Photojournalist Diana Davies documented the activism spurred by the Stonewall raids. Her photographs, along with those of Kay Tobin Lahusen, are part of New York Public Library's exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Photo courtesy of NYPL.

Collecting Pride

June 27, 2019

“Love and Resistance: Stonewall 50,” through July 13 New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwartzman Building “Many people think of Stonewall as the start of the LGBTQ activist movement,” says Jason Baumann, assistant director for collection development at NYPL and coordinator of the library’s LGBTQ initiative, who curated the exhibit. “We wanted to show how … Continue reading Collecting Pride


From left to right: Marion Rorke, Sharon Streams, Lynn Connaway

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

June 25, 2019

“Questions are being raised about what is the role of libraries in this epidemic,” said Sharon Streams, director of OCLC’s WebJunction, at the outset of “Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities,” a June 24 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. More than 130 people die … Continue reading Addressing the Opioid Epidemic


Mary Minow

Following the Letter of the Library Law

June 23, 2019

Queries addressed topics ranging from privacy issues to unruly teens, from how to respond to police warrants to dealing with people experiencing homelessness. The topic of patron behavior—and attendant issues of penalty policy and compassion—struck a chord, as the session’s format evolved from question-and-answer to open exchange among librarians raising questions and weighing in to … Continue reading Following the Letter of the Library Law


From left, Mikel Gonzales, Dominique Robinson, Sommer Kinsler, Kelsey Coston, Sade Wilkins, and Cade Longsdon are a few of this year's selected interns. Photo: Tori Soper

Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter

June 18, 2019

“Libraries should be more inclusive, different-thinking, and innovative,” he said. “I want us to try and revolutionize libraries towards the better and change stereotypes.” Now in its third year, PLA’s III program offers summer internships designed to introduce students of diverse backgrounds to library careers. The III Kick-Off, a commencement where intern–mentor pairs attended sessions … Continue reading Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter


Making It Count

June 3, 2019

The 2020 Census kicks off next April. As always, some census takers will be out knocking on doors. But for the first time, people will also be able to complete the questionnaires online. Librarians can help provide space, equipment, and information to guide patrons through the process. Conducting a fair and accurate count isn’t as … Continue reading Making It Count


Campers prepare to remove personal belongings from the parking lot of Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings, Oregon, after the library board voted to prohibit the use of tents, tarps, structures, and furniture on library grounds. (Photo: Boyd C. Allen/Curry Coastal Pilot)

Give Them Shelter?

June 3, 2019

Ultimately, earlier this year the library instituted a camping ban, wherein anyone found between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. on the grounds of one of PPLD’s four branches could be ticketed for trespassing if they didn’t leave. “It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done,” says Spears. Some libraries across the country—particularly on the … Continue reading Give Them Shelter?


Spokane Community Court, held in the Spokane (Wash.) Public Library, connects about 1,000 participants per year with onsite social services.

Courting Libraries

June 3, 2019

That’s the reasoning behind the community-court model, which has been around since the early 1990s. Designed with restorative justice in mind, community courts typically focus on nonviolent cases. The legally binding sentences they issue usually include community service as well as a commitment on the part of the defendant to get help, such as drug … Continue reading Courting Libraries


Members of Books for Dessert, Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library’s book club for adults over 21 with intellectual disabilities, meet to discuss The Case of the Bicycle Bandit. (Photo: Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library)

Everyone on the Same Page

June 3, 2019

“When people with developmental disabilities become 21, that’s the end of education for them, as if they don’t need to keep learning like other people keep learning as they get older,” says Comer, a trustee of the Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library (PWPL). She enrolled her son in a local day program but found that … Continue reading Everyone on the Same Page