Autherine Lucy Foster

Another Hidden Figure in Library History

January 20, 2023

Here’s what I found in my research—which involved 1,200 newspaper and periodical articles—when I looked into her story. After graduating in 1952 from the historically Black college and university of Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, Lucy and her friend Pollie Myers decided to apply to the all-white University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Because neither identified … Continue reading Another Hidden Figure in Library History


2023 LibLearn X Preview

2023 LibLearnX Preview

January 3, 2023

Designed for active learning, the conference will offer more than 120 educational sessions in various formats, created by and for library professionals. Additionally, LibLearnX sees the return of ALA’s Symposium on the Future of Libraries, as well as an all-new Governance Institute geared toward prospective leaders. This preview represents a sampling of the sessions that … Continue reading 2023 LibLearnX Preview


Pickled mulberry pani puri at Mister Mao

Crescent City Cuisine

January 3, 2023

As coauthor of the updated 2024 edition of Frommer’s EasyGuide to New Orleans, I’ve compiled this intentionally eclectic selection of restaurants near the convention center (and close by, in the French Quarter) with something for everyone, plus some farther-away destinations to take you a little deeper, doable by rideshare or even public bike. Make dinner … Continue reading Crescent City Cuisine


2022 Year in Review

January 3, 2023

Uniting against censorship attempts Organized book challenges continued to proliferate. From January through August, 681 attempts to ban or restrict library materials had been made in the US, with 1,651 unique titles targeted. In response to mounting censorship threats, ALA announced in May its Unite Against Book Bans campaign, a coalition with more than 60 … Continue reading 2022 Year in Review


Referenda Roundup 2022

Referenda Roundup 2022: Final Report

January 3, 2023

While libraries notched notable victories in 2022, some failed measures reflect broader cultural and economic shifts. One alarming trend: Organized groups of politically driven voters who oppose libraries carrying materials written by, about, and for LBGTQ people are banding together to reject levies that fund libraries—and fighting to get referenda on the ballot that defund … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2022: Final Report


Rebecca Makkai

Newsmaker: Rebecca Makkai

January 3, 2023

Your first novel, The Borrower, features a children’s librarian and a bright, book-loving 10-year-old. What are your thoughts on the current spate of book challenges in libraries? I’m always so flummoxed by the book-banning discussion because, first of all, what does someone think is going to happen when they try to ban a book? It … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rebecca Makkai



Images from our gift guide

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers

December 7, 2022

  Gifts Under $10   “Read Banned Books” Bookmark ($4) Let LeVar Burton save your place with this colorful, two-by-seven-inch, matte-coated card stock bookmark by HereNowWow. It features collage portrait imagery with text printed on the front, and shipping is free.       “I’m with the Banned” Sticker ($4.49) Rock star librarians can use … Continue reading 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers


Referenda Roundup 2022

Referenda Roundup 2022: Initial Report

November 9, 2022

While libraries notched many victories in 2022, some failed measures reflect broader cultural and economic shifts. For instance, in Jamestown Township, Michigan, a levy that would provide Patmos Library with 84% of its annual budget, failed on August 2 in large part because residents opposed to LGBTQ materials in the library’s collection campaigned against the … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2022: Initial Report


When It Happens to You

November 1, 2022

“It’s important to know that this is a nationwide trend, and it’s very possible it will arrive where you are,” said Megan Cusick, assistant director of state advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at “Prepare Your Library for Today’s Censorship Battles,” a session at the2022 Public Library Association Conference in March. She recommended that … Continue reading When It Happens to You


Illustration of a stack of books with a pickaxe

Facing the Challenge

November 1, 2022

Presenters included Kathy Carroll, school librarian at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina, and 2020–2021 president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL); Melanie Huggins, executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, and then–PLA president; and Deb Sica, deputy county librarian at Alameda County (Calif.) Library. The session was moderated by … Continue reading Facing the Challenge


Ihor Poshyvailo, founder of Maidan Museum in Kyiv, holds the ceramic cockerel that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

A Helping Hand

November 1, 2022

American Libraries spoke with three members of the library community who have rallied in support of Ukraine through efforts to preserve cultural information, raise funds for its libraries and affected population, and help its refugees settle in new places: Kristin Parker, lead curator and manager of the arts at Boston Public Library (BPL); Michael Dowling, … Continue reading A Helping Hand