Fobazi M. Ettarh at the 2019 Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland April 13.

Why Being Bad Is Good

April 13, 2019

Most librarians, she said, believe in this dominant narrative, but the process of “examining those elements and decolonizing them can be uncomfortable for many people, causing defensive reactions and revealing blind spots in one’s perspective.” Ettarh took the traditional characteristics of the library narrative and recast them slightly to give them a realistic perspective: Libraries … Continue reading Why Being Bad Is Good




Racial Equity Panel Addresses Bias in Library Work

January 28, 2019

Goodwin began by asking, “Why focus on race?” Infant mortality rates are 10 times higher for people of color than for their white counterparts, regardless of any other aspect of their identity. Race, zip code, and gender affect a person’s success across many arenas, such as education, health, and criminal justice. According to Goodwin, “Racial … Continue reading Racial Equity Panel Addresses Bias in Library Work


20 Years of the MLK Sunrise Celebration

January 28, 2019

Virginia Moore, past chair of ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force, talked about the origins of the annual Midwinter celebration. “Libraries lead the way,” she said. “Keep the dream alive.” Satia Orange, former director of ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, reminded the more than 200 attendees … Continue reading 20 Years of the MLK Sunrise Celebration


Natalia Fernández, associate professor at Oregon State University (OSU) and curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives in Corvallis, presents “Campus Connections to White Supremacy: Reconciliation through Community Engagement and Historical Research” at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on September 27.

Renaming and Reconciling

September 29, 2018

“Building and place names do matter. They can be those institutional symbols of racism,” said Natalia Fernández, associate professor at Oregon State University (OSU) and curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives in Corvallis. “It can be very impactful, hurtful, and it’s important that we have these conversations.” In “Campus … Continue reading Renaming and Reconciling



Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia (Photo: Billy Hathorn/Creative Commons license)

Charlottesville Violence Poses New Challenges for Libraries

August 18, 2017

Libraries at both the public and university level historically have developed response plans for natural disasters, but the Charlottesville demonstrations and similar white nationalist rallies planned for other cities have library administrators working not only to protect patrons and library infrastructure but to assist in relief efforts. Both the University of Florida and Texas A&M … Continue reading Charlottesville Violence Poses New Challenges for Libraries



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