Graphic: Robin Bradford and Becky Spratford

Recommending Diverse Voices

June 25, 2020

“Windows, mirrors, and doors are still important and will always be important, but it’s time to take the next step and recognize that books written by diverse authors, featuring diverse characters, are for anyone, for everyone, all the time,” said Robin Bradford, collection development librarian at Pierce County (Wash.) Library System, noting the growing availability … Continue reading Recommending Diverse Voices

Stacey Abrams

An Act of Persistence

June 25, 2020

Brown prefaced the main event—a conversation between Abrams and ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall—by noting how both COVID-19 and police brutality disproportionately affect African Americans and other communities of color. “The coronavirus is new, unlike racism, which is as old as time,” she said. Brown asked if deaths like George Floyd’s could have been … Continue reading An Act of Persistence

Taking a Stand

June 25, 2020

She was referring to social change, specifically the ability of libraries around the world to react to it and facilitate it. Mackenzie, along with Merve Yavuzdemir, foreign relations branch manager at the General Directorate of Libraries and Publications in Turkey, discussed world events that have led to social changes and affected library services. Mackenzie outlined … Continue reading Taking a Stand

Sophia Thakur

Books as Escape

June 24, 2020

Thakur, debut author of Somebody Give This Heart a Pen (Candlewick, September) and featured speaker at ALA Virtual on June 24, remarked on libraries’ ability to offer enrichment, empowerment, and empathy. “Anything that can meet you at the point of your desire to escape will forever hold a sacred place,” she said. “My escape enriched … Continue reading Books as Escape

Treasure Hunters at Libraries? Why Not!!

Treasures to Take Home

June 24, 2020

Hong Yao, president-elect of the Chinese American Librarians Association and director of technical services at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library, moderated a discussion on increasing engagement and investment in archives and community education during “Treasure Hunters at Libraries? Why Not!!,” a June 24 session at ALA Virtual 2020. A map to the best information Accurate, timely … Continue reading Treasures to Take Home

Resisting Hate with Speech

June 24, 2020

“You are really heroes and heroines on the front lines of making freedom of speech and freedom of thought a reality for everybody all over the country,” she said. Protecting free speech and thought, even if it goes against one’s personal beliefs or morality, should be a prime concern for librarians, Strossen said. The session … Continue reading Resisting Hate with Speech

Graphic: Retention Efforts for Minority Librarians

Retaining Librarians of Color

June 24, 2020

Panelists at the June 24 session, “Retention Efforts of Minority Librarians in Librarianship from the Perspectives of Early, Middle, and Advanced Career Librarians,” shared Hall’s disbelief that there were or are so few qualified applicants of color for library positions. “Some days we have good days, some days are bad, and some days are not … Continue reading Retaining Librarians of Color

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