Tenzin Kalsang, children's librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library's Williamsburg branch, performs Tibetan storytimes for users around the world. Photo by Todd Boebel.

Bookend: Beyond Words

July 8, 2021

But her program garnered tens of thousands of viewers, from patrons in her neighborhood to students attending a Tibetan school in Australia to monks living in Nepal. “I did not expect it would go that viral,” says Kalsang. “I’m a really camera-shy person.” Once or twice a month, Kalsang reads three picture books (past titles … Continue reading Bookend: Beyond Words


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


2021 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual

2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

July 8, 2021

Headlining speakers talked about books, libraries, and the exchange of ideas in the greater context of major societal challenges. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Opening Session speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, who developed the 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine, recalled an elective course on Black studies she took as a teenager. “It was the first … Continue reading 2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up


Barack Obama

Hope and Harmony

June 29, 2021

Interviewed by Lonnie Bunch III, the first African American secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and introduced by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr., Obama talked about A Promised Land (Crown, November 2020)—the first of two memoirs spanning his paradigm-breaking presidency—and the role of libraries in shaping the story of American democracy. “A Promised Land chronicles … Continue reading Hope and Harmony


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


Literature, Opportunity, and Revolution

June 27, 2021

Woodson joined CSK Book Award illustrator winner Frank Morrison (for R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul) and several honorees at the 52nd annual CSK Book Awards virtual celebration, part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual on June 27. At last year’s event during ALA Virtual, many of the … Continue reading Literature, Opportunity, and Revolution


Brave Conversations: Kids' Club for Social Justice

The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids

June 26, 2021

“Kids are aware. The coverage of [these deaths] was nearly impossible to avoid and events like these continue to happen,” said CCPL Youth Services Librarian Katy Henderson at “Brave Conversations: Kids’ Club for Social Justice,” a June 25 program at the American Library Association’s 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual. “We were already seeking out … Continue reading The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids


Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel

Choreographing a Movement

June 25, 2021

Tyrus started volunteering in DTH’s marketing department in the late 90s after retiring from dancing. There she found scrapbooks, programs, photos, and other archival gems. She was eventually hired to sort it all out, and brought in Novosel—a pianist for company classes—to help her organize scores. “I always dreamed of using the archives to tell … Continue reading Choreographing a Movement



Photo of Annual speaker Alison Macrina

Reconciling Our Values

June 24, 2021

Macrina spoke about the thorny concept of viewpoint neutrality, or the idea that libraries must provide equal access to collections, services, and spaces without regard to the entrenched power dynamics that often shape library policies and outcomes. She also touched on libraries’ precarious position in the crosshairs of the culture wars. “Many marginalized people, in … Continue reading Reconciling Our Values


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Why Content Matters

June 24, 2021

Reading Plus is a comprehensive online program that provides students in grades 3–12 with tools to enhance their reading skills. The program includes online adaptive assessments that offer a full diagnostic profile of each student’s ability. Kerry Mescallado, managing editor at Reading Plus, said the program increases vocabulary as well as interest in and motivation … Continue reading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Why Content Matters