By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

School of Information Studies Assistant Professor of Practice Barbara Stripling, who this year is serving as president of the American Library Association, took part in an interview on National Public Radio on Tuesday.

Stripling’s comments came as one in a series of reports NPR has compiled this summer on how libraries fulfill their community missions. The series is entitled, “Keys to the World, American Public Libraries.” 

In the interview, Stripling acknowledged a unique practice at a Providence, Rhode Island library, where librarians have compiled “human books,” cataloging dozens of people in the community who have information and expertise to share. Library users can check out these “human resources,” scheduling 20-minute dialogues and question-answer sessions in order to gain information, learn about a perspective, or hear a story. The “books” in this case include a refugee, an ex-felon, and a woman with a facial deformity, NPR reports.

Reporter Elizabeth Blair interviewed Stripling and other librarians on how using these “human books” is just another way to access the wealth of informational resources available in a community.

As an example, in Honeoye Falls in Upstate New York, the library lends fishing poles, the story reveals. NPR cites other examples of how libraries are rethinking ways to get informational resources, in all forms, to their patrons, and to get patrons into the libraries.  

To read the NPR story featuring Stripiing, visit: