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?


Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Digital Strategies for Librarians

January 2, 2020

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


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


"key" with Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library logo

Automatic for the People

September 3, 2019

But he says any move to automate would be about expanding services, not cutting staff. “I told that journalist, the conversation would regard whether we repurpose one of our staff, who is doing transactional work, to do more transformational work enhancing library resources and programs in senior living facilities or nursing homes or low-income housing … Continue reading Automatic for the People


OverDrive supports library-driven digital book clubs through publisher negotiation and marketing materials.

Bringing Book Clubs Online

September 3, 2019

OverDrive Digital Book Clubs Libraries that have digital collections from OverDrive are automatically part of the company’s global ebook club, the Big Library Read, which makes select titles available for unlimited checkouts for a limited period three times a year. In addition to this large-scale reading program, the company also provides support for community-wide and … Continue reading Bringing Book Clubs Online


Clockwise from top left, logos for Sora, PBS Kids Scratch Jr., iCell, Chatterpix Kids, Mixerpiece, and iCivics Suite.

2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning

June 22, 2019

Recognized apps and websites foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They were also evaluated for their support of AASL’s “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.” The apps recognized in 2019 are: Chatterpix Kids EarthViewer Equity Maps Figment AR Green Screen by Do Ink iCell iCivics – Suite Khan Academy … Continue reading 2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning