bystander training

Know Your Rights—and Theirs

January 2, 2020

Will that change? No one is certain. Though ICE’s official policy states it will avoid carrying out enforcement actions at “sensitive locations” such as daycares and places of worship, libraries are not specifically named among those locations. In this politically tense climate when immigration has been a major focus, some libraries wonder how they should … Continue reading Know Your Rights—and Theirs


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Welcoming New Americans

November 1, 2019

Libraries have a role to play too. From hosting programs with local legislators and teaching patrons media literacy to offering support for online census questions and assistance with government e-forms, today’s libraries are hot spots of civic engagement. Newcomers to this country, especially, see libraries as trustworthy guides on their path to integrating into their … Continue reading Welcoming New Americans


Mariana Atencio

Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio

July 26, 2019

What were you reading growing up in Venezuela? Who were your literary heroes? Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits). Growing up, her novels were like the universe. She’s from Chile originally—she escaped the dictatorship and found a home in Venezuela. There’s a character in the book called Clara because … Continue reading Newsmaker: Mariana Atencio



Perfectly Mariana Atencio

June 25, 2019

Atencio’s memoir, Perfectly You, traces her journey from coastal Venezuela—where she devoured the work of authors like Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez—to her graduate work at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City; from Univision to the English-language market; from shy new arrival to prominent cultural ambassador. Her 2017 TEDx talk, “What makes you … Continue reading Perfectly Mariana Atencio


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


Social Unrest, Democracy, and Librarianship in the 21st Century

June 24, 2019

Diana Moronta, instruction and technology librarian at New York Institute of Technology, said that she often reminds herself to step back as an instructor and elevate the voices of her students. “I believe they are experts in their own lives,” she said. Tracy Drake, an archivist with Chicago Public Library, said she tries to let … Continue reading Social Unrest, Democracy, and Librarianship in the 21st Century


Karen Fisher, Nathan Roston, and Grace Talusan

Expression in Exile

June 23, 2019

Exile is one of several themes Talusan explores in her memoir The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. She and Nathan Rostron, editor and marketing director of Restless Books—an imprint dedicated to international authors writing in English—participated in a June 22 panel discussion on the challenges faced by immigrant … Continue reading Expression in Exile


Erica Freudenberger

Coming to America’s Libraries

June 23, 2019

ALA’s Public Programs Office recently completed the New Americans Library Project, a year-long exploration of public library programs and services that support immigrant and refugee populations. Librarians and representatives from community partner organizations involved in the project shared lessons and recommendations in a session on June 22, with a focus on models for effective partnerships. … Continue reading Coming to America’s Libraries



Author Viet Thanh Nguyen speaks to attendees April 11 at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland. (Photo: Laurie DeWitt/Pure Light Images)

The Refugee Experience

April 12, 2019

“I am a refugee—present tense,” Nguyen said. “Although long ago I made the transition from refugee to bourgeoisie, I claim present tense because my earliest memories began as a refugee when I was 4 years old.” Put into an internment camp at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, Nguyen was soon separated from his parents and older … Continue reading The Refugee Experience


Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in public libraries at the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 28.

Serving Black Immigrants

September 29, 2018

At “Engaging and Serving Black Immigrant Communities,” a September 28 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ana Ndumu, PhD postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland iSchool, presented her findings on the obstacles black immigrants face in accessing information and what libraries can better do to reach … Continue reading Serving Black Immigrants