Headshots of panelists at Curating for Inclusion session at LibLearnX

The Public Interest

January 23, 2022

What are the obligations of a public or private university to its local and global community? How have public libraries extended a sense of welcome to their patrons while safeguarding their rarest and most special collections? A panel of two public librarians and one academic librarian (moderated by architect Sindu Meier) discussed these questions during … Continue reading The Public Interest


Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working

January 23, 2022

In her 15-minute Shop Talk session, “3 Reasons Your DEI Programs Are Not Working,” Elaina Norlin presented research and anecdotes from consulting on DEI issues to attendees of ALA’s LibLearnX virtual conference on January 23. Norlin, author of The Six-Step Guide to Library Worker Engagement (ALA Editions, 2021) and professional development and DEI program coordinator … Continue reading Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working


Correcting Longstanding Inequities

January 22, 2022

Three members of Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) discussed the library’s ongoing antiracism and social equity work, how that work is reflected in its communications, and how it has strengthened the library’s role in the local and statewide community. Panelists from PGCMLS included Nicholas A. Brown, chief operating officer for communication and … Continue reading Correcting Longstanding Inequities


2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

January 3, 2022

Wong’s election makes ALA history At the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Conference Virtual, Patricia “Patty” M. Wong began her term as the first Asian American to serve as ALA president.   The American Rescue Plan Act and libraries When President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March … Continue reading 2021 Year in Review


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

Belonging as Technology

January 3, 2022

This is a critical area of focus for the American Library Association (ALA) and for the LIS community at large. This past year exposed digital access barriers such as expensive and low-quality broadband, the ongoing paucity of technology in the lowest-income households, and the overlap of limited reading skills and limited digital literacy. Left unchecked, … Continue reading Belonging as Technology


Advocacy Update

What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act

December 28, 2021

Signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021, IIJA includes a historic investment in advancing digital equity and an opportunity for libraries to leverage and expand their roles in that work. The Digital Equity Act (DEA), a provision within IIJA, includes a federal investment of $2.75 billion over five years to promote … Continue reading What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act


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