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


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