Young woman in blue shirt reads the 10th edition of ALA's Intellectual Freedom Manual

Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers

July 8, 2021

What were some of the biggest changes in the manual—such as new laws, policy updates, privacy rules, and technology issue—since the ninth edition in 2015? MARTIN GARNAR: One of the biggest changes was the sheer number of new interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights—eight in total, with topics ranging from religion and politics to … Continue reading Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Little Light to See By

July 8, 2021

I was almost through with a first draft when a nagging truth asserted itself, insisting I speak to it: that the challenges, uncertainties, and indeed, opportunities we have faced during and emerging from the pandemic have taken their toll on us, in the form of worry, fatigue, and stress. And yes, though I firmly and … Continue reading A Little Light to See By


Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Crosby Kemper III

Realms of Opportunity

June 29, 2021

Kemper started his position in January 2020 with “mixed messages”—he’d been appointed by a president who had proposed defunding IMLS over three consecutive years and unanimously confirmed in the Senate, which had approved increases for the agency over the same period. There was no time to process the president’s fourth proposed elimination before the pandemic … Continue reading Realms of Opportunity


Getting Back into the Community

June 26, 2021

“[During the pandemic], the definition of outreach was put to the test,” Zimmerman said. She detailed the ways in which libraries across the country pivoted in their outreach and service methods: offering contactless deliveries and curbside services, repurposing outreach vans to become delivery vehicles and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, making phone calls to connect with seniors … Continue reading Getting Back into the Community


Hands holding small red heart with banner -- text reads The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief

June 25, 2021

Through the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries will receive grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to support library services and operations. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant nonfederal grant opportunity for libraries. The funds support libraries’ efforts to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, … Continue reading ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief


Graphic of letters and legal scales

Libraries and the Law

June 1, 2021

We’ve assembled some of their most topical entries, touching on copyright issues for remote learning, face-mask exceptions, and liability waivers, among other things. The information in this column does not constitute legal advice, nor does it necessarily reflect the views of ALA or PLA. It is meant to serve as a starting point for librarians … Continue reading Libraries and the Law


Old-School Outreach

June 1, 2021

“The pandemic has highlighted the barriers to access that many people have regarding technology and reliable internet,” says Kathleen Montgomery, outreach manager at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). “It’s our mission to address these inequities.” To do so, libraries across the US have implemented creative concepts and partnerships that embrace analog technologies and platforms. … Continue reading Old-School Outreach


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Moving Forward

June 1, 2021

Thanks to all who joined me last summer on the virtual “Holding Space” tour, a conversation series with libraries. I will forever remember you as faithful partners and travel companions as we faced seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Thanks in part to our advocacy, libraries secured federal relief funding of historic proportions. ALA staff and leadership managed … Continue reading Moving Forward



Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, and Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Countering Anti-Asian Hate

May 26, 2021

Three ALA member leaders who have helped blaze the trail for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander library workers discussed with American Libraries their goals for the Association, their experiences with bigotry, and what libraries and library workers can do to counter hate. The three leaders are: Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, director of libraries, … Continue reading Countering Anti-Asian Hate


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt