Photo of patrons at Tulsa (Okla.) City–County Library view an immersive exhibit on the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in spring 2021.

Confronting History

September 1, 2021

In the years after World War I, an affluent African-American community flourished in the Greenwood district of oil-rich Tulsa, Oklahoma, an area that came to be known as Black Wall Street. Then, in late May and early June 1921, racial tensions erupted and violent white mobs—spurred by a murky allegation of sexual assault—destroyed thousands of … Continue reading Confronting History


Photo of a children's birdwatching backpack, available for checkout from Henrico County (Va.) Public Library, which contains binoculars and bird guides.

Programming on the Fly

September 1, 2021

During this year’s migration season, billions of birds will cover millions of square miles in their annual southbound journey across North America—and new and avid birdwatchers will reach for their binoculars, guidebooks, and smartphones and head outdoors. Birdwatching has exploded in popularity during the pandemic, with The New York Times last year observing record participation … Continue reading Programming on the Fly


Henderson County (Ky.) Public Library’s StoryWalk participants read a page from picture book Jonathan and His Mommy last summer.

Skip to the Next Page

June 1, 2021

“It’s important that [kids] move, it’s important that they read, it’s important that they get outside,” says Anguish, “especially in a pandemic when nothing is the norm anymore.” StoryWalks—outdoor paths that feature children’s book pages posted at a young reader’s height and take families on self-guided storytimes—are gaining traction in communities across the US and … Continue reading Skip to the Next Page


Group of seniors pose together after a library activity

Aging Masterfully

June 1, 2021

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Liberty Lake (Wash.) Municipal Library (LLML) offered many programs and services for older adults, including a book club, board game events, take-home watercolor art kits, and a “right-sizing” class geared toward helping them transition to smaller homes. The library’s programs and clubs gave “older adults and seniors a place to socialize” … Continue reading Aging Masterfully



Photo: ©Marcos/Adobe Stock

Serving the Community at All Times

May 3, 2021

DPL’s Cultural Inclusivity Department is tasked with developing programs that help connect the library with its immigrant community. The department’s mission is to “collaborat[e] with Denver’s multicultural community to create equitable opportunities for learning, discovery, and connection.” This is done through Plaza and other intentional multicultural programming. DPL’s Plaza program has existed for more than … Continue reading Serving the Community at All Times


Families attend a drive-in storytime at Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library's Monfort Heights branch in 2020. Photo: Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library

Park and Read

May 3, 2021

Though its building was closed because of the pandemic, HPL staffers performed these innovative storytimes in parking lots where children watched the readers from the safety of their caregivers’ cars and listened along on the radio. The unusual format invited audience participation. With the song “Wheels on the Bus,” for instance, the words were altered … Continue reading Park and Read


On My Mind with Fatma Ghailan

Tools for the Job

May 3, 2021

According to America’s Libraries: Powering Broadband Adoption, Access, and Use, a 2016 report from the American Library Association, about 90% of public libraries offer digital literacy training programs through which community members can engage in job preparation and gain new skills to aid in career advancement. The report also notes that those who receive formal … Continue reading Tools for the Job


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Pandemic Pivoting, Continued

May 3, 2021

Going Virtual: Programs and Insights from a Time of Crisis By Sarah Ostman Going Virtual is a timely, practical guide that offers pragmatic advice and creative examples of programs for communities of all sizes and types. Divided into four sections—learning, conversation, connection, and entertainment—this book provides a wealth of ideas for programs that can be … Continue reading Pandemic Pivoting, Continued


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


Illustration: Screenshot of gamers in costume playing Dungeons and Dragons (Illustration: Katie Wheeler)

Escape for the Isolated

November 2, 2020

A crew of six explorers—library patrons playing as a gnome, two half-elves, two humans, and a wood elf—learned this lesson during their weekly online game, led by Greenfield (Mass.) Public Library (GPL) Assistant Jeremiah Rood. Spoiler alert: The adventurers went on to slaughter the monster, as well as the campaign’s goblin king, before reaching the … Continue reading Escape for the Isolated


Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories