Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi

March 1, 2022

Kendi spoke with American Libraries about having his work challenged in libraries and schools, the myth of neutrality in libraries, and how to raise the next generation of antiracists. Your books are among the most frequently challenged in the current wave of censorship attempts. What’s that like? I write books for the general public, for … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi


How to Be Queer in Texas

January 24, 2022

The state climate can be openly hostile to queer people: The nonprofit Movement Advancement Project has ranked Texas “low” when it comes to policies relating to sexual orientation and “negative” on policies related to gender identity. How, then, has the lived experience of queer librarians and library workers compared with expectations? Arro Smith, technical services … Continue reading How to Be Queer in Texas


ALA logo

ALA, Divisions Oppose Widespread Censorship Efforts in US Schools and Libraries

November 29, 2021

Due to a dramatic uptick in book challenges and outright removal of books from libraries, ALA’s Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA’s eight divisions have released the following joint statement regarding attempts to remove materials that focus on LGBTQIA+ issues and books by Black authors or that document the Black … Continue reading ALA, Divisions Oppose Widespread Censorship Efforts in US Schools and Libraries


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Up to the Challenge

November 1, 2021

Foundations of Intellectual Freedom By Emily J. M. Knox This text is a practical introduction to intellectual freedom in librarianship. It provides a broad overview, including historical perspectives, key US case law and precedents, a presentation of opposing viewpoints, and an examination of various professional codes of ethics, among other essential topics. The work also … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


Image of ALA President Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

A Seat for All

September 1, 2021

It’s a striking reminder that in our all-too-recent past, entire groups were denied access to the institutions we serve. That’s why during Library Card Sign-Up Month, celebrated each September, I am calling on all of us to recognize the errors of the past and commit to fighting for improved access for groups that may still … Continue reading A Seat for All



2021 State of America's Libraries Special Report (graphic featuring illustrated figures wearing masks, buildings, and icons representing library services and community during the pandemic)

ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19

April 5, 2021

Like many public institutions forced to close their doors, libraries adapted to a new way of doing business. Closures did not prevent library workers and libraries from serving their communities. Instead, shuttered physical spaces fueled significant innovation and opportunities to assist and support patrons and students remotely. As most libraries were closed to in-person visits, … Continue reading ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19


State of America's Libraries 2020

State of America’s Libraries 2020

April 20, 2020

Although the report focuses on 2019, libraries are shown to be on the front lines addressing societal and community challenges—a role they are certainly playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many libraries serve as first responders that take on roles outside of traditional library service that support patrons’ needs and community development. Functioning at various times as … Continue reading State of America’s Libraries 2020


Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on a bookshelf in a target

Up to the Challenge

September 3, 2019

Build your foundation The first step is to be an excellent educator. Your lessons should foster “opportunities for learners to demonstrate personal curiosity and creation of knowledge” and “support the diverse developmental, cultural, social, and linguistic needs” represented in your community, according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards for … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


Raina Telgemeier (Photo: Joseph Fanvu Photography)

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

September 3, 2019

Telgemeier has also written two fictional graphic novels (Drama and Ghosts), four illustrated adaptions of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the new interactive journal Share Your Smile. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists. You wrote two … Continue reading Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier