profession—advocating for the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers as well as promoting … Continue reading Inclusive by Design


On the Horizon for Accessibility

June 25, 2019

Reed Strege, director of library services at the Braille Institute of America, led “The Best in New Tech for Readers with Blindness, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities” on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., highlighting new and upcoming technology for blind and print disabled library users. “It’s a really … Continue reading On the Horizon for Accessibility


A Louisville (Ohio) Public Library patron uses an LED softie, a large beanbag cushion with an integrated light source and fiber optics, that produces a calming effect. (Photo: Michael Damron)

A Sensory Wonderland

June 3, 2019

Louisville (Ohio) Public Library opened an innovative Sensory Space in August 2018 with the help of a $50,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. It offers teen sensory relaxation sessions, adult sensory exploration, sensory storytimes, and other activities for patrons on the autism spectrum. Louisville is one of the first public libraries to offer … Continue reading A Sensory Wonderland