Marcia Mardis, professor of information science, director of Florida State University's (FSU) Information Institute, and associate dean for research at FSU’s College of Communication and Information

Eyeing the Storm

January 21, 2024

Librarians Denise Gomez and Marcia Mardis are from Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, and they know a thing or two about natural disasters. The two researchers presented “Not Another Named Storm: Disaster Planning in Public Libraries” on January 21 at ALA’s 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore. They shared findings from their three-year Institute of … Continue reading Eyeing the Storm



Painted rocks memorializing the children and teachers who died at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

Hope and Healing in Uvalde

May 22, 2023

“Sometimes those emotions are so powerful, and we’re using the metaphor of a volcano because sometimes they erupt at any time, at any moment,” Ramirez explains. “We can’t help what comes out sometimes. We are here to help families maneuver through those very powerful emotions and those difficult days.” Counselors from CBCST, a nonprofit that … Continue reading Hope and Healing in Uvalde


Illustration by Gaby FeBland

Three Years Later

March 1, 2023

In those early days, libraries grappled with the same issues as everyone else: closed buildings, plans put on hold, and diminished access. With this special report, we take a look at some libraries’ behind-the-scenes decisions to keep their communities connected and missions fulfilled. On the following pages, you’ll find stories about: early-pandemic adaptations and innovations … Continue reading Three Years Later


An illustration representing libraries who utilized relief funding to support recovery from the pandemic as well as natural disasters.

A Perfect Storm

March 1, 2023

The library served as a hub for the school’s approximately 400 students and faculty. It had separate spaces for elementary and high school students to study, check out books, and use computers. Maria and its aftermath claimed most of the library’s collections. Of an estimated 4,000–5,000 books, 90% were no longer usable. “Everything was full … Continue reading A Perfect Storm


2022 Year in Review

January 3, 2023

Uniting against censorship attempts Organized book challenges continued to proliferate. From January through August, 681 attempts to ban or restrict library materials had been made in the US, with 1,651 unique titles targeted. In response to mounting censorship threats, ALA announced in May its Unite Against Book Bans campaign, a coalition with more than 60 … Continue reading 2022 Year in Review


Episode 75: Rethinking Your Space

Call Number Podcast: Rethinking Your Space

September 12, 2022

As any library staffer who has gone through a building renovation knows, significant behind-the-scenes work goes into updating or overhauling a facility. From working with architects to communicating with committees to soliciting community feedback, rethinking a library doesn’t happen overnight. On Episode 75, the podcast team focuses on library design and architecture. First, American Libraries … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Rethinking Your Space


ID Made Easier

September 1, 2022

“We saw how hard it was for [residents] to get electricity, rent an apartment, open a bank account, or pick up their children from school” without them, says Damaris Gonzalez, an immigration rights organizer with the nonprofit Texas Organizing Project (TOP), which has been advocating for enhanced library cards in the state. These cards are … Continue reading ID Made Easier



Call Number with American Libraries, Episode 66 - Library Architecture and Design: The Past Meets the Future

Call Number Podcast: Library Architecture and Design

September 21, 2021

First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with Heather Hart, manager of Salt Lake City Public Library’s Sprague branch, about renovations that were made to the 93-year-old, English Tudor–style library after a flood destroyed much of the building in 2017. Next, Morehart talks with Sean Ngo from architecture firm DLR … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Library Architecture and Design


Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11

Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11

September 1, 2021

In the aftermath, American Libraries tried to make sense of the tragedy and our nation’s response, and consider their implications for libraries and American Library Association members. Our 2001 and 2002 reporting covered topics related to collections destroyed in the attacks, communities dealing with Islamophobia, restrictions imposed on civil liberties, and what librarian eyewitnesses remembered … Continue reading Special Report: The Legacy of 9/11


The Sphere, a sculpture by Fritz Koenig, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers partially intact. The unrestored sculpture now sits in New York City's Liberty Park near the National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA)

What Was Lost

September 1, 2021

Kathleen D. Roe, chief of archival services at New York State Archives in Albany at the time and now retired, says her team was prepared to deal with wet or dusty records or damaged collections. “We pretty quickly found out that either collections were pretty much okay because they were in a safe building that … Continue reading What Was Lost