Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


A wooden kamishibai box, which contains illustrated cards ((Photo: Geo1208)

Think Inside the Box

March 1, 2021

Clack, clack! Siskind hits the sticks together, sets them down, and opens the flaps on the front of the box to create a small stage showing the illustrated cover of that day’s kamishibai storytime. Kamishibai, or “paper theater,” is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan in the late 1920s. Storytellers would ride into … Continue reading Think Inside the Box


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Revolutions Where We Stand

March 1, 2021

Those words seem especially prescient now as we look across the country at the libraries that have struggled most during this period of widespread library defunding and service reductions. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, there has long been an unmistakable correlation between communities that navigate high rates of poverty and those that … Continue reading Revolutions Where We Stand


The Masterpiece Book Club at Chicago Public Library’s Vodak–East Side branch hosted a Miss Fisher–themed holiday party in 2015. Photo: Nancy Devlin

Tales as Old as Time

January 4, 2021

For every meeting, Czulno would dress up as a character from books the club was reading and shows it was watching. For instance, when the group read the stories of G. K. Chesterton, she wore the black cape, hat, and glasses of Father Brown, the character who lent his name to the Masterpiece show. “It wasn’t just … Continue reading Tales as Old as Time


Images from Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s 2021 Wild and Weird fundraiser calendar, featuring library workers and adoptable cats

Raising Money for a Good Claws

December 30, 2020

Created as a fundraiser with the help of local animal adoption agencies, Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s (MPLS) limited-edition 2021 calendar features librarians posing with adoptable cats. Thus was born our 2021 Wild and Weird calendar. Each month features library workers from MPLS—all fully clothed, of course!—alongside an adoptable cat, including Cadillac Frank (a gray … Continue reading Raising Money for a Good Claws



Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories


A ballot drop box outside the Arthur Lakes Library in Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

The Library as Ballot Box

September 28, 2020

“I think people miss the environment of the polling place, and going to a drop box helps them re-create that,” says Oregon Library Association Vice President Arlene Weible. Oregon has conducted all elections by mail since 2000, but Weible says libraries hosting ballot drop boxes is a common practice in the state. The benefits of … Continue reading The Library as Ballot Box


Library resources for learning at home, from MacDonald Public Library in New Baltimore, Michigan

Teaming Up for Teaching

September 18, 2020

At Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, librarians administering the Brooklyn Connections program are not only faced with the challenge of reimagining their outreach to the 35 schools and thousands of 4th–12th graders they serve but are also grappling with students’ day-to-day struggles amid the pandemic. Jen Hoyer, educating librarian with Brooklyn Connections, reports that many students … Continue reading Teaming Up for Teaching


Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, uses drone delivery service Wing to transport library books to the town’s students. Photo: Courtesy of Wing.

The Great Outdoors

September 14, 2020

Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. Passek locates the book, checks it out, and drives … Continue reading The Great Outdoors


A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon

Ready for Action

September 1, 2020

In recent years, global warming has also led to worsening wildfires, invasive pests, and the melting of permafrost across the state. “There are some coastal villages that are literally sinking into the sea,” Preskitt says. In response, the city of Anchorage decided to brace for the impact of climate change by creating a formal framework. … Continue reading Ready for Action