Howard County (Md.) Library System’s Longest Table 2019, held at Howard Community College on September 21, drew 231 guests. (Photo: Geoffrey S. Baker/Howard County Library System)

Tables of Content

January 2, 2020

The origins of these events can be traced back to communal meals such as the World’s Longest Lunch, held annually across Australia. In 2015 the first Longest Table meal served 400 people along a two-block stretch of downtown Tallahassee, Florida. That inaugural evening was organized by city and county leaders, local nonprofit The Village Square, … Continue reading Tables of Content


2020 calendar

2020 Voting and Census Timeline

December 2, 2019

Voter registration: Many states have deadlines to register to vote or update a voter registration (for example, if a previously registered voter has moved, changed their name, or regained eligibility to vote). To vote in a state’s primary or caucus, these deadlines are generally one month before. To vote in the 2020 general elections, these … Continue reading 2020 Voting and Census Timeline



llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote


Nebraska City (Neb.) Mayor Bryan Bequette (left) and his wife and daughter celebrate after solving a puzzle in the Morton-James Public Library’s escape room.

Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders

November 1, 2019

At Manitowoc (Wis.) Public Library (MPL), which hosts a free carnival every August, local representatives such as the mayor and aldermen hop into a dunk tank or serve as targets for the water-balloon catapult. Julia Lee, youth services manager at MPL, says getting local celebrities in the dunk tank helps break down barriers between residents … Continue reading Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Contract Concerns

November 1, 2019

The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association’s Library Worklife site states: “Union contracts often provide for fair and flexible working hours, better pay for overtime and work on evenings and weekends, more paid holidays, paid family and medical leave, and employer help with child care and elder care.” These conditions are undoubtedly important. But when talking … Continue reading Contract Concerns




Chicago Public Library STEAM Team First Assistant Librarian Alejandra Santana (left) reads to storytime attendees at Bubbleland laundromat.Photo: Chicago Public Library

Front-Loading Literacy

May 1, 2019

That’s why, in 1989, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Children’s Librarian Elizabeth McChesney (now CPL’s director of children’s services and family engagement) visited a local laundromat to introduce herself to families. How she responded to what she saw there would help change the landscape of children’s literacy initiatives for decades to come. “What I saw was … Continue reading Front-Loading Literacy


Youth Matters

Outside-the-Box Outreach

November 1, 2018

Your youth services staffers may already be doing this outreach. For instance, your library might bring storytimes to local day cares or crafts to after-school programs. But what about reaching the adults in your community as a means of reaching the kids? This outside-the-box approach to youth services outreach can reap results beyond what you … Continue reading Outside-the-Box Outreach


Mobile food programs, like this one at Camden County (N.J.) Library System, are teaching food literacy and delivering nutritious meals in food deserts. Photo: Camden County (N.J.) Library System

A Movable Feast

September 4, 2018

“The city of Camden has only one grocery store, and most city residents rely on small stores and bodegas for food,” says Devlin. “These stores have a more limited supply of healthy food, which limits meal planning.” Inspired by a visit to the nearby Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Devlin decided … Continue reading A Movable Feast


Staff members of Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library assist seniors at a YMCA DigiLit class designed to help bridge the digital knowledge divide.Photo: Everett Blackmon

Allied Against Inequity

September 4, 2018

In San Antonio, residents of affluent neighborhoods are four times more likely to have broadband access than residents of low-income neighborhoods. “There’s definitely a need in the community,” says Candelaria Mendoza, library services administrator at San Antonio Public Library (SAPL). “We understand it’s not just about having the internet but having internet that’s fast enough … Continue reading Allied Against Inequity