A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online
Author Photo of Darrin Strauss

Darin Strauss on Merging Memoir and Fiction in his Incredible New Novel

Darin Strauss’ The Queen of Tuesday offers a captivating take on one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century, Lucille Ball, peeling back the layers to show a Lucy only a privileged few would have been able to witness during her lifetime. Beginning with Ball on the brink of her phenomenal television success, […]

Social Work in Public Libraries

Naming the Elephant

I am public library social worker. This may be the first time you’ve heard of such a position, but helping professionals like me are now working within roughly three dozen library systems around the United States. As our institutions continue to serve the public during a global pandemic and other stressors, I am very concerned about burnout and staff mental health.

illustration of a hand pointing at data on a screeen

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Allen County Public Library has strategically incorporated logic models and outcome measurement in planning and evaluating programs and services in a relatively short amount of time by using Project Outcome tools as a central part of an overall shift to a more outward-facing approach to library services.

abstract figure of a person yelling through a bullhorn to a crowd

New Research Explores How Public Libraries Can Best Combat Misinformation

New research published in the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science adds pieces to the puzzle of how public libraries can best address rising tides of misinformation within their communities. Most recently, misinformation surrounding COVID-19 has demonstrated how complex the issue can be and how serious- even lethal- the consequences.

images of people using computers

Not open? No problem. Rural Libraries Push WiFi Into Community Spaces

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, those who live in such remote areas may have been among the hardest hit. Getting access to WiFi safely – outdoors and away from crowds – can relieve the isolation. It’s something the Gilbreath library (along with more than 60 other libraries in rural regions) can now more easily facilitate, thanks to a $120,000 grant program offered by the Public Library Association (PLA) and Microsoft.

ala libraries build business logo

Open to Change: Libraries Pivot to Serve Small Businesses

Libraries, as critical local infrastructure, are always tuned into the emerging needs of their communities and are ready to respond with timely and relevant resources and services. This includes support for the local business community. Existing and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage library resources and programming to bolster their businesses.

illustration of three owls (a family) reading

Online Learning Opportunities for Babies

Eight months have gone by since the beginning of the pandemic. This means that anyone younger than 8 months has probably not been inside of a library. If they have it hasn’t been the library experience their older brothers and sisters experienced. We are not getting to know our infant patrons in the same manner […]

Todd D, Snyder Author Photo

Todd Snyder on the Poet Laureate of Muhammad Ali’s Corner

Most sports fans are familiar with Drew “Bundini” Brown as the charismatic, rhyme-spouting, larger-than-life figure in the background of Muhammad Ali. In the rousing Bundini: Don’t Believe The Hype, Todd Snyder crafts a loving, three-dimensional portrait of this seminal figure on boxing history, showcasing not only Bundini’s linguistic genius and acute boxing strategy, but also the darker moments that haunted Bundini’s extraordinary life. Through rigorous research, as well as unprecedented access to Bundini’s family and friends, Snyder dives into the key moments of Bundini’s life: his childhood in Florida; his service (as a teenager) in the Merchant Marines; his complicated love story with his wife, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Brooklyn; his work with Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali; as well as his post-boxing life, which included a foray in Hollywood with the Shaft films and an appearance in The Color Purple. Critics have lavished praise on Don’t Believe the Hype. The Wall Street Journal stated, “Mr. Snyder writes lyrically, and his research appears to be impeccable: It’s hard to imagine that anyone has slipped through his interview net,” and Foreword Reviews called it, “authoritative and entertaining, Bundini comes through for boxing fans and for those interested in Black American culture.”

walkway among imaginary setting with a large book in the middle

A Story Walk in the Park

Many libraries across the country and around the world are bringing story-time outside in a way that is safe, fun for the whole family, and encourages a healthy lifestyle through StoryWalks®.

Fire Dange sign

Wildfires Damage Libraries

“We are open regular hours- except of course the branch that burned to the ground.”

Glowing candle in darkness

Be Like RBG – Lessons from a Life

Like countless others, I admired the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), Supreme Court Justice and human rights icon. In 2017 I painted her portrait as part of a series on human rights leaders. I had a quality art print made from the original and mailed it with a letter of appreciation. To my delight, I […]

Author Photo of Anne Helen Peterson

Anne Helen Peterson on Structural Solutions to Tackle Millennial Burnout

Anne Helen Peterson has been a welcome voice for readers of Buzzfeed for years, covering a range of topics from the history of cool girls to refugee resettlement. When she turned her attention to millennial burnout in 2019, the topic struck a nerve, resulting in over seven million views. Now Peterson has expanded the scope of her article with her new book, Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation. Here, Peterson employs her rigorous academic background to dissect the common misconceptions about this generation and focus on how burnout has uniquely affected the ways they work, parent, and socialize. The result is a fascinating look at history, economics, and culture that will profoundly transform the way readers think of this generation.

picture of a bookmobile

Bookmobile Conference Goes Virtual

For the first time in its history, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services’ annual conference will be conducted virtually this year. Learn more about this organization and the benefits of outreach professionals swapping trade secrets.

person at desk looking tired and overwhelmed

A Pandemic Side Effect: Low Morale in Public Libraries

Employee morale takes another hit in the age of COVID.

“This is a Tour of My Brain and My Heart” — Meredith Hall on her Magnificent New Novel

In Meredith Hall’s Beneficence, readers are immersed in the lives of the Senter family, dairy farmers in the fictional town of Alstead, Maine, as their lives are upended by an unimaginable crisis. In the early 1930s, Tup and Doris are devoted parents to their three children: the charismatic Sonny, introspective Dodie, and fiercely loyal Beston. Over the next two decades, they pour their hearts into restoring the neglected farm and the family remains a compact, devoted unit. When tragedy befalls, each member is rocked in a different way. With lyrical precision, Hall dissects how grief reshapes each member and pushes them into newfound territory. The result is a profoundly moving family saga that provides an engrossing reading experience.