A Seat for All

September 1, 2021

It’s a striking reminder that in our all-too-recent past, entire groups were denied access to the institutions we serve. That’s why during Library Card Sign-Up Month, celebrated each September, I am calling on all of us to recognize the errors of the past and commit to fighting for improved access for groups that may still … Continue reading A Seat for All


Libraries Connect Us

July 8, 2021

Taking on the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to ALA’s mission of fostering cultural understanding and defending equity, diversity, and inclusion. In that spirit, my presidential plans focus on equity at the intersection of service. During my term, I will advocate for four initiatives, collectively called “Libraries Connect.” The first focus … Continue reading Libraries Connect Us


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Moving Forward

June 1, 2021

Thanks to all who joined me last summer on the virtual “Holding Space” tour, a conversation series with libraries. I will forever remember you as faithful partners and travel companions as we faced seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Thanks in part to our advocacy, libraries secured federal relief funding of historic proportions. ALA staff and leadership managed … Continue reading Moving Forward



From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

A Place within ALA

March 1, 2021

What do these events mean for libraries and the Association? Libraries and library workers had an important role leading up to the 2020 presidential election by encouraging and supporting voter registration, which led to more than 66% of eligible voters participating—making 2020 the most engaged election since 1900. No matter who you voted for, as … Continue reading A Place within ALA


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

A New Year of Hope

January 4, 2021

Similarly, 2020 made an indelible impression on the history of our country, and it has left us collectively exhausted. Many will remember it as the year we were locked down, Zoomed out, and either lonely or wanting to be alone. We lost loved ones, icons, and champions. We were confronted with furloughs and loss of … Continue reading A New Year of Hope


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

We the People

November 2, 2020

The primary focus of my ALA presidency is to serve the people—all people—with particular attention to those who were not included or who are underrepresented or forgotten. In my last column, I shared the idea behind ALA’s “Holding Space” tour, which began in July and featured virtual visits to 11 libraries across the country that … Continue reading We the People


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Stand Up, Speak Out

September 1, 2020

For 60 years Lewis served and advocated for our collective humanity. What many may not know is that his wife, Lillian, who passed in 2012, was his chief advisor and a librarian. Lewis’s legacy reminds me that service is the fundamental reason libraries exist and that reading and access to information—which are human rights—are necessary … Continue reading Stand Up, Speak Out


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Black Lives Matter

July 1, 2020

These events spurred singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye to record “What’s Going On” 50 years ago. As I assume leadership of ALA, we are confronting an unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen since 1918; an economic collapse, including the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression; unjust police killings of unarmed Black … Continue reading Black Lives Matter



From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Libraries Adapt amid Crisis

May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and the novel corona­virus have upended our way of life and altered the way we as library professionals do our work. Of course, it has also impacted the American Library Association in profound ways. In March, the Executive Board made two difficult decisions: First, to recommend the closing of all libraries to all patrons. … Continue reading Libraries Adapt amid Crisis


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Don’t Be Counted Out

March 2, 2020

Quite simply, representation matters. If people aren’t counted in, they will most likely be counted out. That’s because the census informs everything from districting for federal, state, and local offices to the allocation of as much as $1.5 trillion in federal funding to states and localities. The census intersects with the work of libraries in several … Continue reading Don’t Be Counted Out