Ladino singer-songwriter Sarah Aroeste explains how the migration of Sephardic Jews from Spain to Macedonia and Greece informed Ladino music. Aroeste performed June 27 at the Association of Jewish Libraries Conference 2022. Photo by Sally Stieglitz.

Saving Our Stories

July 1, 2022

Highlighting history In the session “Documenting History through Collections,” presenters discussed how collections tell—or exclude—stories from the past. Herb Calanes, retired director of Corpus Christi (Tex.) Public Libraries, shared his research on Sephardic Jews in northern Mexico (an area then known as Nueva España) following their 1492 expulsion from Spain. Although Sephardic families were longtime … Continue reading Saving Our Stories


Luvvie Ajayi Jones appears as Closing Speaker at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 28.

Making Trouble

June 28, 2022

“Disruption of this world is how we’re going to get to the place we actually want to get to,” Jones told attendees at the June 28 Closing Session of the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. “Maybe it wouldn’t be a dumpster fire if Batman wasn’t the one you had … Continue reading Making Trouble


Authors Maya Prasad (left) and Susan Azim Boyer speak at “Engaging Historically Underrepresented Young Adult Readers,” a June 27 session at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Exhibition and Conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Uplifting Underrepresented Readers

June 27, 2022

Torres and authors Susan Azim Boyer, Katryn Bury, and Maya Prasad shared their experiences growing up with a lack of positive depictions of themselves in books at “Engaging Historically Underrepresented Young Adult Readers,” a June 27 session at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Exhibition and Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel offered strategies for … Continue reading Uplifting Underrepresented Readers


‘We Are Not Okay’

June 26, 2022

Oxley, along with fellow PGCMLS librarian Teresa Miller, co-presented “Queering the Library: Strategically Creating Space for the LGBTQ+ Community” on Sunday, June 26, at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Throughout the country, a spate of high-profile challenges and attempts to ban or destroy LGBTQ+ books, including in bookstores … Continue reading ‘We Are Not Okay’


KayCee Choi (standing at left) and Alicia Deal (standing at right), librarians at Dallas Public Library, present at "Deaf Culture: A Strategy for Inclusive Deaf Community Engagement,” a June 26 session at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by Rebecca Lomax for American Libraries.

Deaf Is a Culture

June 26, 2022

“After joining ALA, I saw a lot of changes,” said Hagemeyer, who now leads Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. While services and outreach to Deaf people have improved over the last 50 years, libraries could be doing more in this area. That was the takeaway … Continue reading Deaf Is a Culture


Author Celeste Ng at ALA Annual 2022

Part of Something Bigger

June 26, 2022

The critically acclaimed author spoke with librarian and author Nancy Pearl at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition on Sunday, June 26, about the new novel, Our Missing Hearts. In the story, anti–Asian American sentiments have taken over the country, and children of parents who are deemed un-American are removed from their … Continue reading Part of Something Bigger


Seated at left, author and MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts speaks into a microphone. Seated to the right is author and professor Randall Horton. Both are presenters at "Defending the Fifth Freedom: Protecting the Right to Read for Incarcerated Individuals," a June 25 session at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by EPNAC.

‘Our Access Point to the Humanity We Cannot Touch’

June 26, 2022

“The Association’s membership is called on at this moment to interrupt the systemic information poverty that is going on in American’s detention facilities,” she said. As ALA prepares to revise its Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions for the first time since 1992, Hall was joined in conversation by a panel of advocates who are fighting for … Continue reading ‘Our Access Point to the Humanity We Cannot Touch’


Catherine Tong (seated at left), Bridget Kowalczyk (seated center), and Tiffany Bradford-Oldham (seated at right) speak about the speech and debate program they run at San José (Calif.) Public Library at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 25. Photo by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries.

Up for Debate

June 25, 2022

Since then, the library has offered six speech and debate series for grades 3–5 over Zoom, with each 12-week session focused on a different social justice topic, such as Black Lives Matter, anti-Asian sentiment, and climate change. Instructors from the program shared insights into their curriculum and success at “Inspiring the Next Generation to Champion … Continue reading Up for Debate


Photo of author Art Spiegelman sitting with arms crossed on table

Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman

June 1, 2022

Spiegelman spoke with American Libraries about book banning, how comic books are used as teaching tools, and the importance of libraries in his life. The recent ban of Maus in Tennessee isn’t its first challenge. What did you think when you heard the news? Well, this was the most prominent. [And] this was much more, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman


Image of ALA President Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Leading the Fight

June 1, 2022

Those words were not written about the current spate of book bans, although they certainly apply. They were written nearly 70 years ago, as the ravages of McCarthyism, censorship, and persecution made it necessary to codify a defense of the reading choices of individuals. The 1953 Freedom to Read Statement remains a rallying cry for … Continue reading Leading the Fight


Photo of ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. Text says "From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall"

Fugitive Literacies

June 1, 2022

There is a long history of denying reading skills or access to particular groups, including incarcerated people, unpaid and low-wage workers, enslaved and colonized communities, and women. Ken Bigger, a new senior fellow in ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries, connects literacy to civic fluency in his research. Bigger raises this point: The prison … Continue reading Fugitive Literacies


Photo of Latia Ward, Academic Insights column. Text says "Academic Insights by Latia Ward"

Accessing Justice

June 1, 2022

This scenario is an example of both a reference transaction and an access-to-justice issue. Many people do not have easy access to an attorney and will come to the library seeking legal information. Librarians are not authorized to give legal advice, but they can direct patrons to useful organizations and resources. According to Jessica Steinberg, … Continue reading Accessing Justice