Kerri Price, a Charleston County (S.C.) Teacher Librarian Cohort member in University of South Carolina's Library Scholar program, works with students in her school library, alongside her therapy dog, Bailey.

The Value of School Librarians

January 15, 2019

Library advocates across the US are fighting to prove that every student is better off with a trained librarian in their school, but budget cuts are threatening school librarian positions across most of the country. Several states in the Southeast are facing a different crisis, however—a shortage of qualified school librarians to fill empty positions. … Continue reading The Value of School Librarians


Librarians interviews for this story, clockwise from bottom left: Graham Tedesco-Blair, adult services librarian, Newark (N.Y.) Public Library; Fobazi Ettarh, undergraduate success librarian, Rutgers University–Newark in New Jersey; Chera Kowalski, assistant to the chief of staff, Free Library of Philadelphia; Nicole A. Cooke, associate professor and MS/LIS program director, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Tom Rink, instructor, library services, Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Homa Naficy, chief adult learning officer, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library; Amanda Oliver, MFA student, University of California–Riverside.

Other Duties as Assigned

January 2, 2019

As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned


Zoe McLaughlin

Getting Advice

November 1, 2018

Here are some people and resources to consider when building connections for your job search: Career centers. Your school’s career center is an obvious first stop. It can be useful to learn if the center’s staffers have certain specialties. For example, someone may be well versed in interview preparation, while another person may be better … Continue reading Getting Advice


Notable dissertations

Notable Dissertations 2018

May 1, 2018

How were these dissertations selected? Each year I locate and read the many wonderful LIS dissertations out there via university digital archives and online databases. I select dissertations that have practical implications for libraries. Next I look for a variety of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. Those most relevant to current issues and … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2018


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Learning Outside the Box

May 1, 2018

Building or renovating a library is often only cursorily covered. The Practical Handbook of Library Architecture: Creating Building Spaces That Work, by Fred Schlipf and John A. Moorman, is long overdue. Its functional predecessor, Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings, third edition, by Philip D. Leighton and David C. Weber (ALA Editions, 1999), answers many … Continue reading Learning Outside the Box


Joseph Janes

Degree or Not Degree

March 1, 2018

Let me start then by expressing profound gratitude to the members of the search committee. I know several of them—fine, clearheaded, and experienced people all—and I also know they must have done yeoman’s work. These tasks are important, time-consuming, and often with little reward other than self-satisfaction because you can’t tell anybody what’s going on. … Continue reading Degree or Not Degree


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Learning to Teach

January 2, 2018

In that first professional job, at a small library, all librarians—from the director to the systems librarian to the head of technical services—taught classes. None of us had been prepared by our coursework to teach, and no on-the-job training was provided. While my initial efforts to teach information literacy were cringeworthy at best, I learned … Continue reading Learning to Teach


Notable Dissertations 2017

May 1, 2017

The students and their topics are: April Lynne Anderson (Iowa State University in Ames) examined information literacy programs in community colleges. Laura K. Clark (Florida State University in Tallahassee) explored the motivations of caregivers who bring children to emergent literacy programs in the public library. Sarah Clark (Oklahoma State University in Stillwater) investigated the ways … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2017


Michael Oden

Best of Both Worlds

January 3, 2017

Most library internships allow for experience in one area. Choosing between a public library and an academic library meant I would learn practices and policies unique to that particular type of institution. Thankfully I did not have to make that decision. I came across an opportunity for a dual-library internship, applied, and was selected. The … Continue reading Best of Both Worlds


Notable dissertations

Notable Dissertations 2016

May 2, 2016

As all doctoral candidates know, dissertations are rites of passage that facilitate a student’s transition into independent scholar, and to earn this passage, he or she must make an original contribution to the knowledge of the field. Sadly, dissertations are often overlooked as a source of information within our profession. While the topics vary, these … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2016


ALA members attending the Annual Conference in Montreal made a side trip to McGill University, where they posed for this photo on June 9, 1900.

Things You Didn’t Know about ALA History, 1876–1900

February 11, 2016

Throughout 2016, American Libraries will be adding images to the ALA 140th anniversary Pinterest board in reverse chronological order, starting in 1876 with ALA’s founding and ending up with 2015. This blog post includes some of the imagery from the Association’s first 25 years of existence. In 1899, Melvil Dewey, a founder of ALA and … Continue reading Things You Didn’t Know about ALA History, 1876–1900


LIS Accreditation

Task Forces on LIS Accreditation Announced

October 30, 2015

The two task force charges and memberships are: Task Force on Accreditation Process and Communication CHARGE: To make recommendations to the ALA Executive Board on the following areas: External Communications, including the importance of LIS education to the profession, the academy, and the public; the celebration of the strength of LIS programs; and advocacy and … Continue reading Task Forces on LIS Accreditation Announced