Valerie Wagley, counselor at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia, reads to kids at a bookmobile stop in summer 2020. Photo: Kelli Wood

The Road to Normal

March 1, 2021

“Would it be crazy if we packed our cars with books and drove them around?” Parrish remembers proposing. They put out word of their plan to give away books, and soon teachers, churches, school libraries, families, and even the local YMCA were donating books for the effort. Goochland County government loaned them a van. And … Continue reading The Road to Normal


Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


Portrait of On My Mind author Lesley Garrett

Bookmobiles for Justice

March 1, 2021

During my time as an organizer apprentice with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, our chapter led a successful campaign in partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Kentucky Fairness and ACLU of Kentucky to pass a 2018 civil rights ordinance in the city of Paducah that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. … Continue reading Bookmobiles for Justice


ABOS Treasurer Brooke Bahnsen (left) and ABOS Secretary Lori Berezovsky prep swag bags to mail to the first 250 registered attendees of the virtual conference.

ABOS Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Virtual Conference

October 22, 2020

Cathy Zimmerman, ABOS president and bookmobile associate at Scott County (Iowa) Library System, kicked off the event by noting 2020’s many challenges. “I have said many times over the course of this year how immensely proud I am of the way in which outreach professionals have reacted to these difficult times. You have persevered and … Continue reading ABOS Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Virtual Conference


Advancing digital equity

Advancing Digital Equity

July 1, 2020

Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, moderated the event, joined by Betsy Fowler, director of Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library; Misty Hawkins, director of Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System; and Julie Walker, state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service. As nearly every aspect of … Continue reading Advancing Digital Equity


Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services Past-President Susan Parkins and President Cathy Zimmerman

Reimagining the Bookmobile

June 25, 2020

At “Outdoing Outreach in a Post–COVID-19 World,” a June 25 live session at ALA Virtual, two Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) board members discussed how their work has evolved in the face of coronavirus. “We woke up one morning and the entire world had changed,” said Cathy Zimmerman, ABOS president and bookmobile associate … Continue reading Reimagining the Bookmobile




Photo: Silhouette of man with backpack against sunset

Serving Homeless Patrons in the COVID-19 Shutdown

March 18, 2020

Originally published at Programming Librarian, March 17, 2020.  It may not be possible to offer in-person services for patrons experiencing homelessness during a shutdown, but libraries can help by making information more accessible. Stevie Pinkerton, a homeless man living in Denver, said he relies on bathrooms at Denver Public Library’s Central branch and the local rec … Continue reading Serving Homeless Patrons in the COVID-19 Shutdown



Special Report: 2020 Census Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Special Report: 2020 Census

March 2, 2020

What’s more, there may be confusion about this year’s count, which formally kicks off April 1. For the first time, the form can now be filled out online (as well as via mail and phone), and a hotly contested addition to the form—a citizenship question—was struck down by the US Supreme Court last summer (though … Continue reading Special Report: 2020 Census


Spanish-language census marketing materials used by Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library. Photo: Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library

Reaching the Hard to Count

March 2, 2020

“I was sent one of those letters,” says Rhonda Sewell, manager of external and governmental affairs for Toledo–Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL). “What’s at stake [in Ohio] is over $1,800 per person.” Sewell and others who joined the CCC decided that, to not lose federal funds, Toledo and Lucas County needed to hire a census … Continue reading Reaching the Hard to Count