Drew Alvey (in red shirt), manager of Houston Public Library's Stimley–Blue Ridge branch, models interactive play for families. Photo: Houston Public Library

Bringing Libraries to WIC

June 1, 2018

It’s a question that Marisa Conner, manager of youth and family engagement at Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL), says her staffers are often asked when doing outreach at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) centers. She explains: Many WIC clients, particularly those originally from other countries, aren’t sure what a library is or whether it … Continue reading Bringing Libraries to WIC


Learning Spanish First

May 1, 2018

In California, more than 565,000 Spanish-speaking adults cannot read or write in any language, according to the 2010–2012 American Community Survey. This affects their ability to learn English, to support their children’s education, and to advance in the workplace. It often leaves them feeling vulnerable and isolated. In 2015, the James Irvine Foundation funded an … Continue reading Learning Spanish First


Congregating in the Kitchen

February 10, 2018

As the session’s attendees engaged in conversation and shared what they learned about their table-mates, the point of the exercise emerged: Talking about food and cooking food together allows people to learn about each other. Liz Fitzgerald, the administrator of the Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center, expanded on the idea that culinary literacy … Continue reading Congregating in the Kitchen


Dolly Parton

Newsmaker: Dolly Parton

January 2, 2018

There are so many ways to promote reading and literacy. How did you decide to set up Imagination Library this way so that children get free books in the mail that they can keep? It started out with a simple dream, and a very personal one, 22 years ago. My father was a brilliant man, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Dolly Parton


The Social Component

June 27, 2017

Lytle presented new research that suggests there is no evidence of learning from screens for kids at an early age. This is true of infants as well as older toddlers. “If you want more robust learning, you have to have that social component,” she said. She also presented research on video chats such as Skype … Continue reading The Social Component


Claudia Haines and Cen Campbell

Discussing Media Mentorship

November 15, 2016

Haines is a youth services librarian and media mentor at Homer (Alaska) Public Library, and Campbell is a children’s librarian, author, and founder of LittleeLit.com. An excerpt from their book was published in the November/December issue of American Libraries. What made you want to write this book? Haines and Campbell: Over the past few years there has been a … Continue reading Discussing Media Mentorship


Becoming a Media Mentor

Becoming a Media Mentor

November 1, 2016

Librarians and youth services staff members are already experienced and qualified mentors, but the real question is: Will librarians continue to be the trusted source for media and literacy needs in all their forms? For media mentors, the answer is yes. In order for individual youth services staffers to successfully take on the role of … Continue reading Becoming a Media Mentor


Jody Gray

11 Questions with Jody Gray

November 13, 2015

Gray is no stranger to the issues of diversity and inclusion. Before joining the Association, she was diversity outreach librarian at University of Minnesota Libraries, where she helped bolster dialogue using training and curriculum, and facilitated staff development workshops. Gray is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and has a bachelor’s in … Continue reading 11 Questions with Jody Gray


Abby Johnson

A Place for Play

September 10, 2015

There is a wide range of possibilities, no matter what your budget may be. An amazing play space can make your library a destination for young patrons, as it has at the Barrington Area (Ill.) Library (BAL), where open-ended activities engage a variety of age groups and encourage adult-child interaction. BAL’s activities and spaces in … Continue reading A Place for Play



Ernie Cox

Knowing What Readers Need

May 12, 2014

The era of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in American education carries both promise and peril. Pundits readily discuss varied perspectives about CCSS in everything from traditional journals to social media. While it is vital for school librarians to participate in this discussion, many are realizing how important it is to work with fellow educators … Continue reading Knowing What Readers Need


Author Ishmael Beah

Newsmaker: Ishmael Beah

January 14, 2014

Why did you decide to write a memoir about your childhood experiences in Sierra Leone? ISHMAEL BEAH: It came out of several frustrations about the lack of knowledge about the use of children in war and also the way my country was only presented as a place of violence. I wanted to put a human … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ishmael Beah