Autherine Lucy Foster

Another Hidden Figure in Library History

January 20, 2023

Here’s what I found in my research—which involved 1,200 newspaper and periodical articles—when I looked into her story. After graduating in 1952 from the historically Black college and university of Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, Lucy and her friend Pollie Myers decided to apply to the all-white University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Because neither identified … Continue reading Another Hidden Figure in Library History



2022 Year in Review

January 3, 2023

Uniting against censorship attempts Organized book challenges continued to proliferate. From January through August, 681 attempts to ban or restrict library materials had been made in the US, with 1,651 unique titles targeted. In response to mounting censorship threats, ALA announced in May its Unite Against Book Bans campaign, a coalition with more than 60 … Continue reading 2022 Year in Review


A member of Brooklyn Public Library's senior debate program participates in a debate hosted during the library's 2022 Older Americans Celebration Fair.

Making a Statement

January 3, 2023

“Kids are very strong critical thinkers,” says the University of California, Berkeley, sophomore. “They’re natural at questioning the status quo.” Yet Tong says not many spaces exist for children to participate in conversations about social justice. In 2019, as a high school junior, Tong approached San José (Calif.) Public Library (SJPL) staffers with a programming … Continue reading Making a Statement


Illustration of clothing

Embracing Expression

January 3, 2023

“We have a diverse staff that wants this kind of thing,” says the associate librarian at Salt Lake City Public Library’s (SLCPL) Glendale branch. And Clark had been looking for new ways to connect staff members with local outreach efforts. Gender-affirming closets—places or events where people can sort through free clothing, accessories, and makeup to … Continue reading Embracing Expression


Under Pressure

January 3, 2023

“We had five books that a conservative community member objected to,” she says, referring to LGBTQ books and titles about President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. “We have the form to fill out. There’s a process that would work if people would go through it.” Instead, McMahon says, the patron did not file … Continue reading Under Pressure


Kimberley Bugg

Leveraging Talent

January 3, 2023

In sharing my frustration with others, I learned there was nothing novel about this scenario. Other librarians had experienced this phenomenon, which I refer to as a pipeline issue. The experience led me to write a paper, “Best Practices for Talent Acquisition in 21st-Century Academic Libraries,” rethinking traditional approaches to recruitment and retention. I went … Continue reading Leveraging Talent


From left: Ibram X. Kendi, Maria Hinojosa, and John Cho

Call Number Podcast: 2022 Author Chats

December 12, 2022

In Episode 78, Call Number with American Libraries presents its “2022 Author Chats.” Featured in this installment are never-before-released clips from conversations with actor John Cho; Newbery Medal–winning graphic novelist Jerry Craft; comic book artist Kevin Eastman; broadcast journalist Maria Hinojosa; Banned Books Week honorary chair George M. Johnson; historian Ibram X. Kendi; and Newbery … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: 2022 Author Chats


When It Happens to You

November 1, 2022

“It’s important to know that this is a nationwide trend, and it’s very possible it will arrive where you are,” said Megan Cusick, assistant director of state advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at “Prepare Your Library for Today’s Censorship Battles,” a session at the2022 Public Library Association Conference in March. She recommended that … Continue reading When It Happens to You


Ihor Poshyvailo, founder of Maidan Museum in Kyiv, holds the ceramic cockerel that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

A Helping Hand

November 1, 2022

American Libraries spoke with three members of the library community who have rallied in support of Ukraine through efforts to preserve cultural information, raise funds for its libraries and affected population, and help its refugees settle in new places: Kristin Parker, lead curator and manager of the arts at Boston Public Library (BPL); Michael Dowling, … Continue reading A Helping Hand


Collage of people

Learning to Read Representation

November 1, 2022

As a result, media representations have contributed to negative biases about certain cultural groups and have reinforced harmful stereotypes of marginalized populations that limit opportunities. Moreover, these representations have generated monolithic narratives for how groups and cultures are represented, while exalting the specific identities of the creators of media. Creating meanings Representation is the use … Continue reading Learning to Read Representation