public libraries

I help librarians handle book bans. Here’s why it’s getting worse.

“Book ban movements are shutting down important conversation, rather than encouraging diversity of thought and exposing kids to new lived experiences”

How public libraries are reinventing themselves for the 21st century

Coding workshops. 3D printers. And books. Far from extinct, today’s public library is about access to technology as much as to knowledge

Are public libraries an essential service?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says ‘no’—but he’s wrong


Pull the other one, Pullman

Anyone who has read an interview with children’s author/grumpy village atheist Philip Pullman will surely have sensed that he was a bit of an a-hole. He proved the hypothesis, with the cataclysmic decisiveness of a Shaq slam-dunk, in a January 20 address concerning austerity-driven public-library closures in the UK. It is the speech of someone who believes every jot and tittle ever put to paper about his infallible genius; since the chief evidence of this genius is the success of his books in a degraded, semiliterate global publishing marketplace, Pullman naturally spends a lot of time blaming his nation’s library crisis on (a) modern publishing and (b) the market economy. Given such confusion, or perversity, it comes as no surprise that the supreme hero of his plea for untrammelled intellectual freedom turns out to be Karl Marx, who foresaw our sorry state oh so long ago.