By the Numbers: Bookmobiles

March 1, 2018

11 Date in April that National Bookmobile Day—part of National Library Week—will be celebrated. 2010 Year that National Bookmobile Day was first observed by the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), Association for Rural and Small Libraries, and American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. 1905 Year that the first bookmobile … Continue reading By the Numbers: Bookmobiles



2016 Moving Trans History Forward conference. Photo: Courtesy of University of Victoria Office of the Chair in Transgender Studies

An Archive for All

January 2, 2018

University of Victoria (B.C.) Libraries is home to the largest physical collection of transgender-related material worldwide. Lara Wilson, university archivist and director of special collections, explains how the Transgender Archives has evolved from cataloged items to community outreach in its seven years. RSI was established in Chicago and open from 2001 to 2004. Its collection … Continue reading An Archive for All


Bookmobiles on display at the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services conference in Pittsburgh, October 25–27, 2017.

Library Outreach Services: Bridging the Gap

November 3, 2017

ABOS President Ann Plazek opened the conference by reading a proclamation from Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto declaring October 25 as Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services Day. Opening speakers included Mary Frances Cooper, director, and Holly McCullough, assistant director of programs and partnerships, at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. They spoke about the lasting legacy of … Continue reading Library Outreach Services: Bridging the Gap


A team returns a restored mural to the wall in Boston Public Library’s Bates Hall.

Saving Our Murals

November 1, 2017

It’s one of three murals in the library’s entryway, painted by artist John Theodore Jacobsen when the art deco building opened in 1934. Jacobsen was also a preeminent architect, helping lay the groundwork for Pacific Northwest modernism. But the mural was almost lost forever to water damage following a storm that hit the library during … Continue reading Saving Our Murals


Pedal Power

September 1, 2017

Haley Tricycles Book Bikes Haley Tricycles has been building book bikes for libraries and literacy organizations since 2008, when the company designed the bike for Gabriel Levinson’s Chicago Book Bike project, arguably the first modern book bike. The Haley Book Bike is based on a display bike format: It has two fold-out side tables with … Continue reading Pedal Power


Radio host Tom Joyner addresses the crowd at the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians in Atlanta on August 10.

NCAAL Opens in Atlanta

August 11, 2017

After listening to opening remarks from BCALA President Denyvetta Davis and an invocation from Reverend Lorraine Jacques White, attendees rose to participate in an a capella performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the “Negro National Anthem.” The lyrics urged listeners to “march on till victory is won,” and this line in … Continue reading NCAAL Opens in Atlanta


The library circulation desk at Oliver McCracken Middle School in Skokie, Illinois, offers “No Room for Hate” pins assembled by the Social Justice Club that demonstrate a wearer’s pledge to stand up against injustice.

Messages of Inclusion

May 1, 2017

“Libraries were suddenly in the middle of everything,” Gray says. Libraries have long offered their patrons inclusive, safe places to go, she says, but increasingly “they were doing it in crisis.” Nationally, librarians looked to ALA for leadership. When Gray received calls from people seeking advice on how to deal with trauma and discrimination, she … Continue reading Messages of Inclusion



Claudia Alstrom, president of the Adult Library Garden Club at Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library's Rancho Cordova branch, teaches children about vegetables in the Read and Feed garden. Photo: Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library

Library to Farm to Table

November 1, 2016

For some libraries serving vulnerable populations, food-producing gardens and nutrition initiatives are born out of necessity. Others have launched programs to advance the causes of sustainability and education. When David Mixdorf was named director of the South Sioux City (Neb.) Public Library in 2009, he was well positioned to establish the library’s first community garden. … Continue reading Library to Farm to Table


Bookmobiles from Ohio and Kentucky were available for attendees to tour at the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services Conference, October 19-21, in Covington, Kentucky.

Bookmobiles and Building Community

October 27, 2016

The conference kicked off October 19 with a welcome from ABOS President Marianne Thompson, Covington Mayor Sherry Carran, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Director Kim Fender and Manager of Outreach Services Drew Pearson, Kenton County (Ky.) Public Library Director Dave Schroeder, and Covington Branch Manager Julia Allegrini, all of whom connected the area’s … Continue reading Bookmobiles and Building Community


Jacquie Welsh, Leo Hayden, and Susan Woodwick

Preparing Inmates for Life After Prison

June 27, 2016

Jacquie Welsh was looking to undertake a project during her two-year residency at Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), so she asked herself the question: “How can we innovate to make our libraries more accessible and more just?” What resulted was Pathways, a program designed to provide resources to those reentering the community after prison.