American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast

American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast

Dewey Decibel is the popular podcast series from …
American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast


Dewey Decibel is the popular podcast series from American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association. Each month, your host and American Libraries Associate Editor Phil Morehart will be your guide to conversations with librarians, authors, thinkers, and scholars about topics from the library world and beyond.




Bonus Episode: Exploring Gale's Women's Studies Archive

Mar 23, 2020 00:13:08


It’s Women’s History Month, and librarians looking to supplement lesson plans and readings for students can find a wealth of resources in Gale’s Women’s Studies Archive, an online repository of primary sources and other materials that examine the social, political, and professional aspects of women’s lives and the experiences and achievements of women throughout history. In this special bonus episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, sponsored by Gale, a Cengage Company, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price speaks with a librarian doing just that. Kimberly M. Gay, head of reference and information services and academic reference and instruction librarian at Prairie View (Tex.) A&M University, shares how she uses the Women’s Studies Archive to shape programming and enhance students’ understanding of women’s roles, particularly in the areas of of agriculture, architecture, engineering, and more.

Episode 48: Telling Women's Stories

Mar 17, 2020 00:29:19


In Episode 48, Dewey Decibel celebrates women's history with conversations about feminism, the importance of oral histories in social justice movements and in telling women’s stories, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with authors Mikki Kendall (Hood Feminism), Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, Hunger), and Marilyn Harhai, professor of library science at Clarion University.

Bonus Episode: One-on-One with New ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall

Feb 24, 2020 00:20:43


On February 24, Tracie D. Hall took the reins at the American Library Association as the new executive director. In this special bonus episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, Hall sits down with American Libraries Editor and Publisher Sanhita SinhaRoy to discuss the changing face of the Association, the future of librarianship, library work with social justice issues, her favorite music, and more.

Episode 47: Presidential Libraries, Then and Now

Feb 14, 2020 00:34:52


Presidential libraries have changed significantly since President Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived the system as a means to preserve evidence of the presidency for future generations to study and appreciate. In Episode 47, Dewey Decibel celebrates Presidents’ Day through conversations with directors of two presidential libraries about those changes and more. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, about the beginnings of the presidential library system and how Roosevelt's library has changed since it opened in 1941. Next, Morehart talks with Brooke Clement, deputy director of the Barack Obama Presidential Library, about why the library decided to eschew a physical building and become the first all-digital presidential library.

Episode 46: Insider's Guide to Philadelphia

Jan 17, 2020 00:24:29


On Thursday, January 23, thousands of librarians and library workers will being to descend on Philadelphia for the American Library Association’s 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. And they’ll be searching for the best places to eat and things to do while visiting the City of Brotherly Love. In Episode 46, Dewey Decibel explores what to see and where to eat during Midwinter. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Linda August, reference librarian and curator of art and artifacts at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the oldest independent research library in the US that was cofounded by Benjamin Franklin in 1791, about Philadelphia’s must-see cultural sights. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski talks with Sarah Levitsky, marketing director at Reading Terminal Market, about where to find the best meals and hidden treasures at one of the largest public markets in the US.

Episode 45: Year-End Conversations

Dec 20, 2019 00:26:16


In Episode 45, Dewey Decibel looks back at interviews conducted with speakers at the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. NBC's Today co-host Hoda Kotb, journalist Mariana Atencio, actor and activist George Takei, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA Sylvia Acevedo, journalist and activist Isha Sesay, writer and CBS Sunday Morning contributor Mo Rocca, and philanthropist Melinda Gates reveal the important role that libraries and books have played in their lives.

Episode 44: Advocacy: Anyone Can Do It

Nov 22, 2019 00:31:32


In Episode 44, Dewey Decibel looks at the importance of library advocacy and offers tips on how to get involved. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Denis Cotter, chair of Loudon County (Va.) Public Library Board of Trustees, about how the board successfully lobbied the county board of supervisors for the elimination of fines at the library. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price talks to John Windmueller, work organizational training manager at Washington Improv Theater in Washington, D.C., about how learning improv comedy skills can help you become better at advocacy.

Episode 43: It's a Mystery

Oct 25, 2019 00:31:40


Everyone loves a good mystery, especially during the Halloween season. In Episode 43, Dewey Decibel talks with library workers who were involved in three very different cases. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Rebekah Heath, a research librarian and amateur sleuth who helped uncover the identities of the victims of the Bear Brook Murders in Allenstown, New Hampshire. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski and Sarah Ostman, communications manager in the American Library Association's Public Programs Office, talk with library workers from La Porte County (Ind.) Public Library and Derry (N.H.) Public Library about two unsolved mysteries that listeners can help unravel.

Episode 42: Libraries of All Shapes and Sizes

Sep 30, 2019 00:35:07


In Episode 42, Dewey Decibel looks at new and renovated libraries featured in American Libraries’ September/October 2019 library design and architecture issue. First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Gretchen Caserotti, director of Meridian (Idaho) Library District, about its 320-square-foot Tiny Library. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski discusses the construction of Austin (Texas) Public Library’s $125 million Central Library with its project manager, Cynthia Jordan. Finally, Morehart speaks with Rachel Schipper, director of the Gioconda and Joseph King Library at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida, about the artistic renovations completed on the library’s 80-year-old exterior murals.

Episode 41: Beyond Our Borders

Aug 30, 2019 00:39:29


In Episode 41, Dewey Decibel features conversations that stretch beyond US borders. First, American Libraries Senior Editor George Eberhart speaks with Nigerian-American science-fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death, The Book of Phoenix) about how her heritage influences her work. Then, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with librarians from Toronto Public Library and Milton (Ont.) Public Library about initiatives that earned the libraries ALA Presidential Citations for Innovative International Library Projects.

Episode 40: 50 Years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards (Taped Live in Washington, D.C.)

Jul 29, 2019 00:48:34


The Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards, which honors African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, Dewey Decibel invited five past winners and honorees to discuss the awards at a panel discussion at the American Library Association's 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Episode 40 revisits that panel, joining American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart as he talks with authors Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (As Brave As You), and Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give); author and illustrator Christopher Myers (Firebird); and illustrator Ekua Holmes (The Stuff of Stars) about the history and importance of the awards.

Episode 39: Insider’s Guide to Washington, D.C.

Jun 14, 2019 00:27:54


On Thursday, June 20, Washington, D.C. will become the capitol of the library world as thousands of librarians, library workers, students, scholars, and vendors descend upon the district for the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition. In Episode 39, Dewey Decibel explores where to eat and see live music during Annual. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Meredith Prattt, author of Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C. 2020, about the best places to dine in the district. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Maggie Gilmore, librarian at Washington, D.C. Public Library (DCPL), and Bobbie Dougherty, manager of DCPL’s Northwest One branch, about DCPL’s Punk Archive and their favorite places to see live music.

Episode 38: The Buzz on Library Gardens

May 31, 2019 00:31:49


Spring has sprung, and people are outside tending to their gardens and outdoor spaces—and the library is no different. Libraries across the country have repurposed spaces into gardens that are used to educate patrons about plant life and sustainability—and are helping to feed communities along the way. In Episode 38, Dewey Decibel examines how libraries are using outdoor spaces for gardening and food production. First, ALA Editions Acquisitions Editor Rachel Chance speaks with Kathy Lane, programming, events, and outreach coordinator at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library (BPL), and the BeeChicas of Boulder, beekeepers who advocate for sustainable pollination and beekeeping, about BPL’s rooftop beehives. Then, ALA Editions Acquisitions Editor Jamie Santoro discusses the Cellcom Children’s Edible Library at Brown County (Wisc.) Public Library (BCPL) in Green Bay, with Leah Liebergen, library services associate at BCPL.

Episode 37: AI in Academic Libraries

Apr 30, 2019 00:33:06


Artificial intelligence (AI) no longer exists solely in the realm of science fiction—it's everywhere. From virtual assistants in smart phones and self-driving cars to data-crunching machine learning programs, AI is changing how we live and work. And it's now being used in libraries across the country. In Episode 37, Dewey Decibel looks at how two academic libraries are using AI to reach students and help advance research. First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Nicole Coleman, digital research architect at Stanford University Libraries, about the importance of AI for libraries and the university's multiple AI programs. Then Morehart talks with Boyhun Kim, chief technology officer and associate professor at University of Rhode Island Libraries, about the university's AI lab for students and faculty, as well as tips for libraries interested in exploring AI.

Episode 36: Spring Cleaning: Weeding Your Collections

Mar 29, 2019 00:33:55


Weeding is an essential but controversial task. Removing outdated, unused, or deteriorating books ensures that a library's collections remain fresh and relevant, but some critics consider the library to be a repository for all materials, regardless of content or physical condition. In Episode 36, two librarians discuss different aspects of the weeding process. "American Libraries" Senior Editor and "Dewey Decibel" host Phil Morehart speaks with Rebecca Vnuk, executive director of LibraryReads and author of "The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By Shelf Guide" (ALA Editions, 2015) about why weeding is necessary, how to get started, and what to say to naysayers about its importance. Next, Morehart talks with Brian Greene, a librarian at Columbia College in Sonora, California, who cowrote an article in the October 2018 issue of "C&RL News" on large-scale ebook weeding undertaken by the Community College Library Consortium in California. Greene discusses what he learned from the project and offer tips for completing such an endeavor.

Episode 35: Fostering New Businesses

Feb 15, 2019 00:33:55


February 16–23 is National Entrepreneurship Week. As community hubs and incubators, libraries are perfectly positioned to help new businesses get off their feet and thrive—whether it’s by offering resources and books to spark ideas or hosting programs on the ins-and-outs of business management led by local business leaders. In Episode 35, Dewey Decibel looks at libraries that are leading the charge. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Amy Fisher, information readers services manager, and Morgan Perry, business outreach specialist, at Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri about that library system's Square One Business Services program. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Roosevelt Weeks, director of Austin (Tex.) Public Library, about entrepreneurship programs the library offers in one of the most vibrant start-up environments in the US.

Episode 34: Insider's Guide to Seattle

Jan 17, 2019 00:31:36


On Thursday, January 25, it begins: the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle. Thousands of librarians, library workers, vendors, students, and scholars will descend upon the Emerald City for five days of programs, speakers, exhibit hall excitement, and more. The action isn’t limited to the confines of the Washington State Convention Center, however—Seattle is a city known for acclaimed restaurants, a vibrant music scene, and many natural wonders. In Episode 34, we get tips on where to eat, what to see, and what to do during Midwinter. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski talks with travel guru Rick Steves about his favorite off-the-beaten path sights in the Seattle area. Then Dankowski speaks with Tori Mann, chef at Seattle restaurant Lola, about her favorite spots to eat in the city. Finally, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Emily Cabaniss, librarian and music assistant at the Seattle Opera, about music happenings and more in Seattle during Midwinter.

Episode 33: Writers on Writing

Dec 20, 2018 00:19:52


As 2018 wraps up, Dewey Decibel revisits favorite interviews conducted at American Library Association conferences during the past year. In Episode 33, American Libraries’ editors speak with an array of people about the inspirations behind their new books and the importance of libraries in their lives, including actor Sally Field (In Pieces), Bill Nye the Science Guy (Jack and the Geniuses), poet Elizabeth Acevedo (Poet X), journalists Jonathan Eig (Ali: A Life) and Robert W. Fieseler (Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation), and activists Marley Dias (Marley Dias Gets It Done—and So Can You) and Patrisse Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir).

Episode 32: Get a Job!

Nov 27, 2018 00:32:16


Looking for a job can be arduous and anxiety-inducing. It's not surprising: The end results can be life changing. And organizations looking to hire new employees face challenges, as finding the right candidate for a job can be difficult if the search isn’t conducted correctly. What can job seekers and employers do to improve the process to everyone’s benefit? In Episode 32, we find out. First, ALA Editions acquisitions editor and Dewey Decibel contributor Jamie Santoro speaks with Caitlin Williams, author of Be Opportunity-Minded: Start Growing Your Career Now (ALA Editions, 2019), about tips for those on the job hunt and job market trends. Next, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries associate editor Phil Morehart talks with David Connolly, recruitment ad sales manager for the American Library Association’s JobLIST, about what job hunters should be doing to find the right fit and what employers should be doing to find the right candidates.

Episode 31: The Haunting of Peoria Public Library

Oct 26, 2018 00:46:00


Books flying off the shelves. Shadowy figures roaming the hallways. Unexplained sounds. What’s going on at Peoria (Ill.) Public Library? Is the building possessed by spirits hovering above cursed ground? Or are these apparitions just a sign that librarians have been spending too much time in the stacks? Do not attempt to adjust your audio. In Episode 31, “The Haunting of Peoria Public Library”—our special Halloween episode sponsored by Gale, a Cengage Company—Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart road-trips to Central Illinois to get to the bottom of these strange happenings. Along the way, he enlists the advice of professionals—including award-winning nonfiction author and well-known debunker Mary Roach (Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife) and paranormal writer and speaker John B. Kachuba (Ghosthunting Illinois)—and interviews staffers at Peoria Public Library and Bradley University Library about their otherworldly encounters.

Episode 30: The Secret Lives of Librarians

Sep 28, 2018 00:34:01


Ever wonder what your colleagues do outside of the library? Many of us have hobbies, intellectual and athletic pursuits, a travel bug, the desire to write or cook—you name it. We all live lives beyond the stacks, of course, but some of us do things that may surprise coworkers and patrons. In Episode 30, we explore these secret lives of librarians. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Adela Justice, senior librarian at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who’s a former Texas reserve deputy and the bassist in rock and blues bands. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Sarah Ramsey, media specialist at Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, who works as a certified life coach in her off hours. Finally, Dankowski speaks with Susan Maguire, senior editor, collection management and library outreach, adult books, at Booklist, who writes the Librarians in Love romance novel series under the pseudonym Sarah Title. Maguire reads a passage from one of her books.

Episode 29: New Library Design

Aug 31, 2018 00:32:13


In Episode 29, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with two architects whose work with libraries was featured in American Libraries’ 2018 Library Design Showcase. We get behind-the-scenes perspectives on the buildings’ designs, construction, and effect on their communities.[/lead] First, Morehart speaks with Jim Stufflebeam from SAAP Design Architects about the new library in Joplin, Missouri, which has become a symbol of rebirth for the town after it was devastated by a tornado in 2011. Next, Derek Jones from the architecture firm Perkins + Will talks about the Route 9 Library and Innovation Center in New Castle County, Delaware—a unique facility built to alleviate an information desert in the area.

Episode 28: Cybersecurity

Jul 31, 2018 00:35:02


Cybersecurity has been dominating news cycles this year. Whether its allegations of Russians hacking computers to influence US elections to reports of private individuals who have had vicious malware installed unknowingly on their computers, cybercrimes and cybersecurity affect us all. And libraries are no exception. In Episode 28, Dewey Decibel looks at cybersecurity in the library world. First, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Patrick Craven, director of the Center for Cyber Security Safety and Education. They discuss the center’s mission, its programs for libraries, and tips on making you and your library cyber safe. Next, Morehart talks with Todd Stephens, county librarian, and Chris McSwain, information technology and systems director, at Spartanburg County Public Libraries (SCPL) in South Carolina. SCPL was the victim of a ransomware attack in January. They recount the incident and provide tips on what you can do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Episode 27: Insider's Guide to New Orleans

Jun 19, 2018 00:27:12


On Thursday, June 21 it begins: the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Thousands of librarians, library workers, book vendors, students, scholars and more will descend upon the Crescent City for five days of programs, speakers, exhibit hall wanderings and more. It’ll be a packed, long weekend, but the action isn’t limited to the confines of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. A city known for its pleasures, be it food, music, historical sights, nightlife…you name it you can probably find it in New Orleans. So what to do? On Episode 27, we get must-see and must-eat recommendations from two folks who know the city well. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Terra Dankowski talks with David Slater, director of culinary development at famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse's Homebase. David shares his favorite places to eat in the city and more. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Shellie Lister, a librarian and public relations and community coordinator at St. Tammany Parish Library. St. Tammany Parish produces an excellent podcast on New Orleans culture and literacy. They discuss the city’s literary landmarks as well as some off-the-beaten path places in New Orleans.

Episode 26: Becoming a Library Advocate

Jun 8, 2018 00:25:31


The American Library Association’s (ALA) Policy Corps is an initiative that aims to develop advocates for conveying the importance of libraries and librarians to politicians at the local and national level. On Episode 26 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, host Phil Morehart speaks with four members of the Policy Corp group—Lisa Varga, executive director of the Virginia Library Association; Qiana Johnson, collection and organizational data analysis librarian at Northwestern University Libraries; Larry Neal, Director, Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library, who is the ALA Policy Corp Fellow; and Deborah Rinio, secretary of the Alaska Association of School Librarians—about their Policy Corps experiences, why librarians are the best advocates for the profession, and more.

Episode 25: Disaster Response

May 8, 2018 00:28:33


In Episode 25, Dewey Decibel features interviews with two librarians whose expertise has them on the front lines of environmental disaster relief and preparedness. First, American Libraries' Associate Editor Terra Dankowski talks with Miriam Centeno, a collections care coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries. Miriam traveled to Puerto Rico to help train librarians there in preservation and collections care following Hurricane Maria in fall 2017. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, coordinator for library sustainability at Mid-Hudson Library System in Poughkeepsie, New York, and author of Sustainable Thinking: Ensuring Your Library's Future in an Uncertain World and Resilience, both published by ALA Editions.

Episode 24: Money Talk

Apr 9, 2018 00:32:27


Tax season is here, and money, investing, and financial matters are on everyone's mind. For some, making sense of it all can be intimidating and scary. Episode 24 of Dewey Decibel features interviews with two librarians who developed successful financial literacy programs to help their communities overcome money fears. First, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Lori Burgess, director of operations at Fond du Lac (Wis.) Public Library and the recipient of a 2012 Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award, about her library's programs and why financial literacy education is important. Next, Morehart speaks with Heather McCue, a children’s librarian at Richland Public Library (RPL) in Columbia, South Carolina, about Growing Savers, an RPL program that teaches financial literacy to kids and their parents.

Episode 23: Saving Lost Cinema

Mar 4, 2018 00:31:22


In Episode 23, Dewey Decibel looks at two organizations working to preserve films and other moving-image media in an effort to better understand the history of both cinema and the United States. First, Steve Zalusky, manager of communications for the American Library Association's Public Awareness Office, reports from the 6th annual Mostly Lost film workshop at the Library of Congress's Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia. Next, Phil Morehart, Dewey Decibel host and associate editor of American Libraries Magazine, talks to AJ Lawrence, media conservation and digitization assistant at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian, about the Great Migration Home Movie Project, a program that digitizes home movies documenting the African American experience.

Bonus Episode: Inside the 2018 Youth Media Awards

Feb 17, 2018 00:12:48


In this special bonus episode, Dewey Decibel goes behind the scenes at the 2018 Youth Media Awards, held February 12 at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver. American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart joins the award-selection committees as they make phone calls to the winners the morning before the award announcement event. Morehart then talks to the heads of the Coretta Scott King Book Award and Newbery Medal committees to learn more about the award-selection process. Finally, we join the Mock Newbery Club from Oakridge Middle School in Clover, South Carolina, as they watch the award announcements and discuss the winners.

Episode 22: Diversifying Comics

Feb 5, 2018 00:35:29


In Episode 22, Dewey Decibel features two people who are helping to bring more diverse voices and representation to the comic book world and libraries. First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Associate Editor Phil Morehart talks to G. Willow Wilson, the writer of the Ms. Marvel comic book. They discuss the inspiration behind the character Kamala Khan, the first Muslim-American superhero at Marvel to have her own comic, and why diverse comics are essential to creating a true representation of the world. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Mara Thacker, a librarian at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) who curates the library's collection of South Asian comic books. They discuss the UIUC comics and tips librarians can use to diversify their own collections.

Episode 21: Looking Back at Books

Dec 29, 2017 00:37:42


2017. It’s done. We did it. It was a doozy of a year in many ways, but we at Dewey Decibel are focusing on year-end cheer. Specifically, we’re retreating into and reexamining some of our favorite things (and I’m sure yours)—books. In Episode 21, Dewey Decibel looks back at some highlights from the book world in 2017. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Terra Dankowski talks with author Stephanie Powell Watts in a conversation taped right after her book No One Is Coming to Save Us was announced by Sarah Jessica Parker as the first selection in ALA’s Book Club Central. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Andy Weir, author of The Martian, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film. They talked in June at ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago about the process of adapting The Martian to the big screen and Weir's new book, Artemis, which was just released in November. Finally, Morehart sat down with Booklist Books for Youth Editor Daniel Kraus to discuss Booklist’s list of the 50 best young adult novels of all time.

Episode 20: Escape Rooms and the AASL Standards

Dec 9, 2017 00:38:55


The recent American Association of School Librarians (AASL) national conference in Phoenix served as the launch site for the updated National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries—a fascinating matrix of shared foundations and competencies that allows librarians and educators to address and meet the needs of 21st-century learners. The Standards were the talk of the conference. They even infiltrated it in an unlikely place—an escape room. The escape room at the AASL conference found participants using elements of the Standards to solve clues: collaboration, investigation, exploration, engaging with others, sharing, and so on. In Episode 20, we explore the intersection between the Standards and escape rooms. First, host Phil Morehart speaks with Marcia Mardis, associate professor and assistant dean of interdisciplinary research and education in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University and chair of the Standards editorial board, about the Standards, why they were updated, and what’s in the new edition. Then we report from Phoenix where ALA Editions editor Jamie Santoro talks to former AASL president Terri Grief about the escape room before joining a team of librarians from Oklahoma as they tackle the AASL escape room. Finally, Santoro talks with Patty Jimenez, a teacher-librarian at Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix, about an escape room that she set up for her students in the library.

Episode 19: The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake

Oct 26, 2017 00:56:55


In early 2017, A1 Steak Sauce bottles began mysteriously appearing in the stacks at Avon Lake (Ohio) Public Library. How did they get there? Who would do such a thing? And why? In this special Halloween episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries associate editor Terra Dankowski attempts to answer those questions and more as we investigate The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake.

Teaser: The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake

Oct 20, 2017 00:02:34


Whodunit? In early 2017, dozens of A1 Steak Sauce bottles began mysteriously appearing in the stacks at Avon Lake Public Library in Avon Lake, Ohio. Dewey Decibel investigates in a very special Halloween episode, available October 25.

Episode 18: Dewey Goes Global

Oct 4, 2017 00:46:30


In Episode 18, Dewey Decibel steps out onto the international stage. First, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Sandra Uwiringiyimana, author of How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of War Child (HarperCollins, 2017), which chronicles her life as a survivor of the 2004 Gatumba massacre in Burundi and as a refugee in the United States. They discuss the book, the plight of refugees in the US, and the importance of books and learning in her life. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel Foreign Correspondent Terra Dankowski reports from the 2017 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Congress in Wroclaw, Poland, where she talks to librarians from around the world about cataloguing, LGBTQ issues, and more. Finally, Morehart talks to acclaimed author and poet Kwame Alexander about LEAP for Ghana, a program that he cofounded in 2012 that’s working to build a library for a small village in eastern Ghana.

Episode 17: Responding to Charlottesville

Sep 2, 2017 00:50:45


In Episode 17 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries looks at the protests that took place on August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, through the eyes of the library world. First, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks to John Halliday, director of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, and Krista Farrell, assistant director and branch manager of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library’s Central Library. The Central Library sits on what was the frontlines of the protests. John and Krista shared with Phil the events of that day and how their library handled it. Next, Phil sits down with Jody Gray, director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, and Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, to discuss ALA’s tracking of hate crimes at and in libraries and what you can do if your library falls victim to hate. Finally, Phil talks to Peter Berg, associate director for special collections and preservation at Michigan State University Libraries. Michigan State University Libraries holds a massive collection of extremist literature, paraphernalia, and other materials. Phil and Peter examine the collection and why it’s important for libraries and archives to save these materials, despite the repugnant nature of some of them.

Episode 16: "Fighting Fake News"

Aug 1, 2017 00:48:30


In Episode 16 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries magazine looks at the "fake news" phenomenon—its history, how we become susceptible to it, and how we can fight it. Host and AL Associate Editor Phil Morehart talks with Joanna Burkhardt, fake news expert, professor and director of the University of Rhode Island branch libraries, and author of Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners, about the history of fake news and how and its pernicious presence in today's media landscape. Next, Dewey Decibel Senior Game Show Correspondent and AL Associate Editor Terra Dankowski quizzes librarians on fake news headlines and talks with them about news literacy at their libraries. Finally, Morehart talks with Marnie Shure, managing editor of The Onion, about the satirical newspaper's very specific brand of fake news, the role of comedy in truth telling, and how current US politics affects its work.

Episode 15: "Podcasting About the Library"

Jun 30, 2017 00:36:59


In the new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries shares tips and tricks for starting a library podcast. AL Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Steve Thomas, manager of Buford-Sugar Hill branch of Gwinnett County (Georgia) Public Library and host of the Circulating Ideas podcast, on his experiences interviewing librarians to find out more about their work. Next, Morehart talks with Frank Collerius, manager of Jefferson Market branch of New York Public Library, about his work as cohost of The Librarian Is In.

Episode 14: "Protecting Our Privacy"

Jun 1, 2017 00:53:10


In Episode 14 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries examines a multi-faceted issue: privacy, both inside and outside the library. AL Associate Editor and host Phil Morehart talks with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, about privacy concerns that affect libraries. Next, Phil discusses the right to be forgotten—legislation that forces online search engines to remove information flagged as inaccurate or irrelevant by petitioners—with Jim Neal, university librarian emeritus at Columbia University and ALA president-elect. Finally, AL Editor-at-Large Anne Ford speaks with Alison Macrina, director and founder of the Library Freedom Project, about the organization’s mission to help libraries secure patrons’ privacy. If you have feedback for the Dewey Decibel team, email us at Tell us what you like, what you don’t like, or what you’d like to see us cover. Follow us on Twitter and leave us a review on iTunes.

Episode 13: "Into the Future"

Apr 27, 2017 00:43:28


In episode 13 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries looks into the future of libraries. Host Phil Morehart talks to Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association's Center for the Future of Libraries, about the center's work tracking future trends important to the library world. Next, Phil talks to Kimber Fender, director of the Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio) and Hamilton County, about the library's move to a fully-mobile service model. Finally, Terra Dankowski sits down with author and urban planner Ryan Gravel to discuss his book, Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities (St. Martin's Press, 2016), and the future of urban environments and libraries.

Episode 12: "Celebrating Women's History"

Apr 1, 2017 00:41:03


In the new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries welcomes two authors whose new books look at inspiring women, past and present. Host Phil Morehart talks to Julie Foudy, former professional soccer player for the US women's national team, ESPN analyst and reporter, and 2017 National Library Week Honorary Chair, about her book, Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously You (Disney Publishing Worldwide, 2017) American Libraries associate editor Terra Dankowski sits down with Donna Seaman, editor of adult books at Booklist, to discuss her new book, Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists (Bloomsbury USA, 2017).

Episode 11: "Love Connections: Finding Love in the Library World"

Mar 11, 2017 00:59:15


In the new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries goes looking for love ... and finds it in the most unexpected places Dewey Decibel senior love correspondent Terra Dankowski talks to three librarian couples—Elizabeth Westenburg and Evan Williamson; Amy Call and Ellen MacInnis; and Annie and Dan Bostrom—who found each other thanks to the American Library Association (ALA). Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart looks at ALA's I Love My Librarian Award, with interviews with Sari Feldman, ALA immediate past president and chair of this year's award selection committee, and Andrea Bernard, one of the 2016 award winners.

Episode 10: "Librarians, Use the Force"

Feb 15, 2017 00:57:20


In the 10th episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries Associate Editor and DD host Phil Morehart talks to three individuals who occupy a unique place in the Star Wars universe, revealing how the franchise has become a force with worldwide influence. Guest include: Anne Neumann, general manager of Rancho Obi-Wan, a nonprofit organization in Sonoma County, California, that collects, conserves, and exhibits "Star Wars" toys, memorabilia, and artifacts. Allen Callaci, literacy librarian at Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Library and organizer of the library’s "Star Wars" Day event—one of the largest in the US that draws thousands of attendees each year. Saul Drake, project director of "Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume," an exhibition presented by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service that is bringing more than 60 costumes from the "Star Wars" franchise to museums across the US.

Bonus Episode: The 2017 Youth Media Awards

Jan 31, 2017 00:10:10


In this bonus episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries reports from the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) at the 2017 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits. The YMAs have a devoted fan base, many of whom queue in the pre-dawn hours to get a prime seat for the ceremony. Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talked to some of them about their YMA fandom, their favorite kids books, and more.

Episode Nine: "Looking Back"

Jan 3, 2017 00:10:10


In this very special episode of the "Dewey Decibel" podcast, host Phil Morehart presents a series of short interviews with a variety of luminaries who have spoken with "American Libraries" over the years, each of whom discussed the impact of libraries on their lives, including Khaled Hosseini (author of "The Kite Runner"), Alexander McCall Smith (creator of the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series), game designer and writer Jane McGonigal, public speaker Jennifer Kahnweiler, Lois Lowry (author of "The Giver"), Nick Offerman (from TV's "Parks and Recreation"), author, curator, and university professor Sarah Lewis, writer and "This American Life" regular Sarah Vowell, and Margaret Atwood(author of "The Handmaid's Tale"). See the interviews in full at

Episode Eight: "Hail to the Chief's Library"

Dec 1, 2016 00:58:24


In this post-election episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, join American Libraries associate editor and host Phil Morehart as he examines presidential libraries and presidential history with three esteemed guests: Meredith Evans, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta Jodi Kanter, associate professor of theater at George Washington University and author of the book Presidential Libraries as Performance: Curating American Character from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush Ken Burns, director of the acclaimed documentary films The Civil War, Jazz, Baseball, Prohibition, The War, and many more, and author of the new book for kids, Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents

Episode Seven: "Night of the Living Dewey Decibel"

Oct 28, 2016 00:53:08


It's that time of the year again, when the days grow shorter, a chill creeps into the air, and the supernatural and otherworldly are ubiquitous—even in the library world. Join American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart for a very special Halloween edition of the podcast, featuring conversations with: Greg Hager, director of Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, which is notorious for being one of the most haunted libraries in the United States. Phil and Greg talk about the library’s history and haunts, and how it uses the internet to help visitors spot its ghosts. Jake Adler, head librarian at the Conjuring Arts Research Center in New York City, a library and research facility devoted to the magic arts. Phil and Jake discuss the facility's collection of magic-related books and periodicals, its availability to researchers and the public, and more. Daniel Kraus, award-winning author of numerous horror and fantasy books, including The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, the latest volume of which was released October 25, and Trollhunters, a book coauthored with filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro that is coming to Netflix as an animated series in December. Phil chats with Daniel about his projects and inspirations, their favorite horror films, and more.

Episode Six: "It Could Happen to You: Banned Books"

Oct 2, 2016 00:57:04


To coincide with the conclusion of Banned Books Week, Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart looks at book banning, challenges, and censorship with three individuals at the forefront of the conversation: James LaRue, director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom and the executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. James and Phil talk about the difference between a challenge and a banning, the reasons behind books bannings in the US, and more. Sara Stevenson, a librarian at O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas, who recently experienced a book challenge situation at her school. She relives the experience and offers tips to librarians facing similar books challenges or bannings. Marjane Satrapi, the author of the award-winning graphic novel, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, and director of the Oscar-nominated film adaptation. Satrapi's book was briefly banned in a high school in Chicago in 2013. Phil spoke with Marjane from Paris about her work, the situation in Chicago, the nature of censorship, and more.

Episode Five: "Library Design: If You Build It, They Will Come"

Aug 30, 2016 00:46:19


Episode Five tackles a topic close to host Phil Morehart's heart: library architecture and design. As editor of American Libraries Magazine's annual Library Design Showcase, Morehart was primed and perfectly suited to talk to this episode's three guests: Brian Lee from Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, the chief architect behind Chicago Public Library's new, award-winning Chinatown branch. Lee and Morehart discuss the new Chinatown library and importance of a library integrating itself and reflecting the community in which it serves. Kimberly Bolan, the library consultant behind Kimberly Bolan and Associates and author of "Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover." Bolan and Morehart talk about the importance of teen spaces in libraries. Fred Schlipf, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Schlipf and Morehart take off the gloves to talk about bad library design and how libraries can prevent it.

Episode Four: "Annual Recap: 16,000 Librarians Can't Be Wrong"

Jul 26, 2016 00:40:47


For Episode Four of the Dewey Decibel podcast, host Phil Morehart and a staff of reporters recap the American Library Association's (ALA) 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, highlighting the celebrity interviews, staff and member conversations, and exhibit hall action for those librarians who attended, those who could not, and any listeners who may have wondered what kinds of programming and people you'll find at Annual. Sociology professor, author, and political analyst Michael Eric Dyson sits down with American Libraries Senior Editor George Eberhart for an energetic, poetic interview about discovering literature, hip-hop, the Obama presidency, gun control, and “reaching young people where they are.” The Pulse nightclub shooting, which happened two weeks before Annual, was much on the minds of organizers and attendees. ALA's then-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table Peter Coyl speaks to AL Senior Editor Amy Carlton about how the Saturday morning memorial came together, the importance of remembering victims as individuals, and how civil rights pioneer US Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) came to participate. ALA Editions Marketing Coordinator Rob Christopher reveals to Samantha Imburgia, ALA Publishing’s associate editor for e-learning solutions, what really goes on at the ALA Store, from bestselling books to setup and tear-down to author signings. Plus, AL Associate Editor Terra Dankowski provides roving dispatches from the convention center.

Episode Three: "Celebrating the Carnegie Medals"

Jun 24, 2016 00:31:50


American Libraries magazine is back with another installment of the Dewey Decibel podcast, and this time host Phil Morehart is taking on the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Episode Three features interviews with Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Carnegie Medal– and Pulitizer Prize–winning novel "The Sympathizer," and Nancy Pearl, renowned librarian, literary critic, and Carnegie Medals committee chair. The awards, cosponsored by Booklist and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Reference and User Services Association, were announced in January. Carnegie Medal winners Nguyen and Sally Mann (for the nonfiction book "Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs") will be honored at ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, June 25. Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose confessional thriller is set in the years following the Vietnam War, talks to Phil about why he chose to tell his story as a spy novel and how he conceived his main character (“I thought of him like a bad James Bond”). He shares how growing up as a refugee in San José, California, influenced the book, and why, in researching his novel, he wanted to learn as much as he could about the making of the film "Apocalypse Now." Nancy Pearl, chair of the Carnegie Medals nominating committee, explains who makes up the committee, how the nomination process works (“it’s not that formal”), and which lists are consulted for finalists. She talks about the difference between an enjoyable book and an important book—and what made "The Sympathizer" and "Hold Still" stand out.

Episode Two: “Library Security: Making Your Space Safer”

May 24, 2016 00:38:23


Episode two examines a multi-faceted, important issue: library security. American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks to three people from the library world who work to help us understand how to handle safety issues—both large-scale, harrowing encounters and smaller but still disconcerting events—in our buildings and on our campuses. Mary Ann Jacob, a library aide who works at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, who was present during the fatal shootings on December 14, 2012, shares her powerful story and how it led to her current work with Everytown for Gun Safety. Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer, director of New Mexico State Library, explains some of the active shooter training programs she made available to her staff at the New Mexico and New Jersey state libraries. Steve Albrecht, former San Diego police officer, host of the podcast Crime Time with Steve Albrecht, and author of Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities (ALA Editions, 2015), provides tips on what libraries can do to stay safe on a day-to-day basis.

Episode One: "Preservation: If You Don’t Have the Keepers, You Don’t Have the History”

Apr 25, 2016 00:30:19


In the first episode of American Libraries Dewey Decibel podcast, host Phil Morehart talks to Brad Meltzer, bestselling author and host of "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" and "Brad Meltzer's Lost History" on the History Channel; Michele Cloonan, preservation scholar and dean emerita at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science, and Michael Witmore, dean of the Folger Shakespeare Library.