Touger Vang (left), public services coordinator at Yolo County (Calif.) Public Library, speaks to attendees at the Project Welcome summit on February 6. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Resources for Resettlement

February 14, 2017

The refugee crisis isn’t new. According to the US State Department, more than 3.3 million refugees—persons fleeing their home country to escape persecution, war, or violence—have resettled in the US since 1975. But the summit seemed timely, as the legality as to who should be welcomed within US borders is tested, and debate among the … Continue reading Resources for Resettlement


Barbara Alvarez

A Conversation with Barbara A. Alvarez

January 13, 2017

Alvarez is corporate communications specialist at Kohler Company. She formerly served as business liaison librarian for Barrington (Ill.) Area Library. She was awarded the Public Librarian Support Award from the Business Reference and Services Section/Morningstar in 2015. An excerpt from her book was published in the January/February 2017 issue of American Libraries. What made you want … Continue reading A Conversation with Barbara A. Alvarez


Referenda Roundup

Referenda Roundup 2016

January 3, 2017

This year we took a closer look at the population density of the communities that placed library referenda before the voters. The Institute of Museum and Library Services groups the nation’s 17,566 library outlets into four geographic locales: cities, suburbs, towns, and rural areas. While all public libraries strive to transform communities through innovative programs … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2016





Ken Redd uses a screen magnification program on an adaptive computer workstation at the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

Bringing Assistive Technology to Patrons

January 3, 2017

NJSL and other libraries nationwide have been joining forces with state agencies to improve their patrons’ access to assistive technology. Through a partnership with New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), TBBC has partnered with seven public libraries to provide accessibility programs for patrons with visual impairments. “Public libraries are learning centers … Continue reading Bringing Assistive Technology to Patrons


Ashley J. Cooksey

Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

January 3, 2017

Sometimes collaboration is accidental. I’ve had lessons that just happened to coordinate with the curriculum. For instance, our library at West Magnet Elementary in Batesville, Arkansas, was able to give students a “virtual field trip” via live stream to see President Barack Obama answering questions at DC Public Library’s Anacostia branch. Our 4th graders were … Continue reading Partnerships Beyond Four Walls


A Self-Service Experiment

November 1, 2016

As libraries face cloudy funding forecasts and stagnant budgets, innovation and creativity become driving forces to increase a community’s access to library materials, programs, and services. With uncertainty comes an opportunity to reinvent and find new ways to serve a growing population of patrons. Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library (GCPL) used that opportunity to partner … Continue reading A Self-Service Experiment


The Salt Lake City Public Library's shared space includes a library store, art gallery, hair salon, florist, public radio station, and coffee shop.

A Balancing Act

November 1, 2016

Probably not, but at the Salt Lake City Public Library, that’s exactly what you’ll encounter. “Having any of these within a flagship library is a unique arrangement,” says Andrew Shaw, the library’s communications manager. In addition, a café, a coffee shop, a public radio station, a writing center, and a library store occupy the first … Continue reading A Balancing Act


Newsmaker: Marley Dias

November 1, 2016

How many books have you collected so far? I’ve collected 7,000 books and donated them to six different cities since November 2015. How did you start the campaign? In my 5th-grade class, I saw that books like Where the Red Fern Grows, the Shiloh series, and Crash all weren’t featuring black girls, and those were … Continue reading Newsmaker: Marley Dias


Joseph Janes

In the Trenches

November 1, 2016

That’s a great story, true or not, with an even better punch line. It likely produced a few knowing nods and wry smiles just now, and it’s also quite effective with people unfamiliar with what actually goes on libraries. They think we sit around all day shushing people and reading Good Books, as opposed to, … Continue reading In the Trenches