On My Mind, by Dane Ward

Librarians Defeating ALS

April 29, 2019

ALS—or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a motor neuron disorder characterized by progressive weakening of muscles, often beginning in the legs or arms. More than 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year, and about 20,000 have it at any given time. After diagnosis, most patients die within … Continue reading Librarians Defeating ALS


From left: April Hines, Katherine Boss, Chimene E. Tucker, and Jeffrey A. Knapp discuss information literacy and journalism at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era

April 12, 2019

“First we wanted to find out how journalists find and use information,” said Chimene E. Tucker, communications, journalism, and LGBT studies librarian at University of Southern California. “A simple survey would not work in this case,” she said, “because we needed to ask probing questions about methodology.” So the team conducted 50 semistructured, in-depth interviews … Continue reading Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era



Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential


Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in public libraries at the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 28.

Serving Black Immigrants

September 29, 2018

At “Engaging and Serving Black Immigrant Communities,” a September 28 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in accessing information and what libraries can better do to reach … Continue reading Serving Black Immigrants


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


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Future Strategies

September 4, 2018

In Six Issues Facing Libraries Today: Critical Perspectives, John M. Budd calls these issues persistent and thorny—and they are. The first topic addressed is information: what it is and what it is not. Budd explores the criteria used to evaluate statements and suggests further avenues for considering the theory of information. Next is information literacy, an … Continue reading Future Strategies


Fake News panel

Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?

June 25, 2018

Long before the session was due to begin, every seat was full. Attendees were sitting on the floor and more were standing along the walls. Moderated by Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom James LaRue, this panel featured Nicole Cooke from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Damaso Reyes from The News Literacy Project, Joyce Valenza … Continue reading Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?


Dallas high school students participate in a Storytellers without Borders session in collaboration with The Dallas Morning News at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library branch of Dallas Public Library. Photo: Tom Huang/The Dallas Morning News

Our Vocation Is Information

June 1, 2018

Although the daily work of librarians and journalists differs, the vocations share many professional values. Brandy Zadrozny, who worked as a librarian for a decade before becoming a reporter and researcher for the Daily Beast and a reporter for NBC News, and Alice Crites, an MLIS-trained research editor whose work has helped earn six Pulitzers … Continue reading Our Vocation Is Information


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Beyond Fake News

June 1, 2018

A 2016 study of the web evaluation skills of middle school, high school, and college students by Stanford University’s History Education Group found that young people are quite likely to be duped by misleading or false information. Even Stanford’s own students, when evaluating articles from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the conservative fringe group … Continue reading Beyond Fake News


Opening Session speaker Sally Yates addresses attendees at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 21, 2018.

Objective Truth Will Save Democracy

March 22, 2018

Yates, former deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama administration and former acting attorney general, is perhaps best known for refusing to defend President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries and her testimony before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about Russian interference in the 2016 … Continue reading Objective Truth Will Save Democracy