Intersections

logo

About Intersections

Intersections, the blog of the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS), highlights the work of library and information science workers as they create safe, responsible, and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community, as well as initiatives and projects supported by the office that promotes their work.


By: Veronica Leigh Milliner; NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator; National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania The library professional is comprised of many people who deeply care. It is noted that many in the profession at all levels commit a lot of themselves to the work they do, helping others, and continuously finding new ways to support patrons. However, this commitment can also result in compassion fatigue or burnout that can not only affect job performance but also mental health of staff. Although some may scoff at its...

Read more | 04/18/2019 - 08:00

By: Danielle DuPuis, Media Specialist, Hammond High School, Columbia, Maryland Each week, I spend some time browsing our library collection to pull books that students have requested or books that I think a particular student will like. I load up the titles onto two carts: one smaller cart with a wooden shelf crafted by one of our Tech Ed teachers and a larger cart where I can stock up plenty of books for students to browse – some shelved, some outward facing and on display. At approximately 12:35 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday, a small excited group of students from our...

Read more | 04/09/2019 - 08:00

By Laura Birkenhauer, Student Success Librarian for Campus Engagement, Miami University Libraries I’ve served in a formal capacity as both a mentor and a mentee, inside and outside of librarianship. We all know that mentoring is unquestionably hard work, but so is being a mentee — all that active listening, notetaking and actually showing your mentor you learned something by transforming your invisible, internal growth into a tangible product or plan. No matter what, though, there is an element of imbalance, as much as we might try to avoid it. Inside the traditional...

Read more | 04/04/2019 - 10:00

  By: Heidi Rabinowitz, Past President of the Association of Jewish Libraries History was made this year when the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference kicked off by naming the winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award. Who’s Sydney Taylor and what IS this award, anyway?  Sydney (originally Sarah) Taylor grew up in a large, bustling Jewish family on the Lower East Side of New York. As an adult, she shared stories of her childhood with her daughter Jo, writing them down and stuffing the pages into an underwear drawer. Her husband secretly submitted the manuscript...

Read more | 03/29/2019 - 08:00

By Twanna K. Hodge, Academic/Research Librarian, SUNY Upstate Health Sciences Library As part of the Diversity Research Grants Program sponsored by ODLOS, we've started a monthly spotlight on research advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries.  We welcome your submission of research for inclusion in future spotlights, email us at diversity@ala.org. This month's Spotlight features an interview with Dr. LaTesha Velez and Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas around their work “Mapping Race and Racism in the U.S. Library History Literature, 1997-2015...

Read more | 03/13/2019 - 12:29

By Carla Davis-Castro, Research Librarian, Library of Congress When it comes to self-care, I have learned a lot from my dogs, Salsa and Tango. Our busy lives may leave us last on our priority list, but here are some things you can do for yourself in order to find renewed focus and energy. 1. Take a break from the screens We use screens for work, socializing, and entertainment. Screens take a toll on our eyes, experts tell us, so give them a break every once in a while. Books don’t produce glare, so I try to read during my work commute instead of checking my phone....

Read more | 03/07/2019 - 08:00

By Christine F. Smith, Collections Services Librarian, Concordia University With the library profession being referred to as a highly stressful job, it’s important for those who work in libraries to develop a toolkit to keep oneself healthy and happy, at work, at home, and generally in life. But, the more we have on our plate, the less time we may have, and the harder it may be to find new ways to improve our lives. With that in mind, this post aims to provide four quick, widely-recommended, tried-and-true tips from the experts and fellow library professionals, to stay centered...

Read more | 02/22/2019 - 15:52

By: Jina DuVernay, Visiting Archivist for African American Collections, Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library I responded to a call for both mentors and mentees from the New Member Round Table program. I thought that it was a great idea and I wanted to participate to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the library profession. Derrick Burton, Library Director of the Luise V. Hanson Library at Waldorf University, and I were paired together and introduced via email by the NMRT Mentoring Program Committee. From that initial exchange until...

Read more | 02/22/2019 - 15:24

By: Cathleen Miller, Curator, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England   As workers, we spend our lives tending to the needs of our organizations, our patrons, and our co-workers. Whether you work in a supportive or a difficult environment, we all live with the stresses of being employed in a service-oriented field, in which few understand the rigors of our jobs or the stresses that accompany them. So how do we tend to our spirits in the face of a frustrating encounter with a patron, a colleague who makes our day-to-day work stressful, or when we learn that...

Read more | 02/08/2019 - 09:18

By: Erika Lehtonen, Youth Services Librarian, Shelton Timberland Library   When you work in libraries, you give so much of yourself to other people. While most of my experience has been in public libraries, I can imagine library workers from different fields have often felt the same stress, anxiety, and burn out. We can be so busy taking care of others, we forget about taking care of ourselves. One thing I’ve learned is to take time out of my busy week for self-care. Here are a few ideas that work well for me, and I hope they will work well for you, too. Make time...

Read more | 02/01/2019 - 08:00