2024 Annual Conference Preview
American Libraries Magazine
by Diana Panuncial
1M ago
San Diego’s famously sunny reputation may rest on its Mediterranean climate, but “America’s Finest City” has more to offer than beaches and breezes. As the former stomping ground of Theodor Geisel (also known as Dr. Seuss; see our By the Numbers) and Raymond Chandler—and the place where speculative-fiction stars Kim Stanley Robinson and Cindy Pon got their start—it’s only fitting that this literary city host the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2024 Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will be held June 27–July 2 at the San Diego Convention Center. Annual promises an array of educationa ..read more
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A Taste of San Diego
American Libraries Magazine
by Becky Lomax
1M ago
Did you pack your sunscreen and hat? Ready to check out San Diego’s famed surf and sand? You’ve come to the right place. The convention center resembles a huge sailboat docked beside the deep blue San Diego Bay, where luxurious yachts fill the marina. Restaurants both fancy and casual tout prime water views around the center’s downtown neighborhood and all along San Diego County’s 70-mile coastline. You needn’t stick to the shore, however. There are plenty of stellar neighborhood spots that don’t need beach views to shine, as I found when researching Frommer’s San Diego Day by Day guide. Price ..read more
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Seeking Sanctuary
American Libraries Magazine
by Diana Panuncial
1M ago
Last year, when states were introducing a raft of legislation that would effectively take books off the shelves, librarians at Harris County (Tex.) Public Library (HCPL) knew they wanted to take a stand. Texas House Bill 900, which would have restricted materials in school libraries and required vendors to assign book ratings based on so-called appropriateness before selling them to schools, had just been signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June and was set to go into effect September 1, 2023. (On September 19, the bill was temporarily blocked by US District Judge Alan D. Albright. I ..read more
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Working for Well-Being
American Libraries Magazine
by Megan Bennett
1M ago
Social workers who connect patrons to needed physical and emotional care. Quiet rooms for rest and relaxation. Robotic pets that purr away patrons’ anxieties. And grief groups to support patrons over the holidays. Over the past decade, mental health support in libraries has grown more inventive, specific, and widespread. Institutions continue to innovate while meeting community needs, piloting targeted tools, dedicating roles and spaces to well-being, and investing in specialty programming and services for both patrons and staff. American Libraries spoke with workers from four libraries that a ..read more
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A Greener Way to Read
American Libraries Magazine
by Terra Dankowski
1M ago
Summer reading program prizes are a fun way to spark children’s participation. But those prizes often consist of nonrecyclable plastic items that—once the fun has worn off—end up as trash. Montgomery County (Md.) Public Libraries recently chose a greener, more community-focused way to get kids excited about books during their summer break. When school lets out, children gravitate to public libraries. Meanwhile, libraries strive to help those children maintain or improve their reading and critical-thinking skills throughout those school-free months, often by way of summer reading programs. At M ..read more
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Newsmaker: Dave Eggers
American Libraries Magazine
by Sanhita SinhaRoy
1M ago
Dave Eggers, a dynamic literary force, is also a passionate, innovative, and generous advocate. The cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers around the country, he also established nonprofit independent publishing company McSweeney’s and is an exceptionally creative and prolific writer. His many books for adults include The Circle and The Every, while among his works for young people are Her Right Foot and Soren’s Seventh Song. Eggers has received many prestigious awards, among them the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education, the Dayton Literary Peace P ..read more
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Bookend: From A to Zoo
American Libraries Magazine
by Megan Bennett
1M ago
Kelley Woolley remembers visiting San Diego Zoo and its Safari Park as a kid. The big cats, giraffes, and koalas were often her first stops. She recalls watching elephants do tricks and riding the now-closed monorail, which offered great views of the tiger habitat. “I’ve been a huge animal person my whole life,” Woolley says. Today, she oversees the library and archive for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA), the nonprofit that runs the zoo and park. Her workplace is one of a handful of zoo libraries across the US that employs a full-time librarian. SDZWA’s 16,000-item library com ..read more
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Newsmaker: Kathleen Hanna
American Libraries Magazine
by Megan Bennett
2M ago
  Artist and activist Kathleen Hanna is most known as the lead singer of punk bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin. Hanna’s new memoir Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (Ecco, May) chronicles the challenges and triumphs of her life before, during, and after navigating the male-dominated genre during the 1990s, spurring the Riot Grrrl movement and paving the way for other women artists. American Libraries caught up with Hanna ahead of the book’s release to discuss her behind-the-scenes stories, return to touring, and love of libraries.   What do you hope is the impact ..read more
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2024 Library Systems Report
American Libraries Magazine
by Becky Lomax
2M ago
The library technology industry had a quiet year in 2023. But in the absence of major business moves and acquisitions, companies set their sights on executing strategies to strengthen their market position. Previous cycles of business consolidation have yielded a layered landscape with distinct levels of competition. At the top, a handful of large organizations with considerable resources—Clarivate, EBSCO Information Services, Follett School Solutions, and OCLC—continue to expand their portfolios, covering multiple business sectors and library types. Middle-tier companies, including Axiell, By ..read more
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Show Yourself
American Libraries Magazine
by Diana Panuncial
2M ago
As school librarians, we are always rethinking how to convey who we are and what we do. To compete and remain viable, we need to work on our brand identity. You might be thinking, “Our school library has a brand?” Most of us associate the word with a name, logo, tagline, and design elements that a corporation uses to distinguish itself from others. It also involves marketing and merchandising to promote the organization’s product or service. When all these components are combined, the result is referred to as brand identity. The feelings and impressions that members of our school community hav ..read more
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