Shalom Sabar, professor of Jewish art and folklore at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presents a program at the 2021 AJL Digital Conference.

What We Keep

July 8, 2021

Shalom Sabar, professor of Jewish art and folklore at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, opened the conference with the session “The Hidden Treasures of Jewish Ephemera.” Sabar challenged attendees by asking, “What do we put in our museums? What treasures of cultural heritage are worthy of preservation for the future?” Discarded everyday items, he explained, are … Continue reading What We Keep


Historical photos of Black men participating in civic life from the Black Male Archives.

Chronicling the Black Experience

June 1, 2021

“I felt there weren’t enough stories portraying positive Black men,” says Freeman, director of Riviera Beach (Fla.) Public Library. “If people, mainly white people, saw us in a more holistic light, as fathers, husbands, and leaders, they wouldn’t automatically assume we are criminals, monsters, and demons.” To fill this need, Freeman created the Black Male … Continue reading Chronicling the Black Experience



Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials.

Responsive and Responsible

January 4, 2021

Various efforts—including Northern Arizona University’s 2007 “Protocols for Native American Archival Materials,”  which was endorsed by the Society of American Archivists in 2018—have sought to remedy this. Still, appropriate handling of Indigenous collections remains sporadic. As a result, institutional claims of ownership and principles of access are sometimes jeopardized. In response, a burgeoning number of … Continue reading Responsive and Responsible



Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis

Decolonizing Knowledge

June 25, 2020

Camille Callison, Indigenous strategies librarian at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, commenced the American Indian Library Association President’s Program “Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis” June 25 at ALA Virtual by introducing herself as member of the Tahltan Nation and recapping some of the racist and problematic actions Canada has inflicted upon Indigenous people. … Continue reading Decolonizing Knowledge


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


Photo: Emily Uhrin, archivist at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media

Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin

February 7, 2020

With renewed attention on the pioneering host, including an Oscar-nominated Hollywood portrayal, Uhrin spoke with American Libraries about Rogers’s legacy and coming to know him through his work. Describe the holdings of the archive. Do you have a favorite? We house Fred Rogers’ personal and professional papers. The collection includes correspondence (he was a prolific … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin


A 23-foot statue stands at a central spot on the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi. The state's Institutions of Higher Learning board will determine whether to relocate the monument to a Confederate cemetery, also on campus.

A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes

February 4, 2020

In this multipart series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is the sixth story in the series. It’s been more than two years since the university chose … Continue reading A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes


Above, a Congolese immigrant waves to the camera in a screenshot from a home movie archived by Home Made Visible. Below, metadata is collected for a photo submitted to Los Angeles Public Library's Mobile Memory Lab. Screenshot: Home Made Visible; Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Uncovering the Past

January 2, 2020

Caught on old home movies, each image offers an intriguing glimpse of a specific community. But if those movies stay trapped on dusty VHS tapes or forgotten reels of 8-millimeter film, their stories—and those of the populations they belong to—stay hidden. That’s why some libraries in the United States and Canada are offering patrons the … Continue reading Uncovering the Past


Society of American Archivists Archives*Records 2019 Conference logo

Creating Accessibility within LGBTQ Collections

August 8, 2019

Linda J. Long, curator of manuscripts in special collections and university archives at University of Oregon Libraries, provided background on the history and politics of archiving LGBTQ collections and examined the roadblocks that have impeded the accessibility of these collections. University of Montana Digital Archivist Erin Baucom discussed how the use of language incompatible with … Continue reading Creating Accessibility within LGBTQ Collections