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




Some of the entries in Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library's Geofilter design contest for teens.

Snapchat in the Library

November 1, 2016

The ability to chat with your friends, use filters, toss in an emoji, and showcase your lighthearted side are some of the many reasons millennials have flocked to this platform. This mass migration of millennials to Snapchat has made librarians sit up and take notice. Library Snapchat accounts have begun popping up over the past … Continue reading Snapchat in the Library


New Routes to Library Success

New Routes to Library Success

March 1, 2016

I’m director of Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine. As the result of being a worrywart and wanting to make sure that the library makes a successful transition to a technology-driven, digitally dominated future, I spend a great deal of time identifying and evaluating new library programs, processes, and management methods. After years of struggling … Continue reading New Routes to Library Success


Los Angeles Public Library patron Dennis Levin returned The Story of Scotch, a book he checked out in 1950, during the library's recent fine amnesty campaign.

Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.

February 23, 2016

CPL’s “Welcome Home” program ran from February 4–18, while LAPL’s campaign, “LAPL Misses You,” was held February 1–14. The libraries waived late fees on all materials during the campaigns. CPL’s 80 branches received at least 20,000 items, worth about $500,000. This was CPL’s third time holding a fine amnesty program—the first was in 1985 just for … Continue reading Fine Amnesty Campaigns Bring Rewards in Chicago, L.A.


ALA members attending the Annual Conference in Montreal made a side trip to McGill University, where they posed for this photo on June 9, 1900.

Things You Didn’t Know about ALA History, 1876–1900

February 11, 2016

Throughout 2016, American Libraries will be adding images to the ALA 140th anniversary Pinterest board in reverse chronological order, starting in 1876 with ALA’s founding and ending up with 2015. This blog post includes some of the imagery from the Association’s first 25 years of existence. In 1899, Melvil Dewey, a founder of ALA and … Continue reading Things You Didn’t Know about ALA History, 1876–1900


Colleen Theisen, Susie Kirk, and Richert Schnorr

How Do You YouTube?

January 9, 2016

Theisen’s online video series, Staxpedition, tries to break down these barriers. “We have a will and an enthusiasm, but none of us knows anything about video, and we just really wanted to make them,” she said. Joining Theisen on the panel were Susie Kirk of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and Richert Schnorr of … Continue reading How Do You YouTube?