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


Newsmaker: Marley Dias

November 1, 2016

How many books have you collected so far? I’ve collected 7,000 books and donated them to six different cities since November 2015. How did you start the campaign? In my 5th-grade class, I saw that books like Where the Red Fern Grows, the Shiloh series, and Crash all weren’t featuring black girls, and those were … Continue reading Newsmaker: Marley Dias


New York City Comic Con 2016 logo

New York Comic Con 2016

October 14, 2016

NYCC 2016, which ran October 6–9, teemed with excited fans from every geek subculture. While the major publishers and gaming companies held sway, a subtle conversation was taking place beneath the noise: one of diversity, inclusion, and collaborating to find safe spaces in the world of comics. To librarians familiar with panels at the American Library … Continue reading New York Comic Con 2016


Books from Hennepin County (Minn.) Library's #BlackLivesMatter Reads for Teens list

Libraries Respond to Recent Crises

July 11, 2016

As it was last year in Baltimore, Maryland, and in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, librarians are connecting their communities to vital information and resources. The library is a place where patrons learn more about the issues at stake from credible sources, find quality books, take advantage of community resources, utilize safe spaces, learn from others, and … Continue reading Libraries Respond to Recent Crises


Michael Eric Dyson Delivers Energetic Opening Session

June 25, 2016

Dyson dazzled the crowd with his punchy, poetic style, tackling social issues and recent events, and expressing his love for libraries and books. “I’m a Luddite—I like the feel of the papyrus,” Dyson said. “I like the smell of the page, the decaying fragmented text that immediates intelligence. I am a fan of books.” He … Continue reading Michael Eric Dyson Delivers Energetic Opening Session