Librarian Carrie Rogers-Whitehead (pictured) created Salt Lake County (Utah) Library’s sensory storytimes with special activities to engage kids on the autism spectrum.

Storytime for the Spectrum

March 1, 2016

“She began crying and got very upset. She said, ‘I’m so sorry. They have autism. We don’t go to the library very much because I don’t feel welcome,’” says Rogers-Whitehead. And that was the beginning of the Salt Lake County (Utah) Library’s sensory storytime—a special program for children on the autism spectrum. Rather than exclude … Continue reading Storytime for the Spectrum


Los Angeles Public Library patron Dennis Levin returned The Story of Scotch, a book he checked out in 1950, during the library's recent fine amnesty campaign.

Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.

February 23, 2016

CPL’s “Welcome Home” program ran from February 4–18, while LAPL’s campaign, “LAPL Misses You,” was held February 1–14. The libraries waived late fees on all materials during the campaigns. CPL’s 80 branches received at least 20,000 items, worth about $500,000. This was CPL’s third time holding a fine amnesty program—the first was in 1985 just for … Continue reading Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.


Sarah Strahl

The Right Technology

January 4, 2016

Technology staffers at public libraries should be asking themselves continually: How do we make this technology fit the library? How do we make and keep technology nimble and adaptable? Can we ever make technology dynamic enough to ensure we can keep up with unforeseen problems? How do we do this so we can help patrons … Continue reading The Right Technology


Sari Feldman

Libraries Transform

January 4, 2016

The good news is that the Center for the Future of Libraries is providing guidance around the most challenging changes for library professionals. Trends such as the sharing economy and Big Data are worthy of discussion for libraries of all kinds. The sharing economy has given rise to unexpected collections: People are turning to their … Continue reading Libraries Transform


Eiko Otake offers a bowl of water to Russell Library Director Arthur Meyers. Otake’s performances often allow audience members to participate and react to elements of the dance.

Eiko Otake at Russell Library: “A Body in a Library”

December 31, 2015

“A Body in Places” is a two-year series of dance and movement performances that includes “A Body in Fukushima,” in which Otake danced in the vacant areas surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, damaged during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, and “A Body in a Station,” first performed at Philadelphia’s 30th … Continue reading Eiko Otake at Russell Library: “A Body in a Library”


Michigan State Capitol Building (Photo: Shutterstock/Dmitriy Bryndin)

Librarians Nationwide Protest Michigan Bill

December 22, 2015

“While the intent of the Michigan legislature may be to ensure that government employees are proper stewards of public funding, in actuality this broad-sweeping bill prohibits one of their public bodies—the library—from doing one of its main jobs: providing the voters of Michigan unbiased access to information, including factual information about local campaigns and ballot … Continue reading Librarians Nationwide Protest Michigan Bill


Some commercially sold drones can fly as high as 1,600 feet (500 meters), or higher than some of the world's tallest buildings. Composite image created from "Tallest Buildings in Asia in 2014" by Ali Zifan and Freepik, licensed under Creative Commons 4.0

Libraries and the New FAA Drone Rules

December 17, 2015

“Make no mistake,” warned US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in his announcement of the new regulations, “unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility.” The real concern behind this move is that as toy technology advances, so have the capabilities of the drones that are available for the … Continue reading Libraries and the New FAA Drone Rules


Joseph Janes

The Fee Library

October 30, 2015

You can imagine my reaction when our local public radio station introduced a story about the plans for a new library, opening January 2016. Not the sort of thing one hears every day, and my interest deepened when the details emerged: This isn’t a new branch of Seattle Public Library (SPL); it’s a new subscription … Continue reading The Fee Library


Marilynn Lance-Robb, branch manager at the Carvers Bay Branch Library in Georgetown, South Carolina, assists a patron with health information. Photo: Marilynn Lance-Robb

Improving Health Literacy, One Public Library at a Time

October 30, 2015

Instead, Davis assists patrons with their health care questions by helping them find information on Medline-Plus, an authoritative, free website where the public can find health information in more than 40 languages. Although Davis, a former medical librarian, is familiar with health care topics, most public librarians do not necessarily have a medical background. Still … Continue reading Improving Health Literacy, One Public Library at a Time


A death cafe meets in the Ann Stevens Room in the Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library. Photo: Kris Green

When the Subject Is Death

October 30, 2015

Since the first gathering, named death café, was held in the US in Columbus, Ohio, in July 2012, the forums have spread across the nation. And many are beginning to appear in libraries, according to Lizzy Miles, an organizer for DeathCafe.com. Miles, who organized the Columbus death café, tells American Libraries that she was inspired … Continue reading When the Subject Is Death



Salt Lake City Public Library System staffers pose as characters from the Back to the Future films. From left, teen services coordinator Christina Walsh as Doc Brown, children's services coordinator Liesl Johnson as Marty McFly, and adult services coordinator Tommy Hamby as Jennifer Parker. Photo: Salt Lake City Public Library System

Marty, We’ve Got to Go Back—to the Library!

October 21, 2015

Many libraries are celebrating Back to the Future Day—October 21, 2015—with screenings of the Back to the Future trilogy and programming related to the films. The date, which is featured prominently in Back to the Future Part II, has been incorrectly depicted in internet hoaxes and memes for years. “We actually have a super fan … Continue reading Marty, We’ve Got to Go Back—to the Library!