Tristan Wheeler (right), audio-visual and event planning specialist at Cleveland Public Library, plays Windjammers with streamers from sfxxPLAY on Twitch.

The Twitching Hour

September 1, 2021

The livestreaming platform Twitch is primarily used by gamers who broadcast themselves playing videogames. Anyone can watch from anywhere for free. The platform entered the mainstream in 2020, when the number of active streamers on the platform more than doubled over the year, from just under 4 million to more than 9 million. Twitch is most … Continue reading The Twitching Hour


Neatline allowed Illinois Institute of Technology Libraries to create an interactive campus building timeline.

On the Map

September 1, 2021

Neatline User: Adam Strohm, director of University Archives and Special Collections, Paul V. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago What is Neatline? Neatline is an open source suite of plug-ins that adds geotemporal functionality to Omeka exhibits and allows users to situate exhibit items in space and time. Its SIMILE add-on provides an interactive … Continue reading On the Map


Gracey Gordon, Liz M. McChesney, Vicky Perez, Aldo Vasquez

Priming the STEM Pipeline

June 25, 2021

The STEM career pipeline is “leaky,” often leaving behind students of color and those in poverty. For this reason, the Urban Libraries Council—with funding from IMLS—launched Partners for Middle School STEM in 2018. This grant funded programs at 11 libraries to develop models for building strong STEM community partnerships for middle school children. Durham County … Continue reading Priming the STEM Pipeline


Gale Engage provides dashboard visualizations of library data.

Target Acquired

May 3, 2021

Gale Engage User: Riti Grover, director at Farmington (Mich.) Community Library What is Gale Engage? Gale Engage is a marketing and analysis tool designed to optimize the library’s effectiveness through data analysis and dashboard visualizations that enable library staff to best focus their efforts within the community. How do you use it? We use Gale … Continue reading Target Acquired


Kazuo Ishiguro

Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro

February 25, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a powerful commentary on the ethics of technological advances and artificial intelligence. What inspired you to address those themes? It was an opportunity to have a narrator with an interesting perspective. The Artificial Friend is almost like a baby at the beginning: completely fresh, completely open, but taking things in … Continue reading Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro


Twitch and Discord in libraries panelists Michael Dunbar-Rodney and Lorin Flores

How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch

June 26, 2020

Lorin Flores and Michael Dunbar-Rodney, librarians at San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, discussed how libraries can take advantage of these emerging online streaming platforms to reach new audiences and expand digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic in their ALA Virtual 2020 session, “Twitch and Discord in Public Libraries: New Opportunities for Adult Services.” Twitch, a … Continue reading How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch


Libby the Librarian greets students at University of Pretoria Libraries in South Africa. Photo: Mariki Uitenweerde/University of Pretoria in South Africa

What the Future Holds

June 1, 2020

Here we offer insights and predictions from five library thinkers who shared their perspectives at the Symposium on the Future of Libraries during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. From core values such as privacy and sustainability to more novel innovations such as the use of robots, we explore what the … Continue reading What the Future Holds


The Hover Camera Passport is an AI-powered drone for personal photography.

A Drone’s-Eye View

June 1, 2020

Hover Camera Passport The Hover Camera Passport is a lightweight, foldable drone for personal photography designed for a simple, automated user experience. Weighing 242 grams (8.5 ounces), it is just below the FAA registration weight limit and folds into the shape of a VHS tape. While most drones rely on controllers—whether standalone or through an … Continue reading A Drone’s-Eye View


Graphic: Plug into the Census

Plug into the Census

March 2, 2020

Citywide collaboration in Baltimore Baltimore received a $250,000 grant from the state of Maryland to support census outreach efforts, led by the Baltimore Complete Count Committee (BCCC). The committee has worked closely with local libraries to implement a plan for “bringing the census to the people,” says Austin C. Davis, census project manager for the … Continue reading Plug into the Census


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


Claire Nickerson, learning initiatives and open educational resources librarian at Fort Hays (Kans.) State University, discusses evolving library spaces.

Immersive Classrooms for All

January 28, 2020

Immersive classrooms—spaces that use large displays and interactive elements to simulate environments—have been in use at large academic institutions for years. They generally require expensive screens, projectors, and interactive devices as well as expert-level development to design and adapt content. However, Fort Hays (Kans.) State University (FHSU) received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute … Continue reading Immersive Classrooms for All


Elisa Rodrigues (left) and Anders Lyon Photo: Hanna Byrd Little

What Types of Technology Should Librarians Scrutinize?

January 25, 2020

The session, part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Philadelphia on January 25, included both a presentation and a large-group discussion. The first significant item discussed was privacy. The presenters called attention to the seventh article of the ALA Bill of Rights: “All people, regardless of origin, … Continue reading What Types of Technology Should Librarians Scrutinize?