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.


By Tess Goldwasser | Do you work for a library in a small, rural, conservative community? Are you a frontline staff member there, with no managerial or administrative authority? Do you wish you could do more to make your library more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, but meet with resistance? I hope it’s not just me! I’ve been working as a frontline staff member at a small town library for nearly a decade. I have struggled with trying to affect positive change at my library in the area of inclusivity. It can be disheartening to feel you’re not supported by your library...

Read more | 06/01/2017 - 11:03

By John Amundsen (jamundsen@ala.org), with Monica White and Denise Glaudé | In spring 2016, Denise Glaudé, Chair of Archives and Heritage of the New York Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta reached out to ODLOS to tell us about how the sorority raised funds to sponsor bookmobile services in the Jim Crow south, providing access to information for African Americans when public library services were often unavailable to them. Founded in 1913 at Howard University in Washington, DC, Delta Sigma Theta is a non-profit sorority for college-educated women that focuses on programs serving...

Read more | 05/30/2017 - 11:22

By Samantha Yanity (syanity@ala.org) | On February 6, 2017 librarians and library advocates gathered from across the country for the Project Welcome: Libraries Serving Refugees and Asylum Summit in downtown Chicago. At the poster session, I was struck by a vivid image of a hijab-clad woman with the words  Amira in America tucked neatly into the back of her wrapped head.  Curious, I walked over to the poster to get a better view and picked up a copy of Amira in America – a comic coloring book and resource guide recounting the intimate experience of Syrian refugees.  ...

Read more | 05/09/2017 - 09:30

By John Amundsen (jamundsen@ala.org) | Last month, our colleague Samantha Yanity wrote a post on Intersections on how librarians are ‘superheroes’ - providing access to information and resources that can change lives, and making their communities more inclusive and equitable. During National Library week, we asked our members to share stories on how library workers are changing lives in their every day work. We also invited folks to follow and share their stories on social media, using the #LibrarySuperhero hashtag.   Submitted Stories Annette M. Vadnais - Undergraduate...

Read more | 04/14/2017 - 10:37

By Amanpreet Kaur, Rachelle Nelson, and Rebecca Stuhr (amankaur@upenn.edu) | In 2005, the University of Pennsylvania's Vice Provost & Director of Libraries, Carton Rogers, charged a group to promote diversity in Penn Libraries.  The team consisted of 4 librarians and a representative from the University's Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunities Programs. The team named itself “GOLD” - the Group on Library Diversity, and initially addressed the issue of young people of color not being aware of librarianship as a career choice. GOLD designed a 7-...

Read more | 04/03/2017 - 13:00

By Emma Wood (emma.wood@umassd.edu) | A few years ago I created a LibGuide on the topic of same-sex marriage.  The online guide presented resources and strategies for finding gay marriage articles and caselaw, with a heavy focus on surveying state legislation.  At the time, several organizations were tracking the legislative process with virtual maps of the U.S., and digitally illuminating each state that passed a marriage equality bill.  My LibGuide linked to these maps which, back then, were a spectrum of color and topographical variance.  In 2015, the Obergefell[1]...

Read more | 03/30/2017 - 11:30

By Ann Plazek (plazek@mcdl.info) | Project Read is a partnership between the Medina County Sheriff’s Department and the Medina County District Public Library.  Is your library outreach department interested in working with your county jail or prison system?  Not sure how you would fund such a project?  Here is how we got started… Our MCDL Outreach Department approached the superintendent of our county jail about starting a program similar to Storybook Project that was started in Texas.  The goal of the program is to educate incarcerated parents about the...

Read more | 03/13/2017 - 11:44

By Samantha Yanity (syanity@ala.org) | As a child, I began my life as a voracious reader hungry for knowledge and enamored with words. Feeling left out that my older siblings and my mother (all avid readers) were regularly engaged in conversations about their current read, I begged my mom to teach me how to read at age four. My mother brought me to the public library routinely as part of our regular outing. Library visits, to me, became as exciting as going to the zoo, park, or a museum.  To this day, I find comfort in the library and often when I am stressed out, I visit a library to...

Read more | 03/09/2017 - 10:04

By Melissa Solis (melissa.solis@sdcounty.ca.gov) | It starts with a border crossing. This year’s Seguimos Creando Enlaces Conference will be held on both sides of the border. Now in its sixth year, the free conference will gather librarians from the United States and Mexico on March 9th at CETYS University in Baja California and March 10th at the San Diego Central Library. Conference Chair Ady Huertas understands the impact of the annual event. Huertas explains, “The Seguimos Creando Enlaces Conference is a true collaborative effort that creates links across libraries,...

Read more | 02/17/2017 - 09:47

By John Amundsen (jamundsen@ala.org) | When we launched Intersections back in October, Jody (Director of ODLOS and my boss) said that she wanted us all to write a post reflecting on our individual perspectives on the issues we work with our members to address. As the blog’s ‘editor,’ I figured it would be good if I would step up to write one of the first staff-authored posts. To say that this post was difficult for me to write is an understatement. My role is to facilitate and highlight the work that our members do: the uncompensated, hard, often emotionally taxing, but...

Read more | 01/05/2017 - 12:08

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