A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

PLA Contributor Author Archive


Email: publiclibrariesonline@gmail.com  


Juneteenth Freedom Day 6/19/1865

Public Libraries Celebrate Juneteenth

This weekend, public libraries around the country are celebrating Juneteenth and Black freedom with events, discussions, book recommendations and more.

Love Maps? GIS Mapping Exchange info

GIS-Mapping Exchange Grant Program

The GIS-Mapping Exchange is seeking applications from public libraries, for funding ($1500-$5000) to partner with local geospatial data professionals.

gold police badge on purple background

The Conversation Around Policing and Public Libraries

Police interference is often justified under the pretense that it keeps people safe, a reasoning that has been called into question in libraries across America, especially in recent years.

cutting board with knife and vegetables

Beyond Yuck and Yum: Programming with Picture Books about Food

When brainstorming ways to include food in library programming, it’s easy to think about the traditional ways in which food has been included in library programming – nutrition, cooking, and gardening/farming. What if food in library programming could build communities around food? What if it could start conversations about culture and food equity?

red and blue police lights in a night background

Policing and Social Justice in Libraries

Catherine Hollerbach, Chief Operating Officer, Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Library, and Michelle Hamiel, Chief Operating Officer for Public Services, Prince George’s County Memorial Library (MD), presented a program at PLA 2022 called ‘Policing and Social Justice in Libraries.’ In this program they examined “the role that police officers and security guards play in making […]

laptop computer open notebook and pen

Helping Patrons Keep Up in the Digital Age–Promising Practices in Libraries

Adults need digital literacy to access essential information, compete for jobs, and participate in education. These needs existed long before 2020, but were highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic as adults with developing digital literacy skills had difficulty accessing unemployment benefits, participating in virtual doctors’ appointments, and registering for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. During the pandemic, […]

American Library Association Logo

Advancing Digital Equity by Expanding Tribal Library Access to E-Rate

Since the federal E-Rate program was established in 1996, public libraries across the nation have saved close to $2 billion in telecommunications and internet access costs. However, the program has largely failed to reach communities with some of the worst broadband access in the nation. Nearly 7 in every 10 residents on rural tribal lands remain without access to high-capacity broadband, and yet only about 12 percent of tribal libraries report receiving E-Rate funds.

asexuality pride flag consisting of black gray white and purple stipes

Asexuality On the Shelves

What is asexuality? While it’s most often described as “not being sexually attracted to others,” it is far more complex than those few words indicate. What else? Approximately one per cent of the population is asexual (or ace) and it is an orientation, akin to lesbianism or bisexuality. It’s also important to understand that a […]

Feature article nov/dec 2021 public libraries magazine

We All Win — Training and Advancement for Non-MLS Library Workers

There is a shift happening in East Bay Libraries, in California. One after another, hiring managers are inviting librarian candidates to the interview
table who do not have a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).

gold star on blue background

Missing Karen

Karen Blumenthal (1959-2020) was a journalist, a teacher, a historian, a biographer, a master needle-pointer, a cookie-maker, a proud Texas native, a much-loved wife and mother, an enthusiastic Dallas sports fan, a passionate public library supporter, a tireless fund-raiser, and a dedicated civic volunteer.

photo of books on a shelf on a pink background

Readers Advisory Reimagined

How do we create sustainable RA practices that empower staff and embed Readers’ Advisory fully into libraries?

2021 Public Library staff and diversit survey header imposed over a bookshelf

2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity Survey

PLA invites all US public libraries to complete the 2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity Survey! The deadline has been extended to January 14, 2022.

gold star on blue background

A Salute to the Schneider

Since 2004, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Schneider Family Book Award has been given annually to honor an author or illustrator for a work that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prizes are bestowed in the categories of Young Children, Middle School, and Teen.

Image of the "Cursed" book cover

Cursed — A Conversation with Karol Ruth Silverstein

Since 2004, ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award has honored an author or illustrator for a title that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.  In 2020, the “teen” category prize went to screenwriter and first-time novelist Karol Ruth Silverstein’s Cursed, published in 2019 by Charlesbridge Teen. Readers meet 14-year-old […]

Feature Article May/June 2020 Issue of Public Libraries

Define & Design: The Bookstore Model of Customer Service

We have often looked to retail to borrow marketing, merchandising, and materials arrangement ideas, but few of us have considered the other bookstore model—the deliberate design of customer service transactions—for inspiration in understanding how the consumer environment has changed around us. Strengthening the interpersonal components of user experience is something every library can and should do, especially in these most uncertain of times.