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


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