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


Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, uses drone delivery service Wing to transport library books to the town’s students. Photo: Courtesy of Wing.

The Great Outdoors

November 2, 2020

Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any of the 600 or so households that have a student in the district and that fall within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library … Continue reading The Great Outdoors


ABOS Treasurer Brooke Bahnsen (left) and ABOS Secretary Lori Berezovsky prep swag bags to mail to the first 250 registered attendees of the virtual conference.

ABOS Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Virtual Conference

October 22, 2020

Cathy Zimmerman, ABOS president and bookmobile associate at Scott County (Iowa) Library System, kicked off the event by noting 2020’s many challenges. “I have said many times over the course of this year how immensely proud I am of the way in which outreach professionals have reacted to these difficult times. You have persevered and … Continue reading ABOS Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Virtual Conference


Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, uses drone delivery service Wing to transport library books to the town’s students. Photo: Courtesy of Wing.

The Great Outdoors

September 14, 2020

Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. Passek locates the book, checks it out, and drives … Continue reading The Great Outdoors


Twitch and Discord in libraries panelists Michael Dunbar-Rodney and Lorin Flores

How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch

June 26, 2020

Lorin Flores and Michael Dunbar-Rodney, librarians at San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, discussed how libraries can take advantage of these emerging online streaming platforms to reach new audiences and expand digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic in their ALA Virtual 2020 session, “Twitch and Discord in Public Libraries: New Opportunities for Adult Services.” Twitch, a … Continue reading How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch



Staffers at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, which closed its doors March 16 because of COVID-19, advertise the library's remote-reference services in a group Zoom call.. Photo: Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library

Bookend: Remote and Ready

June 1, 2020

Director Dana Wishnick’s first priority was setting up the phone system to forward calls to staffers working from home: “We have about 20% of our community that doesn’t have access to computers or internet connections, and we really wanted to be able to serve them during this time.” To let users know that staffers were … Continue reading Bookend: Remote and Ready




Summer Reading Switcheroos

May 4, 2020

The answer for most: online programming, such as virtual storytimes, science experiments, and small-scale cooking demonstrations. “Our plan is to do a pretty strong and regular slate of virtual programming put out on Facebook,” says Luke Bentley, assistant director at Guernsey County (Ohio) Public Library (GCPL). While that will feel very different from last year’s … Continue reading Summer Reading Switcheroos


The Silent Book Club at Newport (R.I.) Public Library offers teens a space for quiet reading after school. Photo: Newport (R.I.) Public Library

The Sound of Silence

May 1, 2020

“Our Silent Book Club has been a surprising success—surprising because if someone had told me a year ago that relaxing on comfortable beanbags and reading whatever books we want to read qualifies as an actual program, I would have yeeted that person straight out of the library,” says Wolfskehl, using the popular slang term for … Continue reading The Sound of Silence