Sustainability in Libraries: Sally Romero

Sustainability and Academic Libraries

April 22, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. Librarians and library workers can implement sustainable ideas in their library and integrate learning-by-doing into the educational … Continue reading Sustainability and Academic Libraries


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

After the Census

March 2, 2020

“Census data is the mother of all open data sets,” says Jeffrey Lambert, assistant director of digital inclusion and workforce readiness at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library (QPL). “It’s a huge resource about people who live in the United States, and it’s accessible to anyone.” Libraries have an important part to play in accessing that data, … Continue reading After the Census


Velear Schrupp

More Than Making

January 26, 2020

To explore the roles a library can play in hosting a makerspace, Schrupp posed three questions: Why host a makerspace? Knowing how it fits into a school’s mission and objective will guide how you choose resources and what types of activities will take place. What is the focus? “There are a lot of approaches out … Continue reading More Than Making


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Connect to Connected Learning

May 1, 2019

“Library staffers still are uncertain what the [CL] framework actually encompasses and how to integrate it into library services for and with teens,” says Lance Simpson, youth services director at Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library. Simpson is a member of the project Transforming Teen Services: A Train the Trainer Approach (T3). A joint endeavor of the … Continue reading Connect to Connected Learning


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Reimagine Programming

November 1, 2018

Why libraries must expand their community role is explained in Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, by Dorothy Stoltz with Gail Griffith, James Kelly, Muffie Smith, and Lynn Wheeler. The authors explain how to build a culture in which risk-taking is encouraged and “unlearning” is developed to spur innovation. They … Continue reading Reimagine Programming


Carvey uses CNC technology to mill wood, plastic, circuit boards, and other materials.

Make It 3D

July 18, 2018

Carvey When Inventables launched Carvey in 2015, it was one of the first fully enclosed desktop computer numerical control (CNC) carvers, solving a problem many other subtractive manufacturing machines posed: They were large, noisy, and produced a lot of dust. Billed as a “3D carver,” Carvey works within many of the same design principles of … Continue reading Make It 3D


Esti Brennan (left) teaches a class in the DCPL’s central branch lab space. Photo: DCPL

Making Space for Libraries on Capitol Hill during National Library Week

April 6, 2018

To invite members of Congress and their staffers into the world of library makerspaces, the Washington Office is working with DC Public Library (DCPL) to bring its Fab Lab to Capitol Hill in an event hosted by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.Mex.) on Wednesday, April 11. Luján is a participant of the Congressional Maker Caucus, … Continue reading Making Space for Libraries on Capitol Hill during National Library Week


Community Fabric

March 1, 2018

Godinsky says her library partnered with an area quilting club to create and donate them to patrons with memory loss and other cognitive issues. By 2050, as many as 16 million Americans may be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Hadi Finerty, senior manager of education and outreach at the Joliet, Illinois, chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, … Continue reading Community Fabric


Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. --Neil Gaiman

Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet

December 19, 2017

Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay “Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library” (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here … Continue reading Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet



Top Tech Trends: Advice for Makerspaces

June 25, 2017

“Makerspaces should meet the needs of your patrons and be built around your budget and staff,” shared Radniecki.  Here are some other helpful tips she shared regarding managing makerspaces: Fees are fine. Some libraries cannot comprehend a makerspace model that charges anything, even if they are offering services that commercial services like Shapeways offer at … Continue reading Top Tech Trends: Advice for Makerspaces


Rebecca Stavick, Executive Director of Do Space,

How to Run a Tech Space

June 25, 2017

Stavick began with a focus on leadership and communication. Tech space leaders are face of the project and communication is important because it will influence staff and the community and how they feel about technology. Stavick recommended hiring for strong soft skills over high educational levels. You can always teach someone how to 3D print … Continue reading How to Run a Tech Space