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


Conte Flowers, Family Resource Center coordinator for Gallatin County (Ky.) Elementary Schools (one of the statewide participants), poses at a collection point. (Photo: Kelley Warnick/Gallatin County (Ky.) News)

Collections in Briefs

November 1, 2019

Campbell County (Ky.) Public Library (CCPL) has four branches serving 92,000 residents, about 9% of whom are living below the poverty line. When an instructor at an early literacy skills workshop mentioned that something as basic as lacking clean underwear can keep some children from staying in the classroom, the library’s managers brainstormed a creative … Continue reading Collections in Briefs


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on a bookshelf in a target

Up to the Challenge

September 3, 2019

Build your foundation The first step is to be an excellent educator. Your lessons should foster “opportunities for learners to demonstrate personal curiosity and creation of knowledge” and “support the diverse developmental, cultural, social, and linguistic needs” represented in your community, according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards for … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee


Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices


Former school librarian Helen Adams recalled the rise in surveillance technology in schools after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

No Minor Concern

June 25, 2019

“Ensuring library users’ confidentiality frees them from fear of retaliation or intimidation as a result of reading a book, visiting a website, or consulting other library resources,” said Candice Mack, senior YA services librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library system. “This is regardless of age.” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, interim director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual … Continue reading No Minor Concern


Clockwise from top left, logos for Sora, PBS Kids Scratch Jr., iCell, Chatterpix Kids, Mixerpiece, and iCivics Suite.

2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning

June 22, 2019

Recognized apps and websites foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They were also evaluated for their support of AASL’s “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.” The apps recognized in 2019 are: Chatterpix Kids EarthViewer Equity Maps Figment AR Green Screen by Do Ink iCell iCivics – Suite Khan Academy … Continue reading 2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning


From left: Moderator Liana Heitin Loewus; Elizabeth Rush, library specialist at Northside Independent School District in Leon Valley, Texas; Nawaid Ladak, legislative assistant to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.); and Dallas Director of Libraries Jo Giudice.

Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning

June 7, 2019

PPA organized the discussion to educate congressional staff about libraries’ role in developing literacy, especially during the summer months, and to encourage members of Congress to look to libraries as leading partners in education. PPA staff worked with the American Association of School Librarians and the Texas Library Association (TLA) to identify librarians in the … Continue reading Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning


Youth Matters, by Julie Stivers

Building Inclusive Libraries

June 3, 2019

One way I’ve been fortunate enough to do this in my middle school library has been through an initiative called the #LibFive. With 8th graders Cesar Falcon, Jose Gomez, and Jaida Morris, the #LibFive has leveraged teen insights and experiences to create a student-driven professional development program for youth librarians—initially in our district and eventually … Continue reading Building Inclusive Libraries