Panelists Mairghread Scott, Vera Brosgol, and Melanie Gillman respond to a question in the "Great Graphic Novels for Kids" session at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, March 1, 2018. Illustration by Melanie Gillman.

Comics, Education, and Advocacy

March 6, 2018

Creating a community of practice for librarians and educators around comics collection, education, and advocacy was a major theme of the program, which included sessions such as “Censored: The Comics They Don’t Want You to Read (and How to Keep ’Em Circulating),” “The Representation Bookshelf,” and “What Do I Say When?: Tough Questions about Comics and How to … Continue reading Comics, Education, and Advocacy


Members of an African drum and dance ensemble lead patrons in a performance routine as part of Richland Library's day-long Black History Month Fair on January 28, 2017. Photo: Richland Library

Every Month is Black History Month

March 1, 2018

Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, needed a better way to reach its African-American community. Quincy Pugh, film and sound manager, explains how the decision to celebrate black history year-round and start “I Have a Problem with That”—a series of panel discussions that address challenging social issues—has boosted program attendance and engagement among its target … Continue reading Every Month is Black History Month


Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez

March 1, 2018

What was the inspiration behind The Public? I was inspired by a moving 2007 essay called “Written Off” by Chip Ward, now-retired assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, published in part in the Los Angeles Times (and in full at tomdispatch.com under the title, “What They Didn’t Teach Us in Library … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Serving the Community

March 1, 2018

The afterword in Introduction to Public Librarianship, 3rd edition, by Kathleen de la Peña McCook and Jenny S. Bossaller, captures the essence of public librarianship. In it, Katharine Phenix, adult services librarian at Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado, describes how her work makes a difference: “Libraries will be there, collecting, organizing, and making [materials] available … Continue reading Serving the Community




Abby Johnson

Self-Directed Programming

January 2, 2018

Hosting a large variety of library programs may be easy when you have enough money, staff members, and space, but what do you do when that’s not the case? How can you stretch your offerings? Self-directed programming is a great way to provide value while mitigating costs. We’ve all experienced that patron who seems to … Continue reading Self-Directed Programming


Screenshot from the American Library Association's Libraries Ready to Code video.

Getting Libraries Ready to Code During CS Education Week

December 1, 2017

CS Education Week is an annual program that brings together educators, tech companies, youth-serving organizations, and, of course, libraries to focus on inspiring young people to explore CS. Skills learned through CS and coding are the skills employers are looking for, and not just in the tech industry. From medicine to sales to music, sports, … Continue reading Getting Libraries Ready to Code During CS Education Week


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