Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library converted a former junk room into a private telehealth space with its own outdoor entrance. Photo: Pottsboro (Tex.) Area Library

Healthy Distance

May 3, 2021

The pandemic has thrown digital disparities into sharp relief. Between Zoom classrooms, working from home, and costly data plans, even people with reliable online access can be stretched thin. Now, as virtual doctor visits have become more common, inequitable online access has become a public health issue, too. Pam DeGuzman, associate professor for the Department … Continue reading Healthy Distance


A health care worker from Schenectady County (N.Y.) Public Health Services (right) wheels in the vaccine while David Bradley (left), a member of Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library (SCPL) and spouse of SCPL Director Karen Bradley, checks in vaccine recipients. Photo: Karen Bradley

A Shot in the Arm

May 3, 2021

“Now, we’re getting these big commercial vehicles—these long tractor-trailer things that pull in here,” says Bradley. “It’s quite the image.” In 2020, many libraries proved essential to their counties’ coronavirus pandemic response by acting as testing sites, manufacturers of 3D-printed personal protective equipment, and donation centers for food pantries. In 2021, some are once again … Continue reading A Shot in the Arm


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Hurting Thing

May 3, 2021

Usually the calls were about the kids who frequented the library—which ones had graduated, who was off to college or the military, and sometimes, sadly, who had been shot or killed, or gone to jail. One call still haunts me: A teenage boy I knew well was facing serious time in a juvenile detention center. … Continue reading A Hurting Thing


Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


A wooden kamishibai box, which contains illustrated cards ((Photo: Geo1208)

Think Inside the Box

March 1, 2021

Clack, clack! Siskind hits the sticks together, sets them down, and opens the flaps on the front of the box to create a small stage showing the illustrated cover of that day’s kamishibai storytime. Kamishibai, or “paper theater,” is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan in the late 1920s. Storytellers would ride into … Continue reading Think Inside the Box


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Revolutions Where We Stand

March 1, 2021

Those words seem especially prescient now as we look across the country at the libraries that have struggled most during this period of widespread library defunding and service reductions. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, there has long been an unmistakable correlation between communities that navigate high rates of poverty and those that … Continue reading Revolutions Where We Stand


The Masterpiece Book Club at Chicago Public Library’s Vodak–East Side branch hosted a Miss Fisher–themed holiday party in 2015. Photo: Nancy Devlin

Tales as Old as Time

January 4, 2021

For every meeting, Czulno would dress up as a character from books the club was reading and shows it was watching. For instance, when the group read the stories of G. K. Chesterton, she wore the black cape, hat, and glasses of Father Brown, the character who lent his name to the Masterpiece show. “It wasn’t just … Continue reading Tales as Old as Time


Images from Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s 2021 Wild and Weird fundraiser calendar, featuring library workers and adoptable cats

Raising Money for a Good Claws

December 30, 2020

Created as a fundraiser with the help of local animal adoption agencies, Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s (MPLS) limited-edition 2021 calendar features librarians posing with adoptable cats. Thus was born our 2021 Wild and Weird calendar. Each month features library workers from MPLS—all fully clothed, of course!—alongside an adoptable cat, including Cadillac Frank (a gray … Continue reading Raising Money for a Good Claws



Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories