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



Samantha Bee speaks at the Closing Session of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville February 29. Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios

High Stakes

March 1, 2020

“Of course we’re not living in the administration we want to be living in, naturally,” she told the crowd at the Closing Session of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 29. “As I sit here, the president is doing a press conference on coronavirus. I hope it goes really well and … Continue reading High Stakes


‘We’re in the Social Justice Business’

March 1, 2020

“Stories have value. And I think that libraries have inherently gone down a path that people have value,” the award-winning anchor, entrepreneur, and television host said at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 29. She added: “Like assignment editors, very rarely do they get thanked.” In her Big Ideas session talk, … Continue reading ‘We’re in the Social Justice Business’


Burton Reist, assistant director for communications at the US Census Bureau

Closing In on the Census

February 29, 2020

“It’s a critical civic effort, it affects everything political and economic in communities,” said Larra Clark, deputy director of the Public Library Association (PLA), at “2020 Census Countdown: What You Need to Know,” a February 28 program at the PLA 2020 Conference in Nashville. “The census doesn’t happen in the quarters of Washington—it happens here,” … Continue reading Closing In on the Census



From left: Melanie Toledo (at podium), Carolyn Petersen, and Janessa Esquivel.

Supporting Tribal Libraries

February 28, 2020

At “Perspectives on Outreach to Tribal Libraries,” a February 28 program at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville, librarians from tribal libraries and the state libraries that support them offered tips for successful collaboration. Have a purpose. Are you from a state or public library that wants to reach out and network with … Continue reading Supporting Tribal Libraries


Author and education professor Bettina Love brings big ideas to the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville February 27. (Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios)

Calling on Co-Conspirators

February 28, 2020

Bettina Love, education professor and author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (Beacon Press, 2019), posed this question to attendees of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference’s Big Ideas session in Nashville on February 27. In her dynamic talk, she confronted the ways in which … Continue reading Calling on Co-Conspirators