Wishing Chair Productions draws on the legacy of the prolific puppeteer Tom Tichenor, who worked in the library in the 1930s. After his death in 1992, NPL established a program in his honor that grew from small, single-performer storytimes to full-blown productions staffed by a team of 10 professional puppeteers. With marionettes, juggling, magic tricks, … Continue reading Bookend: The World on a String
The themes of afterlife and legacy have become prominent in popular media over the past few years, but the lifecycle of our digital footprint is less understood. The Digital Legacy Association, a British organization that hosts annual conferences on the topic, defines digital legacy as the digital information left behind when a person dies. How … Continue reading Digital Legacy Planning
I also could not have predicted how social media and app developers would later design their products to be addictive using many of the same techniques that casinos use to get people to spend mindless hours gambling. Over time, I began to see the unhealthy pull of technology on my attention, whether it was spending … Continue reading Pay Attention to Attention
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
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), and Theresa Chmara, general counsel for the Freedom to Read Foundation, led a session on these hot-button legal issues in a January 25 session at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. The presentation focused on the responsibilities of the public library in moderating social media commentary and regulating … Continue reading Free Speech for the Smartphone Era
The call represented a trend unfolding in public facilities across the country: individuals who arm themselves with video cameras, proclaim themselves First Amendment auditors, and enter police precincts, post offices, libraries, and other spaces under the auspices of the First Amendment right to free speech in order to record staff violations. The Connecticut caller was … Continue reading Free Speech—or Free-for-All?
Your Technology Outreach Adventure: Tools for Human-Centered Problem Solving By Erin Berman This title will guide professionals in exploring computer-focused library programming. While it provides good examples of tech programs that benefit from outreach, the bulk of the book deals with group planning and design. These are often applicable to any program series or project … Continue reading Digital Strategies for Librarians
Our online column Letters of the Law explores a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, with the help of a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including … Continue reading Is My Library Liable for Fake News?
The Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of the event was headlined “Drag Queens Dazzle at Library Storytime,” while enthusiastic parents voiced support on the library’s Facebook page. Other Facebook commenters voiced opposition, sharing links to conservative websites and articles with headlines like “Parents Beware—Registered Sex Offenders Are Performing for Small Children at Drag Queen Story Hours in Public Libraries” … Continue reading Check Your Facts
American Libraries spoke with West about the book, body politics, and social media. Where does the title of your new book come from? The Witches Are Coming grew out of this phenomenon where people try to deflect accountability by claiming that any accusation of wrongdoing is a witch hunt and not real. It’s an obvious … Continue reading Newsmaker: Lindy West
What were you reading growing up in Venezuela? Who were your literary heroes? Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits). Growing up, her novels were like the universe. She’s from Chile originally—she escaped the dictatorship and found a home in Venezuela. There’s a character in the book called Clara because … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio
ALS—or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a motor neuron disorder characterized by progressive weakening of muscles, often beginning in the legs or arms. More than 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year, and about 20,000 have it at any given time. After diagnosis, most patients die within … Continue reading Librarians Defeating ALS