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Our Brave Communities

Over the past few years, we have been asked to be brave as we do things that once would have been unthinkable. We have had to be brave while defending intellectual freedom and the right to read. We have had to be brave taking on the role of disaster workers in response to COVID-19. And […]

Calling a Thing a Thing

In this third and final installment of my columns on the pervasiveness of adult low literacy, I feel an urgent need to call out how race, gender, and class coincide—and collide—when it comes to reading ability. This topic is especially critical at a moment marked by de facto and de jure attacks on women’s bodies […]

Book Battle in Tennessee

If you visit Nashville, Tennessee, chances are you’ll venture downtown, where country music spills out of honky-tonks and into the streets. Across town, the Tennessee State Capitol sits on a hill overlooking it all. Earlier this year, country music and legislation crossed paths with House Bill 1944 and Senate Bill 1944, also known as the […]

Two Decades of ALA-APA

As American Library Association president, I’m often asked, “What does ALA do for library workers?” While it’s true that the L in our name stands for library and not librarian, ALA has a companion organization that provides direct support to library professionals. The ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), which is committed to improving the status of […]

Belonging as Technology

In an era when our access to education, employment, and public health—our primary quality of life indicators—is increasingly predicated on digital access, libraries are and must be deeply invested in ensuring the greatest level of connectivity for users. This is a critical area of focus for the American Library Association (ALA) and for the LIS […]

A Little Light to See By

A confession: I had intended to write about the strategic planning work that we have been engaged in across the Association for the past year. It’s work that centers on the financial stability and membership growth required to achieve ALA’s goals of universal broadband (and the educational, employment, and public health access that depend on […]

Libraries Connect Us

Connection—across our diverse backgrounds, experiences, and futures—is a theme of my presidential year, and it is a necessary conversation. Demographers predict that by 2050, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, Latinx, and Indigenous people will constitute the majority of Americans. So how does the American Library Association (ALA) fit into our rapidly evolving democracy? How can […]

Starting a New Legacy

Across the country, the makeup of university student populations is changing. First-generation students (FGSes) are organizing on campuses and prompting MLIS programs—such as the one we were enrolled in at San José State University (SJSU) iSchool—to rethink how they are engaging with students. As representatives of the first generation of college graduates in our families, […]

Arts Online

Infobase’s Films on Demand fashion studies streaming video collection includes more than 1,300 titles. As colleges and universities gear up for distance learning or a limited return to campus, streaming media is emerging as a key tool. The on-demand availability and unlimited simultaneous use offered by some platforms make streaming a valuable resource for both […]

Let Our Legacy Be Justice

We are living in extraordinary times. A time when a pandemic has required that we distance ourselves from one another, and a time when the stand against racism and racial violence requires we come together. Just as there was an outcry across the field to keep our staff and communities safe and protected from COVID-19, […]

Black Lives Matter

I was born in 1968, a year many describe as the most tumultuous of the second half of the 20th century. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered April 4, 1968, as he was protesting the conditions of Memphis sanitation workers whose rallying call was “I Am a Man.” Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was murdered while […]

Bumpy Inroads

When I completed my library degree at University of Toronto last year, I kept a spreadsheet to track jobs I applied to. Looking through those listings now—part- and full-time jobs across North America in public, academic, and government libraries and archives—I see that all were somehow precarious, with assignment durations ranging from four months to […]