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



Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Disasters in Libraries

June 1, 2020

Public Libraries and Resilient Cities Edited by Michael Dudley Resilience is the art of being able to bounce back from disaster. The uniting thesis of these essays is that public libraries are crucial to this process. Dudley makes the point that climate change guarantees near-future crises; other essays use relatively recent disasters, such as Hurricane … Continue reading Disasters in Libraries


On My Mind with Lori A. Goetsch

When Disaster Strikes

December 9, 2019

This wasn’t the first time we’d had fire alarms: leaky pipes, burned bagels, and other incidents had set off our alarms in the past, and the staff was experienced in and accustomed to vacating themselves and others from the building. However, this time was different—smoke was observed and, as first responders came on the scene, … Continue reading When Disaster Strikes



The Camp Fire in Northern California, as viewed by NASA's Landsat 8 on November 8. Photo: NASA

California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake

January 2, 2019

“Miraculously, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library system is still standing,” says Butte County Library Director Melanie Lightbody, noting that it’s one of the only remaining structures in town. While the library was not destroyed by the fire, the building and its contents have suffered extensive smoke damage. The five other branches in … Continue reading California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake


The Camp Fire in Northern California, as viewed by NASA's Landsat 8 on November 8. Photo: NASA

California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake

November 16, 2018

“Miraculously, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library system is still standing,” says Butte County Library Director Melanie Lightbody, noting that it’s one of the only remaining structures in the town. The remaining five branches in the system are still operational and have become information centers, offering computers, Wi-Fi, and printers to help displaced … Continue reading California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake


Hurricane Florence, photographed September 13, 2018, by NASA

ALA, Library Community Work to Support Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts

September 14, 2018

“Our hearts and prayers go to the more than 10 million citizens working to recover from this historic and devastating storm,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “ALA and the library community have a long history of helping those in need and will work to support our chapters during this crisis. As we continue to assess damage … Continue reading ALA, Library Community Work to Support Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts


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When Ransomware Attacks

June 1, 2018

County Librarian Todd Stephens says that he and his colleagues suspect the attack came through an infected email message opened by a staff member, though the exact mechanism is uncertain. The anonymous attacker demanded 3.6 to 3.8 bitcoins in payment—then valued at about $36,000. Ransomware, a form of computer malware that encrypts a victim’s data … Continue reading When Ransomware Attacks