Headshot of Ani DiFranco

Newsmaker: Ani DiFranco

March 10, 2023

DiFranco, who released a bestselling memoir in 2019, published her debut children’s book, The Knowing (Penguin Random House), in March. She describes the book as a chance for readers to look inward and not get lost in external identities and the “cultural signifiers” around them. American Libraries spoke with DiFranco during the 2023 LibLearnX conference … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ani DiFranco



Rebecca Makkai

Newsmaker: Rebecca Makkai

January 3, 2023

Your first novel, The Borrower, features a children’s librarian and a bright, book-loving 10-year-old. What are your thoughts on the current spate of book challenges in libraries? I’m always so flummoxed by the book-banning discussion because, first of all, what does someone think is going to happen when they try to ban a book? It … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rebecca Makkai


Newsmaker: Nina Totenberg

November 1, 2022

Totenberg has written a memoir, Dinners with Ruth (Simon & Schuster, September), covering her own career and the relationships that helped shape it. She spoke with American Libraries about friendship, journalism, and covering SCOTUS in unprecedented times. What made your friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg special? It was special because she was special. All my friends … Continue reading Newsmaker: Nina Totenberg



Photo of George Saunders by Zach Krahmer

Newsmaker: George Saunders

September 1, 2022

In your forthcoming collection Liberation Day, “Love Letter” is about a grandfather who writes to his grandson in an authoritarian near-future, expressing contrition and caution about the political situation and observing that people are unpersuaded by others’ beliefs. Is this a speculative tale or do you think our country is at an impasse? In “Love … Continue reading Newsmaker: George Saunders


Celeste Ng

Newsmaker: Celeste Ng

July 20, 2022

Ng, who spoke at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., talked with American Libraries about the novel, which calls to mind the not-so-distant past—and the anti–Asian American hate we are seeing today. In Our Missing Hearts, libraries are one of the last remaining sources of truth, as an underground … Continue reading Newsmaker: Celeste Ng


John Cho

Newsmaker: John Cho

July 14, 2022

Your book Troublemaker draws from your own experience. What inspired you to put those memories into a novel—especially one for young readers? I started reflecting on the ’92 riots-slash-uprisings because of the events of 2020 and the murder of George Floyd. We were stuck at home watching the news coverage of the Black Lives Matter … Continue reading Newsmaker: John Cho


Photo of author Art Spiegelman sitting with arms crossed on table

Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman

June 1, 2022

Spiegelman spoke with American Libraries about book banning, how comic books are used as teaching tools, and the importance of libraries in his life. The recent ban of Maus in Tennessee isn’t its first challenge. What did you think when you heard the news? Well, this was the most prominent. [And] this was much more, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman



Rhone Talsma

Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma

February 1, 2022

On January 26, Talsma earned a spot in Jeopardy! history when he unseated fellow contestant Amy Schneider, who had racked up a 40-game winning streak, the second highest on the iconic game show. Talsma, multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, was the most recent in an impressive line of successful library contestants that … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma


Headshot of actor, playwright, and author Harvey Fierstein

Newsmaker: Harvey Fierstein

January 3, 2022

He spoke with American Libraries about his librarian mother, what he’s learned from playwriting, and his recent $2.5 million gift to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts campus at Lincoln Center, which will fund a new laboratory space. How did your mother become a school librarian? My mother had a great love … Continue reading Newsmaker: Harvey Fierstein