Richard Kong, director of Skokie (Ill.) Public Library

New Library Leaders: Lessons Learned

March 26, 2018

Alcantara-Antoine—who at first didn’t pursue director-level leadership because she thought she was too shy and “didn’t see many directors who looked like [her]”—was one of four panelists sharing candid experiences and advice at the Public Library Association Conference’s “Wonderful World of Being a First-Time Director” session on March 22. Panelists included current first-time directors at … Continue reading New Library Leaders: Lessons Learned



Lisa Shaw (left) and Elizabeth Iaukea present “Libraries Strengthening the Talent Pipeline,” a March 23 session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia.

Careers over Jobs

March 26, 2018

“The skills for filling out a résumé and application become obsolete once someone gets a job,” said Levandowski, paraphrasing a quote she had read from Elisabeth Sanders-Park, author and president of WorkNet Solutions, a career consulting firm. “Helping a job seeker isn’t the end,” she said. “Workforce development can get people on a career path … Continue reading Careers over Jobs


Elizabeth Sargent (left), associate director of customer experience at Houston Public Library, speaks about her experience using the WIC center at Stimley-Blue Ridge.

WIC, Wellness, and Libraries

March 26, 2018

Staff members of Houston Public Library (HPL) discusses the WIC food and nutrition center in one of their branches in the session “What Having a WIC Center in Your Library Brings (Besides Crying Babies)” on March 22. Drew Alvey, manager of HPL’s Stimley-Blue Ridge branch, spoke of the WIC center project consisting of three overlapping … Continue reading WIC, Wellness, and Libraries


Participants in the “Reflecting Community: The Importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Library Staffing” workshop share best practices for incorporating EDI principles into library policy.

Staffing for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

March 23, 2018

Public libraries are challenging themselves to provide relevant and necessary services to their ever-changing communities, and it is increasingly important for library staff to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. So, inspired by a 2016 report by the American Library Association (ALA) Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, a group of five … Continue reading Staffing for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Cindy Thornley, director of the Horry County (S.C.) Memorial Library, talked about library road trips at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Find Your Sister Library

March 23, 2018

The book in question was on heart health, and it helped a patron reclaim his life—so much so that he wanted to make a sizable donation to the Alexandria Library that would establish a travel fund for librarians. “I did not think it would happen,” said Thornley, who previously worked at Alexandria Library. “We didn’t … Continue reading Find Your Sister Library


Author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks at the Big Ideas session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Rethinking Relaxation

March 23, 2018

“Priorities, boundaries, mysticism,” said Gilbert. “This is the path I’m taking.” Gilbert, whose partner Rayya Elias died this year after a two-year battle with cancer, recounted how a deliberate approach to Elias’s illness and embracing the trauma helped her reframe what she wanted from her life. “It was extraordinary how galvanizing it was,” she said. … Continue reading Rethinking Relaxation


Opening Session speaker Sally Yates addresses attendees at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 21, 2018.

Objective Truth Will Save Democracy

March 22, 2018

Yates, former deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama administration and former acting attorney general, is perhaps best known for refusing to defend President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries and her testimony before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about Russian interference in the 2016 … Continue reading Objective Truth Will Save Democracy


Author, marketer, and consultant Kari Chapin addresses Public Library Association conference attendees in Philadelphia, March 21, 2018.

Prioritizing Possibilities

March 21, 2018

“These permission slips are for you to really think about what you want for yourself,” the bestselling author, marketer, and consultant told a morning crowd at the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia on March 21, turning attention to notecards placed on the chairs. “You are all grown people making your own choices,” she said. … Continue reading Prioritizing Possibilities


Panelists at “A Social Worker Walks into a Library,” a preconference of the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 20 (from left): Leah Esguerra, Patrick Lloyd, Elissa Hardy, and Jean Badalamenti.

A Social Worker Walks into a Library

March 21, 2018

These were some of the tough questions tackled by embedded social workers at “A Social Worker Walks into a Library,” a preconference of the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 20. The session explored different models and approaches for administering social services, and how social work programs at public libraries began and evolved. … Continue reading A Social Worker Walks into a Library