Attendees crowd around travel author Rick Steves for autographs following his Auditorium Speaker Series presentation at the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Photo: Cognotes

2019 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 5, 2019

The Emerald City played host to more than 9,200 attendees (as compared with 8,036 in 2018 and 8,995 in 2017), who came to soak up the words of big-name speakers, learn from the practices of their peers, and network around subjects practical and theoretical. As with recent Midwinters, many sessions focused on the empowerment of … Continue reading 2019 Midwinter Wrap-Up


Racial Equity Panel Addresses Bias in Library Work

January 28, 2019

Goodwin began by asking, “Why focus on race?” Infant mortality rates are 10 times higher for people of color than for their white counterparts, regardless of any other aspect of their identity. Race, zip code, and gender affect a person’s success across many arenas, such as education, health, and criminal justice. According to Goodwin, “Racial … Continue reading Racial Equity Panel Addresses Bias in Library Work



Disability and Equity

January 2, 2019

Many people with disabilities challenge these attitudes and advocate for change. They point out that cultural attitudes often create more difficulties for them than the disability itself. Despite their efforts, stereotypes persist—even in the workplace. I recently surveyed 288 librarians, interviewing 10 who identified as having a disability, about their experiences working at academic libraries … Continue reading Disability and Equity


Underrepresented, Underemployed

November 1, 2018

Still, the Simmons College student worries that after she graduates in December with dual masters’ degrees in library science and history, her name, which is of Nigerian origin, will hamper her search for an academic library position. “My first name is something that most people in the United States would not be familiar with,” White … Continue reading Underrepresented, Underemployed


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

When Values Collide

November 1, 2018

Another core value is intellectual freedom, and we have a long and proud history of supporting it in the face of censorship. Because we attempt to represent a diversity of perspectives in our collections, displays, and programming, most libraries contain material that some patrons might find offensive. But what if a perspective repudiates the dignity … Continue reading When Values Collide


Loida Garcia-Febo

Serving with Love

November 1, 2018

While hate, authoritarianism, and open oppression are seemingly on the rise worldwide, I am heartened as I travel to various communities across the country and see light, hope, and commitment in each one of you. Library workers are continually empowering one another, and I know we are ready to deepen the difference we make in … Continue reading Serving with Love


Members of the Reformed Druids of North America (from left: Cyril; coauthor Helen Ostman; Arch-druid John "The Verbose" Martens; Courtney; and Ross) mark the Autumn Equinox. (Photo: John "the Verbose" Martens)

Neopagans and Libraries

October 31, 2018

Paganism is a broad term referring to any non-Abrahamic faith, including Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as certain modern groups. Some of the most common neopagan faiths are Druidry, which has some Celtic influence and promotes the worship of nature and the human spirit, and Heathenry, a revived worship of the Germanic gods. The largest … Continue reading Neopagans and Libraries


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