Jeff Henderson

Hungry with Knowledge

January 26, 2020

“I was growing up hungry in a single-parent, dysfunctional home in the 1960s,” he told the crowd at American Library Association President Wanda Kay Brown’s program at the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia on January 26. “I had a little homeboy dream that I’d be able to buy a house on a hill with … Continue reading Hungry with Knowledge


Howard County (Md.) Library System’s Longest Table 2019, held at Howard Community College on September 21, drew 231 guests. (Photo: Geoffrey S. Baker/Howard County Library System)

Tables of Content

January 2, 2020

The origins of these events can be traced back to communal meals such as the World’s Longest Lunch, held annually across Australia. In 2015 the first Longest Table meal served 400 people along a two-block stretch of downtown Tallahassee, Florida. That inaugural evening was organized by city and county leaders, local nonprofit The Village Square, … Continue reading Tables of Content


The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee


Dewey Decibel podcast: Insider's Guide to Washington, D.C.

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Insider’s Guide to Washington, D.C.

June 14, 2019

In Episode 39, Dewey Decibel explores where to eat and see live music during Annual. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Meredith Pratt, author of Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C. 2020 and the Annual Conference dining guide featured in American Libraries’ June issue, about the best places to dine in the district. Next, American … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Insider’s Guide to Washington, D.C.


Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens

Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens

May 31, 2019

In Episode 38, Dewey Decibel examines how libraries are using outdoor spaces for gardening and food production. First, ALA Editions Acquisitions Editor Rachel Chance speaks with Kathy Lane, programming, events, and outreach coordinator at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library (BPL), and the BeeChicas of Boulder, beekeepers who advocate for sustainable pollination and beekeeping, about BPL’s rooftop … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens


Food for Thought

May 1, 2019

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in December 2018 reviewed 22 studies estimating that more than 30% of college students face food insecurity amid the rising costs of higher education. The report estimates that there are nearly 2 million at-risk students—most often they are first-generation college students, low income, or single parents. A … Continue reading Food for Thought


An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation.Photo: Steve Hostetler

Libations in the Library

March 1, 2019

The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. “People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy … Continue reading Libations in the Library


Judith A. Downie poses with growlers from CSUSM Library’s Brewchive. Photo: Brandon Van Zanten (Brewchive)

Tapping into Beer History

November 1, 2018

“Who’s collecting San Diego’s beer history?” This question—asked by Char Booth, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Library associate dean, during a brewing science certificate proposal review in 2016—launched what would become the Brewchive at CSUSM Library. In 2018, the archive received the American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. With the … Continue reading Tapping into Beer History


Mobile food programs, like this one at Camden County (N.J.) Library System, are teaching food literacy and delivering nutritious meals in food deserts. Photo: Camden County (N.J.) Library System

A Movable Feast

September 4, 2018

“The city of Camden has only one grocery store, and most city residents rely on small stores and bodegas for food,” says Devlin. “These stores have a more limited supply of healthy food, which limits meal planning.” Inspired by a visit to the nearby Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Devlin decided … Continue reading A Movable Feast


"The Cooking Gene" author Michael W. Twitty presented at Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) President's Program "Dining from a Haunted Plate" on June 25 at the 2018 ALA Conference in New Orleans.

Michael W. Twitty: Author, Culinary Historian, and an “Agent of Change”

June 26, 2018

Although sharing that his favorite Southern foods include barbecue, buttermilk pie, gumbo, and jambalaya, The Cooking Gene author Michael W. Twitty said he never intended to write a cookbook; instead, he wanted to research and document the journeys of his ancestors in the American South through the evidence of their foods and cooking methods. “I think we’re … Continue reading Michael W. Twitty: Author, Culinary Historian, and an “Agent of Change”


Michael W. Twitty

Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty

April 27, 2018

Twitty serves as honorary chair of Preservation Week, held April 22–28, which focuses this year on cooking and community archiving. American Libraries spoke with him about what can be learned about the past through food and about his work with Preservation Week. What drew you to food and its history? Going to living-history sites like Colonial … Continue reading Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty


Congregating in the Kitchen

February 10, 2018

As the session’s attendees engaged in conversation and shared what they learned about their table-mates, the point of the exercise emerged: Talking about food and cooking food together allows people to learn about each other. Liz Fitzgerald, the administrator of the Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center, expanded on the idea that culinary literacy … Continue reading Congregating in the Kitchen