Taming the Wild Web

May 2, 2022

Whether or not a library wants a specific element on its site may be irrelevant; the web design and user experience fields are now based on the science of usability, not subjective judgments. Back in the early days of the web, a fair amount of design work happened in a vacuum, lacking real guidelines and … Continue reading Taming the Wild Web



Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

A Model for Privacy?

March 1, 2022

In general, there are four approaches that libraries can take in relation to patron privacy. As library leaders consider implementing new tools for improving user outreach, they need to consider which model best suits their mission and strategic initiatives: Strict privacy. At one end of the spectrum, the library configures its integrated library system (ILS) … Continue reading A Model for Privacy?


Librarian's Library by Araceli Mendez Hintermeister

Harbingers of Harmony

March 1, 2022

Library Next: Seven Action Steps for Reinvention By Catherine Murray-Rust The pandemic has presented libraries with unusual challenges, creating an atmosphere in which change comes quickly and often. Library Next offers takeaways and activities you can adapt to your work style and organizational culture while navigating new developments in the profession. A self-proclaimed library disrupter, … Continue reading Harbingers of Harmony


On My Mind with Rachel Ivy Clarke

Work Made Visible

January 3, 2022

Invisible labor is a concept from feminist scholarship that aims to bring attention to underpaid, unrecognized, and undervalued work, often performed by women. Household work is an example, but the term also applies to some intellectual work, like that performed in libraries. When a job is done well—a program goes off without a hitch, for … Continue reading Work Made Visible


Ways to Connect

January 3, 2022

Most libraries use one or more library engagement platforms—such as newsletters, mobile apps, or reservation systems—for communications like notifying customers about upcoming events or inviting them to browse materials and check something out. These interactions are touchpoints where the library and customer connect, not unlike a physical reference or circulation desk. Let’s consider how libraries … Continue reading Ways to Connect


Photo of On My Mind author Carolyn Schubert

Building a Better Tomorrow

November 1, 2021

Personally, I’ve observed an increase in conversations among librarians on social media about leaving the profession, which seems in line with broader trends. More people are considering changing jobs—as many as 66% of US workers, according to a study by Personal Capital and Harris Poll published in August. Others are retiring altogether; in May, The … Continue reading Building a Better Tomorrow


Watercolor image of a Black woman's face surrounded by swirls of color (Photo illustration: ©Victor Tongdee/Adobe Stock)

The Weight We Carry

November 2, 2020

Although stereotypes about cold, harsh, robotic librarians persist, those of us who work with the public must display emotional intelligence for our patrons’ sakes—and our own. Emotional labor Vicarious traumatization (VT) occurs when we work with patrons whose traumatic stories transfer onto us. We may not realize that transference has happened. Subtly and gradually, it … Continue reading The Weight We Carry



Illustration: Kwun Yee/Adobe Stock

Can You Hear Me Now?

September 1, 2020

Castro is one of many library leaders who found themselves managing their teams remotely because of the pandemic, developing new approaches to meet unprecedented challenges and continue providing vital services to the community. The insights these managers developed are valuable for those still perfecting their remote management style—or planning for a work-from-home future. Supportive management … Continue reading Can You Hear Me Now?


Sustainability in Libraries by By Terence O’Neill, Stephanie C. Perentesis, and Eric Tans

Paint It Green

April 30, 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. The Sustainability Canvas is adapted from the Business Model Canvas (BMC), the one-sheet graphic organizer found in Alexander Osterwalder … Continue reading Paint It Green