New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity

September 1, 2021

PLA’s full statement about the report follows: As the nation celebrates Library Card Sign-Up Month this September, a new report from the Public Library Association (PLA) details how libraries are further extending their technology services and resources in the face of pandemic limitations. The 2020 Public Library Technology Survey report provides the most current and complete … Continue reading New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity


Libraries Connect Us

July 8, 2021

Taking on the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to ALA’s mission of fostering cultural understanding and defending equity, diversity, and inclusion. In that spirit, my presidential plans focus on equity at the intersection of service. During my term, I will advocate for four initiatives, collectively called “Libraries Connect.” The first focus … Continue reading Libraries Connect Us


Headshots of panelists from "Social Justice Requires Broadband Access"

Social Justice Requires Broadband Access

June 26, 2021

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that 14.5 million Americans lack broadband internet access. Panel moderator Eldon R. James, a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, opened the session by citing an independent research study that suggests the real numbers are likely closer to 42 million. Erin Hollingsworth is librarian at North Slope Borough … Continue reading Social Justice Requires Broadband Access


On My Mind with Fatma Ghailan

Tools for the Job

May 3, 2021

According to America’s Libraries: Powering Broadband Adoption, Access, and Use, a 2016 report from the American Library Association, about 90% of public libraries offer digital literacy training programs through which community members can engage in job preparation and gain new skills to aid in career advancement. The report also notes that those who receive formal … Continue reading Tools for the Job


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Defending the Fifth Freedom

January 4, 2021

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. About 698 per 100,000 of the national population are in some form of detention. According to a March 2020 report from the Prison Policy Initiative, the US criminal justice system detains almost 2.3 million people in various facilities in the US and its territories. Chief … Continue reading Defending the Fifth Freedom


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Ending Information Redlining

November 2, 2020

In my most recent column, I called out equitable information access as a matter of social justice and questioned how ALA and its collective constituency might work even more intentionally to eradicate information poverty. I want to pick up this discussion. Let’s look at the pervasive and persistent inequities in information and digital access—and the … Continue reading Ending Information Redlining


Dewey Decibel: Small and Rural Libraries

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Small and Rural Libraries

September 15, 2020

In Episode 54, Dewey Decibel speaks with Jefferson, as well as two librarians whose work was showcased on his tour. First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart discusses small-library concerns with Corey Christians, director of Yavapai County (Ariz.) Free Library District. Next, Morehart talks with Stacey Russell, interim executive director of … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Small and Rural Libraries



Advancing digital equity

Advancing Digital Equity

July 1, 2020

Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, moderated the event, joined by Betsy Fowler, director of Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library; Misty Hawkins, director of Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System; and Julie Walker, state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service. As nearly every aspect of … Continue reading Advancing Digital Equity


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Let Our Legacy Be Justice

July 1, 2020

Just as there was an outcry across the field to keep our staff and communities safe and protected from COVID-19, so too are we obligated to decry racism. As library and information workers, our resistance in both fights requires resilience. The future of libraries rests on building institutions and developing leaders who will promote racial … Continue reading Let Our Legacy Be Justice


Youth Matters, by Leigh Fox

Partners in Crisis

June 1, 2020

As youth librarians, our most important partners are schools and educators, which these days include many caregivers who have been thrown into homeschooling for the first time. In my system, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL), staffers have been busily figuring out ways to provide resources that our students, parents, and teachers may need as they … Continue reading Partners in Crisis


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Front Lines and Fault Lines

June 1, 2020

“Wow,” he exclaimed, asking where I had heard about it. I told him there were regular updates on the internet about supply distribution and, ­perhaps even more important, about the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by zip code. To which he responded earnestly, “But how many people have the internet?” I gestured toward his phone, … Continue reading Front Lines and Fault Lines