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


Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, operates in Christiansburg, Virginia. Kelly Passek, middle school librarian at Montgomery County Public Schools, uses Wing to deliver 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


Building Community

September 1, 2020

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters By Priya Parker We spend much of our time in meetings, at conferences, and attending other work-related affairs—either in person or virtually—but often those experiences are narrowly focused on logistics, one-way communication, and mechanics. Parker shows that getting together with other people doesn’t have … Continue reading Building Community



On My Mind by Rae-Anne Montague

Accepting Queer Realities

June 1, 2020

As our schools and communities grapple with fostering a broader recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity diversity, school librarians play crucial roles in building a welcoming environment and providing access to inclusive resources and services. Social stigma of non-mainstream experiences in schools, particularly among LGBTQ+ students, is reinforced by a lack of accurate information … Continue reading Accepting Queer Realities


Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Disasters in Libraries

June 1, 2020

Public Libraries and Resilient Cities Edited by Michael Dudley Resilience is the art of being able to bounce back from disaster. The uniting thesis of these essays is that public libraries are crucial to this process. Dudley makes the point that climate change guarantees near-future crises; other essays use relatively recent disasters, such as Hurricane … Continue reading Disasters in Libraries



Fourth graders at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, battle their custom Sphero robots.

Robots: Activate

March 2, 2020

“As soon as you popped a balloon, it got everyone’s attention,” Jill Merkle, library media specialist at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, says. “It was fun to see the students rally and root for one another.” Merkle and Kristen Pavlasek, who now teaches 3rd grade at Greensview Elementary, teamed up in 2018 to create … Continue reading Robots: Activate


Children use laptops and tablets in a library

FCC Adopts ALA E-Rate Recommendations

December 12, 2019

Since its inception in 1998, E-Rate, also known as the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, has provided discounts on advanced telecommunications services to public libraries and K–12 schools. The program covers internet access (Category 1) and much of the internal wiring and equipment (Category 2) necessary for libraries to deliver important services, such … Continue reading FCC Adopts ALA E-Rate Recommendations


All ages picketed in support of the Chicago Teachers Union during the recent walkout.

How the CPS Strike Affected Chicago School Librarians

November 8, 2019

Roughly 80% of the 514 district-run schools in the CPS system are without a librarian, and Nora Wiltse, the only CPS librarian at the bargaining table during the negotiations, says she believes the situation is likely to get worse under the new contract. Wiltse, a librarian at Coonley Elementary School who has pressed for more … Continue reading How the CPS Strike Affected Chicago School Librarians


Illustration: Drew Bardana

Special Report: Democracy in Action

November 1, 2019

And libraries are especially well suited to be “democracy coaches,” in the words of Amanda Smithfield, a librarian at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee. Open to everyone regardless of political leanings, they serve as voter registration hubs and polling places and provide meeting space for community groups and forums. Our special report … Continue reading Special Report: Democracy in Action


llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote