Author Archive: Terra Dankowski

From left: Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo, and John Spears

My Library, My Story

September 30, 2018

American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo hopes these prompts and others can be leveraged to create better advocates and visibility for libraries on the local, national, and international level. “This is a time for action. We’re living in challenging times,” she said. “We need a seat at the table.” At “My Library, My Story,” … Continue reading My Library, My Story


Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in public libraries at the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 28.

Serving Black Immigrants

September 29, 2018

At “Engaging and Serving Black Immigrant Communities,” a September 28 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in accessing information and what libraries can better do to reach … Continue reading Serving Black Immigrants


Natalia Fernández, associate professor at Oregon State University (OSU) and curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives in Corvallis, presents “Campus Connections to White Supremacy: Reconciliation through Community Engagement and Historical Research” at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on September 27.

Renaming and Reconciling

September 29, 2018

“Building and place names do matter. They can be those institutional symbols of racism,” said Natalia Fernández, associate professor at Oregon State University (OSU) and curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives in Corvallis. “It can be very impactful, hurtful, and it’s important that we have these conversations.” In “Campus … Continue reading Renaming and Reconciling


Sandy Littletree, PhD candidate at University of Washington and 2011–2012 president of the American Indian Library Association, discusses “The History and Currency of Tribal Libraries: Sovereignty, Information, and Empowerment,” a September 27 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque.

The Challenges of Tribal Libraries

September 28, 2018

Sandy Littletree, PhD candidate at University of Washington and 2011–2012 president of the American Indian Library Association (AILA), posed these questions at the outset of “The History and Currency of Tribal Libraries: Sovereignty, Information, and Empowerment,” a September 27 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “There … Continue reading The Challenges of Tribal Libraries


Author, poet, and essayist Benjamin Alire Sáenz speaks to attendees at the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque on September 27.

Praise for the Gatekeepers

September 28, 2018

“You are the gatekeepers of American culture. You are what this country needs even though it doesn’t know it needs you. And you do it anonymously,” he said. Sáenz, a New Mexico native, welcomed a standing-room-only crowd to the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Albuquerque on September 27. The Opening … Continue reading Praise for the Gatekeepers



Beth Crist, Dustin Landrum, and Wendy Cornelisen

Collaboration is Key

June 26, 2018

A room full of library professionals shouted out the answers: “Build a better team!” “Increase awareness!” “Reach new audiences!” “Share resources!” “Take pressure off overworked librarians!” “Build capacity!” “Avoid duplicating efforts!” For attendees at “Collaboration is Key: Steps to Building Great Partnerships with Outside Organizations,” an Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies–sponsored program at … Continue reading Collaboration is Key


Viola Davis

Viola Davis Takes a Bow

June 26, 2018

“This is one of my favorite cities,” she announced to an auditorium packed with library professionals. “You can blow a fuse in this city, though, between the vodka and the fried oysters.” Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-winning actor Davis was the Closing Session speaker at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans … Continue reading Viola Davis Takes a Bow


Maurice Coleman, Angela Ocana, Sara Benson, and Steve Thomas

How to Start a Podcast

June 26, 2018

Panel moderator Phil Morehart, associate editor of American Libraries, picked the brains of prolific Libraryland podcasters from wildly different professional backgrounds to help attendees understand what kind of content, show formats, gear, marketing, branding, and partnerships have made their shows successful—and how they got started. (Full disclosure: Terra works on the Dewey Decibel podcast.) Finding their niche … Continue reading How to Start a Podcast


Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs

June 25, 2018

At “Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs,” a session sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans in Sunday, members of ULC’s Learning Cohort discussed practices and approaches for public libraries that want to support contractors, small business, and startups in their communities. “Most businesses fail … Continue reading Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs


ALA logo

ALSC Changes Name of Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

June 25, 2018

“We made this decision in order to bring our awards program into consistency with our mission and our strategic directions,” says ALSC President Nina Lindsay. “ALSC’s core values include integrity, respect, inclusiveness, and responsiveness, and we found we needed to review the names of awards with those values in mind.” In a joint statement released … Continue reading ALSC Changes Name of Laura Ingalls Wilder Award


Jonathan Eig Pulls No Punches

June 24, 2018

Eig was up for the task. What culminated was Ali: A Life—a 640-page, multiple-award-winning exploration cobbled from more than 600 interviews with 200 sources (including religious leader Louis Farrakhan, fight promoter Don King, and boxer George Foreman) over five years. He shared with Auditorium Speaker Series attendees at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference … Continue reading Jonathan Eig Pulls No Punches