Brooke Windsor⁠, teen services librarian at Stratford Public Library (SPL) in Ontario⁠, speaks at "Outside and Around Town: The Magic of Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure” at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

Embarking on a Quest

June 26, 2022

Windsor did so by developing a game that invited players to visit Stratford’s local businesses to complete challenges and ultimately win prizes. Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure was a hit that more than 70 patrons participated in during its three-week run. Windsor detailed the framework of her game and how librarians could implement similar … Continue reading Embarking on a Quest


Photo of young people playing chess

A Winning Move

March 1, 2022

In 2001 it was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, which culminates with its heroes playing a giant, magical game of high-stakes chess, says HPL Librarian Alison Creech. In 2020, during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit put the spotlight back on the … Continue reading A Winning Move


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Crisis Averted

January 3, 2022

Consider, for example, a library activity in which teens can talk about the spaces that make them feel comfortable and can help design an area of the library that is just for them. In this exercise, teens articulate what evokes happiness and calm—two emotional states that are central to positive mental health—and are given an … Continue reading Crisis Averted


2021 YALSA Symposium

Making Space

November 9, 2021

Creating safety At “Safe Haven: Creating Safe Education Spaces That Destigmatize the Teen Mental Health Experience,” authors Rocky Callen and Nora Shalaway Carpenter—coeditors of Ab(solutely) Normal, a YA anthology of mental health fiction slated for 2023—moderated a panel that examined how youth and teen services staffers can support teen mental health. Callen and Carpenter began … Continue reading Making Space


Call Number Podcast: Zombies!

October 19, 2021

In Episode 67, Call Number with American Libraries celebrates Halloween with a look at libraries and the living dead. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with Ben Rubin, horror studies collection coordinator at University of Pittsburgh Library System, about the George A. Romero Archival Collection, which was gifted to … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Zombies!


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



Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead

November 13, 2020

In Episode 56, Call Number looks at library efforts to support and engage teen activism. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price speaks with Donnell Washington, senior library assistant at Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library, about the Better Hope for Tomorrow virtual summit for teens that he helped organize. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead


Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment

November 11, 2020

This year’s symposium focused on partnerships, empowerment, and using YA literature to promote equity. At the Saturday, November 7 session “Our Teens Have a Voice: Methods in Planning and Executing a Youth Conference on Social Justice,” the two presenters—Erin Hoopes, branch manager of Philadelphia City Institute of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Gabrielle Miller, … Continue reading Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment


Teen leader Iris Alvarenga poses in front of yard signs at Waltham (Mass.) Public Library that depict issues youth patrons care about. The installation was a partnership between the library, civic organization For Freedoms, and local art group Blueprint Projects. Photo: Erwin Cardona/Waltham (Mass.) Public Library

Let Them Lead

November 2, 2020

This isn’t the first time in recent years that teens have taken a visible role in public protests. Many of them marched in support of the DREAM Act and spoke out about immigration policy; advocated for gun control after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and followed environmental … Continue reading Let Them Lead



Teens at San Francisco Public Library created Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a board game that explores inequity in their city. Photo: Dorcas Wong/San Francisco Public Library

The Missing Piece

November 2, 2020

In turn, each player’s social class determined their stakes in Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a Monopoly-esque game that simulates poverty and inequity in San Francisco, complete with properties and transit lines familiar to the group. Around the time the teens were developing the board game last year, San Francisco reported a nearly 7% … Continue reading The Missing Piece