A “book” who identifies as Palestinian converses with two “readers” at a Human Library event hosted by Williams College Libraries in Williams­town, Massachusetts.

If These Books Could Talk

June 1, 2017

“That’s cool,” Ménard thought, though she couldn’t imagine the initiative taking hold at her academic library. But that summer, another Williams professor also learned about Human Libraries while in Europe, and he later approached Ménard about collaborating on a campus event. That’s how, in 2012, Williams College became one of the first institutions in the … Continue reading If These Books Could Talk


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

May 1, 2017

Creating Inclusive Library Environments: A Planning Guide for Serving Patrons with Disabilities, by Michelle Kowalsky and John Woodruff, begins with an overview of changes initiated because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the follow-up ADA Amendments Act of 2008—changes designed to ensure a barrier-free environment. From there, the book covers policy … Continue reading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion



Michelle Baildon, collections strategist for arts and humanities and a science, technology, and society librarian, presented a poster March 23 at ACRL titled “Creating a Social Justice Mindset.”

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Dispatches from ACRL

March 24, 2017

Incorporating social justice into the academic library What would it look like if academic libraries incorporated more equity, diversity, and inclusion into their everyday work? Members of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DISJ) task force of the MIT Libraries’ Collections Directorate have explored this question, looking at library activities—including archives, technical services, collection development, … Continue reading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Dispatches from ACRL


Jelani Cobb speaks at the ACLU of Illinois luncheon, March 17, 2017.

Old Snake, New Skin

March 20, 2017

So when the ACLU of Illinois held its annual luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on March 17, FTRF and other staffers from the American Library Association (ALA) headquarters joined some 2,000 other like-minded individuals for its program on “Fighting for a More Perfect Union.” Although the topics addressed did not touch on libraries per se, … Continue reading Old Snake, New Skin





Joseph Janes

Boolean Logic

March 1, 2017

I’ve always preferred the AND operator to NOT when trying to refine search results. NOT is too blunt an instrument for my tastes, and it’s too easy to lose good information with it; using AND provides focus and often does a more effective job of narrowing down a big retrieval set. AND has been on my mind lately. As I … Continue reading Boolean Logic


Sarah Park Dahlen

Diversify Everything

March 1, 2017

This is a climate in which we now all live. This is the climate in which my husband and I are raising our 3-year-old daughter, a Korean American, in a city that is 83% white and 8% Asian. Currently, 96% of Minnesota’s K–12 educators are white. Across the country, librarianship is 88% white. What do … Continue reading Diversify Everything


We Need Diverse Books logo

Less Normative Collections

January 24, 2017

Though normative collections are a systematic problem and no one person is to blame, Manfredi said, the session sought to convey how librarians, educators, publishers, and reviewers are complicit in this problem. Manfredi began by identifying examples of microaggressions—comments or actions that may be hostile or demeaning to a minority or marginalized group—and popular misconceptions … Continue reading Less Normative Collections


Illustration by Tom Deja

Fellowship of the Fans

November 1, 2016

That was the beginning of a big confidence boost on Shelby’s part, says Frisbie, who is now a collection development librarian at the same branch. The pair began collaborating on a story based on characters from the video-game series The Legend of Zelda, taking it in turns each week to continue and give feedback on … Continue reading Fellowship of the Fans