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


Tom Bober

The Power of Primary Sources

September 4, 2018

My 1st-grade students recently prepared for a trip to the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis by analyzing photographs and films of streetcars to better understand the part they played in our city. Inspired to share their learning, students wrote about streetcars and built their own with simple tools like paper, scissors, tape, and … Continue reading The Power of Primary Sources


To Preserve and Protect

March 1, 2018

As we observe Preservation Week (April 22–26), keep in mind that even our youngest students are eager to hear about cultural and historic preservation from the people most invested in it. Our learners realize that everybody has a story and that these stories make a difference. My own preservation journey with 3rd graders at Pilot … Continue reading To Preserve and Protect


Jessie Carney Smith in 1965, her first year as a university librarian at Fisk University in Nashville.

Blazing Trails

January 2, 2018

American Libraries spoke with five leading African-American librarians about their careers, the changes they have witnessed over the decades, and the current issues in librarianship. While no two people have the same story, all five interviewees note inclusivity as an important theme. They discuss libraries as safe havens, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the … Continue reading Blazing Trails


Walkers participate in “Let’s Book,” a reading and exercise program offered by Ligonier Valley (Pa.) Library. Photo: Ligionier Valley (Pa.) Library.

Walking History

September 1, 2017

“Besides the entertainment value, we also wanted to impart some history—it’s not fake news; it’s reliable news,” says Anita Doering, archives manager at LCPL. LCPL—which also offers the by-demand Footsteps of La Crosse historic walking tour—is not the only library to recognize that sightseeing ventures are the perfect vehicle to get employees outside the building and … Continue reading Walking History



Patricia Bearden (left) and Raquel Flores-Clemons present “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration" at DPLAfest in Chicago on April 20.

DPLAfest Comes to Chicago

April 25, 2017

Several presentations highlighted efforts to document, preserve, and share digital collections on social justice and community engagement. Preserving African-American history on Chicago’s South Side “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration,” led by Chicago State University (CSU) Archivist Raquel Flores-Clemons, Patricia Bearden, president … Continue reading DPLAfest Comes to Chicago


Children read in the Soissons Library in Aisne, France, after World War I. Photo: ALA Archives

The French Connection

February 16, 2017

Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. Morgan was a frequent visitor to France. When war broke out, she threw herself into relief work for the Allied cause. In 1917, she created the American Committee for Devastated France, better known as CARD … Continue reading The French Connection


Joseph Janes

Revisiting an Old Friend

January 3, 2017

Anyway, in the chapter on the library and society from Shera’s 1976 textbook Introduction to Library Science, he writes in the first paragraph: “It is axiomatic … that the library as a social instrumentality, is, as it has always been, conditioned and shaped by the social milieu within which it functions” (emphasis mine). Well. We’ve … Continue reading Revisiting an Old Friend


Dewey Decibel podcast Episode Eight: Hail to the Chief's Library

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries

December 1, 2016

Meredith Evans, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. American Libraries managing editor Sanhita SinhaRoy talks with Meredith about managing a presidential library, her work with President Carter, and more. Jodi Kanter, associate professor of theater at George Washington University and author of the book Presidential Libraries as Performance: Curating American … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries


Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries

November 1, 2016

1939 Year the Presidential Library System began. Franklin D. Roosevelt donated his presidential and personal documents to the federal government. 643 Number of hours of recorded telephone conversations the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum has collected. The conversation topics range from the assassination of JFK to dealing with the USSR. 45 Number of meetings … Continue reading By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

All in the Family

September 1, 2016

Fostering Family History Services: A Guide for Librarians, Archivists, and Volunteers, by Rhonda L. Clark and Nicole Wedemeyer Miller, offers practical advice, with bibliographical notes, on how to establish a family history service within the framework of existing programming and outreach. The authors assert that providing family history resources is more about offering guidance and … Continue reading All in the Family