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 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

By Tom Twiss (ttwiss@pitt.edu) | This past June two leading Palestinian librarians addressed the ALA annual conference in Orlando on the topic “Palestinian Libraries Under Occupation.” The program with Randa Kamal, President of the Palestinian Library Association, and Diana Sayej-Naser, director of the main library at Birzeit University and general coordinator of the Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO, represented the culmination of more than a year of effort and collaboration between Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) and the Social...

Read more | 12/21/2016 - 16:41

By Andrew Luck | When the Paterson Free Public Library applied for the ALA/Dollar General American Dream grant, we had few ESL resources when compared to the needs of the community.  The city of Paterson is over 50% Hispanic with burgeoning Turkish, Arab, Bengali, and African communities as well.  Additionally, with almost 50% of the city’s population “not in the labor force”, over a quarter of the population living below the poverty line, and the high school graduation rate at 70%, it was clear that the residents of Paterson would benefit from more ESL offerings...

Read more | 11/11/2016 - 11:00

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