Baa-maste!

November 1, 2022

The novel form of exercise, which was founded by Lainey Morse in 2016 with her Original Goat Yoga company and has since found loyal fans all over the country, gives new meaning to community engagement. Just ask Mary Woodward, circulation services supervisor at Bedford (Tex.) Public Library(BPL). After considering ways to rethink her library’s approach … Continue reading Baa-maste!


Kelsey Bogan, library media specialist at Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, uses her school library ’s TikTok account to create videos of book reviews, tutorials, and more.

60 Seconds of Library Fame

November 1, 2022

Librarians are making the most of the video-sharing social media app TikTok, recording and uploading 60-second clips (sometimes longer) of themselves and others talking about programs, cool things at their library, book reviews, and more. Many of these librarians help make up BookTok, a subcommunity of users on the app who upload and share content … Continue reading 60 Seconds of Library Fame


A sheep, a woman knitting, and knitted potholders

Close-Knit Community

November 1, 2022

Hickory (N.C.) Public Library (HPL) Community Engagement Librarian Dacy Shute was looking to host a program that would celebrate the city’s agricultural legacy as well as create connections among its maker community. In March, she launched the Sheep to Sweater program series—five sessions that showed patrons, step-by-step, where wool comes from, how it’s made, and … Continue reading Close-Knit Community


Four members of the US Army on an airfield

By the Numbers: Veterans

November 1, 2022

Veterans Day is November 11. 19 million Current number of US veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The figure refers to living people who have actively served in the armed forces. 115,000 Number of collections—which often include oral history recordings, manuscripts, and photographic materials related to an individual service member—held by the Veterans … Continue reading By the Numbers: Veterans


11 Questions: Melanie Welch

October 14, 2022

Welch has nearly 25 years of nonprofit management experience and started her career in environmental education and community engagement after receiving a master’s degree in biology. Before joining ALA, Melanie founded the Great Lakes Conservation department at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and was a 2010 Catto fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. She answered … Continue reading 11 Questions: Melanie Welch


Photograph of students participating in Calligraphy Connections project

2022 International Innovators

July 20, 2022

The citations began as an initiative of 2007–2008 ALA President Loriene Roy. Presented by the International Relations Round Table, the awards recognize exemplary services and projects that draw attention to libraries creating positive change, demonstrating sustainability, and providing a model for others to follow. This year’s winners are Run Run Shaw Library at City University … Continue reading 2022 International Innovators


Aiden Street

Money Know-How

June 27, 2022

Patrons and students need guidance to navigate what can feel like an overwhelmingly complex financial landscape. And if the nation is to address its wealth inequality, libraries can help. Moderator Kenneth McDonnell, financial education program analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, gave an overview of a pilot project the US federal agency created to … Continue reading Money Know-How


Brooke Windsor⁠, teen services librarian at Stratford Public Library (SPL) in Ontario⁠, speaks at "Outside and Around Town: The Magic of Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure” at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

Embarking on a Quest

June 26, 2022

Windsor did so by developing a game that invited players to visit Stratford’s local businesses to complete challenges and ultimately win prizes. Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure was a hit that more than 70 patrons participated in during its three-week run. Windsor detailed the framework of her game and how librarians could implement similar … Continue reading Embarking on a Quest


KayCee Choi (standing at left) and Alicia Deal (standing at right), librarians at Dallas Public Library, present at "Deaf Culture: A Strategy for Inclusive Deaf Community Engagement,” a June 26 session at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by Rebecca Lomax for American Libraries.

Deaf Is a Culture

June 26, 2022

“After joining ALA, I saw a lot of changes,” said Hagemeyer, who now leads Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. While services and outreach to Deaf people have improved over the last 50 years, libraries could be doing more in this area. That was the takeaway … Continue reading Deaf Is a Culture


Tina Chenoweth, interim manager of the Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL) Bees Ferry West Ashley branch, speaks at “Animal Crossing’s Enduring Success: Building Community Relationships Through Collaborative Online Gaming,” a session held June 26 at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

An Island of Community

June 26, 2022

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a collaborative, cozy, social simulation video game for the Nintendo Switch where players create their own characters and design their own island. In addition to the upkeep of owning an island, players can visit each other’s islands, trade in-game items, and help one another complete tasks. The video game was … Continue reading An Island of Community


Photo of young patrons playing in the music garden at Pickerington (Ohio) Public Library.

The Beat Goes On

June 1, 2022

The concept of music gardens isn’t new, but it has gained traction since early 2020 as libraries shifted programming and services online and sought ways to safely engage patrons outdoors and spark joy during the pandemic’s darkest days. Library green space outfitted with full-size, playable instruments allowed for both sensory engagement and social distancing. Percussion … Continue reading The Beat Goes On


In 2020, Bloomington (Ill.) Public Library began holding plant swap programs, designed to be held outdoors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Branching Out

June 1, 2022

“Oh look, there’s Fred!” Davis recounts the plant’s original owner calling out, revealing the donated spider plant’s name. “And his babies are getting new homes.” These special reunions between plant owners and their beloved sprouts are the culmination of plant swap programs, where gardeners exchange their plant cuttings and share knowledge on how to grow … Continue reading Branching Out