Author Archive: Anne Ford

The ALA Gay and Lesbian Task Force ­marching in the 1992 San Francisco Pride parade.

The Rainbow’s Arc

June 1, 2020

In the decades that followed, the group’s name changed periodically to reflect the evolving times, finally becoming known in 2019 as the Rainbow Round Table. But its mission—to serve the information needs of LGBTQIA+ library professionals as well as the information and access needs of the LGBTQIA+ community at large—has never faltered. LGBTQIA+ youth have … Continue reading The Rainbow’s Arc


Illustration: © Atstock Productions/Adobe Stock

Narcan or No?

June 1, 2020

The response might seem like an obvious “yes.” But for many public libraries the answer is more nuanced. In October 2018, Emergent BioSolutions, the company that manufactures the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (generic name: naloxone), issued a press release offering two free doses of Narcan to every public library and YMCA in the US. … Continue reading Narcan or No?



Librarians from San Francisco Public Library working at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned

April 24, 2020

Of course, being asked to take on tasks that fall outside their traditional job description is nothing new for librarians. But the unprecedented, widespread closure of libraries has made conditions especially ripe for staff redeployment—particularly since many localities consider librarians “city workers.” “All city and county employees, per our contract, work as disaster service workers … Continue reading Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned



Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo, Texas, is closed to walk-ins but offering curbside checkout services, as explained by this image from their website.

Staying Open during COVID-19

March 23, 2020

But as of Monday, March 23, a handful of public and academic libraries were still serving patrons in person. “[Southeastern Idaho] Public Health said that we should maintain services, and they’re the experts, right?” says Robert Wright, director of Idaho Falls (Idaho) Public Library (IFPL), which has canceled all programming but remains open for the … Continue reading Staying Open during COVID-19


Graphic: 50th anniversary of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

Living the Dream

March 2, 2020

How has the situation of African Americans in the profession changed since BCALA’s founding? Well, “it hasn’t gotten any worse,” says Trevor Dawes, vice provost for libraries and museums and May Morris University Librarian at University of Delaware, as well as past BCALA executive board member and BCALA liaison to ALA until last year. “We … Continue reading Living the Dream


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Fact Versus Fear

March 2, 2020

The flames of any mistrust that might have already surrounded this census have been fanned at least twice: First, by the new option to complete the form online, which may be met with diffidence by the 52% of American adults whom the Pew Research Center calls “relatively hesitant” about using digital tools, and which may … Continue reading Fact Versus Fear


Wes Moore

2020 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 6, 2020

“How much pain are we willing to tolerate when we know we don’t have to?” asked opening speaker Wes Moore, CEO of anti-poverty organization Robin Hood, US Army combat veteran, and one of many speakers who addressed race and inequality. His forthcoming book (with Erica L. Green) Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City … Continue reading 2020 Midwinter Wrap-Up


Andrea Telli, Chicago Public Libraries commissioner

Newsmaker: Andrea Telli

February 4, 2020

American Libraries spoke with Telli about her path to librarianship, her plans for CPL’s future, and the effects of CPL’s fine-free policy. I understand that you didn’t originally plan to become a librarian. I actually have a master’s degree in medieval and Renaissance Spanish literature. So marketable! Then I received a fellowship, and as part … Continue reading Newsmaker: Andrea Telli