From left, Kalani Adolpho, Jesus Espinoza, and Twanna Hodge discuss academic library residency programs during the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Reality of Residency Programs

September 30, 2018

At “Under the Hood: Exploring Academic Library Resident Programs in Practice,” a September 28 panel at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, three librarians of color talked about the benefits, challenges, and outcomes of their current and recent residencies. Moderated by Madison Sullivan, business research and instruction library … Continue reading The Reality of Residency Programs


Author, poet, and essayist Benjamin Alire Sáenz speaks to attendees at the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque on September 27.

Praise for the Gatekeepers

September 28, 2018

“You are the gatekeepers of American culture. You are what this country needs even though it doesn’t know it needs you. And you do it anonymously,” he said. Sáenz, a New Mexico native, welcomed a standing-room-only crowd to the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Albuquerque on September 27. The Opening … Continue reading Praise for the Gatekeepers


Staff members of Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library assist seniors at a YMCA DigiLit class designed to help bridge the digital knowledge divide.Photo: Everett Blackmon

Allied Against Inequity

September 4, 2018

In San Antonio, residents of affluent neighborhoods are four times more likely to have broadband access than residents of low-income neighborhoods. “There’s definitely a need in the community,” says Candelaria Mendoza, library services administrator at San Antonio Public Library (SAPL). “We understand it’s not just about having the internet but having internet that’s fast enough … Continue reading Allied Against Inequity


ALA logo

ALA Honors African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation

July 3, 2018

Resolution to Honor African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation Whereas the system of “Jim Crow” laws and customs officially existed into the 1960s—a century after the official end of slavery in the United States; Whereas virulent racism, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually … Continue reading ALA Honors African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation


Bullying, Trolling, and Doxxing, Oh My!

June 25, 2018

Nicole Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences, opened the session by detailing how she became a target after the right-wing publication Campus Reform published a story about her research project, “Minority Student Experiences with Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library,” which received a 2017 … Continue reading Bullying, Trolling, and Doxxing, Oh My!


From left: Janet Clarke, associate dean of research and user engagement at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University Libraries; Arlene Yu, dance collections manager at New York Public Library (NYPL); Michelle Lee, young adult librarian at NYPL; and Miriam Tuliao, library marketing manager at Penguin Random House, at the "Supporting the Asian Pacific American Community: Librarians on Diversity, Inclusivity, and Civic Engagement" panel on May 14.Photo: Haruko Yamauchi

Asian Americans and Libraries

May 18, 2018

Clarke was one of seven featured librarian panelists at “Supporting the Asian Pacific American Community: Librarians on Diversity, Inclusivity, and Civic Engagement,” a round table held at Pratt Institute’s School of Information in New York City on May 14. Panelists included Clarke’s coeditor Raymond Pun and five of the book’s chapter authors, who discussed issues … Continue reading Asian Americans and Libraries


Participants in the “Reflecting Community: The Importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Library Staffing” workshop share best practices for incorporating EDI principles into library policy.

Staffing for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

March 23, 2018

Public libraries are challenging themselves to provide relevant and necessary services to their ever-changing communities, and it is increasingly important for library staff to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. So, inspired by a 2016 report by the American Library Association (ALA) Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, a group of five … Continue reading Staffing for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Living Languages

Embracing Diverse Narratives

March 1, 2018

Living Language for Libraries Living Language for Libraries, from Books on Tape, provides access to online courses for more than 20 languages, teaching grammar, vocabulary, and culture from beginner to advanced levels. Courses include traditional tools such as flashcards and audio recordings as well as games designed by native speakers and other learning tools that … Continue reading Embracing Diverse Narratives



Jessie Carney Smith in 1965, her first year as a university librarian at Fisk University in Nashville.

Blazing Trails

January 2, 2018

American Libraries spoke with five leading African-American librarians about their careers, the changes they have witnessed over the decades, and the current issues in librarianship. While no two people have the same story, all five interviewees note inclusivity as an important theme. They discuss libraries as safe havens, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the … Continue reading Blazing Trails


Rachel Altobelli

Creating Space for Agency

January 2, 2018

This is an excerpt from “Creating Space for Agency,” Knowledge Quest, Sept./Oct. 2017. It’s easy to imagine no LGBTQ students are at a given school, and therefore no need exists to court controversy by providing LGBTQ materials, but LGBTQ students are everywhere. I loved to read as a kid, but when I looked inside the books on … Continue reading Creating Space for Agency


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Serving Diverse Populations

November 1, 2017

Why should we do this? Because information is power. In Missed Information: Better Information for Building a Wealthier, More Sustainable Future, authors David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin argue that knowledge is central to human activity. We gather information to make decisions at almost every waking moment, both personally and in the work environment, depending on … Continue reading Serving Diverse Populations