KayCee Choi (standing at left) and Alicia Deal (standing at right), librarians at Dallas Public Library, present at "Deaf Culture: A Strategy for Inclusive Deaf Community Engagement,” a June 26 session at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by Rebecca Lomax for American Libraries.

Deaf Is a Culture

June 26, 2022

“After joining ALA, I saw a lot of changes,” said Hagemeyer, who now leads Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. While services and outreach to Deaf people have improved over the last 50 years, libraries could be doing more in this area. That was the takeaway … Continue reading Deaf Is a Culture


Tina Chenoweth, interim manager of the Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL) Bees Ferry West Ashley branch, speaks at “Animal Crossing’s Enduring Success: Building Community Relationships Through Collaborative Online Gaming,” a session held June 26 at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

An Island of Community

June 26, 2022

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a collaborative, cozy, social simulation video game for the Nintendo Switch where players create their own characters and design their own island. In addition to the upkeep of owning an island, players can visit each other’s islands, trade in-game items, and help one another complete tasks. The video game was … Continue reading An Island of Community


A photo of Jennifer Johnson, the author of June's Youth Matters column

In Training

June 1, 2022

That short exchange planted a seed in my mind: Could public libraries find ways to give kids hands-on library experience in a real-life work environment? If we are to foster learning in innovative ways, shouldn’t we offer opportunities for children who have an interest in libraries? Is this feasible on a library-wide scale? It turned … Continue reading In Training


A Career Path for Youth

May 2, 2022

An October 2021 webinar convened by the Public Library Association (PLA) and members of LibsWork, a national networking group focused on workforce and small business development, explored the ways in which libraries can support young people as they enter the workforce amid these ongoing challenges. Librarians and workforce development professionals shared how such programs are … Continue reading A Career Path for Youth


A toddler at Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library (AHML) enjoys tummy time while playing with Peek-a-Boo Mirror, a sensory toy in AHML’s collection.

A Sense of Support

May 2, 2022

That experience more than 13 years ago inspired her to start BTPL’s Youth Accessibility Support Collection, a set of items designed to meet the needs of children with various types of disabilities and learning needs. Since 2009, families have been borrowing from the collection, which includes adaptive toys, sensory storytime boxes, speech therapy cards, and skills … Continue reading A Sense of Support


Pad with Free Pads 4 All written on it

Period. End of Story.

May 2, 2022

“The products are important, and normalizing the conversation is important,” says Eiko La Boria, founder and CEO of The Flow Initiative, a New Jersey–based organization devoted to stamping out social, cultural, and economic inequities associated with “period poverty.” She says libraries are a natural partner for her organization’s outreach: “I wanted to implement greater access, … Continue reading Period. End of Story.


Antiracist storytime

Antiracist Storytimes

May 2, 2022

“It was just joyful,” says Jessica Ralli, coordinator of early literacy programs at BPL. “It was a very diverse crowd and majority nonwhite.” About 75 families attended the event, which was minimally marketed because of concerns about gatherings amid the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. “The content was timely,” says Ralli, “and … Continue reading Antiracist Storytimes


Patron Xander Dianen returns a wagon to Summers County (W.Va.) Public Library.

An Uphill Battle

May 2, 2022

At the core of library work are stories. We listen to our patrons’ stories when we perform a reference interview, readers’ advisory, or a community needs assessment. We interpret these stories to supply our users with the best information and resources to fit their situation. Often, this is simple, but other times this requires close … Continue reading An Uphill Battle


Meeting Every Maker

May 2, 2022

Acknowledging that gap, our research team set out to explore the accessibility of public library makerspaces. We did this through focus groups with disability advocates and stakeholders, with grant support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Every makerspace is different, we learned, but there were some common themes in our discussions with participants. … Continue reading Meeting Every Maker


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Diving into Diversity

May 2, 2022

  Public Libraries and Their Communities By Kay Ann Cassell Before a library can offer services and build collections for diverse patrons, it is important that it understands the makeup of its community. Cassell offers an introductory look at the basics of running a public library and speaks to how staffers can directly connect to … Continue reading Diving into Diversity


Kal Penn

Finding Ourselves

March 26, 2022

“You should be proud of the results,” she told the PLA board, conference committee, and staff who created a safe and stimulating atmosphere in Portland, Oregon, and a seamless experience for the more than 1,000 people who participated virtually. “It’s so amazing to see this Closing Session so full!” Huggins thanked attendees for their thoughtful … Continue reading Finding Ourselves


Patty Wong

Challenging Times

March 26, 2022

“The freedom to read and the fight against book bans is something we’re all thinking about a lot these days,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong in her opening remarks at the March 24 Big Ideas session. She reported that book challenges had more than doubled from 2020 to 2021. But … Continue reading Challenging Times