Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon Announced as National Library Week Honorary Chair

January 20, 2022

Molly Shannon, multiple Emmy-nominated and Spirit Award–winning actress and comedian will help celebrate our nation’s libraries as the honorary chair of National Library Week. Shannon will highlight the ways libraries serve to connect communities to books, resources, programs, and each other. Shannon said she is “honored” to serve as honorary chair. “My mom was a … Continue reading Molly Shannon Announced as National Library Week Honorary Chair


Illustration of a library building with small business owners (lawn care, baker, contractor) inside and outside (Illustration: Gaby FeBland)

Big Ideas for Small Business

November 1, 2021

In fact, the number of minority-owned small businesses that reported trying and failing to get a loan to help with the pandemic was 60% greater than nonminority-owned small businesses, according to an August 2020 study by the US Chamber of Commerce and MetLife. Additionally, minority-owned small businesses were almost 10% more likely to report that … Continue reading Big Ideas for Small Business


Foodlink Community Café in Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library’s Central Library provides culinary training and work experience for people who have faced barriers to employment. Photo: Foodlink

Cafés with a Conscience

November 1, 2021

“We talked about how we could make things better in our neighborhood,” says Patricia Uttaro, director of RPL and Monroe County Library System. “We have been doing a lot of work with our library on social justice and conversations on race. We wanted to find a solution there.” RPL collaborated with Foodlink, a local nonprofit … Continue reading Cafés with a Conscience


Silhouette of mosque on gold background (Illustration: green2/AdobeStock)

Understanding the Other

September 1, 2021

Ghada Kanafini Elturk, a Lebanese American who was then working as community and cultural outreach librarian at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library, described the hostility against Muslims and Arab Americans in the months after the attacks. “Those Americans who are not familiar with my culture do not show respect,” she told American Libraries reporter Ron Chepesiuk … Continue reading Understanding the Other


An ad used by Multnomah County (Ore.) Library to promote its Library Music Project.

Stream On

September 1, 2021

“Portland and Multnomah County really treasure their music and libraries, so it was a natural fit,” says Shawn Cunningham, director of communications and strategic initiatives at MCL, about the Library Music Project, which offers more than 250 locally produced albums to stream or download. The service also provided MCL with a gateway into the local … Continue reading Stream On


Getting Back into the Community

June 26, 2021

“[During the pandemic], the definition of outreach was put to the test,” Zimmerman said. She detailed the ways in which libraries across the country pivoted in their outreach and service methods: offering contactless deliveries and curbside services, repurposing outreach vans to become delivery vehicles and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, making phone calls to connect with seniors … Continue reading Getting Back into the Community


Gracey Gordon, Liz M. McChesney, Vicky Perez, Aldo Vasquez

Priming the STEM Pipeline

June 25, 2021

The STEM career pipeline is “leaky,” often leaving behind students of color and those in poverty. For this reason, the Urban Libraries Council—with funding from IMLS—launched Partners for Middle School STEM in 2018. This grant funded programs at 11 libraries to develop models for building strong STEM community partnerships for middle school children. Durham County … Continue reading Priming the STEM Pipeline


Group of seniors pose together after a library activity

Aging Masterfully

June 1, 2021

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Liberty Lake (Wash.) Municipal Library (LLML) offered many programs and services for older adults, including a book club, board game events, take-home watercolor art kits, and a “right-sizing” class geared toward helping them transition to smaller homes. The library’s programs and clubs gave “older adults and seniors a place to socialize” … Continue reading Aging Masterfully


Old-School Outreach

June 1, 2021

“The pandemic has highlighted the barriers to access that many people have regarding technology and reliable internet,” says Kathleen Montgomery, outreach manager at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). “It’s our mission to address these inequities.” To do so, libraries across the US have implemented creative concepts and partnerships that embrace analog technologies and platforms. … Continue reading Old-School Outreach


Two toddlers and an adult play with Everbright, an interactive light wall with many multicolored round dials. The smallest child faces the camera smiling.

Low-Vision Accessibility

June 1, 2021

Everbright User: Kate Simpson, Central Library children’s department manager at San Antonio Public Library What is Everbright? Everbright is an interactive light wall. It has knobs all over, and each knob changes color as you turn it. You can create images or patterns by setting the dials to various color shades, and you can program … Continue reading Low-Vision Accessibility



Photo: ©Marcos/Adobe Stock

Serving the Community at All Times

May 3, 2021

DPL’s Cultural Inclusivity Department is tasked with developing programs that help connect the library with its immigrant community. The department’s mission is to “collaborat[e] with Denver’s multicultural community to create equitable opportunities for learning, discovery, and connection.” This is done through Plaza and other intentional multicultural programming. DPL’s Plaza program has existed for more than … Continue reading Serving the Community at All Times