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A Disproportionate Pandemic

Jack Miller dusts shelves at the main location of Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Illinois, pre-pandemic. Photo: Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Illinois Before COVID-19 came along, 18-year-old Jack Miller, who has autism, visited the main location of Gail Borden Public Library District (GBPLD) in Elgin, Illinois, three times a week. […]

Emerging Leaders: Where Are Th...

The American Library Association’s (ALA) annual Emerging Leaders (ELs) program recognizes the best and brightest new leaders in the library profession, allowing them to get on a fast track at the Association by participating in planning groups, networking, gaining an inside look at ALA structure, and serving in leadership capacities early in their careers. At […]

The Road to Normal

Valerie Wagley, counselor at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia, reads to kids at a bookmobile stop in summer 2020. Photo: Kelli Wood When Goochland County (Va.) Public Schools abruptly stopped in-person learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, school librarians Zoe Parrish, Sarah Smith, and Susan Vaughn worried that […]

Users at the Center of Everyth...

Photo: ©Monkey Business/Adobe Stock In her professional life, coauthor Lauren Stara has worked for three architectural firms, one zoo, one multinational corporation, two museums, five universities, three public libraries, and one state library agency. She has also done freelance work or consulting in both architecture and librarianship. Over those 32 years, she has worked in […]

2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up

Since 1908, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting has taken place 107 times, with only a few pauses. Held virtually, this year’s Midwinter was the last in its current format; next year ALA will launch LibLearnX, a learning, networking, and collaboration experience scheduled for January 21–24, 2022, in San Antonio. Though this year’s event […]

Meet the 2021 I Love My Librar...

The American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 winners of its I Love My Librarian Award on January 11. Recipients were nominated by patrons nationwide for their expertise, dedication, and profound impact on the people in their communities. “During an unprecedentedly challenging year, librarians have risen to the occasion, providing much-needed resources to their communities from […]

2021 Midwinter Preview

The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual, originally scheduled for January 22–26 in Indianapolis, was always planned as a transitional event that would lead to an innovative new conference concept in 2022. The pandemic, however, necessitated bigger changes than anticipated, as ALA announced in August that this year’s meeting would be […]

2020 Year in Review

ALA Headquarters Move After 57 years on East Huron Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, ALA headquarters relocated to Michigan Plaza at 225 N. Michigan Avenue. ALA Welcomes New Executive Director Tracie D. Hall began on February 24 as the American Library Association’s (ALA) new executive director (ED). The 10th ED—and the first female African-American […]

Tarnished Legacies

A Lakota camp in 1891. During his presidency, Benjamin Harrison forced the Sioux Nation to divide among separate reservations in the Dakotas and sent the military to Wounded Knee. Photo composite: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Harrison, Lakota, tipis) For 67 years, Princeton (N.J.) University’s School of Public and International Affairs bore the […]

REALM Test Results

Our collective knowledge of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to evolve as researchers across the world work to understand and combat the virus. In such an uncertain information landscape, establishing best practices isn’t easy; it requires library workers to balance community needs with the best available guidelines for limiting the virus’s spread. Since […]

Mitigating Implicit Bias

Illustration: ©Feodora/Adobe Stock In January 2019, Jade Alburo, librarian for Southeast Asian and Pacific Island studies at UCLA, wrote a Twitter thread that recounted a patron’s experience searching a large academic archive. When the patron could not find materials on Vietnamese or South Vietnamese subjects, archives staffers suggested that he search with a pejorative term […]

Newsmaker: Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley When eight-time Grammy Award–winning reggae artist and philanthropist Ziggy Marley released Family Time, a well-received children’s album, in 2009, he didn’t plan to do more projects geared toward youth. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, he found himself at home full-time with his own kids and a new puppy. What resulted […]

2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Li...

Gift-giving in 2020 should be all about whimsy, relaxation, and most important—comfort. And while your favorite librarians and book lovers probably don’t need more reading material, you can indulge them with thoughtful presents that help them enjoy the books they have. On our list, everything is priced under $50, from cozy clothes and decadent treats […]

Escape for the Isolated

Illustration: Katie Wheeler When you seek the advice of a goblin priest in the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons, beware: Instead of helping you in your quest, he might try to feed you to a tentacled monster with a taste for adventurers. A crew of six explorers—library patrons playing as a gnome, two half-elves, […]

Collecting Coronavirus Stories

Patrons at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, submitted photos that include images of daily jokes, Zoom meeting signs, protests, and jigsaw puzzles. Photos: Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) coronavirus archiving project started with a cat. Monique Sugimoto, archivist and local history […]

Black Caucus of the ALA Celebr...

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). “BCALA comes out of an unflagging commitment to equity,” says Tracie D. Hall, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) and herself a member of the affiliate organization. “I cannot help but think of how prescient its founding […]

The Activist Life of E. J. Jos...

A towering figure in both librarianship and the civil rights movement, E. J. Josey (1924–2009) cofounded the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and served as ALA president (1984–1985). He inspired and mentored colleagues and students with a leadership style that reverberates today. Renate L. Chancellor, associate professor in the Department of Library […]