Text graphic showing possible changes to Library of Congress Subject Headings, such as "undocumented immigrant" for "illegal alien."

Decolonizing the Catalog

November 1, 2021

The panelists included Elizabeth Hobart, special collections cataloging librarian at Penn State University; Staci Ross, cataloging and metadata librarian at University of Pittsburgh; Michelle Cronquist, special collections cataloger at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Kelly Farrell, program officer for the Triangle Research Libraries Network, a consortium of academic libraries in North Carolina. … Continue reading Decolonizing the Catalog


Power to the People

October 27, 2021

Magoon’s interest in the Black Panthers came when she was working as a grant writer in New York City and stumbled upon an article about the organization’s free breakfast program for school children. Unaware that the group conducted this sort of community outreach, Magoon continued her research and was “dazzled by all this new knowledge” … Continue reading Power to the People


Day Two of the 2021 AASL National Conference

Advocating for Yourself and Others

October 25, 2021

Moderated by Kathryn Roots Lewis, retired director of libraries and instructional technology at Norman (Okla.) Public Schools and 2018–2019 AASL president, and Kathy Carroll, school librarian at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina, and 2020–2021 AASL president, the October 22 session featured four administrators who had participated in the AASL School Leader Collaborative, an … Continue reading Advocating for Yourself and Others


Silhouette of mosque on gold background (Illustration: green2/AdobeStock)

Understanding the Other

September 1, 2021

Ghada Kanafini Elturk, a Lebanese American who was then working as community and cultural outreach librarian at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library, described the hostility against Muslims and Arab Americans in the months after the attacks. “Those Americans who are not familiar with my culture do not show respect,” she told American Libraries reporter Ron Chepesiuk … Continue reading Understanding the Other


Colson Whitehead (Black man with braided hair pulled back, wearing leather jacket, looking just up and to the right)

Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead

September 1, 2021

Will the experience of having The Underground Railroad turned into a 10-episode miniseries for Amazon affect your writing? No, I don’t think it will affect my writing. It felt very separate. They optioned it five years ago, so it was always on the backburner, and occasionally I would talk to Barry Jenkins, the director, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

The Pivot and the Path

September 1, 2021

I visualize nkyinkyim’s lines moving one direction, then the opposite whenever I hear the word “pivot,” by now one of the most overused (and misused) terms bandied about since the start of the pandemic. For the LIS sector, where our mission is more important than ever despite changes in external conditions and internal resources, business … Continue reading The Pivot and the Path


A Seat for All

September 1, 2021

It’s a striking reminder that in our all-too-recent past, entire groups were denied access to the institutions we serve. That’s why during Library Card Sign-Up Month, celebrated each September, I am calling on all of us to recognize the errors of the past and commit to fighting for improved access for groups that may still … Continue reading A Seat for All


United for Libraries 2021 Virtual Conference

Advocacy through Storytelling

August 23, 2021

Sessions underscored that stories—of individuals, of libraries, of communities—are at the core of library advocacy. “It’s really all about storytelling,” observed Beth Nawalinski, executive director of United for Libraries, during the conference. Representation in collections At “Auditing Diversity in Library Collections,” Sarah Voels, community engagement librarian at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library (CRPL), described the … Continue reading Advocacy through Storytelling


ALA logo

ALA Executive Board Opposes Censorship of Programs Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education

August 18, 2021

The American Library Association is committed to upholding our core values, which include equitable access to knowledge, social justice, and intellectual freedom. As members of a profession committed to free and equitable access to information and the pursuit of truth, we stand firm in opposing any effort to suppress knowledge, to label “controversial” views, or … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Opposes Censorship of Programs Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education



Tenzin Kalsang, children's librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library's Williamsburg branch, performs Tibetan storytimes for users around the world. Photo by Todd Boebel.

Bookend: Beyond Words

July 8, 2021

But her program garnered tens of thousands of viewers, from patrons in her neighborhood to students attending a Tibetan school in Australia to monks living in Nepal. “I did not expect it would go that viral,” says Kalsang. “I’m a really camera-shy person.” Once or twice a month, Kalsang reads three picture books (past titles … Continue reading Bookend: Beyond Words


Libraries Connect Us

July 8, 2021

Taking on the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to ALA’s mission of fostering cultural understanding and defending equity, diversity, and inclusion. In that spirit, my presidential plans focus on equity at the intersection of service. During my term, I will advocate for four initiatives, collectively called “Libraries Connect.” The first focus … Continue reading Libraries Connect Us