2021 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual

2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

July 8, 2021

Headlining speakers talked about books, libraries, and the exchange of ideas in the greater context of major societal challenges. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Opening Session speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, who developed the 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine, recalled an elective course on Black studies she took as a teenager. “It was the first … Continue reading 2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up


Barack Obama

Hope and Harmony

June 29, 2021

Interviewed by Lonnie Bunch III, the first African American secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and introduced by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr., Obama talked about A Promised Land (Crown, November 2020)—the first of two memoirs spanning his paradigm-breaking presidency—and the role of libraries in shaping the story of American democracy. “A Promised Land chronicles … Continue reading Hope and Harmony


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Council III: Resolutions and Updates

June 29, 2021

Memorials were read for John T. Ma (M#9), Vartan Gregorian (M#10), Kathie Coblentz (M#11), Henrietta M. Smith (M#12), Cheryl McCarthy (M#13), Eleanor “Penny” Brome (M#14), Latanya N. Jenkins (M#15), Anita Schiller (M#16), Xiaoqiu Li (M#17), Bernadette Storck (M#18), William C. Robinson (M#19), Margaret R. Myers (M#20), Michele Leber (M#21), Leonard Kniffel (M#22), William G. Asp … Continue reading Council III: Resolutions and Updates


Amy Franco

The Struggle Is Real

June 29, 2021

“Nurses and social workers get the support that they need to recognize and cope with compassion fatigue, but in the world of libraries it’s a relative unknown,” she said. “We generally do not do a good job of promoting our own health and well-being.” Franco introduced attendees to the body’s major stress chemicals—adrenaline and cortisol—and … Continue reading The Struggle Is Real


Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Crosby Kemper III

Realms of Opportunity

June 29, 2021

Kemper started his position in January 2020 with “mixed messages”—he’d been appointed by a president who had proposed defunding IMLS over three consecutive years and unanimously confirmed in the Senate, which had approved increases for the agency over the same period. There was no time to process the president’s fourth proposed elimination before the pandemic … Continue reading Realms of Opportunity


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Council II: Restructuring and Sustainability

June 28, 2021

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall presented the review of Executive Board actions taken since the 2021 Midwinter Meeting (CD#15.1) and the implementation report on Council actions taken at Midwinter (CD#9.1). In a carryover from Council I earlier in the day, Forward Together Resolutions Working Group (FTRWG) cochairs Christina Rodriques and Jack Martin presented their … Continue reading Council II: Restructuring and Sustainability


Confronting the Myth of Neutrality

The Myth of Neutrality

June 28, 2021

“The act of education is an act of vulnerability, the willingness to open up to the possibility of a new worldview or at the very least be exposed to it even if it doesn’t shift your own,” said Stacy Collins, research and instruction librarian at Simmons University in Boston. There are those who arrive at … Continue reading The Myth of Neutrality


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Council I: Forward Together Work Begins

June 28, 2021

The Virtual Council rules (CD#5.2) and agenda (CD#8.6) were adopted. The minutes from the 2021 ALA Midwinter Meeting and March Council Meeting Minutes (CD#2.3–2.4) were also adopted. Mike Marlin, chair of the Resolutions Committee, thanked his colleagues and bade farewell to retiring committee members before presenting his report (CD#10.2). The Committee on Committees (COC) report … Continue reading Council I: Forward Together Work Begins



Isabel Wilkerson

History, Race, and Caste

June 27, 2021

Jefferson spoke of the “twin pandemics” that have marked his tenure as president—COVID-19 and systemic racism—and pointed out that only the virus seems to be reaching resolution. “Isabel Wilkerson and her book Caste help explain why,” he said. Simone Stone, an MSLIS student at the School of Information Services at the University of Illinois at … Continue reading History, Race, and Caste



Food and Family Tradition

June 26, 2021

Moderated by Karen Murgolo, editorial director of the Lifestyle and Culinary imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and editor of Trisha’s Kitchen, Yearwood’s talk was brief but rich in details about her family’s influence on her cooking and her new book. When asked how food keeps family traditions alive, Yearwood said that the dinner table was where … Continue reading Food and Family Tradition