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


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Future Strategies

September 4, 2018

In Six Issues Facing Libraries Today: Critical Perspectives, John M. Budd calls these issues persistent and thorny—and they are. The first topic addressed is information: what it is and what it is not. Budd explores the criteria used to evaluate statements and suggests further avenues for considering the theory of information. Next is information literacy, an … Continue reading Future Strategies



Julie B. Todaro

Our Way Forward

March 1, 2017

In my columns and interviews over the past eight months of my presidency, I have focused primarily on ALA’s values and the values of our profession. As a result, I invariably receive a myriad of emphatic emails from people who often tell me that I can’t tell them how to think or what to value. … Continue reading Our Way Forward


Joseph Janes

Boolean Logic

March 1, 2017

I’ve always preferred the AND operator to NOT when trying to refine search results. NOT is too blunt an instrument for my tastes, and it’s too easy to lose good information with it; using AND provides focus and often does a more effective job of narrowing down a big retrieval set. AND has been on my mind lately. As I … Continue reading Boolean Logic


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Access and Resistance

March 1, 2017

When I started working at the library, we handed out time-limited computer access passes to anyone who wanted them. Users included library cardholders, people who were homeless, the residents of a local halfway house, and people who worked in the city but didn’t live there. I loved that we provided a valuable service to those … Continue reading Access and Resistance


Julie B. Todaro

Moving Forward Together

January 3, 2017

Being all things to all people, however, is impossible. This is why the Association steps in, to set the vision and tone for professionals to follow throughout their working days, though it is not always easy. In the past months I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and I have … Continue reading Moving Forward Together


Karen Muller

Preserving Our Values

May 31, 2016

The Intellectual Freedom Manual is a guide to providing library service in support of First Amendment rights. For the manual’s 9th edition, the background information on its policies has been pulled into a separate volume, A History of ALA Policy on Intellectual Freedom: A Supplement to the Intellectual Freedom Manual, compiled by editor Trina Magi … Continue reading Preserving Our Values