400 Years of Black American Life

January 23, 2021

Speaking January 23 at the Opening Session of ALA Midwinter Virtual 2021, the pair described both the significance of the volume and the process of compiling it. It features the work of 90 Black writers—novelists, journalists, poets, historians, and philosophers—on different eras of the Black American experience. “We brought together a community of Black writers … Continue reading 400 Years of Black American Life


A Lakota camp in 1891. During his presidency, Harrison forced the Sioux Nation to divide among separate reservations in the Dakotas and sent the military to Wounded Knee. Photo composite: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Harrison, Lakota, tipis)

Tarnished Legacies

January 4, 2021

It also has led to repercussions at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia. When, in 2015, Princeton students staged a 32-hour sit-in demanding that the school remove Wilson’s name, “we had a huge drop in funding,” says Robin van Seldeneck, the Virginia library and museum’s president and CEO. “We had people saying, … Continue reading Tarnished Legacies


A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials.

Responsive and Responsible

January 4, 2021

Various efforts—including Northern Arizona University’s 2007 “Protocols for Native American Archival Materials,”  which was endorsed by the Society of American Archivists in 2018—have sought to remedy this. Still, appropriate handling of Indigenous collections remains sporadic. As a result, institutional claims of ownership and principles of access are sometimes jeopardized. In response, a burgeoning number of … Continue reading Responsive and Responsible


Carrie C. Robinson

Separate—and Unequal

October 6, 2020

Born in Mississippi in 1906, Robinson began her career as a librarian serving Black schools in South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana before settling in Alabama, where she initially worked for Alabama State College as an assistant professor of library education. In 1947, she helped organize a librarian section of the Alabama State Teachers Association, a … Continue reading Separate—and Unequal


On My Mind by Rae-Anne Montague

Accepting Queer Realities

June 1, 2020

As our schools and communities grapple with fostering a broader recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity diversity, school librarians play crucial roles in building a welcoming environment and providing access to inclusive resources and services. Social stigma of non-mainstream experiences in schools, particularly among LGBTQ+ students, is reinforced by a lack of accurate information … Continue reading Accepting Queer Realities


A 23-foot statue stands at a central spot on the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi. The state's Institutions of Higher Learning board will determine whether to relocate the monument to a Confederate cemetery, also on campus.

A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes

February 4, 2020

In this multipart series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is the sixth story in the series. It’s been more than two years since the university chose … Continue reading A Monumental Debate: Addressing Controversial Namesakes


Andrew Carnegie, 1913 (Photo: Marceau, NYC)

Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy

September 30, 2019

Libraries are the critical component in the free exchange of information, which lies at the heart of our democracy. They hold our nation’s heritage, the heritage of humanity, the record of its triumphs and failures, and of its intellectual, scientific, and artistic achievements. American public libraries grant all people access to an ever-growing compendium of … Continue reading Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy


Lisa Rand

Keeping History Alive

September 3, 2019

Even in the 21 years since the Good Friday Agreement officially ended the conflict, sectarian tension and renewed violence have punctuated the hard-won peace. Journalist Lyra McKee was killed in April while observing riots in Derry. Conversations with my grandfather gave an immediacy to the stories unfolding across the ocean. In order to get a … Continue reading Keeping History Alive


George Takei

Newsmaker: George Takei

July 17, 2019

Why did you choose to tell your story as a graphic novel? It’s been my mission in life to tell the story of my childhood imprisonment and to raise awareness of that chapter of American history. There’s a new generation of young people, and we want to target them in the best way. I thought … Continue reading Newsmaker: George Takei


Photojournalist Diana Davies documented the activism spurred by the Stonewall raids. Her photographs, along with those of Kay Tobin Lahusen, are part of New York Public Library's exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Photo courtesy of NYPL.

Collecting Pride

June 27, 2019

“Love and Resistance: Stonewall 50,” through July 13 New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwartzman Building “Many people think of Stonewall as the start of the LGBTQ activist movement,” says Jason Baumann, assistant director for collection development at NYPL and coordinator of the library’s LGBTQ initiative, who curated the exhibit. “We wanted to show how … Continue reading Collecting Pride


Journalist and author Mo Rocca speaks at the Closing Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 25.

The Onus of Obituary

June 25, 2019

Which is why it’s no surprise that the CBS Sunday Morning correspondent’s forthcoming book, Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (November, Simon & Schuster), and podcast of the same name, commemorates people and things—from the station wagon to Neanderthals to Thomas Paine’s legacy—where the common thread is that they’re overlooked and no longer with us. Oh, and there’s another overlap: … Continue reading The Onus of Obituary


History Repeats Itself

June 24, 2019

“I feel like I’m at a Star Trek convention,” he said in his trademark baritone, before laughing heartily. Takei’s tone changed, however, as he began to describe a childhood spent in internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II—an experience that he details in his new YA graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy. With a … Continue reading History Repeats Itself