New library buildings and renovations

American Libraries logo
Census read-along with Auli'i Cravalho

Dewey Decibel: Library Architecture and Design

In Episode 53, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Wardell Ross Jr., director of Houston operations for architectural firm Moody Nolan, who was project manager for Texas Southern University’s new Library Learning Center. Morehart and Ross discuss the library’s features and how its design reflects and showcases the heritage of the historically Black university. Morehart also talks with Susan Nemitz, director of Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Libraries, about how the library shifted its remodeling and rebuilding plans to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 17

Auli'i Cravalho (Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

The results of the 2020 Census will allocate billions of dollars in federal funding to local communities over the next decade, including more than $1 billion to libraries. As of late July, only 62.7% of US households had completed the self-response form. Young children, people of color, Indigenous people, and urban and rural low-income households have been under-represented at disproportionately high rates in past Census counts. To help in those efforts, ALA is partnering with actress Auli’i Cravalho, star of the animated film Moana, in a read-along video of WE COUNT! A Census Counting Book for Kids (and the Grownups That Love Them) August 27 at 11 a.m. Central on the ....

ALA, Aug. 25

Hurricane Laura satellite image (The Weather Channel)

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has shared  for libraries, archives, and cultural institutions in anticipation of Hurricane Laura, which has intensified to a Category 4 storm and is early August 27. To find updated information on Hurricane Laura, visit the ....

Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Aug. 25; Weather Channel, Aug. 26



Equal rights

In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights in the U.S., ProQuest has created to help library users get the most out of key primary source collections related to women’s history. Encourage faculty to share these free guides with students to inspire discovery of unique historical insights and exploration of probing questions related to the evolution of women’s rights and women’s studies.


Dewey Decibel ad

big pile of hundred-dollar bills

Todd A. Carpenter writes: “As colleges are opening up, and quickly going virtual in some cases, we are entering a very challenging year for the scholarly community. It isn’t at all certain how this academic year will shape up. Institutions are contending with the added costs of keeping students and faculty healthy and safe, while also picking up the added costs of transitioning to a virtual learning environment. For all this financial hardship, the one place the budget ax shouldn’t fall is the library.”...

Scholarly Kitchen, Aug. 25

2020 Library Card Sign-Up Month graphic with Wonder Woman

September is , but with many libraries still offering limited services, reaching non-cardholding community members may feel overwhelming. Library marketing expert Angela Hursh offers six ways to successfully grow your cardholder base, even when you’re dealing with COVID-19....

Super Library Marketing, Aug. 17

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Travis McDade writes: “Like nuclear power plants and sensitive computer networks, the safest rare book collections are protected by what is known as ‘defense in depth’—a series of small, overlapping measures designed to thwart a thief who might be able to overcome a single deterrent. The Oliver Room, home to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s rare books and archives, was something close to the platonic ideal of this concept. Greg Priore, manager of the room starting in 1992, designed it that way.”...

Smithsonian Magazine, Sept.

Latest Library Links

Cover of Something Happened in Our Town

The Springfield (Vt.) School District is determining whether or not to ban a book after Jeremy and Christine Desjardins, parents in the district, submitted a formal complaint to the superintendent and Union Street School principal when they learned that their son’s teacher was presenting the book Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice to the third-grade class during a remote learning session. The book was provided by the school’s librarian as an option for teachers following recent events concerning police brutality....

The Eagle Times (Claremont, N.H.), Aug. 19

Lenovo Flex laptop

Joel Hruska writes: “As school districts spin up with various remote distance and in-classroom learning plans to combat COVID-19, they’ve needed far more computers than typical for the back-to-school season. This is causing problems because—again, thanks to COVID-19—the number of computers currently available for purchase is much lower than normal. A number of factors are feeding the issue.”...

Extreme Tech, Aug. 26

Booksloth logo

Jordan Calhoun writes: “If you’ve abandoned Goodreads, a good alternative can be hard to find, especially if a robust community is important to you. Whether you’re looking for a simpler review platform, a smaller user-base, want to avoid feeding Amazon, or just yearn for the simpler days of tracking your books without the pressure, here are a few suggestions.”...

Lifehacker, Aug. 25

ALA news and press releases

Marley Dias, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

, founder of , will be starring in and executive producing a new series for Netflix called Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. The 12-episode series will feature prominent Black celebrities and artists—including Common, , Tiffany Haddish, and —reading children’s books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience. The show debuts September 1....

The Root, Aug. 18; American Libraries, March 2, 2015; Nov. 1, 2016; AL: The Scoop, June 24

Socks, in a box, the official cat of Pinson (Alabama) Public Library

Lindsey Simon writes: “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries across the country have closed their doors to the public—but what has that meant for the cats who call America’s libraries home? Libraries have long been home to feline residents who keep patrons company, promote activities and programs, and assist with pest control. We checked in on four library cats (and their humans) to see how their lifestyles have changed during the pandemic.”...

I Love Libraries, Aug. 24

Cover of Odd Dog Out

Stephanie Elliot writes: “The dog days of summer are almost behind us, and since August 26 is , we wanted to celebrate by sharing some ‘pup’-ular books we love! We’ve got something here for everyone, since you’re never too young (or old) to be a dog lover. Honor precious pooches of all kinds by checking out some of our favorite dog books.”...

Medium, Aug. 26

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the .


Editor, AL Direct:

Direct ad inquiries to:

Send news and feedback:


All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site. .


American Libraries will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the .


To manage your American Libraries email preferences, please click .

To unsubscribe from all American Library Association communications, click .


American Library Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Higher Logic