Authors Rajani LaRocca (left) and Minh Lê speak at the session “Share our Stories: Asian and Pacific Islander Literature for Children and Young Adults” during the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 25.

Reflecting the World

June 25, 2023

“I have never been in a library that did not have enough white books,” said Park, a Korean American author whose novel A Single Shard (Clarion Books, 2001) won the 2002 Newbery Medal. She suggested that, to increase representation of other cultures and perspectives, librarians should consider buying more books from marginalized authors. “That’s one … Continue reading Reflecting the World


Headshot of Heather McGhee

Shifting the Narrative

March 28, 2023

“Everything we believe comes from a story we’ve been told,” McGhee said. “So, ask: ‘Who is selling us these stories?’” The New York Times–bestselling author and board chair of racial justice advocacy organization Color for Change shared key insights from her 2021 book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can … Continue reading Shifting the Narrative


Headshot of Rebecca Nagle

The Stories We Tell

March 28, 2023

Award-winning advocate, journalist, and Cherokee Nation citizen Rebecca Nagle opened the conference, shedding light on the lack of representation of Native Americans in media and how it affects public policy. “The stories we tell ourselves about who we are and where we come from inform our public policy,” Nagle said. Through her award-winning podcast This … Continue reading The Stories We Tell


Autherine Lucy Foster

Another Hidden Figure in Library History

January 20, 2023

Here’s what I found in my research—which involved 1,200 newspaper and periodical articles—when I looked into her story. After graduating in 1952 from the historically Black college and university of Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, Lucy and her friend Pollie Myers decided to apply to the all-white University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Because neither identified … Continue reading Another Hidden Figure in Library History


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


John Cho

Breaking the Cycle

June 25, 2022

Cho used the 1992 Los Angeles riots as a backdrop for exploring Jordan’s family dynamic. “The boy [Jordan] sees the LA riots and it’s a personal problem,” he said. “It endangers his father … The father sees it as a livelihood issue—they’re threatening my store, perhaps, and the store is our college fund, it’s food, … Continue reading Breaking the Cycle


Antiracist storytime

Antiracist Storytimes

May 2, 2022

“It was just joyful,” says Jessica Ralli, coordinator of early literacy programs at BPL. “It was a very diverse crowd and majority nonwhite.” About 75 families attended the event, which was minimally marketed because of concerns about gatherings amid the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. “The content was timely,” says Ralli, “and … Continue reading Antiracist Storytimes


Taylor Healey-Brooks and Michelle Lee

Pairing Up

May 2, 2022

Research demonstrates that people of color in libraries benefit from having a mentor with a similar background, but it can be difficult for new librarians to find such a person with years of training. Because of the lack of diversity in librarianship (in 2020, approximately 83% of credentialed librarians were white) and problems retaining librarians … Continue reading Pairing Up


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Diving into Diversity

May 2, 2022

  Public Libraries and Their Communities By Kay Ann Cassell Before a library can offer services and build collections for diverse patrons, it is important that it understands the makeup of its community. Cassell offers an introductory look at the basics of running a public library and speaks to how staffers can directly connect to … Continue reading Diving into Diversity


Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi

March 1, 2022

Kendi spoke with American Libraries about having his work challenged in libraries and schools, the myth of neutrality in libraries, and how to raise the next generation of antiracists. Your books are among the most frequently challenged in the current wave of censorship attempts. What’s that like? I write books for the general public, for … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi


Text graphic showing possible changes to Library of Congress Subject Headings, such as "undocumented immigrant" for "illegal alien."

Decolonizing the Catalog

November 1, 2021

The panelists included Elizabeth Hobart, special collections cataloging librarian at Penn State University; Staci Ross, cataloging and metadata librarian at University of Pittsburgh; Michelle Cronquist, special collections cataloger at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Kelly Farrell, program officer for the Triangle Research Libraries Network, a consortium of academic libraries in North Carolina. … Continue reading Decolonizing the Catalog


Academic Insights by Naomi Bishop

Fighting Medical Racism

November 1, 2021

I am a health science librarian at University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus. I am also Akimel O’odham (Pima) from the Gila River Indian Community. From a Native perspective, the needs of the community are greater than the wishes of the individual. Mask mandates are in place on tribal lands, and colleges and universities occupy … Continue reading Fighting Medical Racism