Call Number Podcast: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

April 28, 2021

American Libraries senior editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project and honorary chair of Preservation Week, about the project’s origins, her team’s research, and why community archives are vital to preserving history. If you have feedback for the podcast team, email us or … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones


400 Years of Black American Life

January 23, 2021

Speaking January 23 at the Opening Session of ALA Midwinter Virtual 2021, the pair described both the significance of the volume and the process of compiling it. It features the work of 90 Black writers—novelists, journalists, poets, historians, and philosophers—on different eras of the Black American experience. “We brought together a community of Black writers … Continue reading 400 Years of Black American Life


Natalie Baszile

Voices from the Land

January 22, 2021

“Farming is an integral part of our national identity,” she told viewers from the Diversity In Publishing stage at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 22. “Land represents freedom, independence, and self-determination.” But Baszile, herself a great-great-granddaughter of a farmer and beekeeper who lived near Tuskegee, Alabama, saw that Black … Continue reading Voices from the Land



Golden Arches, Black Franchises

June 25, 2019

“The reason I’m conversant in [race, social justice, and public policy] topics is because it all started at the library,” she told those gathered for the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services President’s Program at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 24. Chatelain reminisced about being dropping off … Continue reading Golden Arches, Black Franchises


ALA logo

ALA Honors African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation

July 3, 2018

Resolution to Honor African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation Whereas the system of “Jim Crow” laws and customs officially existed into the 1960s—a century after the official end of slavery in the United States; Whereas virulent racism, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually … Continue reading ALA Honors African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation


Members of an African drum and dance ensemble lead patrons in a performance routine as part of Richland Library's day-long Black History Month Fair on January 28, 2017. Photo: Richland Library

Every Month Is Black History Month

March 1, 2018

Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, needed a better way to reach its African-American community. Quincy Pugh, film and sound manager, explains how the decision to celebrate black history year-round and start “I Have a Problem with That”—a series of panel discussions that address challenging social issues—has boosted program attendance and engagement among its target … Continue reading Every Month Is Black History Month


Jessie Carney Smith in 1965, her first year as a university librarian at Fisk University in Nashville.

Blazing Trails

January 2, 2018

American Libraries spoke with five leading African-American librarians about their careers, the changes they have witnessed over the decades, and the current issues in librarianship. While no two people have the same story, all five interviewees note inclusivity as an important theme. They discuss libraries as safe havens, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the … Continue reading Blazing Trails


Patricia Bearden (left) and Raquel Flores-Clemons present “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration" at DPLAfest in Chicago on April 20.

DPLAfest Comes to Chicago

April 25, 2017

Several presentations highlighted efforts to document, preserve, and share digital collections on social justice and community engagement. Preserving African-American history on Chicago’s South Side “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration,” led by Chicago State University (CSU) Archivist Raquel Flores-Clemons, Patricia Bearden, president … Continue reading DPLAfest Comes to Chicago


Former Broward County (Fla.) Library Director Samuel F. Morrison stands next to a replica of himself. It stands at the entrance of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale.

This Former Library Director Is Beside Himself

October 9, 2015

Morrison, who received his master’s in library science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, became director of the Broward County library system in 1990 and retired in 2003. As director, he began campaigning to build AARLCC, and in 2002, the 60,000-square-foot facility opened as a branch of Broward County Library. Its collection of books, … Continue reading This Former Library Director Is Beside Himself


Black History Month Graphic Novels for Your Collection

February 5, 2015

Need to refresh your Black History Month offerings? Here are some graphic novels, both fiction and nonfiction, that address Black History in dynamic, engaging ways. For Adults: Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White By Lila Quintero Weaver. Illus. by the author.  2012. Univ. of Alabama, paper, $24.95 (9780817357146). Perry County, Alabama, was a hotbed … Continue reading Black History Month Graphic Novels for Your Collection