Dewey Decibel podcast presents its Halloween episode, "The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake."

The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake

October 25, 2017

In Episode 19—our special Halloween episode—Dewey goes on the road to bring you a story from Avon Lake, a town nestled along Lake Erie with a population of about 23,000. Lurking below the idyllic setting is a condiment caper that’s been baffling the community for months. Dewey Decibel correspondent Terra Dankowski—inspired by a photograph that … Continue reading The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake



Walkers participate in “Let’s Book,” a reading and exercise program offered by Ligonier Valley (Pa.) Library. Photo: Ligionier Valley (Pa.) Library.

Walking History

September 1, 2017

“Besides the entertainment value, we also wanted to impart some history—it’s not fake news; it’s reliable news,” says Anita Doering, archives manager at LCPL. LCPL—which also offers the by-demand Footsteps of La Crosse historic walking tour—is not the only library to recognize that sightseeing ventures are the perfect vehicle to get employees outside the building and … Continue reading Walking History


A library card from the Minneapolis Public Library (1905).Photo: Hennepin County Library

By the Numbers: Library Cards

September 1, 2017

1988 The year then–Secretary of Education William Bennett issued the challenge: “Let’s have a national campaign. Every child should obtain a library card—and use it.” The following year, the American Library Association declared September as Library Card Sign-Up Month. 500 Number of children who attended the October 14, 1988, kickoff event on the National Mall … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library Cards


Libraries across the US are providing programs, events, and resources in anticipation of the total solar eclipse on August 21. Photo: Ig0rZh/Adobe Stock

Total Eclipse of the Library

August 15, 2017

“Eclipse fever has clutched Salem,” says Ann Scheppke, adult services librarian at Salem (Oreg.) Public Library (SPL). Residents of Salem, a city that sits in the path of totality—the geographical strip experiencing darkness caused by the moon casting its shadow on the Earth—and the 100,000 out-of-towners expected to visit will be among the first in … Continue reading Total Eclipse of the Library



From left, Laura Damon-Moore, Michael Spelman, Kylee Stoor, and Janie Hermann

Madison’s Library Takeover

June 25, 2017

Over the course of a year and a half, the Library Takeover project—inspired by a similar teen program founded by Apples & Snakes and Half-Moon Theatre in the UK—went from grant proposal to three fully realized, polished library programs that were informed by community input at each step in the process. Engaging community need Analysis … Continue reading Madison’s Library Takeover


opioid abuse

Saving Lives in the Stacks

June 21, 2017

“As this nation’s opioid crisis has exploded, the staff at the public library … have become first responders,” NPR’s Scott Simon told listeners. “And I gather the librarians there have been obliged to become involved in a way that—well, become involved in a way librarians aren’t usually asked to become involved.” What Simon didn’t say—but … Continue reading Saving Lives in the Stacks


A “book” who identifies as Palestinian converses with two “readers” at a Human Library event hosted by Williams College Libraries in Williams­town, Massachusetts.

If These Books Could Talk

June 1, 2017

“That’s cool,” Ménard thought, though she couldn’t imagine the initiative taking hold at her academic library. But that summer, another Williams professor also learned about Human Libraries while in Europe, and he later approached Ménard about collaborating on a campus event. That’s how, in 2012, Williams College became one of the first institutions in the … Continue reading If These Books Could Talk


Desirée Fairooz in a 2013 screenshot from a video for Arlington (Va.) Public Library's Columbia Pike branch.

Former Librarian Faces Jail Time for Laugh at Sessions’s Confirmation

May 9, 2017

The reason for her arrest: laughing during the Jan. 10 Senate confirmation hearing of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. She was found guilty on May 3 of charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct, and obstructing and impeding passage on US Capitol grounds. “I was listening when Sen. (Richard) Shelby [R-Ala.] made the comment that he … Continue reading Former Librarian Faces Jail Time for Laugh at Sessions’s Confirmation


Hemlines perform in the basement of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Punk at the Library

May 1, 2017

What started as an archive to document Washington, D.C.’s fabled punk music history evolved into wider support of the city’s current music scene, including hosting basement shows—a punk staple—in the library itself. Librarians Michele Casto, Bobbie Dougherty, and Margaret Gilmore of D.C. Public Library (DCPL) explain how this unconventional venture increased visibility not only for … Continue reading Punk at the Library


Chicago’s Northtown library branch, shown here in a rendering, will have a ground-floor library with senior housing above.

Bringing the Library Home

May 1, 2017

A rocky start In August 2013, the first satellite library in a public housing development opened at Estrada Courts in Los Angeles, a joint project between Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), and Kids Progress Inc., a nonprofit established in 2009 by HACLA. The program was … Continue reading Bringing the Library Home