From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Let Our Legacy Be Justice

July 1, 2020

Just as there was an outcry across the field to keep our staff and communities safe and protected from COVID-19, so too are we obligated to decry racism. As library and information workers, our resistance in both fights requires resilience. The future of libraries rests on building institutions and developing leaders who will promote racial … Continue reading Let Our Legacy Be Justice


Black Lives Matter

July 1, 2020

These events spurred singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye to record “What’s Going On” 50 years ago. As I assume leadership of ALA, we are confronting an unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen since 1918; an economic collapse, including the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression; unjust police killings of unarmed Black … Continue reading Black Lives Matter


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ALA Statement on Institutional Racism

June 26, 2020

The American Library Association (ALA) accepts and acknowledges its role in upholding unjust systems of racism and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) within the Association and the profession. We recognize that the founding of our Association was not built on inclusion and equity but instead was built on systemic racism and … Continue reading ALA Statement on Institutional Racism


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ALA Condemns Police Violence

June 11, 2020

In a June 11 statement, the American Library Association condemned police violence against people of color, protesters, and journalists. The full statement reads as follows: The American Library Association is deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, as well as the killings by police or vigilantes … Continue reading ALA Condemns Police Violence


Reflections on Race and Racism

Reflections on Race and Racism

June 5, 2020

Because the presence of racism, bias, and bigotry in any of our LIS institutions limits our reach and the possibility of realizing the full promise and potential of an equitably informed public, we must go beyond hashtags, statements, and committees and do the hands-on work needed to systemically uproot racism. This requires that we be … Continue reading Reflections on Race and Racism


Reading for Change

Reading for Change: Booklist Recommends Antiracism Titles for All Ages

June 5, 2020

Booklist recently compiled a list of antiracist books and other resources for librarians and readers. The full list is reprinted below.  It can, of course, also mean reading. We’ve seen the antiracist reading lists; there’s New York magazine’s roundup, Betsy Bird’s comprehensive piece for Fuse8, the Stacks’ collection of nonfiction, the list goes on. There’s … Continue reading Reading for Change: Booklist Recommends Antiracism Titles for All Ages



ALA COVD-19 Update

ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism

May 26, 2020

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in condemning xenophobia and racism. The ALA Executive Board endorses APALA’s March 13 statement, in which it “unequivocally denounce[d] the rise in racism and xenophobia against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism


On My Mind, by S. A. Cosby

Judged by the Cover

May 15, 2020

The following guest column is a reprint from the rereleased May 1 issue of Booklist. This is an opportunity to have substantive conversations about our perceptions, as well as the changing face of the publishing world and the paucity of diverse crime writers. In their desire to be socially conscious, many may have missed that … Continue reading Judged by the Cover


Dewey Decibel: Freddie Gray and Baltimore: A Conversation with Wes Moore

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Freddie Gray and Baltimore, Five Years Later

April 24, 2020

In this special bonus episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Moore about his book, socioeconomic conditions in Baltimore, and how Enoch Pratt Free Library was the bedrock of the city during the riots. If you have feedback for the Dewey Decibel team, email deweydecibel@ala.org. Tell us … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Freddie Gray and Baltimore, Five Years Later


Race and Place

April 23, 2020

Tracie D. Hall is current ALA executive director. This article appeared in the February 2007 issue of American Libraries magazine, when Hall was assistant dean at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. By the time my grandparents purchased what my grandmother referred to as an “old … Continue reading Race and Place


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Fact Versus Fear

March 2, 2020

The flames of any mistrust that might have already surrounded this census have been fanned at least twice: First, by the new option to complete the form online, which may be met with diffidence by the 52% of American adults whom the Pew Research Center calls “relatively hesitant” about using digital tools, and which may … Continue reading Fact Versus Fear