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


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Is “Fit” a Bad Fit?

June 3, 2019

A major issue with hiring for cultural fit is the potential to stifle diversity. We are all influenced by cognitive biases, the shortcuts our brains are programmed to take to help us make decisions. Those biases often lead us to value and want to be around people who are more like us. Whether that means … Continue reading Is “Fit” a Bad Fit?


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Become Future Ready

March 1, 2019

Transforming Libraries: A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers, by Ron Starker, begins with the premise that libraries are at a tipping point in the evolutionary process, from being book warehouses to serving as centers for collaboration and learning. Starker analyzes issues that are changing libraries, including their historical context, the specific challenges each faces, … Continue reading Become Future Ready



Author, marketer, and consultant Kari Chapin addresses Public Library Association conference attendees in Philadelphia, March 21, 2018.

Prioritizing Possibilities

March 21, 2018

“These permission slips are for you to really think about what you want for yourself,” the bestselling author, marketer, and consultant told a morning crowd at the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia on March 21, turning attention to notecards placed on the chairs. “You are all grown people making your own choices,” she said. … Continue reading Prioritizing Possibilities


Catherine Soehner (left) and Ann Darling pose with their book Effective Difficult Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide (ALA Editions, 2017).

A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling

March 21, 2018

What made you want to write about this topic? We wanted to write it because we were both terrible at having difficult conversations. Catherine’s initial attempts led to people being angry and defensive. Or she chose to ignore problems, which made these situations worse. Ann had conversations but failed to address the real issues, so … Continue reading A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling


We’ve All Been There

March 1, 2018

The situation can be managed in a compassionate and direct manner to create an effective conversation and a working solution. To begin, we must define the difficult conversation. What is a difficult conversation? For a conflict-avoidant person, it is any conversation that produces anxiety, that worries you, or that you have put off, and in … Continue reading We’ve All Been There


Joseph Janes

Leadership and Vision

January 2, 2018

We all know that the best libraries are the ones that have the strongest connections with their constituents and make all members of their community feel that they belong and are welcome and represented. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, however. It’s not unusual to be screamed at during a community meeting, or to be … Continue reading Leadership and Vision



In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Less Is Not More

November 1, 2017

When I was in library school 14 years ago, I didn’t hear anything about workload, emotional labor, self-care, or burnout. What I did hear a lot about was how librarians are creative, resilient, and good at doing more with less. My first job as a librarian was at a small library where we were constantly … Continue reading Less Is Not More


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

The Librarian as Educational Leader

September 1, 2017

In conjunction with its November 2017 biennial conference in Phoenix, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will be issuing the updated National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. These are evolutionary standards that build on philosophical foundations and familiar elements of previous standards and the streamlined AASL Standards Integrated Frameworks. … Continue reading The Librarian as Educational Leader


Catherine Murray-Rust

Radical Restructuring

September 1, 2017

At Georgia Tech, we knew that using words to explain and defend would not accurately demonstrate the impact we have on inspiring and accelerating the intellectual achievements of faculty and students. So we set out on a library renewal project. When we started four years ago, the project largely centered on building renovations. Over time … Continue reading Radical Restructuring