San Antonio Public Library hosted the third annual San Anto Zine Fest in October. In 2018, the fest welcomed more than 1,000 attendees. Photo: Mari Hernandez

On the Zine Scene

January 2, 2020

“He was really excited about them,” says Kristina Gomez, MPL events and programming librarian. “I was really happy to see that he participated.” Though usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, zines pack a punch as an empowering form of personal and community expression. Small and self-published, zines are handmade publications … Continue reading On the Zine Scene


Youth Matters by Tricia Bohanon

Making Room for Inclusion

January 2, 2020

Despite interest from the communities I have served, numbers have been consistently low—usually one to two families attend the monthly program. Recently, Akron–Summit County (Ohio) Public Library, where I work, made the decision to discontinue these storytimes. When sensory programming may not be feasible—whether because of low attendance, inadequate staffing, or lack of administrative support—we … Continue reading Making Room for Inclusion


On My Mind by Terrilyn Chun

Get with the Programming

January 2, 2020

My first job at Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library (MCL) was in public relations, which involved writing and editing news releases, brochures, and fliers and, increasingly, planning programs and events. An operating levy, passed when I was a few years into the job, brought a wave of construction, renovations, and expanded public program offerings. New programming … Continue reading Get with the Programming


Seniors dating

From the Library with Love

November 1, 2019

Fortunately, there’s the library—not as a place to make romantic connections per se, but as a resource for older adults who want to learn how to navigate the world of online dating. Several public libraries have begun offering programs that help older patrons safely and effectively meet potential partners on the internet. Among those are … Continue reading From the Library with Love


A child undergoes a hearing test at a Sense-Screening Storytime at Omaha (Neb.) Public Library’s Swanson branch. Photo: Omaha (Neb.) Public Library

Testing the Senses

November 1, 2019

Sight and sound are integral parts of storytime and early literacy, so it makes sense for libraries to take an active role in children’s eye and ear health. Across the country, institutions are hosting free vision and hearing screenings tied to children’s reading sessions. OPL started hosting its Sense-Screening Storytime program last September and has … Continue reading Testing the Senses


Jenn Bartlett, head of reference and adult services at Manchester (Conn.) Public Library. Photo: J. Fiereck Photography

Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System

November 1, 2019

Instead, that trip effectively kickstarted the library’s board game collection. Bartlett came home with three free games; today MPL’s cache, mostly comprising publisher and public donations, is at 275 and counting. It’s the largest library board game collection in the state, she says. Bartlett, current president of the American Library Association’s Games and Gaming Round … Continue reading Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System



A participant in a cursive workshop at L. P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, practices the alphabet. (Photo: Jenn Carson)

Lending a Hand

September 3, 2019

At one time, cursive was routinely taught in US schools as a way of writing more quickly and elegantly than printing was perceived to permit. In 2010, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers removed cursive from the Common Core State Standards on the grounds that teaching students cursive was … Continue reading Lending a Hand


A Louisville (Ohio) Public Library patron uses an LED softie, a large beanbag cushion with an integrated light source and fiber optics, that produces a calming effect. (Photo: Michael Damron)

A Sensory Wonderland

June 3, 2019

Louisville (Ohio) Public Library opened an innovative Sensory Space in August 2018 with the help of a $50,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. It offers teen sensory relaxation sessions, adult sensory exploration, sensory storytimes, and other activities for patrons on the autism spectrum. Louisville is one of the first public libraries to offer … Continue reading A Sensory Wonderland


Members of Books for Dessert, Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library’s book club for adults over 21 with intellectual disabilities, meet to discuss The Case of the Bicycle Bandit. (Photo: Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library)

Everyone on the Same Page

June 3, 2019

“When people with developmental disabilities become 21, that’s the end of education for them, as if they don’t need to keep learning like other people keep learning as they get older,” says Comer, a trustee of the Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library (PWPL). She enrolled her son in a local day program but found that … Continue reading Everyone on the Same Page



Chicago Public Library STEAM Team First Assistant Librarian Alejandra Santana (left) reads to storytime attendees at Bubbleland laundromat.Photo: Chicago Public Library

Front-Loading Literacy

May 1, 2019

That’s why, in 1989, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Children’s Librarian Elizabeth McChesney (now CPL’s director of children’s services and family engagement) visited a local laundromat to introduce herself to families. How she responded to what she saw there would help change the landscape of children’s literacy initiatives for decades to come. “What I saw was … Continue reading Front-Loading Literacy