Intersections

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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. Please note that these blog posts are by individuals and do not reflect the views of their employers.


By: Raymond Pun, Instruction/Research Librarian, Alder Graduate School of Education, California For the past year and a half, I have been working on my dissertation research focusing on the impact of digital exclusion of the lived experiences of people of color, and how they use their local public library’s technology resources in California. Prior to COVID-19, I interviewed individuals experiencing the digital divide phenomenon and were also avid public library users. I learned that their public library supported their needs on a daily basis. Whether they were receiving...

Read more | 07/10/2020 - 08:00

An Interview with Sol M. Lopez, Technical Services Manager, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center Interviewed by Jaime Groetsema, Technical Services and Collections Management Librarian, Naropa University 1. What made you become interested in mentorship in Technical Services? Mentorship is instrumental in getting grounded in cataloging. Catalogers may get the theoretical basis and some practice in graduate courses, but it is by working with a variety of formats, and the support of experienced catalogers to train and help with questions! I was...

Read more | 07/03/2020 - 08:00

By: Maggie Shawcross, Health Sciences Librarian, University of Northern Colorado Before obtaining my current position as an academic Health Sciences Librarian and Assistant Professor, I worked in a public library as an Adult Services Librarian, and I worked as a Consumer Health Librarian at a hospital library. I want to share my perspective of transitioning from a public to an academic library. Everyone has a different experience, and I hope that you learn from what I have to share. Before starting your search, it is important for you to ask yourself why you want to work in an...

Read more | 06/26/2020 - 08:00

By: Binnie Tate Wilkin Due to the disproportionate number of deaths among minorities during the current coronavirus pandemic combined with the thunderous cries of “I can’t breathe” by street marchers, Juneteenth “freedom” celebrations will be muted in the year 2020. The tragic and brutal death of George Floyd, viewed on television, has shocked younger Americans while arousing specters, among the elders, of Emmett Till, lynchings, massacres, burnings of African American communities, civil rights marches and MORE. The book "Wilmington’s...

Read more | 06/19/2020 - 09:52

Caroline Smith, Inclusive Services Consultant, South Carolina State Library Equitable access to information has long been a goal of the library profession, but when it comes to people with disabilities, full accessibility is still far from reality. Even when accessibility is part of an organization’s goals or strategic plan, the work of accessibility can fall through the cracks if it is not included in job descriptions and day-to-day responsibilities. How do we put accessibility into practice and make it a reality in our organizations? In April 2019, the South...

Read more | 06/12/2020 - 08:00

By: Janelle Ortiz, Library Associate, Arlington Public Library  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arlington Public Library (Virginia) consistently partnered with our local food bank: the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). We have food donation collection boxes at select branches and every year our Central Library cultivates a garden that grows fresh produce which is donated to AFAC. When COVID-19 began and library staff began working remotely, many staff were temporarily assigned duties assisting the county in other capacities. One such assignment was the coordination of...

Read more | 06/05/2020 - 08:00

Maria de Lurdy (Mari) Martinez (she/her/hers) is a 2015 Spectrum Scholar, and attended the leadership institute when ALA Annual was held in San Francisco. She holds an MLIS degree from San Jose State University ‘17 and a BA in Advertising and Marketing from the Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico. She currently works as a Youth Services Librarian in South Florida. She’s experienced a major adjustment, having moved from a small rural library in Napa, CA, to a regional library that serves a large population of children and families in the ninth largest library county system in...

Read more | 04/30/2020 - 11:42

Dr. Michael Gutiérrez (he/him/his) is currently Head of Public Services at South Dakota State University. His previously work experience includes library appointments at New Mexico State University and University of Delaware. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico, a master’s degree in information and library science from the University of Arizona, and a doctoral degree in education leadership from the University of Delaware. Dr. Gutiérrez has been active in national and local library associations. He previously served two terms as an ALA...

Read more | 04/21/2020 - 12:23

By Gavin Baker, Office of Public Policy and Advocacy, Deputy Director, Public Policy and Government Relations The decennial census determines political representation and allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding, and in 2020, libraries’ role will be more important than ever. The 2020 Census will be the first in its 230-year history that can be taken online. Libraries will need to be prepared and engaged to ensure an inclusive and complete count of our nation’s residents so every community receives the resources they deserve. Starting March 12, households...

Read more | 02/25/2020 - 10:47

By: Rick Medrano, Outreach Librarian, High Plains Library District and Rosa Granado, Outreach Manager, High Plains Library District We work in a geographically large and diverse library district, and our district has been restructuring our Outreach department for the last three years. During this time, there has often been a disconnect between branches, staff, administration, and patrons about what Outreach is and what Outreach does. Between the two of us, we have 11 years of Outreach experience. For us, and others who work in Outreach, the definition of Outreach seems apparent. ...

Read more | 12/20/2019 - 08:00