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


Students build inventions around a shared table

Partnering for Success in the School Library

February 3, 2021

“We’re surrounded by so many wonderful people who care about our kids and our community,” says Jennifer Sutton, teacher librarian at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois. Sutton organized LPC-2 with Mariela Siegert, former librarian at Westfield Middle in Bloomingdale and Sia Paganis, former librarian at Spring Woods Middle in Hanover Park. (Siegert is … Continue reading Partnering for Success in the School Library


Leaders of Change

January 26, 2021

Moderator Becky Calzada, library services coordinator at Leander (Tex.) Independent School District (ISD), was joined by Mary Woodard, director of library services at Mesquite (Tex.) ISD; Melissa E. Jacobs, director of New York City Schools’ Library System and the New York Department of Education’s Department of Library Services; Dot Guthrie, a retired librarian who sits … Continue reading Leaders of Change


Pandemic Programming

January 24, 2021

That question and many others were answered in “Pandemic Programming: Changes to School Library Instruction during a Global Pandemic,” held Sunday at ALA Midwinter Virtual 2021 on January 24. Facilitated by Christina Norman, textbook library media coordinator for Birmingham (Ala.) City Schools, and Jennifer J. Sturge, specialist for school libraries and digital learning at Calvert … Continue reading Pandemic Programming


Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School students held a read-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit Grain of Rice Project. Photo: Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School

Working Toward a Sustainable World

January 4, 2021

In 2019, Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School began a book club using selections inspired by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the organization’s blueprint for addressing global challenges like poverty and climate change by 2030. Batesville’s students use lessons they glean from the club to engage with their community and the world, earning the … Continue reading Working Toward a Sustainable World


Youth Matters, by Jennifer Casa-Todd

Making Time to Check In

January 4, 2021

We’re in a crisis unlike any other, so we must make time to check in with our students. Similar to the way we hold icebreakers and getting-to-know-you activities in our classrooms at the beginning of each school year to familiarize ourselves with our students, we can find ways to gauge wellness and build connection amid … Continue reading Making Time to Check In


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


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