Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. --Neil Gaiman

Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet

December 19, 2017

Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay “Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library” (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here … Continue reading Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet


Choose Privacy Week is May 1–7, 2017.Illustration: Valery Brozhinsky/Adobe Stock

By the Numbers: Privacy

May 1, 2017

1–7 Dates in May that Choose Privacy Week is annually observed. 1939 Year that the American Library Association adopted its Bill of Rights, which affirms a commitment to privacy in its first iteration. 48 Number of US states (plus the District of Columbia) that protect the confidentiality of library users’ records by law. The remaining … Continue reading By the Numbers: Privacy


Connecticut Four Reunite Against FBI Overreach

September 28, 2016

In 2005, an original section of the Patriot Act allowed the FBI to compel anyone they presented with a National Security Letter (NSL) to hand over detailed personal information, including library borrowing and internet search records, about any individual being investigated. The law also allowed the FBI to accompany NSLs with gag orders forbidding their recipients from disclosing that … Continue reading Connecticut Four Reunite Against FBI Overreach