Mentors and student reporters for Coal Cracker in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, gather for a journalism training session inside the Teen Canteen, an old bank building that used to be a popular hangout in the 1950s and 1960s. Krista Gromalski (back, left) founded the community paper. Photo: Nikki Stetson

Community Reporting

May 31, 2016

“It’s a very depressed area economically,” Gromalski says of Mahanoy City. “The coal region, which is made up of small towns, used to be booming. Now the mining industry has been gone for several decades, older people are getting older [and] younger people are moving away because there are no jobs.” To re-create pride in … Continue reading Community Reporting


Travel Grants for San Francisco

September 17, 2014

Deadline: October 1, 2014 Penguin Young Readers Group Award Description: Up to four children’s librarians can receive a stipend to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. Award amount: $600 Requirement: Must be ALSC member Administered by: ALSC Sponsored by: Penguin Young Readers Group Deadline: December 1, 2014 Baker & Taylor Conference Grant Description: Two grants for … Continue reading Travel Grants for San Francisco


Detroit Public Library Provides Food to Fight Child Hunger

February 24, 2014

“Our kids come to our library branches starving,” says Merritt, executive director of the Friends of the Detroit Public Library Foundation. “They can’t concentrate.” Luckily, the person who asked the question was also someone who was poised to help—Brian Glowiak, vice president of the Chrysler Foundation, the charitable arm of the Detroit-based car company. The … Continue reading Detroit Public Library Provides Food to Fight Child Hunger



On the Perils of Licensing; or Bah Humbug Capitalism

December 16, 2013

Cory Doctorow shared the sad tale on December 15 of one family’s holiday hopes being dashed by bah-humbug capitalism and the slippery nature of contractual licenses. Here is Bill's story, with another type of license taken from Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas. ’Twas the night before movie time, when all thro’ the house Not … Continue reading On the Perils of Licensing; or Bah Humbug Capitalism


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Referenda Roundup

December 16, 2013

One of the ways we measure the support for public libraries is through the success or failure of local library referenda. We look back on the previous year cheering the wins and also wondering why some library elections fail. This roundup considers factors related to the success or failure of library referenda and includes a … Continue reading Referenda Roundup


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LIS on the Job

December 16, 2013

Due to loss of funding over the years, many libraries opted to hire less expensive staff members who were not certified librarians. Now, even though people with the title “librarian” make up one-third of library staff, only half of all libraries reported having a credentialed librarian on staff in 2010, according to the Public Libraries … Continue reading LIS on the Job


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Start-Up Librarian

November 11, 2013

Remember all those library jobs that were going to open up once the boomers retired? Pundits prophesied librarians being in demand everywhere, with libraries scrambling to fill empty positions. There weren’t going to be enough librarians to go around! Things haven’t turned out quite as we expected, and now the rhetoric has shifted to the … Continue reading Start-Up Librarian


Mario Gonzalez

ALA: Dollars and Sense

November 11, 2013

This is my first column as ALA’s new treasurer, and I would like to use this opportunity to share with you my overall observations about ALA’s current financial situation. Despite the recession, ALA is a financially viable and financially solvent organization. One of these strengths is the fact that the Chicago headquarters—both 40 East Huron … Continue reading ALA: Dollars and Sense



The Government Shutdown and Libraries

October 1, 2013

Here’s a snapshot of how the library community is affected until the budget situation is resolved: The Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and its website is inaccessible, except for THOMAS, Congress.gov, and Cataloger’s Desktop. However, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine still offers access to LC and other agencies before their websites went dark. The National … Continue reading The Government Shutdown and Libraries


Paperless Libraries

September 18, 2013

That’s the question a lot of people were asking even before Bexar County, Texas, opened its all-digital library, dubbed BiblioTech, on September 14. The bookless facility serves an unincorporated area outside of San Antonio, offering more than 10,000 titles available for digital download and 100 e-readers on loan, as well as computer stations, digital literacy … Continue reading Paperless Libraries