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National Book Awards Longlists Offer Fresh Voices, Cutting-Edge Content

The National Book Awards longlists were rolled out September 12 through 14, with translated literature making its debut and lots of new voices in evidence

Inspiring Advanced Research by Cultivating Information Literacy
An Interview with a Mover & Shaker

Stephanie Davis-Kahl is the Scholarly Communications Librarian and Professor at The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her role includes providing leadership for scholarly communication programs, acting as the liaison to nine departments, including the Design, Entrepreneurship & Technology program, and serving as the Managing Faculty Co-Editor of the Undergraduate Economic Review.

Small & Mighty: Celebrating the Long Reach of our Littlest Libraries

Congratulations to the staff and patrons of the Madison County Public Libraries on taking the honors as the 2018 Best Small Library in America.

Of, By, and For the People: Best Small Library in America 2018

On operating revenue of just $25 per capita, the Madison County Public Libraries has totally engaged its community with partnerships, outreach, relationships, and top-notch professional service. The result is a rejuvenated three-branch system that has been recognized as LJ’s 2018 Best Small Library in America.

Using Design Thinking To Improve Library User Experience:
An Interview with an Academic Mover & Shaker

Rebecca Blakiston  is a User Experience Strategist at the University of Arizona Libraries who uses design thinking, systems thinking, and a unique approach to user research to improve the library experience from the perspective of its patrons.

 

ALA in Pictures: Library of the Year Reception

Buoyant breakfast celebrates San Francisco Public Library, Gale/LJ Library of the Year

ALA in Pictures: Opening General Session

ALA's 2018 Annual conference opened with a bang, with guests ranging from Trombone Shorty to Michelle Obama

Lovely RITA Winners | RWA 2018

A highlight of each annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference is the presentation of the RITA Awards; see this year's winners

Thriller Authors Are Anything But Scary | ThrillerFest XIII

ThrillerFest 2018, the 13th annual convention for thriller writers, readers, and lovers, was held at New York City's Grand Hyatt on July 10-14 this year.

Herrera & Co. On a Mission: A Legacy of Compassionate Creativity | Editorial

Talk about momentum. San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) laser focus on radical access, led by compassion and with a goal to serve all, has shaped an array of library services that are inspiring, replicable, and continually redefining what the word library means.

2018 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: San Francisco Public Library

A model and inspiration for public libraries worldwide, the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL)—with its committed staff, transformational leadership, amazing array of programs, partnerships, popularity, and community connections—is the 2018 Gale/LJ Library of the Year.

2018 Audie Award Winners

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of the 2018 Audie Awards at its 23rd Annual Audies Gala, hosted by narrator Simon Vance, on May 31 at the New-York Historical Society in New York City.

Five Libraries Take 2018 IMLS Top Honors

Representing every region of the country, five libraries have been honored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with a 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards Announced

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) partners each year with the American Library Association (ALA)/Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) to recognize the best in library architecture and design. The 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards, announced on April 6, included public libraries from Cape Cod to California.

Net Neutrality Concerns Spark Criticism of ALA Madison Award Pick

On March 9 the ALA Washington Office announced the recipients of its annual James Madison Award, given to “individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.” However, this year’s choice, U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL)—recognized for their work as cofounders and cochairs of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus—has drawn fire because of Issa’s opposition to net neutrality and other issues that, critics say, run counter to ALA’s stated Code of Ethics.

2018 Audie Award Finalists

The Audie Awards recognize outstanding audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment; finalists in 30 categories have been announced

Tom Bober | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

Students who can confidently analyze primary sources “look at things with a critical eye,” says school librarian Tom Bober. But cultivating this crucial skill can be daunting, as he discovered as a classroom teacher. After attending the Library of Congress (LC) Summer Institute in 2013, however, Bober was armed with strategies—and ready to spread the word.

Jerica Copeny | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

In November 2017, a few months after she became Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s (EVPL) civic data scientist—one of the few in the country at a public library—Jerica Copeny volunteered at the inaugural conference of Data for Black Lives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.

Trina Evans | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

When it comes to funding programs at the Kokomo–Howard County Public Library (KHCPL), Trina Evans has dubbed herself the #persistentlibrarian. “I am not afraid to ask, be told ‘no,’ or wear people down until they say ‘yes,’ ” Evans explains. Since she began working a few hours a week for KHCPL in 2014, Evans has become, in the words of Director Faith Brautigam, a “one-woman tidal wave.”

Marian Fragola | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

A photo spurred Marian Fragola to create the Making Space series at North Carolina State University (NCSU). As part of a study on the library’s gaming spaces, a student snapped a picture of herself looking into one of the rooms, her body reflected in the glass. “[It] captured her feelings of not being welcomed,” says Fragola, director of program planning and outreach. The photo brought home to Fragola and her colleagues the issue of women’s underrepresentation in the Maker movement and tech.

Kiara Garrett | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

When a prospective date asked Kiara Garrett to recommend a book, she suggested Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her. He mistakenly thought the collection offered relationship advice. Garrett told him, “If you liked Jay-Z’s album 4:44, then you would like this book.”

Amy Mikel | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

“My mind-set is to think through a process or procedure or problem and connect the threads of a solution,” Amy Mikel says. “Then I keep at it, even if it takes years.” That may explain how Mikel’s in-person class for 20 teachers has in three years become a digital class for more than 1,000.

Shannon O’Neill | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

As director of archives and special collections at Columbia University’s Barnard Library, Shannon O’Neill practices “radical empathy,” both in the materials she selects and in the way she interacts with colleagues. The concept of radical empathy in archival practice comes from Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor’s “From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives,” explains O’Neill. In practice, she says, “we allow ourselves to be open to and affected by one another, and we acknowledge and actively confront oppressive structures—ones that are colonial, carceral, and racist—in archives.”

Karen Parry | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Having been what she calls “a patient of the Internet” when her mother was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, Karen Parry knows how difficult it is to find trustworthy health information. So after her mother died in 2009, Parry started Just for the Health of It! at the East Brunswick Public Library.

Tracey Wong | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Tracey Wong is not one to take no for an answer. Early in her career as a classroom teacher in the Bronx, NY, she asked the principal to reopen the shuttered school library, since she would soon have her library degree. He said budgets made that impossible. “So I started pretending I was the librarian,” Wong says. “I emailed him articles on test scores and how to change school culture. I brought in an author. I manually checked out books to my reading groups. I did colleague lunch-and-learns on my own.”

Liesl Toates | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Long before Liesl Toates moved to her new job at the Monroe #1 BOCES School Library System in September 2017, she had made a mark on education in western New York at the Genesee Valley School Library System, where she worked for eight years.

Joe Márquez & Annie Downey | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

In a 2015 journal article for Weave: Journal of Library User Experience, Reed College Library’s Annie Downey and Joe Márquez defined service design as “a holistic, cocreative, and user-centered approach to understanding customer behavior for the creation or refining of services.” They laid out a flexible, user-centered approach to understanding user and service provider experiences using qualitative tools—and then creating holistic solutions.

Jenny Ryan | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

In Saskatoon, First Nations people make up nine percent of the population, and Jenny Ryan wanted to find ways to serve those communities. So when she came across the story of a new DC superhero, Equinox—a young, female Cree—she got excited. “I had been trying to find representation of indigenous teens to add to the collection, and I wanted more female representation, too,” she says.

Kristina A. Holzweiss | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Being named School Library Journal’s 2015 School Librarian of the Year could be considered the crowning achievement of any school librarian’s career. But Kristina Holzweiss is not one to rest on her laurels. If anything, that honor only heralded more inventive and far-reaching initiatives.

Fran Glick | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

After 15 years as an elementary school classroom teacher, Fran Glick enrolled in a master’s degree program in instructional technology, with a concentration in school library media. “The moment I entered the program, my inner librarian was awakened,” she says.

Rebecca Stavick | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

In 2015, after five years with the Omaha Public Library (OPL), Rebecca Stavick launched Do Space, a blend of community technology library, digital workshop, and “innovation playground” being touted as the first technology library in the United States.

Twila Camp | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

The University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries are lucky enough to own all 12 of Galileo’s first editions, four of which contain the author’s own handwriting. They’re also fortunate to have as part of their team Twila Camp, whom the libraries’ associate dean of knowledge services and CTO Carl Grant calls a “talented collaborator, out-of-the-box thinker, and lifelong learner/librarian.” Camp, OU libraries director of web services, leads the technical team that helped create 2015’s Galileo’s World, a series of 20 exhibits at seven locations on three OU campuses.

Emma Hernández | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

The first time Emma Hernández encountered the term digital inclusion was on the application for the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN)/Google Fiber Digital Inclusion Fellowship, a one-year program for emerging leaders from digitally divided communities to improve digital access. “I…realized that these words described the difficulties I had faced as a lifelong member of the digitally disconnected masses,” she says.

Jennifer A. Ferretti | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Jennifer Ferretti has been a digital librarian for more than ten years at various institutions. A fine arts graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she returned to MICA in 2015 to lead digital initiatives. “I never wanted to be a librarian,” says Ferretti, because “I didn’t know what librarians did. I never had a librarian I connected to and never met a Latinx librarian.” A supportive internship supervisor at the Smithsonian (2007–08) and a strong community on “librarian Twitter” changed that.

Angel Jewel Tucker | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

The 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin broke Angel Tucker’s heart. Then a young adult librarian at the Central branch of Kansas’s Johnson County Library system, located in the metropolitan Kansas City area, Tucker teamed up with a library committee led by civic engagement librarian Louisa Whitfield Smith to host a public, deliberative dialog about the controversial ruling.

Allie Stevens | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Allie Stevens’s lightbulb moment came when she took an introductory public libraries course at Louisiana State University. Before that, Stevens thought she’d be a science or medical librarian. The class opened her eyes to the many skills required to be a public librarian. “I loved the inherent challenge in that—to learn something new on any given day and to help people in direct and tangible ways.”

Erin Hoopes | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

In April 2015, when a group of Philadelphia teens shared their distress over the death of Freddie Gray while he was in Baltimore police custody, Erin Hoopes found a way to help them voice their emotions by creating the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Social Justice Symposium for Teens. Library staff regularly converse with teens about issues such as police brutality and racism, and Hoopes, who has extensive experience designing programs for teens, sought to deepen the dialog.

Jason Johnson | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

When Jason Johnson started at the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) in 2004, he saw it as a day job—one that allowed him to concentrate on the music and other creative endeavors he had moved to Eastern Washington to pursue. He’s been a rock musician for years, mostly playing in the band Buffalo Jones.

David Lopez | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

“This is your eulogy./ Un canto sin letras./ Una memoria/—inexpresable.” David Lopez wrote the poem “Eulogy” after the June 2016 shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, FL. It appeared on the website The Brillantina Project, an online poetry anthology for LGBTQ+ writers that Lopez created in response to the massacre. “When these spaces of healing do not exist, we have to create them on our own and show the world that we are here,” says Lopez, who has an MFA in creative writing as well as an MLIS.

Kristin Treviño | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Kristin Treviño, youth and digital services librarian at the South Irving Library, part of Texas’s Irving Public Library, used her knowledge of the impact that connecting young readers with the right book can have to plan an immensely popular event, the North Texas Teen Book Festival.

Sandy Pon | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

Even for trained information professionals, the world of grants can feel intimidating and opaque. Asking for money is never easy, but information clearinghouses such as the Foundation Center can provide useful insight and guidance, thanks to the efforts of specialists like Sandy Pon.

Nathaniel Rasmussen | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

Nathaniel Rasmussen is leading the charge in central Pennsylvania to install Wi-Fi “help hot spots” by using TV white space in nine regional parks. Rasmussen and his team at Schlow Centre Region Library will deploy the first three or four locations by June 2018 to offer open Internet access to residents and a homework portal for public school students in Centre County, PA.

Kristina Spurgin | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

“In middle school,” says Kristina Spurgin, “I taught myself to code in BASIC and repurposed the Address Book application that came with our Tandy Radio Shack 1000 EX to subject index my parents’ National Geographic collection—for fun. Now I have a spreadsheet that tells me when to start making bread, given the time I want to eat the bread and whether it’s chilly, neutral, or warm inside.” Unsurprisingly, Spurgin is meticulous in describing how initiatives she leads on the job improve upon existing processes and enable work that was previously impossible.

Trevor Owens | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

Over the past eight years, Trevor Owens has moved from the Library of Congress (LC) to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and back to LC. The common thread that runs through each role, however, is his ability to see the big picture and think strategically about digital materials and the policies surrounding them. Owens “has the rare capacity to convert critical intellectual engagement with the challenges that libraries face into practical guidance that resonates with a wide range of librarians,” says nominator Thomas Padilla, visiting digital research services librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ellen Druda | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

A longtime LJ video reviewer (and 2004 Video Reviewer of the Year), Ellen Druda is best known on Long Island for her decades of work as an ever-adaptive, always innovative technology specialist. Although Druda earned her MLS in 1976, her career began in media, first at CBS News and then at the upstart MTV network. “I loved all the cameras and editing equipment. I remember feeling bristly at being the only female in the tech area!” she says.

Jay Moschella | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

“Technology hasn’t made special collections less relevant—it’s made them more relevant,” says Boston Public Library’s Jay Moschella. He should know. As lead curator of BPL’s Shakespeare Unauthorized exhibition, he guided a team that gave 65,000 visitors what he describes as “a front-row seat to the kinds of research and discoveries that are happening in modern rare books and special collections reading rooms right now.”

Jeanne Marie Ryan | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

Jeanne Marie Ryan has some advice for anyone who wants to get anything big done: “It pays to be persistent—and keep smiling as you go back to people.” That approach served her well as the chief strategist for and coordinator of the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act. “She’s the Godmother of our first-ever library bond act,” says nominator Chris Carbone, director of the South Brunswick Public Library, NJ.

Dayna Hart | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

Dayna Hart was inspired to bring project-based learning (PBL) to Constable Neil Bruce Middle School, where she’s been a teacher librarian since 2006, after attending a workshop in Texas in 2011 with Jillian Cornock and Ryan Holly, both teachers at the school. The trio put together a ninth grade social studies graphic novel unit looking at historical wrongs. Hart says, “We had no idea how powerful this unit would be.”

Margo Gustina | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

Librarianship was a natural fit for Margo Gustina, who has always loved connecting people with what they need but disliked the hard sell of bookstores or the bureaucracy of social work. Her first encounters with small libraries in rural western New York shaped her view of what good service should look like. She met directors with small staffs, tiny budgets, few open hours, and minimal digital resources who still brought their communities together with rich programming—not defined by their limitations, she says, but by their unique talents “and ability to translate those into strengthening the social connective tissue.”

Megan Godbey | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

“Libraries fulfill their ultimate potential when they provide safe space for everyone...and empower patrons to realize their full potential,” says Megan Godbey. That philosophy underpins her work at the Nashville Public Library (NPL), where she initiated the Pathway for New Americans project, a partnership with the Nashville mayor’s office and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nashville was the third such library and the first to open “citizenship corners outside the library,” she says.

Heather Acerro | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

“Failure is a critical ingredient to success,” says Heather Acerro, head of youth services at the Rochester Public Library (RPL). Her creative approaches to community needs have resulted in positive outcomes for RPL. Despite the challenge presented by Minnesota’s “11-and-a-half months of winter,” as Acerro jokes, she wrote a grant that resulted in the addition of a bicycle-pulled trailer (the first in the state) for library outreach. In 2017, after winning a citywide award for the project, Acerro used the prize money to add an ArtCart, filled with supplies for creative projects.

Andrea Blackman | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

If those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, Andrea Blackman may have found one way to inspire learning. As division manager for the Nashville Public Library (NPL) Special Collections and director of the library’s Civil Rights Room—in charge of documenting the local history of the civil rights movement in one of its key cities—she has initiated an ambitious effort to meld the library’s unique holdings into a curriculum for change.

Elizabeth Negrete Gaylor | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

As a Mexican American child whose mother spoke only Spanish to her until she was three, Elizabeth Negrete Gaylor discovered her local library when her ESL teacher encouraged her to go there for more reading material. “To me [it] was a wondrous place that had infinite possibilities,” she says. Now she strives to create such possibilities for her patrons as literacy and outreach librarian at the Ardmore Public Library (APL).

Kristen Simensen | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

Calhoun County Library (CCL) director Kristen Simensen knows how to hook patrons. The library’s pollinator project gives fourth graders an opportunity to study bees up close but connects with adults, too. (“How are our bees?” is a common refrain, Simensen says.)

Rachael Rivera | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Monday morning movie screenings at the Auckland Central Library (ACL) give the local homeless population—aka “rough sleepers” in New Zealand—a sense of community and normalcy. The DVD shown is voted on by the 30–40 attendees. There’s also a book club of about 20 regulars who are “voracious readers” and often ask for help creating Facebook pages or résumés, says ACL’s Rachael Rivera.

Laurie Allen | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

After the 2016 presidential election, Graduate Fellows from the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities came to the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library to consult Laurie Allen, the director for digital scholarship. They feared environmental and climate data on government websites would disappear under the new administration. What could they do?

Susan Barnum | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

“Susan Barnum’s work as a public services librarian at the El Paso Public Library has impacted millions of people,” says nominator Merrilee Proffitt of OCLC. How has she affected so many? By editing Wikipedia.

Robin Bradford | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Whether she is tweeting her latest collection find, speaking to the New York Times about diversity in romance, presenting at professional conferences, or pushing libraries to purchase self-published (indie) books, collection development librarian Robin Bradford constantly campaigns for readers’ needs.

Rebecca McCorkindale & Julie Syler | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Julie Syler and Rebecca McCorkindale jointly created the Libraries Are for Everyone campaign, a powerful message that emphasizes the welcoming nature of libraries. Shortly after President Trump’s January 27, 2017, ban on travel from seven Islamic countries, Syler came up with the slogan for Library Legislative Day at the Arkansas State Capitol. She reached out to McCorkindale to include her bright, stylized designs of people from various cultural and ethnic groups holding globes. After a few emails, the two women had finished a poster.

Lisa Lindsay | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Our Lives: Surviving the Streets of Fresno, a documentary produced and directed by Lindsay—funded with a grant she wrote—sheds light on homelessness in Fresno County. What makes the film unique is that homeless individuals did the filming; a few took filmmaking training. Screenings included panel discussions that fostered community dialog and raised awareness about the more than 1,600 homeless people in the county.

Eva B. Raison | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

“The longer I work in libraries, the more I see how our mission and core principles are tied to supporting a more just and equitable society,” says Eva B. Raison. This philosophy drives her work at the Brooklyn Public Library, which serves a population that speaks more than 90 different languages and hails from 180 countries, to be as inclusive and proactive as possible.

Chera Kowalski | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

For decades, the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington has been notorious for entrenched poverty, a high crime rate, and rampant opioid addiction. It’s the epicenter of an epidemic of fatal overdoses in a city with high rates of such deaths. It’s also home to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s century-old McPherson Square Branch, situated in a small park—nicknamed Needle Park for the addicts who routinely inject drugs there.

April M. Hathcock | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

How did April Hathcock go from corporate litigator to librarian? “I was working away on multimillion-dollar suits every night when I noticed the law librarians, who left at a decent hour, did much of the same research I did,” she says. “I realized I could do…the information wrangling I loved without [working] myself to death.” Now, as scholarly communication librarian at New York University (NYU), Hathcock still does legal work, helping with copyright or intellectual property research, library contracts, or access and rights issues. “But it’s combined with the values of librarianship,” she says.

Roberta Koscielski | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Roberta Koscielski has a long history with the Peoria Public Library (PPL)—and with Common Place Family Learning Center, a community education nonprofit on Peoria’s south side, where she trained as an adult literacy tutor and eventually joined the board. That early connection set the tone for her entire 34-year library career.

Paralibrarian of the Year 2018: Orquidea Olvera

Orquidea Olvera runs Monterey County Free Libraries’ (MCFL) Early Literacy Mobile Outreach and improves MCFL's ability to serve the county’s large Spanish-speaking population. Just two reasons she is LJ’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year, sponsored by DEMCO.

Elizabeth Strout Wins 14th Annual Story Prize

The 14th annual Story Prize, given to the top short story collection published in 2017, went to Elizabeth Strout for Anything Is Possible. Strout, who won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her collection Olive Kitteridge, will take home $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl.

Diversity Reigns | 2017 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the nominees for the 52nd Annual Nebula Awards and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. These awards honor the best in sf and fantasy—novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories—published during the prior calendar year.

Lance Werner: LJ’s 2018 Librarian of the Year

If you ask Lance Werner, executive director of the Kent District Library, MI, and LJ's 2017 Librarian of the Year, what makes him a strong leader, an effective legislative advocate, and a champion of access for his patrons, his answer is simple: it’s all about forming relationships.

All the Stars, State by State | LJ Index 2017

Click a state on the interactive map, or use the drop-down menu to jump to the Star libraries in that state.

The Star Libraries by Expenditure Category | LJ Index 2017

The LJ Index is based on five types of per capita use generated by public libraries: visits, circulation, ecirculation, public access computer use, and program attendance. Star Library ratings of five, four, and three stars are awarded to libraries that generate the highest combined per capita outputs among their spending peers.

Find Your Library | LJ Index 2017

Whether or not your library has been given a Star rating, you can benefit from finding peers in your expenditure category and comparing statistics. For the scores for all libraries included in this round of the LJ Index, click through to download a spreadsheet of all libraries with LJ Index scores.

Every Star Library Ever Named | LJ Index 2017

Click through for a detailed spreadsheet listing every Star Library award given since the inaugural edition of the LJ Index in February 2009.

All-Time All-Stars | LJ Index 2017

Over the ten editions of this article, 606 libraries have been named Star Libraries in one or more years. A total of 69 received Stars in each of the ten editions. Of those, 13 U.S. public libraries earned five-Star ratings each and every year. We invited them to comment on the distinction, and many responded.

America’s Star Libraries: Top-Rated Libraries | LJ Index 2017

We are pleased to announce the results of the tenth edition of the LJ Index of Public Library Service, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s CollectConnect. The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries based on selected per capita output measures. This year, 7,409 U.S. public libraries qualified to be rated in the Index. In this edition, there are 259 Star Libraries, each receiving three-Star, four-Star, or five-Star designations.

New Award Honors Innovative LIS Students

Gwinnett County Public Library in Snellville, GA, and the San José State University School of Information are cosponsoring the Innovative Librarians Award, which will shine a light on Library Science graduate students who are pushing the envelope to advance library services and going above and beyond to improve libraries.

Renee F. Hill | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2017

The range of the 23 courses she leads (many of which she designed herself); her passion for teaching; her ability to create online asynchronous courses and make them come alive and feel personal to her students; and the extension of her role as an educator far beyond the MLIS classroom are only a few of the reasons Renee F. Hill has won the 2017 LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield.

Sharing The Story | LJ 2017 Marketer of the Year Award

Combining marketing savvy and hometown ties, Medina County’s Tina Sabol turned a library levy campaign into a communitywide advocacy win/

A Culture of Opportunity | Best Small Library in America 2017

Idaho’s Boundary County Library District is the Best Small Library in America, 2017.

Eleanor Taylor Bland Award Honors Emerging Mystery Writers of Color

Sisters in Crime announced their fourth winner of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award, which honors the memory of the pioneering African American mystery writer

Romance Conference Presents Lovely RITAs | RWA 2017

Awards presented at Romance Writers of America (RWA) annual conference in Orlando, FL, July 26–29

2017 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN

In the scope of its programs, services, and collections; the incredible reach of its efforts in cooperation with other public agencies, departments, and local businesses; and its work to identify and fulfill needs of both the mainstream and marginalized people of Nashville and Davidson County, the Nashville Public Library (NPL), the Gale/LJ 2017 Library of the Year, is a model for the nation and the world.

2017 Audie Award Winners

Winners of the 2017 Audie Awards, including Audiobook of the Year

SF/Fantasy's Best: Nebula Award Winners, Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominees

Charlie Jane Anders's All the Birds in the Sky won the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad was one of six novels to be short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Britain's most prestigious sf literary prize,

Community Vision | Library Design 2017

Montana’s Belgrade Community Library is perhaps best known to LJ readers as the 2015 Best Small Library in America. After receiving the award, Director Gale Bacon tells LJ, many in the community started asking what the library’s next step was. The 9,700 square foot building presented the six-person staff with “huge physical space challenges,” Bacon says—not only limiting the size of the collection and staff work space but having routinely to turn would-be attendees away from programs. So achieving this milestone seemed like the right time for reexamination.

15 Libraries Named IMLS National Medal Finalists

UPDATED:The 2017 National Medal recipient libraries, announced on May 15, are: Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA Long Beach Public Library, CA Richland Library, Columbia, SC University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis Waterville Public Library, ME

High Drama at Mystery Gala | Edgar Awards 2017

The Mystery Writers of America's (MWA) 71st Annual Edgar Awards banquet, held April 27 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, did not lack for suspense.

Judges Needed for Indie Ebook Awards 2017

LJ’s third annual Indie Ebook Awards are almost underway, and we’re looking for voracious readers to serve as judges. Volunteers will be asked to assess books in one of five categories: romance, sf, fantasy, mystery, or YA. This is an amazing opportunity to discover and support local authorship and reward self-published talent.

Quality and Diversity | Hugo Nominations 2017

After a contentious two years due to the Sad/Rabid Puppies dispute, last week's announcement of the 2017 Hugo Award nominees was received with acclaim.

2017 Audie Award nominees

Nominees for the 2017 Audie Awards

Finding and Filling Needs | 2017 LibraryAware Community Award

From books to bikes to banks, Mississippi Valley Library District steps up to address critical service gaps.

Romance Writer Award Nominees 2017 | In the Bookroom

Romance Writers of America® (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors, announced the finalists for the 2017 RITA® Awards on March 21.

Nancy Evans | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

Nancy Evans, young adult librarian at New York’s Levittown Public Library, got the idea for her young adult (YA) program Strong Girls School after she shared YA author Maureen Johnson’s post “Why Do We Photoshop People?” with the girls in her writing program. They loved it, and their reaction inspired Evans to develop a program to support and empower girls as they deal with gender issues such as self-esteem.

Chancey Fleet | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

Chancey Fleet first visited the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library on a trip from Virginia in the 1990s. “I was blown away by the browsable Braille collection,” she says. “I was ten or 11, and I checked out a bunch of choose-your-own-adventure books.” Upon returning to New York as an adult, she adds, “I already had an affinity for the library.”

Sarah LeMire | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

As an army veteran returning from Iraq in 2007, Sarah LeMire struggled to balance family responsibilities with her pursuit of a master’s degree in English. A few years later, in library school, she found a support network through the campus veterans office. At meetings with the student veterans group, she met people who understood what it was like to leave a war zone and attend college.

Doug Baldwin | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

In 2016, as the second annual statewide NJ Makers Day neared, the event’s lead founder, Piscataway Public Library (PPL) emerging technologies librarian Doug Baldwin, received ten Maker kits. The good news: the kits had been paid for by a sponsor. The bad news: they arrived so late that Baldwin had to convey them himself to participating sites. “I got in my less-than-reliable car and mapped out a path to deliver all ten kits…in one day,” Baldwin says. “The fates certainly smiled on me as my car did not break down logging those miles.”

Nicholas Higgins | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

For most parents, reading a story aloud to their children is a bond-building experience they wouldn’t trade for anything. Not everyone, though, has that opportunity. “For parents who are incarcerated, and for their children in particular, that loss of connection can take a devastating toll that could last a lifetime,” says Nick Higgins, who spearheaded TeleStory, a program at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to help alter this particular unhappy ending.

Sarah Bean Thompson | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

“Sarah Bean Thompson is a readers’ advisory [RA] rock star!” raves Jessie East, branch manager of the Library Center of the Springfield–Greene County Library District. “She has an infectious passion and incredible talent for RA, [and] every program she does leads attendees right back to books, whether it’s a mock awards session for families and educators or a Geeky Storytime for preschoolers and their caregivers.”

Sandy Tharp-Thee | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

When Sandy Tharp-Thee started as director at the Iowa Tribal Library in Perkins, OK, in 2009, she didn’t even have a shoestring budget. As she was introduced around the tribal offices, Tharp-Thee carried a big bag and asked for supply donations for children’s crafts.

Cynthia Mari Orozco | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

Cynthia Mari Orozco realizes asking a librarian for assistance can be intimidating. Her first and only experience asking for guidance as an undergraduate resulted in her quickly leaving the building. These days, Orozco goes out of her way to make herself approachable to students who may be experiencing library anxiety.

Annie Gaines | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

“I can’t afford both books and food,” reads a University of Idaho student’s comment on a Change.org petition to reduce the cost of textbooks. “I have to choose to either eat or pass my classes.” That student has a champion in Annie Gaines, who moved from a clerical position to become the University of Idaho Library’s first scholarly communications librarian.
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