Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Contract Concerns

November 1, 2019

The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association’s Library Worklife site states: “Union contracts often provide for fair and flexible working hours, better pay for overtime and work on evenings and weekends, more paid holidays, paid family and medical leave, and employer help with child care and elder care.” These conditions are undoubtedly important. But when talking … Continue reading Contract Concerns





Abby Johnson

Helping Hands

May 1, 2018

At the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library, where I work, we have a teen volunteer program that starts at age 11. We get a high volume of requests for volunteer hours because of a service requirement at a nearby middle school. We’re one of the only games in town for these kids, many of … Continue reading Helping Hands


Angelina Zaytsev (left), collection services librarian at HathiTrust, and Kristina Eden, copyright review project manager at HathiTrust, lead the session "Harnessing Volunteer Power for Operational and Programmatic Success" at DPLAfest 2017 in Chicago. Photo: Terra Dankowski/American Libraries

The Devil Is in the Digital Details

April 25, 2017

Data and design boost engagement “A digital collection is not just scanned photographs,” said Greta Bahnemann, metadata librarian for the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL), at the outset of “Metadata: Preventing a Digital Junk Drawer.” Metadata should essentially make up half of your collection, she said. Why is metadata so important? Bahnemann and copresenters from the … Continue reading The Devil Is in the Digital Details


A volunteer with Books to Prisons Seattle searches the donated books to fulfill prisoner requests.

The Freedom of Reading

October 31, 2016

Books-to-prisoners programs across the country are doing their best to address this need by taking book requests from prisoners by mail, then having volunteers match those requests to books that have been donated by the public or purchased with monetary donations. Volunteers also prep books for shipment, assess and sort donations, keep track of the … Continue reading The Freedom of Reading


Kathy Clay, president of the ­Waukegan Public Library’s Friends of the Library, restocks children’s book for an upcoming book sale. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

May 31, 2016

“We were both trying to instill a volunteer culture in an environment that didn’t have that culture,” says Gorman, assistant dean for special collections and university archives. “[Yet] there were people in the community who were very educated, highly motivated, with a range of skills I could leverage.” Along with Smith—a photographs, artifacts, and textiles … Continue reading Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers


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Retired, but Embedded

June 13, 2013

As librarians, our skills are as embedded in our personal lives as in our work, and they do not desert us when we leave our positions. After retiring in 2009, I began volunteering at Hedgebrook, a writing residency program for women on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington State. Inspired by its founder, Nancy Skinner Nordhoff, … Continue reading Retired, but Embedded