From left, Mikel Gonzales, Dominique Robinson, Sommer Kinsler, Kelsey Coston, Sade Wilkins, and Cade Longsdon are a few of this year's selected interns. Photo: Tori Soper

Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter

June 18, 2019

“Libraries should be more inclusive, different-thinking, and innovative,” he said. “I want us to try and revolutionize libraries towards the better and change stereotypes.” Now in its third year, PLA’s III program offers summer internships designed to introduce students of diverse backgrounds to library careers. The III Kick-Off, a commencement where intern–mentor pairs attended sessions … Continue reading Inclusive Internship Initiative Begins Another Chapter



Illustration: David Michael Moore

Target: Librarians

June 3, 2019

“All hell broke loose when just the title of the grant [‘Minority Student Experiences with Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library’] was discovered,” Cooke said at “Defeating Bullies and Trolls in the Library: Developing Strategies to Protect our Rights and Personhood,” a workshop held at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library on March 8. A harassment campaign … Continue reading Target: Librarians


Tomi Adeyemi

Newsmaker: Tomi Adeyemi

June 3, 2019

Adeyemi will be an Auditorium Speaker at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 24. American Libraries spoke with her about writing, her inspirations, and the importance of representation in media. From being a New York Times bestselling debut author to getting a movie deal, what has been the most … Continue reading Newsmaker: Tomi Adeyemi


Youth Matters, by Julie Stivers

Building Inclusive Libraries

June 3, 2019

One way I’ve been fortunate enough to do this in my middle school library has been through an initiative called the #LibFive. With 8th graders Cesar Falcon, Jose Gomez, and Jaida Morris, the #LibFive has leveraged teen insights and experiences to create a student-driven professional development program for youth librarians—initially in our district and eventually … Continue reading Building Inclusive Libraries


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Barriers to Diversity

May 1, 2019

Sometimes structures are designed to help the same people they unintentionally harm. Most LIS programs encourage or even require students to complete a practicum or internship where they get real-life work experience. For some, this can lead directly to a job at that institution; in other cases, LIS students gain valuable skills that make them … Continue reading Barriers to Diversity


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Beyond Readers’ Advisory

May 1, 2019

Fortunately for those who may forget authors’ names or remember a book only by the color of its dust jacket, there are numerous compilations to help. Some are little more than lists, while others contain discussions on how to assess content or match reader interests to certain books. The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, … Continue reading Beyond Readers’ Advisory


Tracie D. Hall (center), director of the culture program at the Joyce Foundation, moderates a discussion between danah boyd (left) and Elaine Westbrooks. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons

April 22, 2019

DPLA has undergone changes since the nonprofit was founded nine years ago as an access point to a network of libraries’ digital holdings. Bracken emphasized that its core values would remain: collaboration; a belief in the transformational power of technology; and a commitment to being a better partner to communities, “especially those who have been … Continue reading Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons


Fobazi M. Ettarh at the 2019 Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland April 13.

Why Being Bad Is Good

April 13, 2019

Most librarians, she said, believe in this dominant narrative, but the process of “examining those elements and decolonizing them can be uncomfortable for many people, causing defensive reactions and revealing blind spots in one’s perspective.” Ettarh took the traditional characteristics of the library narrative and recast them slightly to give them a realistic perspective: Libraries … Continue reading Why Being Bad Is Good



Columns Society members at University of Mississippi tell visitors about the Committee on History and Context plaque placed at Barnard Observatory.

What’s in a Building Name?

March 1, 2019

With the goal of reconciliation and justice, institutions across the US are increasingly undertaking formal measures to review who they’ve memorialized—evaluating names of buildings and monuments to determine connections to white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, university librarians and archivists are finding a role in these discussions, providing historical materials on the buildings … Continue reading What’s in a Building Name?


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Unintentional Inequity

March 1, 2019

Libraries rarely design services to specifically exclude certain patron groups, but exclusion is often the unfortunate result of not considering the unique needs and circumstances of all community members. For example, after my son was born, I noticed that my local library offered programs for babies and toddlers only on weekday mornings. This made their … Continue reading Unintentional Inequity