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


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Up to the Challenge

November 1, 2021

Foundations of Intellectual Freedom By Emily J. M. Knox This text is a practical introduction to intellectual freedom in librarianship. It provides a broad overview, including historical perspectives, key US case law and precedents, a presentation of opposing viewpoints, and an examination of various professional codes of ethics, among other essential topics. The work also … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


Photo of patrons at Tulsa (Okla.) City–County Library view an immersive exhibit on the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in spring 2021.

Confronting History

September 1, 2021

In the years after World War I, an affluent African-American community flourished in the Greenwood district of oil-rich Tulsa, Oklahoma, an area that came to be known as Black Wall Street. Then, in late May and early June 1921, racial tensions erupted and violent white mobs—spurred by a murky allegation of sexual assault—destroyed thousands of … Continue reading Confronting History


ALA logo

ALA Executive Board Opposes Censorship of Programs Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education

August 18, 2021

The American Library Association is committed to upholding our core values, which include equitable access to knowledge, social justice, and intellectual freedom. As members of a profession committed to free and equitable access to information and the pursuit of truth, we stand firm in opposing any effort to suppress knowledge, to label “controversial” views, or … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Opposes Censorship of Programs Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education


Isabel Wilkerson

History, Race, and Caste

June 27, 2021

Jefferson spoke of the “twin pandemics” that have marked his tenure as president—COVID-19 and systemic racism—and pointed out that only the virus seems to be reaching resolution. “Isabel Wilkerson and her book Caste help explain why,” he said. Simone Stone, an MSLIS student at the School of Information Services at the University of Illinois at … Continue reading History, Race, and Caste



Charles Person

A Seat on the Bus

June 25, 2021

“All our lives are compilations of stories,” he said. “As members of the American Library Association, you put stories into the hands of people in your community to help them learn, and grow, and expand their worlds.” At 78, Person noted, he has finally realized his decades-old dream of writing a book and telling his … Continue reading A Seat on the Bus



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


Illustration of dozens of diverse faces (Illustration: Franzi Draws)

Ask, Listen, Empower

June 1, 2021

Put another way, it is not enough to simply be not racist; we must work to be antiracist. Psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, uses the analogy of a moving walkway. The history and structures of racism are the walkway. It is not enough to simply stop walking, because you’re still moving … Continue reading Ask, Listen, Empower


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Hurting Thing

May 3, 2021

Usually the calls were about the kids who frequented the library—which ones had graduated, who was off to college or the military, and sometimes, sadly, who had been shot or killed, or gone to jail. One call still haunts me: A teenage boy I knew well was facing serious time in a juvenile detention center. … Continue reading A Hurting Thing