Graphic of Field Guides with Nihar Malaviya's headshot

Protecting the Equalizers

April 8, 2024

Growing up in Rajkot, India, I regularly walked nearly an hour to the closest library to check out a book. It was there that I discovered new perspectives and places. My whole world expanded, and my imagination flourished. It didn’t take me long to read the entire children’s section! When my family moved to the … Continue reading Protecting the Equalizers

Field Guides by Lorcan Dempsey

Predicting the Unpredictable

March 4, 2024

Scholars Michael Barrett and Wanda Orlikowski note in a March 2021 paper that technologies deployed at scale have both constructive and problematic outcomes. As library decision makers position the library as a source of advice and expertise, as they determine the products and services to invest in, and as they consider the welfare of their … Continue reading Predicting the Unpredictable

Preparing for Pushback

January 21, 2024

Goswami presented at “Be Prepared: Program Challenges at Your Public Library,” a January 21 session at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore. He was joined by Amanda Sand Vazquez, director of Dubuque County (Iowa) Library District and president of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), and Betsy Gomez, assistant director of … Continue reading Preparing for Pushback

Rakisha Kearns-White, senior YA librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL), left, and Brenda Bentt-Peters, BPL's community outreach supervisor, present at "Creating Welcoming and Supportive Libraries for Asylum Seekers and People Experiencing Homelessness and Poverty."

Opening Doors

January 21, 2024

“This is the first step.… We want the library to be a place where they know they can come in and feel welcome,” she said during “Creating Welcoming and Supportive Libraries for Asylum Seekers and People Experiencing Homelessness and Poverty,” a January 20 session at the American Library Association’s 2024 LibLearnX Conference in Baltimore. Bentt-Peters … Continue reading Opening Doors

A cartoon depiction of a librarian holding a stack of books with a group of protestors behind her.

How We Fight Back

September 1, 2023

All because she spoke at a public library board meeting last year. “I said, ‘Hate and fear have no place in Livingston Parish,’” says Jones. “It was an innocuous speech, a speech on censorship that any librarian would give.” The meeting, which occurred in July 2022, was intended to address general book content at Livingston … Continue reading How We Fight Back

Attorney and social media influencer Emily Amick at “Fight Book Bans: Frame the Debate, Fill the Seats, and Create Connections,” a June 25 session at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Methods for Mobilizing

June 25, 2023

“What Moms for Liberty isn’t doing is advocacy—it’s a takeover,” said Emily Amick, an attorney, social media influencer, and founder of political change nonprofit For Facts Sake. “I want to push you to think bigger about what we’re up against and how to fight it.” Amick was the featured speaker at “Fight Book Bans: Frame … Continue reading Methods for Mobilizing

Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada

Until We Meet Again

June 1, 2023

As I contemplate the future of libraries, I am reminded of adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy. In the chapter “Intentional Adaptation: How We Change,” she describes the need to be an active participant in change—to not resist but embrace it—and to be as intentional as possible during the process while being in community with … Continue reading Until We Meet Again

Headshot of On My Mind columnist Steve Tetreault

Let’s Get Loud

June 1, 2023

It’s maddening that so few people outside the library profession—even those we work with—see what is going on. But unfortunately, it’s not surprising. These days, news events reported across too many platforms compete for our limited time and attention. As local news outlets diminish, so does reporting on community events like school or public library … Continue reading Let’s Get Loud

Photos of speakers from the US Book Show

Standing Together

May 30, 2023

The four-day hybrid conference, now in its third year, is designed by and for authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians. The first day of programming covered two curated tracks: “Libraries Are Essential” and “Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities in Conversation.” The tracks addressed several common themes, including how librarians are experiencing burnout as a result … Continue reading Standing Together

Photo of Ava Kirtley, who raised money to purchase books from frequently banned lists and gave them away to teens in Walla Walla, Washington.

Meeting The Challenge

May 1, 2023

In summer 2021, several parents and community members challenged a handful of books at the school, including the memoir Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. In response, Kirtley and about 40 of her peers met that fall at a student-run social justice club to discuss how to respond. They made plans to attend the next school … Continue reading Meeting The Challenge

Erin MacFarlane, customer experience administrator for the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Library District (right) speaks with US Rep. Raúl Grijalva during ALA's 2023 fly-in at Capitol Hill.

ALA Launches FY2024 #FundLibraries Campaign

March 14, 2023

This year, there is a remarkably brief window for action: the deadline for signatures is March 20. The Library Services and Technology Act (LTSA) letter, circulated by US Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), urges House of Representatives appropriators to provide $232 million for LSTA to fund a wide range of essential library … Continue reading ALA Launches FY2024 #FundLibraries Campaign

Three illustrated figures are seen reaching out to touch an illustration of a smartphone.

Getting Back to Giving Back

March 1, 2023

In a milieu of uncertainty caused by worldwide shutdowns, Brooks, executive director of Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC) in Maryland and a United for Libraries board member, didn’t know if it was insensitive to ask the community to support the library with donations. She attended a workshop in 2020 on fundraising during a … Continue reading Getting Back to Giving Back