Referenda Roundup 2022

Referenda Roundup 2022: Final Report

November 22, 2022

While libraries notched notable victories in 2022, some failed measures reflect broader cultural and economic shifts. One alarming trend: Organized groups of politically driven voters who oppose libraries carrying materials written by, about, and for LBGTQ people are banding together to reject levies that fund libraries—and fighting to get referenda on the ballot that defunds … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2022: Final Report


Referenda Roundup 2022

Referenda Roundup 2022: Initial Report

November 9, 2022

While libraries notched many victories in 2022, some failed measures reflect broader cultural and economic shifts. For instance, in Jamestown Township, Michigan, a levy that would provide Patmos Library with 84% of its annual budget, failed on August 2 in large part because residents opposed to LGBTQ materials in the library’s collection campaigned against the … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2022: Initial Report


When It Happens to You

November 1, 2022

“It’s important to know that this is a nationwide trend, and it’s very possible it will arrive where you are,” said Megan Cusick, assistant director of state advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at “Prepare Your Library for Today’s Censorship Battles,” a session at the2022 Public Library Association Conference in March. She recommended that … Continue reading When It Happens to You


Baa-maste!

November 1, 2022

The novel form of exercise, which was founded by Lainey Morse in 2016 with her Original Goat Yoga company and has since found loyal fans all over the country, gives new meaning to community engagement. Just ask Mary Woodward, circulation services supervisor at Bedford (Tex.) Public Library(BPL). After considering ways to rethink her library’s approach … Continue reading Baa-maste!


A sheep, a woman knitting, and knitted potholders

Close-Knit Community

November 1, 2022

Hickory (N.C.) Public Library (HPL) Community Engagement Librarian Dacy Shute was looking to host a program that would celebrate the city’s agricultural legacy as well as create connections among its maker community. In March, she launched the Sheep to Sweater program series—five sessions that showed patrons, step-by-step, where wool comes from, how it’s made, and … Continue reading Close-Knit Community


Call Number Podcast: Gale Presents Upskilling at the Public Library

October 6, 2022

On this bonus episode of Call Number, host Diana Panuncial learns more about Gale Presents: Udemy from one of its instructors, Kyle Pew. Pew is a Microsoft-certified Trainer and a certified Microsoft Office Master Instructor, and he has been teaching and consulting for 20-plus years on various computer applications. He has facilitated courses that range … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Gale Presents Upskilling at the Public Library


The Army National Guard distribute water at the Hinds Community College's Academic Technical campus during Jackson, Mississippi's ongoing water crisis.

Boiling Point

September 13, 2022

Unfortunately, Jackson has also faced more than its fair share of water crises. In late August, heavy rain caused the Pearl River, which runs through the city, to flood. Water from its largest water treatment plant, already running on backup pumps before this flood, couldn’t keep up. Many of Jackson’s libraries, businesses, and homes were … Continue reading Boiling Point


ID Made Easier

September 1, 2022

“We saw how hard it was for [residents] to get electricity, rent an apartment, open a bank account, or pick up their children from school” without them, says Damaris Gonzalez, an immigration rights organizer with the nonprofit Texas Organizing Project (TOP), which has been advocating for enhanced library cards in the state. These cards are … Continue reading ID Made Easier


John Cho

Newsmaker: John Cho

July 14, 2022

Your book Troublemaker draws from your own experience. What inspired you to put those memories into a novel—especially one for young readers? I started reflecting on the ’92 riots-slash-uprisings because of the events of 2020 and the murder of George Floyd. We were stuck at home watching the news coverage of the Black Lives Matter … Continue reading Newsmaker: John Cho


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