Pad with Free Pads 4 All written on it

Period. End of Story.

May 2, 2022

“The products are important, and normalizing the conversation is important,” says Eiko La Boria, founder and CEO of The Flow Initiative, a New Jersey–based organization devoted to stamping out social, cultural, and economic inequities associated with “period poverty.” She says libraries are a natural partner for her organization’s outreach: “I wanted to implement greater access, … Continue reading Period. End of Story.


Elgin (Ill.) Area Pandemic Team

Relief for Renters

March 1, 2022

In March 2021, Gail Borden Public Library District (GBPLD) received a grant contract from the Illinois Department of Public Health with a budget of up to $415,000 to create the Elgin Area Pandemic Assistance Team. Part of the department’s Pandemic Health Navigator Program, the project connects people with community and municipal resources that address pandemic-induced … Continue reading Relief for Renters


Yoga in the library

Bookend: Go with the Flow

March 1, 2022

“Students have a very rigorous and intense school day based on perceptions of what they should be doing and on the expectations of teachers and their parents,” Schaub says. “Adults recognize more readily how we are pulled and stretched in different ways in our time and expectations, but students don’t always recognize that.” In October … Continue reading Bookend: Go with the Flow


2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

January 3, 2022

Wong’s election makes ALA history At the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Conference Virtual, Patricia “Patty” M. Wong began her term as the first Asian American to serve as ALA president.   The American Rescue Plan Act and libraries When President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March … Continue reading 2021 Year in Review


Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System partnered with pro soccer team D.C. United in 2020 to create Talon’s Workout Tapes. Here, midfielder Russell Canouse and his dog Lola demonstrate an exercise.

A Dream Team

January 3, 2022

What resulted was Talon’s Workout Tapes, a series of free exercise videos in English and Spanish that debuted in April 2020 on the library’s website. The videos, created by D.C. United’s communications department, featured the fan-favorite bird and team players demonstrating physical activities that kids and their families could do at home without any expensive … Continue reading A Dream Team


Kathy McFadden (right), a staffer at Sussex County (Del.) Libraries, hands out rapid, at-home COVID-19 testing kits during a drive-through distribution event at Seaford (Del.) District Library in August 2021. Photo: Delaware Division of Libraries

Put to the Test

December 1, 2021

In Delaware, the Division of Public Health (DPH) approached the Delaware Division of Libraries (DDL) with a plan to distribute more than 75,000 BinaxNOW antigen self-tests through the state’s public libraries for three months from summer to fall 2021. “I think it’s a slam dunk that [health departments] would think of libraries,” says Alta Porterfield, … Continue reading Put to the Test


Academic Insights by Naomi Bishop

Fighting Medical Racism

November 1, 2021

I am a health science librarian at University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus. I am also Akimel O’odham (Pima) from the Gila River Indian Community. From a Native perspective, the needs of the community are greater than the wishes of the individual. Mask mandates are in place on tribal lands, and colleges and universities occupy … Continue reading Fighting Medical Racism


Alicia Serratos poses in front of a seed library holding a box of seeds.

Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos

June 1, 2021

Serratos started her first seed library in 2014 at her elementary school in Mission Viejo, California, after learning about healthy eating, gardening, and sustainability. Through Three Sisters Seed Box, she has now helped place seed libraries in all 50 states and has filled requests from as far away as India. American Libraries talked with Serratos … Continue reading Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos


Illustration: Open laptop that looks like theater with people sitting in rows of seats and instructor pointing at image on screen (©wei/Adobe Stock)

Fighting the Spread

March 1, 2021

“As medical professionals and librarians, we tell people what to do, but we don’t often explain why,” she says. “A lot of times people are like, ‘I don’t want people telling me what to do.’ But if they understand the science behind it, I think it really helps.” In response to the unfolding crisis, Daly, … Continue reading Fighting the Spread


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


A customer picks up her reserves at the drive-through window at Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library’s New Albany branch.

Reclosing … after Reopening

August 4, 2020

Since it first reopened some locations for curbside service on May 18, Shreve Memorial Library (SML) in Shreveport, Louisiana, has had to close branches on 20 occasions because staffers were exhibiting symptoms or had tested positive for COVID-19. The first closure occurred on May 26 when SML was only offering curbside, but SML continued to … Continue reading Reclosing … after Reopening


Timothy Dickey, Marie Ingram, and Mary Beth Riedner

Serving Patrons with Dementia

June 25, 2020

At the June 25 ALA Virtual session “The Frontiers of Library Dementia Services,” three panelists shared what library workers can do to better serve people with dementia—and help them thrive. The first step, said Timothy J. Dickey, adult services librarian at Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Libraries, is to learn more about dementia, which includes diseases such … Continue reading Serving Patrons with Dementia