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

Calling a Thing a Thing

July 20, 2022

The nonprofit ProLiteracy, one of ALA’s longtime partners, makes the connection between reading and health care agency. It points out that women with low literacy skills are at higher risk of “financial, health, and partner vulnerabilities throughout their lives,” potentially limiting their independence. That cyclical relationship—limited education and reading ability leading to limited economic opportunity … Continue reading Calling a Thing a Thing


Photo of Nerissa Lindsey, head of content organization and management at San Diego State University, during a panel on gender and ethics in open knowledge platforms.

Too Much Information?

June 26, 2022

A research team surveyed participants in the Program for Collaborative Cataloging’s Wikidata Pilot Project to explore how galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (collectively referred to as GLAM institutions) are navigating these ethical issues. Members presented the findings, to be published this summer in the journal KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies, in the session … Continue reading Too Much Information?



Savala Nolan. Photo by Andria Lo.

Newsmaker: Savala Nolan

June 21, 2021

Growing up, did you encounter stories of other people who, like you, hold overlapping identities or experience a sense of dislocation? When I was a kid, people weren’t thinking about identity the way we do now. I was Black and white and Mexican in an era when we were expected to choose one lane and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Savala Nolan


ALA logo

ALA Statement on Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

October 29, 2020

“On September 22, the White House issued its Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, prohibiting federal employees, contractors, and grant recipients from discussing or considering concepts such as critical race theory and white privilege and discouraging diversity education and training. This order is based on the patently false and malicious claim that diversity … Continue reading ALA Statement on Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping


Teen participants in Boston Public Library’s “Drag vs. AI” program test their makeup and props against facial recognition software. (Photo: Kathy Pham/American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts)

Dragging AI

September 1, 2020

In November 2019, Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Teen Central hosted a digital privacy instruction workshop for teens that centered on facial recognition technology. Titled “Drag vs. AI,” the workshop partnered BPL with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU-MA) and Joy “Poet of Code” Buolamwini, artificial intelligence (AI) scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology … Continue reading Dragging AI


Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of Book of the Little Axe (Photo: Anna Carson DeWitt)

Libraries Transform Book Pick: Lauren Francis-Sharma

August 10, 2020

This interview was first published in Booklist’s August 2020 issue. A historical novel set in Trinidad in 1796 and the Crow Nation of the Great Plains in 1830, Francis-Sharma’s second novel (after ‘Til the Well Runs Dry) follows the struggles and adventures of Rosa Rendón, who pushes back against the restraints associated with her sex and … Continue reading Libraries Transform Book Pick: Lauren Francis-Sharma


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Fact Versus Fear

March 2, 2020

The flames of any mistrust that might have already surrounded this census have been fanned at least twice: First, by the new option to complete the form online, which may be met with diffidence by the 52% of American adults whom the Pew Research Center calls “relatively hesitant” about using digital tools, and which may … Continue reading Fact Versus Fear


Digging through Boxes, Delving into Databases

August 6, 2019

In this five-part series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering trends on the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. We’ll also explore how librarians build and grow relationships within the academic community. Our first … Continue reading Digging through Boxes, Delving into Databases


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