A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Andrew Hart Author Archive


Email: librarian.andrew@gmail.com  

I am a nerdy librarian with an unhealthy obsession with learning. I love to write, read, exercise, and watch The Office (I've literally seen every episode five times). I am a proud Buckeye (BA), Eagle (MSLS), and Bobcat (MSS). I am interested in library history, emerging library technologies, library safety, self-publishing, prison librarianship, reference services, programming, library ethics, and emerging trends. I am an Ohio Certified Public Librarian, and currently work for the State of Ohio as a reference librarian. Note: All views that are presented are my own. I am currently reading IT by Stephen King.


solar eclipse

Get Your Library In On the Eclipse Action

Public libraries have a tremendous opportunity to supplement STEM programming with the event — before and after.

spooky book and candle

Newberry Library’s Bewitching Project

Chicago’s Newberry Library needs your help transcribing and/or translating seventeenth century occult books, including a book of spells. The research library has placed the 17th century texts on their website in the hopes that viewers can aid in ongoing transcription work.

illustration of a typewriter

Self-Publishing, Indie Authors, and Libraries

A recent article from the University of Arizona Press titled “Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity” provides a history of traditional self-publishing activities in libraries and shows how libraries can use self-publishing to foster community needs. I have a soft spot for self-publishing (I’m an indie author myself), and believe that libraries are missing out on an incredible opportunity. Our communities have so much hidden creative potential, but may lack the means to express it. Self-publishing services and local library recognition can help patrons find an outlet for their creativity. Most importantly, it puts locally created book content into the hands of other community members.

display of vintage books

Boston Public Library’s Book Wash Machine

Yes, you read the title right. Book. Car Wash. I have seen some innovative things in libraries such as seed lending, tie lending, RFID tags, and 3D printing, but I have yet to see anything like this.

Promoting a Lifelong Love of Reading: PL Talks With Jenny Adams Perinovic

Jenny Adams Perinovic is taking public library outreach services to another level at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

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Library Ethics and Social Media

The Jefferson County Public Library (CO) recently came under fire for allegedly posting politically sensitive tweets on the library’s Twitter account.

Graffiti - Big Brother is Watching You

Braving the New World: Dystopian RA

The unsteady political climate and unsure footing of American foreign policy has led many readers to find solace in books that they feel they can relate to: dystopian novels.

library sign

Ethics of Library Meeting Rooms

We have all heard that we are gatekeepers of information. This is true, but we must not forget that we are also gatekeepers of materials and services. Being that we have so much power and influence, our professional association, the ALA, has created a Code of Ethics and a Library Bill of Rights to give patrons inalienable rights as they use library resources.

Colbert Nembhard

Educating Homeless Youth in the Bronx

For the last eight years, Colbert Nembhard has volunteered his time reading to homeless children at the Crotona Inn homeless shelter in the Bronx. He believes in early literacy intervention and strives to cultivate a love of reading in children while they are young. When Nembhard is not providing programming at the Crotona Inn homeless shelter, he manages the Morrisania Branch Library of the New York Public Library. Andrew Hart interviewed Nembhard via email on December 8, 2016.

diverse people standing around a globe

Making the Library a Positive Place for LGBTQIA Patrons

Public libraries have seen a lot of change in the last three decades: the advent of the Internet and modern computer, the creation of the OPAC/ILS (bye-bye card catalog), the burgeoning eBook industry, and the rise of self-published authors, to name a handful. What hasn’t changed is the ongoing plight of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Allied) community and the fact that they are often not provided relevant resources in public libraries.

november calendar page

November is National Novel Writing Month

It’s November and that means National Novel Writing Month is here again! Participating in National Novel Writing Month, or as it is more commonly known, NaNoWriMo, is a great way for public libraries to support aspiring authors.

Vote sign

Political Ethics: Keeping Your Library Neutral

As the presidential election season endures, librarians and other information professionals in public libraries may be tempted to express fondness for one political party and dislike for the other. Sometimes expression of one’s political stance is done unintentionally. Whether such expression is intentional or benign, it may convey a perceived bias to patrons and to the community that the library is for or against a certain candidate running for office whether that is for president, governor, mayor, senator, etc.