Scissors cutting "gender" off of a library card

Ditching the Gender Data

March 1, 2019

That might sound like the opening volley of a gender-studies lecture. But when Erin Shea, supervisor of Ferguson Library’s Harry Bennett and Weed Memorial and Hollander branches in Stamford, Connecticut, wondered it aloud at a staff meeting last October, she was waxing practical, not theoretical. Specifically, she was questioning a common procedure followed by her … Continue reading Ditching the Gender Data


Melinda Gates and Nancy Pearl at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

The Moment of Lift

January 27, 2019

Melinda Gates opened her talk at the 2019 American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Seattle January 25 with effusive praise for her hosts. Her admiration for libraries is well documented: As cochair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she has been at the forefront of philanthropic funding for libraries. The Gates Library Foundation, … Continue reading The Moment of Lift


Lessons from Strong Girls School

June 27, 2017

Evans leads an annual program series for girls that addresses inequality and self-esteem issues in her conservative Long Island community. She provided some compelling—and chilling—statistics as to why programs like hers are so badly needed. “By the time a college-educated woman turns 59, she will have lost almost $800,000 throughout her life,” Evans said, referring … Continue reading Lessons from Strong Girls School


The many faces of the librarian stereotype. Illustration: Rebecca Lomax and Vlada Young/Shutterstock

The Stereotype Stereotype

October 30, 2015

The answers lie in understanding the history of stereotypes in our profession and also in looking outside the profession to larger social conditions. We cannot separate our understanding of library stereotypes from the history of librarianship that influenced their development in the first place. Librarians are not explicitly responsible for the creation and perpetuation of … Continue reading The Stereotype Stereotype


Patrick Farley's Game of Thrones entry for Maureen Johnson's Coverflip challenge

Fart Jokes and Feelings

June 29, 2015

Panelist Hannah Gomez, a librarian at an all-girl school, has found that there’s a tiny stack of “authorized” books about boys that her students are willing to read. “If it’s about a boy and not by John Green, they’re not interested.” With young adult books, girl books are expected to have romance, boy books have action … Continue reading Fart Jokes and Feelings



A Career of Our Own

A Career of Our Own

March 9, 2015

The second-wave feminism movement from the mid-20th century opened doors for women in educational and career advancement, particularly in academia, thanks in large part to Title IX legislation that prohibited discrimination at higher educational institutions. In 1972, the year Title IX was implemented, women held only 4.6% of high-level administrative positions at research libraries. By … Continue reading A Career of Our Own