Above, a Congolese immigrant waves to the camera in a screenshot from a home movie archived by Home Made Visible. Below, metadata is collected for a photo submitted to Los Angeles Public Library's Mobile Memory Lab. Screenshot: Home Made Visible; Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Uncovering the Past

January 2, 2020

Caught on old home movies, each image offers an intriguing glimpse of a specific community. But if those movies stay trapped on dusty VHS tapes or forgotten reels of 8-millimeter film, their stories—and those of the populations they belong to—stay hidden. That’s why some libraries in the United States and Canada are offering patrons the … Continue reading Uncovering the Past


Leah Elzner, a staff member at Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, Florida, looks over the latest binge bundles. (Photo: Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, Florida)

Ready to Binge-Watch?

January 2, 2020

Mirroring offerings from Netflix and Hulu, libraries are seeing renewed interest in materials through the creation of binge box collections—sets of movies and television shows on DVD with related themes and titles to help sate patrons’ binge-watching needs. “We were just going to do it for [a] summer and put it on display downstairs, but … Continue reading Ready to Binge-Watch?



Lindy West (Photo: Jenny Jimenez)

Newsmaker: Lindy West

November 1, 2019

American Libraries spoke with West about the book, body politics, and social media. Where does the title of your new book come from? The Witches Are Coming grew out of this phenomenon where people try to deflect accountability by claiming that any accusation of wrongdoing is a witch hunt and not real. It’s an obvious … Continue reading Newsmaker: Lindy West


Author Linda Holmes, photo by Tim Coburn

Newsmaker: Linda Holmes

August 1, 2019

Holmes recently spoke with American Libraries about her fiction favorites, the breadth of the romance genre, and why librarians are the original influencers. Tell me about your relationship with books and reading. Where does fiction fit in your personal pop-culture landscape? When I was a teenager I read a ton of big, heavy commercial fiction, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Linda Holmes


Mo Rocca

Newsmaker: Mo Rocca

July 24, 2019

In your podcast Mobituaries, you exhume little-known facts about both relatively unknown and iconic people and events. How do you go about picking a story that you’d like to pursue? I pursue stories about people and things that interest me. There are people who had obituaries the first time around when they actually died, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mo Rocca



Perfectly Mariana Atencio

June 25, 2019

Atencio’s memoir, Perfectly You, traces her journey from coastal Venezuela—where she devoured the work of authors like Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez—to her graduate work at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City; from Univision to the English-language market; from shy new arrival to prominent cultural ambassador. Her 2017 TEDx talk, “What makes you … Continue reading Perfectly Mariana Atencio


Journalist and author Mo Rocca speaks at the Closing Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 25.

The Onus of Obituary

June 25, 2019

Which is why it’s no surprise that the CBS Sunday Morning correspondent’s forthcoming book, Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (November, Simon & Schuster), and podcast of the same name, commemorates people and things—from the station wagon to Neanderthals to Thomas Paine’s legacy—where the common thread is that they’re overlooked and no longer with us. Oh, and there’s another overlap: … Continue reading The Onus of Obituary


History Repeats Itself

June 24, 2019

“I feel like I’m at a Star Trek convention,” he said in his trademark baritone, before laughing heartily. Takei’s tone changed, however, as he began to describe a childhood spent in internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II—an experience that he details in his new YA graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy. With a … Continue reading History Repeats Itself



Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler

A New Twist on an Old Tale

June 23, 2019

In a talk moderated by Todd Krueger, 2019–2020 president-elect of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Miller and Wheeler explained the genesis of the project. Miller said that as a kid, after discovering Superman, his other big love was Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. That continuing fascination was a driving factor in wanting to … Continue reading A New Twist on an Old Tale