Sarah Studer and Arnold Phommavong at the "Libraries Transform: Social Innovation" program at the ALA 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Innovating with Creativity and Empathy

January 27, 2019

“[It’s remembering that] the people most affected by the problem have the best ideas on how to solve the problem,” said Sarah Studer, assistant director of the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Studer shared with library professionals her philosophy on collective action and using business … Continue reading Innovating with Creativity and Empathy


Librarians interviews for this story, clockwise from bottom left: Graham Tedesco-Blair, adult services librarian, Newark (N.Y.) Public Library; Fobazi Ettarh, undergraduate success librarian, Rutgers University–Newark in New Jersey; Chera Kowalski, assistant to the chief of staff, Free Library of Philadelphia; Nicole A. Cooke, associate professor and MS/LIS program director, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Tom Rink, instructor, library services, Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Homa Naficy, chief adult learning officer, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library; Amanda Oliver, MFA student, University of California–Riverside.

Other Duties as Assigned

January 2, 2019

As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned




Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Information Access for All

June 1, 2018

Let’s start with Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 2017, from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Developed by the Library of Congress and ASCLA, these supersede the 2011 standards. … Continue reading Information Access for All


Panelists at “A Social Worker Walks into a Library,” a preconference of the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 20 (from left): Leah Esguerra, Patrick Lloyd, Elissa Hardy, and Jean Badalamenti.

A Social Worker Walks into a Library

March 21, 2018

These were some of the tough questions tackled by embedded social workers at “A Social Worker Walks into a Library,” a preconference of the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 20. The session explored different models and approaches for administering social services, and how social work programs at public libraries began and evolved. … Continue reading A Social Worker Walks into a Library


ARSL attendees send condolences to Clovis-Carver Public Library in Clovis, New Mexico, where two library workers were killed on August 28 when a gunman opened fire in the library.

ARSL 2017 Conference: Day One

September 8, 2017

The 2017 conference has already broken ARSL conference records. More than 550 librarians from across the US are in attendance this year, according to Julie Elmore, director of Oakland City-Columbia Township (Ind.) Public Library and an ARSL board member. These numbers are up from 503 attendees at the 2016 conference. The increased attendance produced a … Continue reading ARSL 2017 Conference: Day One


Z! Haukeness from the Shine Initiative—a nonprofit based in Madison, Wisconsin—keeps a prominent profile in a glass room in the middle of Madison Public Library, where he and a coworker spend 30 hours a week helping patrons find housing and jobs and apply for food stamps. Some people come just to talk through hardships, he says.

A Home to the Homeless

November 24, 2014

“First in, last to leave the library,” says Jane, describing herself and her homeless community. “It’s our routine.” Jane, who prefers not to give her last name, says she’s classified as chronically homeless. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a chronically homeless person as an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who … Continue reading A Home to the Homeless