Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


Librarian's Library by Araceli Mendez Hintermeister

Engagement at a Distance

March 1, 2021

    Pivoting during the Pandemic: Ideas for Serving Your Community Anytime, Anywhere Edited by Kathleen M. Hughes and Jamie Santoro This collection includes 22 reflections from library staffers across the US on how public libraries have responded to challenges posed by COVID-19. Whether you seek to serve specific patron groups, address larger community needs, or … Continue reading Engagement at a Distance


"Resilience" session panelists

Partners for Progress

January 23, 2021

It’s a question that Matthew Stinchcomb, cofounder of the Lifeboats HV initiative and keynote speaker at the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on-demand session “Resilience: How Libraries Can Partner to Reshape the Future,” thinks about often. “If you look at the data on climate change and ecological destruction, there’s no doubt … Continue reading Partners for Progress


2020 Year in Review

January 4, 2021

ALA Headquarters Move After 57 years on East Huron Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, ALA headquarters relocated to Michigan Plaza at 225 N. Michigan Avenue.   ALA Welcomes New Executive Director Tracie D. Hall began on February 24 as the American Library Association’s (ALA) new executive director (ED). The 10th ED—and the first female … Continue reading 2020 Year in Review


Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School students held a read-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit Grain of Rice Project. Photo: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School

Working Toward a Sustainable World

January 4, 2021

In 2019, Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School began a book club using selections inspired by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the organization’s blueprint for addressing global challenges like poverty and climate change by 2030. Batesville’s students use lessons they glean from the club to engage with their community and the world, earning the … Continue reading Working Toward a Sustainable World


A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon

Ready for Action

September 1, 2020

In recent years, global warming has also led to worsening wildfires, invasive pests, and the melting of permafrost across the state. “There are some coastal villages that are literally sinking into the sea,” Preskitt says. In response, the city of Anchorage decided to brace for the impact of climate change by creating a formal framework. … Continue reading Ready for Action


Composite image of different people standing, sitting, and walking through a library space

Encoding Space

September 1, 2020

Various studies support the notion that space affects our mood and behaviors. From architects and interior designers to psychologists and neuroscientists to community developers and retail managers, numerous experts have discussed the impact of physical environments on the way we think, feel, learn, and act. Swayed by our surroundings We each respond consciously (and often … Continue reading Encoding Space


Julia Alvarez Photo: Bill Eichner

Newsmaker: Julia Alvarez

May 1, 2020

What drove you to write this novel? Why now? Afterlife comes out of a feeling that it’s an elegiac time for our planet, as we watch so many species become extinct, ecosystems in danger, forests burning. It feels like a time of many endings. In our national life—our uncivil society, the divisions, the draconian immigration … Continue reading Newsmaker: Julia Alvarez


Sustainability in Libraries by By Terence O’Neill, Stephanie C. Perentesis, and Eric Tans

Paint It Green

April 30, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. The Sustainability Canvas is adapted from the Business Model Canvas (BMC), the one-sheet graphic organizer found in Alexander Osterwalder … Continue reading Paint It Green


Sustainability in Libraries: Lisa G. Kropp

Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving

April 28, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. Although I wrote that sentence in March 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, that is … Continue reading Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving


Solar panels on the roof of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Photo: McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability

March 2, 2020

Earth Day will be observed April 22. 1 Year ago the American Library Association (ALA) added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council committed to the triple bottom-line framework for sustainability: practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. 50 Number of years Earth … Continue reading By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability