Children use laptops and tablets in a library

FCC Adopts ALA E-Rate Recommendations

December 12, 2019

Since its inception in 1998, E-Rate, also known as the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, has provided discounts on advanced telecommunications services to public libraries and K–12 schools. The program covers internet access (Category 1) and much of the internal wiring and equipment (Category 2) necessary for libraries to deliver important services, such … Continue reading FCC Adopts ALA E-Rate Recommendations


2019 I Love My Librarian Award winners

Meet the I Love My Librarian Award Winners

December 10, 2019

“Our nation’s librarians serve the needs and aspirations of their communities by promoting education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, and engagement,” said ALA President Wanda Kay Brown. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award recipients, who represent the highest qualities in social service and transform lives every day.” Winners will each receive a $5,000 cash … Continue reading Meet the I Love My Librarian Award Winners


From left: Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Cranston (R.I.) Public Library Director Ed Garcia, and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden at Cranston Public Library. Photo: Ed Garcia

Stories That Stand the Test of Time

November 11, 2019

Housed in the library’s American Folklife Center, the VHP collects and preserves interviews and remembrances of US military veterans from World War I through the present. VHP also includes memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents that capture the diverse experiences of veterans from every state. Hayden’s goal for … Continue reading Stories That Stand the Test of Time



Illustration: Drew Bardana

Special Report: Democracy in Action

November 1, 2019

And libraries are especially well suited to be “democracy coaches,” in the words of Amanda Smithfield, a librarian at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee. Open to everyone regardless of political leanings, they serve as voter registration hubs and polling places and provide meeting space for community groups and forums. Our special report … Continue reading Special Report: Democracy in Action


Linda Neunzig, Snohomish County (Wash.) agriculture coordinator, takes a question from the audience during a discussion titled “­Disappearing Farmland: Population Growth and Food Supply Sustainability” at Monroe Library. The event was part of the Issues That Matter series hosted by ­Sno-Isle Libraries.

Discourse for Democracy

November 1, 2019

In a city of more than 23,000 residents, just 40 miles south of Cleveland, these forums have attracted dozens of attendees and receive significant local media coverage. They are recorded and later posted to the city’s website. Daniel Slife, the library’s director, moderates the forums, which were initiated by former Director Pamela Hickson-Stevenson. Slife always … Continue reading Discourse for Democracy


llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote


Conte Flowers, Family Resource Center coordinator for Gallatin County (Ky.) Elementary Schools (one of the statewide participants), poses at a collection point. (Photo: Kelley Warnick/Gallatin County (Ky.) News)

Collections in Briefs

November 1, 2019

Campbell County (Ky.) Public Library (CCPL) has four branches serving 92,000 residents, about 9% of whom are living below the poverty line. When an instructor at an early literacy skills workshop mentioned that something as basic as lacking clean underwear can keep some children from staying in the classroom, the library’s managers brainstormed a creative … Continue reading Collections in Briefs


Seniors dating

From the Library with Love

November 1, 2019

Fortunately, there’s the library—not as a place to make romantic connections per se, but as a resource for older adults who want to learn how to navigate the world of online dating. Several public libraries have begun offering programs that help older patrons safely and effectively meet potential partners on the internet. Among those are … Continue reading From the Library with Love


Jenn Bartlett, head of reference and adult services at Manchester (Conn.) Public Library. Photo: J. Fiereck Photography

Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System

November 1, 2019

Instead, that trip effectively kickstarted the library’s board game collection. Bartlett came home with three free games; today MPL’s cache, mostly comprising publisher and public donations, is at 275 and counting. It’s the largest library board game collection in the state, she says. Bartlett, current president of the American Library Association’s Games and Gaming Round … Continue reading Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System


Libraries Connecting You to Coverage

Reaching the Uninsured

October 29, 2019

Through PLA’s second annual Libraries Connecting You to Coverage initiative, libraries can start or increase efforts to educate and build year-round awareness of coverage options including enrollment in Medicaid or a Special Enrollment Period. These efforts will help reach the uninsured, many of whom are people of color. Health insurance is an important first step … Continue reading Reaching the Uninsured