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


Photo of ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. Text says "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


ACRL 2021 invited speakers (from left) Jennifer Brown, Jennifer Ferretti, and Charlotte Roh of We Here

ACRL Day Three: Recasting the Roles of Academic Libraries

April 16, 2021

Jenny Ferretti, We Here founder and digital initiatives librarian at Maryland Institute College of Art, opened the session “Systemic Oppression Requires Systemic Change: Recasting the Roles of Academic Libraries in Contemporary Contexts” by providing background on the racial past and present of libraries. Libraries, she said, are traditionally white-serving institutions, citing Todd Honma’s “Trippin’ over … Continue reading ACRL Day Three: Recasting the Roles of Academic Libraries


ACRL 2021 Virtual Conference Invited Speaker Kaetrena Davis Kendrick

ACRL Day Two: Getting to Welcome

April 15, 2021

She began her talk by laying out the challenges facing the field—such as rising tuition costs, student retention, competition, and the pandemic—and their corresponding opportunities, including attracting nontraditional students, expanding degree programs, tapping alumni resources for networking, and rethinking what the campus experience could mean to students after the pandemic. Kendrick spelled out her theory … Continue reading ACRL Day Two: Getting to Welcome


ALA logo

ALA Executive Board Supports APALA in Recognizing and Condemning Ongoing anti-Asian Hate Crimes

March 11, 2021

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands in solidarity with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in recognizing and condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. The ALA Executive Board affirms APALA’s March 3 statement in which it writes, “Our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities have been deeply impacted by attacks that have … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Supports APALA in Recognizing and Condemning Ongoing anti-Asian Hate Crimes


Call Number Episode 59: Talking about Race

Call Number Podcast: Talking About Race

February 16, 2021

First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Emmanuel Acho, sports analyst for Fox Sports and former NFL linebacker (and recent Midwinter Virtual featured speaker), about his YouTube series and subsequent book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with Jessica Bratt, youth … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Talking About Race


Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations

January 24, 2021

“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, as a Black man, I realized I had to do something,” the Fox Sports analyst and former National Football League (NFL) linebacker told attendees at a Featured Speaker session of the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 24. “It’s my job … Continue reading Uncomfortable Conversations


Core Top Technology Trends

Libraries and Invasive Technology

January 24, 2021

John Mack Freeman, manager of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library’s Suwanee branch, opened with a clip that appeared to show former US President Barack Obama voicing support for Black Panther movie villain Erik Killmonger. (The clip was actually a BuzzFeed-produced PSA from director Jordan Peele, who imitated Obama’s speech patterns with cleverly synched video.) It … Continue reading Libraries and Invasive Technology