Dewey Decibel: Small and Rural Libraries

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Small and Rural Libraries

September 15, 2020

In Episode 54, Dewey Decibel speaks with Jefferson, as well as two librarians whose work was showcased on his tour. First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart discusses small-library concerns with Corey Christians, director of Yavapai County (Ariz.) Free Library District. Next, Morehart talks with Stacey Russell, interim executive director of … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Small and Rural Libraries


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


Clockwise from top left: Karina Quilantan of Jaime Escalante Middle School, Pharr, Texas; Bill Chapman of Jarrell Independent School District; Kristi Starr of Coronado High School, Lubbock; Heather Lamb of Castleberry Independent School District, Fort Worth; Roger Ceballos of Benjamin Franklin International Exploratory Academy, Dallas; Tamiko Brown of Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land; Stephanie Galvan Russell of Gorzycki Middle School, Austin; Rosenid Hernandez-Badia of Benjamin Franklin International Exploratory Academy, Dallas; and Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

“Libraries Are Holding Space for Their Communities”

August 12, 2020

If you scroll through my tweets between July 27 and August 7, you will see a series of crowded Zoom screenshots. But they don’t do justice to the expert librarians and community partners who participated in our discussions. Every stop we visited was unique. The range of innovation I witnessed within the library profession in … Continue reading “Libraries Are Holding Space for Their Communities”


Holding Space, a national conversation series with libraries

The Stories of America’s Libraries, Virtually

July 27, 2020

Rather than a celebration on wheels, “Holding Space” will take place virtually. The intent remains the same: As American Library Association (ALA) president, I want to elevate the stories and successes of libraries whose work takes place just out of the spotlight. Libraries improve lives every day, and though their services and delivery models may … Continue reading The Stories of America’s Libraries, Virtually


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


ALA Virtual Opening Session Speaker Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation

June 24, 2020

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall reflected on her first four months as head of the Association, a period marked by the simultaneous struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global uprising against police brutality and racism. “Our resistance in these struggles requires our resilience,” Hall said. In 2026, ALA will turn 150, and Hall … Continue reading Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation



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


Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Wong Wins 2021–2022 ALA Presidency

April 8, 2020

Wong received 6,718 votes, while her opponent, Steven Yates, assistant director of University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, received 2,448 votes. As ALA president, Wong will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library association in the world. She will serve as president-elect for one year before stepping into … Continue reading Wong Wins 2021–2022 ALA Presidency


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


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Forward Together

January 2, 2020

But as we hear often, many members find the path to engagement too confusing, too insular, and too expensive. How do we address these concerns while also modernizing the way our Association functions? This is where we start. For the past 18 months, as a member of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE), I’ve … Continue reading Forward Together


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Welcoming New Americans

November 1, 2019

Libraries have a role to play too. From hosting programs with local legislators and teaching patrons media literacy to offering support for online census questions and assistance with government e-forms, today’s libraries are hot spots of civic engagement. Newcomers to this country, especially, see libraries as trustworthy guides on their path to integrating into their … Continue reading Welcoming New Americans