Graphic: Libraries use tech tools to fight fake news (Illustration: Drew Bardana)

Check Your Facts

November 1, 2019

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


Lindy West (Photo: Jenny Jimenez)

Newsmaker: Lindy West

November 1, 2019

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


Mariana Atencio

Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio

July 26, 2019

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


On My Mind, by Dane Ward

Librarians Defeating ALS

April 29, 2019

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


From left: Melinda Shelton, Jefferson Bailey, and Makiba Foster discuss the Community Webs archiving program at DPLAfest 2019 in Chicago. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019

April 22, 2019

Archiving the local web In order to maintain their local collections, public libraries are looking to web archiving. “Community Webs: Empowering Public Librarians to Create Community History Web Archives” explored how two public libraries are using the Internet Archive’s Community Webs program. Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving and data services at the Internet Archive, … Continue reading Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019


NASA socialites tour the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Microdevices Lab, covering the visit through their social media platforms. (Photo: NASA/JPL)

Sharing Space

November 30, 2018

The NASA Social program, originally called NASA Tweetups, began in 2009 and has included thousands of participants for events that range from several hours to two days. NASA “socialites” receive the same access to press events as journalists—with additional exclusive behind-the-scenes access to NASA facilities, scientists, and engineers—and are encouraged to use their social media … Continue reading Sharing Space


Zoe McLaughlin

Getting Advice

November 1, 2018

Here are some people and resources to consider when building connections for your job search: Career centers. Your school’s career center is an obvious first stop. It can be useful to learn if the center’s staffers have certain specialties. For example, someone may be well versed in interview preparation, while another person may be better … Continue reading Getting Advice


Kara Shelton Watson

Shaping Digital Citizens

September 4, 2018

I tell them that I believe that digital citizenship falls naturally under the domain of librarians, as we place high value on using and creating information ethically. In schools, we have a curriculum that teaches students the concepts of citizenship, community, and social justice through varied disciplines. And in the school library, these ideals come together. … Continue reading Shaping Digital Citizens


Muy Cheng Peich, director of education, contents, and training for Libraries Without Borders, describes the Ideas Box at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Safe Spaces and Social Media

August 27, 2018

Leonee Ariel Derr, team leader at Stonnington Library and Information Service in Melbourne, Australia, came down squarely against the safe-space idea, explaining through examples drawn from her many years working in several Melbourne-area public libraries that safety for patrons and staff—whether physical or emotional—cannot be guaranteed. The risks of working in an all-welcoming public space … Continue reading Safe Spaces and Social Media


Screenshot from University of Minnesota, Morris's "Welcome to Briggs Library," featuring the school's cougar mascot, Pounce.

Pounce into the Spotlight with a Library Introduction Video

August 10, 2018

There was only one problem: We had never created a library video before. The process was as much an introduction to video making for us as the finished product was an introduction to the library for our students. Assembling the cast and crew As with any Hollywood blockbuster, a team had to be assembled to … Continue reading Pounce into the Spotlight with a Library Introduction Video


Alison Head, founder and executive director of Project Information Literacy, explains how research data creates a more complete understanding of the information-seeking behaviors of high school and college students.

Memes as News Sources?

June 23, 2018

The mixed-methods study considered the significant shift towards a preference for online news resources and looked at how students consider authority and currency when seeking information. Head experienced an epiphany when she observed, based on focus groups, that the students “are really different from me and and how I find news.” As a result, Head … Continue reading Memes as News Sources?


Dispatches, by Joanna M. Burkhardt

Social Media Bots

March 1, 2018

In social media, bots collect information that might be of interest to users by crawling the internet for specific information and sharing it on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Bots use keywords and hashtags in their searches. Some social bots were developed to behave like a human—using emojis in their posts, only posting at reasonable … Continue reading Social Media Bots