Unions 101

November 1, 2018

Librarians realized this when their union, the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) Unit 17, filed grievances against the UC administration regarding disciplinary actions for such things as managers reprimanding librarians over product assessments and conference presentation titles. Their grievances were rejected. The union’s contract expired September 30, and at press time … Continue reading Unions 101


Pickle reads Jacob’s New Dress at West Hollywood (Calif.) Library at an event by the national organization Drag Queen Story Hour. Photo: Jon Viscott

Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition

November 1, 2018

But while queens have proven their ability to bring the party with fantastic fashions and tales of individuality and acceptance, pockets of resistance remain. Many programs held in libraries still draw protests, as organized opposition groups insist that these storytimes aren’t appropriate for children. Lafayette (La.) Public Library (LPL) faced protests of its planned drag … Continue reading Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition


More than 250 patrons attended a recent “Paint-Along with Bob Ross” event at Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library. Photo: Tracy Grosshans

Painting with Purpose

November 1, 2018

Patron paint-alongs During the events, patrons watch an episode of The Joy of Painting and paint along, while library staffers facilitate and provide canvases, paints, and other supplies. Some libraries hire Certified Ross Instructors, trained by Bob Ross Inc., to lead the workshops; others obtain video permissions from the official Bob Ross YouTube channel or … Continue reading Painting with Purpose


Anti-opioid overdose Narcan Nasal Spray.

Company to Supply Free Narcan to Libraries

October 24, 2018

The drug maker announced the offer—which also includes distributing Narcan to 2,700 local YMCAs—at the White House, where President Trump signed legislation that aims to curb the opioid crisis. Emergent BioSolutions spokesman Thom Duddy says the company’s announcement is not directly related to the legislation, but the administration requested the company to participate in the … Continue reading Company to Supply Free Narcan to Libraries


Author Eric Klinenberg (Photo: Lisa DeNeffe)

Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg

October 11, 2018

Klinenberg spoke with American Libraries about his lifelong love of libraries and the inadvertent lessons learned from Amazon stores. Your book opens with a discussion of the 1995 Chicago heat wave, which killed more than 700 people in just a few days. Why did you decide to start there? Eric Klinenberg: It was the first … Continue reading Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg


From left: Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo, and John Spears

My Library, My Story

September 30, 2018

American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo hopes these prompts and others can be leveraged to create better advocates and visibility for libraries on the local, national, and international level. “This is a time for action. We’re living in challenging times,” she said. “We need a seat at the table.” At “My Library, My Story,” … Continue reading My Library, My Story


Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in public libraries at the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 28.

Serving Black Immigrants

September 29, 2018

At “Engaging and Serving Black Immigrant Communities,” a September 28 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in accessing information and what libraries can better do to reach … Continue reading Serving Black Immigrants


Khole Kash reads "Stella Brings the Family," at Mobile (Ala.) Public Library on September 8.Photo: WPMI

Drag Storytimes Bring Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition

September 20, 2018

But while queens have proven their ability to turn the party with fantastic fashions and tales of individuality and acceptance, pockets of resistance remain. Some programs held in libraries still draw protests, as organized opposition groups insist that these storytimes aren’t appropriate for children. Lafayette (La.) Public Library (LPL) is currently facing protests of a … Continue reading Drag Storytimes Bring Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition


Letter from Public Library Directors and Social Workers

September 4, 2018

This letter was excerpted in the From Our Readers section of American Libraries’ September/October issue. Here the full letter appears, with a complete list of signees. These customers include those who are experiencing adverse life challenges such as homelessness, substance use issues, trauma, and mental health crises. We represent libraries that have hired and collaborated … Continue reading Letter from Public Library Directors and Social Workers


Mobile food programs, like this one at Camden County (N.J.) Library System, are teaching food literacy and delivering nutritious meals in food deserts. Photo: Camden County (N.J.) Library System

A Movable Feast

September 4, 2018

“The city of Camden has only one grocery store, and most city residents rely on small stores and bodegas for food,” says Devlin. “These stores have a more limited supply of healthy food, which limits meal planning.” Inspired by a visit to the nearby Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Devlin decided … Continue reading A Movable Feast


Susan Orlean

Newsmaker: Susan Orlean

September 4, 2018

In the book you write, “Sometimes it’s harder to notice a place you think you know well…. I had to force myself to look harder and try to see beyond the concept of library that was so latent in my brain.” What is the most surprising thing that you learned about libraries or librarians while … Continue reading Newsmaker: Susan Orlean


Staff members of Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library assist seniors at a YMCA DigiLit class designed to help bridge the digital knowledge divide.Photo: Everett Blackmon

Allied Against Inequity

September 4, 2018

In San Antonio, residents of affluent neighborhoods are four times more likely to have broadband access than residents of low-income neighborhoods. “There’s definitely a need in the community,” says Candelaria Mendoza, library services administrator at San Antonio Public Library (SAPL). “We understand it’s not just about having the internet but having internet that’s fast enough … Continue reading Allied Against Inequity