Referenda Roundup 2021

Referenda Roundup 2021

November 1, 2021

Libraries notched many wins in 2021: In Illinois, the state’s April 6 election saw four of five ballot measures passing. To many library workers’ relief, a threatened reduction in Ohio’s support for public libraries—from 1.7% to 1.66% of the general fund—did not make it into the final version of the state’s budget. In addition, all … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2021


Program attendees complete a craft to as a part of the Latinx Book Club discussion at Montclair (NJ) Public Library. This program was developed and led by intern Jack Rodriquez-Vars, age 17. Photo: Jack Rodriquez-Vars.

Teens Experience Librarianship Firsthand

October 6, 2021

III offers paid, mentored internships to high school–aged students from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to experience the work of librarianship firsthand and explore how to use their talents and perspectives to impact their communities. This year 42 teens interned at 40 libraries of all sizes and in various locations, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Cleveland, Tennessee. … Continue reading Teens Experience Librarianship Firsthand


New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity

September 1, 2021

PLA’s full statement about the report follows: As the nation celebrates Library Card Sign-Up Month this September, a new report from the Public Library Association (PLA) details how libraries are further extending their technology services and resources in the face of pandemic limitations. The 2020 Public Library Technology Survey report provides the most current and complete … Continue reading New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity


Mary Davis Fournier

11 Questions: Mary Davis Fournier

June 16, 2021

Prior to ALA, Fournier worked in neighborhood development, as program director at the nonprofit Near South Planning Board in Chicago. There she directed the Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, and the Authors in the Schools literacy program. She also worked in higher education as programming associate at … Continue reading 11 Questions: Mary Davis Fournier




Advancing digital equity

Advancing Digital Equity

July 1, 2020

Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, moderated the event, joined by Betsy Fowler, director of Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library; Misty Hawkins, director of Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System; and Julie Walker, state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service. As nearly every aspect of … Continue reading Advancing Digital Equity


PLA Survey

ALA Survey Shows Effects of Pandemic on Library Services

June 3, 2020

A new American Library Association (ALA) survey of US libraries, “Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey,” documents a shift in services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. While virtually all libraries (99%) report limited access to the physical building, survey respondents shared leaps in the … Continue reading ALA Survey Shows Effects of Pandemic on Library Services


PLA survey

How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic

April 9, 2020

For instance, most respondents (98%) reported their buildings were closed to the public but, in many cases, staff continued to expand access to digital resources, launch virtual programs, and coordinate services with local government agencies. The survey, conducted by PLA between March 24 and April 1, found that libraries are rapidly adapting services. A substantial majority … Continue reading How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic


Stacey Abrams Photo: Gerri Hernández

Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams

March 31, 2020

The spread of COVID-19 has ramped up significantly in recent weeks, and social distancing and self-quarantine have become facts of American life. Meanwhile, the US is conducting primary elections and the 2020 Census. How do you see these events being affected by the public health crisis? What can be done to encourage civic participation during … Continue reading Newsmaker: Stacey Abrams


Blue heart on purple background with heartbeat graph.

Libraries’ Next “Act” in Health During COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Through the Public Library Association’s (PLA) second annual Libraries Connecting You to Coverage initiative, libraries can access a suite of turnkey resources to start or increase efforts to educate and build awareness of health insurance coverage options, especially with the evolving workforce landscape. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many patrons may experience job cuts and … Continue reading Libraries’ Next “Act” in Health During COVID-19