Reading for Change

Reading for Change: Booklist Recommends Antiracism Titles for All Ages

June 5, 2020

Booklist recently compiled a list of antiracist books and other resources for librarians and readers. The full list is reprinted below.  It can, of course, also mean reading. We’ve seen the antiracist reading lists; there’s New York magazine’s roundup, Betsy Bird’s comprehensive piece for Fuse8, the Stacks’ collection of nonfiction, the list goes on. There’s … Continue reading Reading for Change: Booklist Recommends Antiracism Titles for All Ages


The ALA Gay and Lesbian Task Force ­marching in the 1992 San Francisco Pride parade.

The Rainbow’s Arc

June 1, 2020

In the decades that followed, the group’s name changed periodically to reflect the evolving times, finally becoming known in 2019 as the Rainbow Round Table. But its mission—to serve the information needs of LGBTQIA+ library professionals as well as the information and access needs of the LGBTQIA+ community at large—has never faltered. LGBTQIA+ youth have … Continue reading The Rainbow’s Arc


Cruise: The Guide to Gay Entertainment in the Southeast. Photo: Queer Music Heritage

By the Numbers: Pride Month

June 1, 2020

1970 Year the Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA)—the nation’s first LGBT professional organization—was founded as the Task Force on Gay Liberation. (For more on the RRT and its 50th anniversary, see our story “The Rainbow’s Arc.”) 49 Number of years ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards have been recognizing literature related to the … Continue reading By the Numbers: Pride Month


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Front Lines and Fault Lines

June 1, 2020

“Wow,” he exclaimed, asking where I had heard about it. I told him there were regular updates on the internet about supply distribution and, ­perhaps even more important, about the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by zip code. To which he responded earnestly, “But how many people have the internet?” I gestured toward his phone, … Continue reading Front Lines and Fault Lines


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