Race and Place

April 23, 2020

Tracie D. Hall is current ALA executive director. This article appeared in the February 2007 issue of American Libraries magazine, when Hall was assistant dean at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. By the time my grandparents purchased what my grandmother referred to as an “old … Continue reading Race and Place


Agents of Influence: Academic Libraries

Human Libraries: Turning the Page on Discrimination

March 2, 2020

The “book” was available for one day only during a Human Library event at Torreyson Library on the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) campus in Conway. The forum offered “readers” the chance to check out more than two dozen flesh-and-blood human beings, who served as books, to tell their stories about living with the challenge … Continue reading Human Libraries: Turning the Page on Discrimination


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Representation Beyond Books

March 2, 2020

There are countless stories about the harm done when people grow up not seeing themselves reflected in books and media. This is the impact whiteness can have on those outside of the dominant group. Whiteness centers white faces, values, and experiences and is frequently invisible to those in the dominant culture. Whiteness isn’t the only … Continue reading Representation Beyond Books


A 23-foot statue stands at a central spot on the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi. The state's Institutions of Higher Learning board will determine whether to relocate the monument to a Confederate cemetery, also on campus.

A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes

February 4, 2020

In this multipart series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is the sixth story in the series. It’s been more than two years since the university chose … Continue reading A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes



Author and We Need Diverse Books cofounder Ellen Oh speaks at the AASL National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, November 14.

The Power of Diverse Books

November 15, 2019

The energy permeated the opening session at the Kentucky International Convention Center, with attendees waving state flags and cheering as their state associations were recognized by AASL President Mary Keeling. Applause broke out when Jefferson County (Ky.) Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Marty Pollio noted that 100% of JCPS schools have librarians. Keynote speaker Ellen Oh, … Continue reading The Power of Diverse Books


From left, authors Shaun David Hutchinson, Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, and Veronica Roth at the closing session of the 2019 YALSA Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, November 3.

Sci-Fi Can Save You

November 4, 2019

“I read a lot of genre fiction growing up,” said Roth, creator of the Divergent series. “Fewer women were in the driving seat of those books. [But Meg] had a lot of feelings.” Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants (Simon Pulse, 2017) and At the Edge of the Universe (Simon Pulse, 2018), agreed. “It’s … Continue reading Sci-Fi Can Save You


From left, YA authors Lauren Myracle, Sandhya Menon, Kekla Magoon, and Meredith Russo speak at the Opening Session of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Young Adult Services Symposium on November 1 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Really YA” Tackles Real Issues

November 4, 2019

At “Really YA,” a panel moderated by YALSA President Todd Krueger, bestselling authors Kekla Magoon, Sandhya Menon, Lauren Myracle, and Meredith Russo talked about the inspiration and experiences behind their latest realistic fiction works and the research they did to write their characters’ stories. “I wanted to show a trans girl who’s messier, and having … Continue reading “Really YA” Tackles Real Issues


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Welcoming New Americans

November 1, 2019

Libraries have a role to play too. From hosting programs with local legislators and teaching patrons media literacy to offering support for online census questions and assistance with government e-forms, today’s libraries are hot spots of civic engagement. Newcomers to this country, especially, see libraries as trustworthy guides on their path to integrating into their … Continue reading Welcoming New Americans


Sade Wilkins El (right), an intern with Public Library Association's Inclusive Internship Initiative (III), networks at the III wrap-up event in Washington, D.C.

2019 Inclusive Internship Initiative Concludes in D.C.

September 24, 2019

The program formally began September 21 at the Library of Congress (LC). ALA President-Elect Julius C. Jefferson Jr., section head of the Congressional Research Service at LC, welcomed the group and shared that his own career path started with a library internship. He thanked mentors and interns alike for their commitment to increasing inclusivity within … Continue reading 2019 Inclusive Internship Initiative Concludes in D.C.


Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Inclusive by Design

September 3, 2019

“When you can navigate a space, whatever that space may look like, and you don’t have to ask for help and you can do it independently, that’s confidence-building,” he says. When we think of some of the foremost goals of our profession—advocating for the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers as well as promoting … Continue reading Inclusive by Design