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: Michelle McKinney, Reference & Web Services Librarian, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Library Discovering Self-Care I never gave much thought to the concept of self-care until I became a mother and found myself being pulled in all directions. I’m notorious for juggling lots of things while running on fumes. This cycle usually ends with me getting sick and being forced to stop and recover. I needed to take care of myself so that I could be at my best when I was needed to help others. The question was when would I find the time to take care of me...

Read more | 12/20/2018 - 09:27

  By: Bill Sannwald, Principal Librarian, San Diego County Library When people find out journaling is one of my passions, two things often happen. First, they seem a little surprised because, based on my physical appearance, I’m usually mistaken for someone who would be more into pastimes like watching sports or enjoying craft beers. Second, people usually express to me how much they have wanted to get into journaling but have not been sure where to start or are afraid that it’s too daunting of a commitment.            Now, before...

Read more | 12/17/2018 - 15:50

By: Amy Schofield, Community Outreach Manager, Richland Library I’m fortunate to work in a library system that values innovation in many forms -- including supporting an entire department of library social workers. In 2014, Lee Patterson, LMSW, was hired with grant funding from the Knight Foundation to provide accurate, unbiased information on the then-new Affordable Care Act. Now, our reach includes a team of social workers who provide a range of services, including in-house consultations with library customers, educational opportunities for the incarcerated, health...

Read more | 12/10/2018 - 12:34

By: Mallory Pillard, Library Director, Trinidad Carnegie Public Library After the Association of Rural and Small Libraries Conference, I returned to my library in Trinidad, Colorado to learn of the suicide of one of our patrons experiencing homelessness. I had just presented at ARSL about tips for serving the homeless and discussing the challenges that rural libraries face; it was an uplifting and energetic learning experience. But our patron’s death was particularly emotional for me; he was 21 years old, we had been working together to try and obtain an ID, and I often boiled...

Read more | 12/07/2018 - 09:45

                      By: Jean Demas, Literacy Librarian, Lisle Library District, Lisle, IL Families Together: Reading Enrichment for Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) is a project designed to build social and emotional learning for birth to 5-year-old children from the Ann Reid Early Childhood Center (ARECC), Naperville School District #203. Children are joined by their parents in a weekly program at the Lisle Library District (LLD) that can be transferred from the school and library settings into...

Read more | 11/27/2018 - 12:13

By Beth Nieman, Youth Services Librarian, Carlsbad Public Library, Carlsbad, New Mexico A coffee break or brisk walk can temporarily reduce workplace stress, but what about long-term solutions for a satisfying work environment? Self-care can include nurturing our careers by raising public awareness about the importance of librarians, networking with colleagues, and making time for what we love about our jobs. Pam, a public librarian, shared with me a negative experience she had at a city council meeting. Pam voiced her concerns about parents dropping off young children at the...

Read more | 11/20/2018 - 16:04

By: Alison M. Armstrong, Collection Management Librarian, Radford University, Radford, Virginia “Leave work at work” is great in theory but not always attainable. When things are stressful, you take it home. If you are like me, you carry it around with you by replaying conversations and enumerating all of the issues, preparing to make your case to anyone who will listen. When I am not at work, I need a way to disengage my brain from work. Some ways I de-stress: A bath. I have a fear of getting books wet which means I can’t read in the bath so I light candles...

Read more | 11/20/2018 - 15:47

By: Rachel Hadidi, PhD, Community Outreach Librarian, Plano Public Library, Plano, Texas Are you looking for ways to connect with your community outside the library walls? Preparing a strong, diverse group of staff for outreach opportunities is key to our success. Plano Public Library (PPL) continues to support staff participation with training, clear procedures and roles, and a “just one thing” theme to build confidence and engagement.   Guided by a new strategic plan, PPL launched an initiative to increase community engagement in 2016. At that time, the few...

Read more | 11/20/2018 - 15:37

By: Rhiannon Sorrell, Instruction and Digital Services Librarian, Kinyaa'áanii Charlie Benally Library Every year, ALA puts out a call for project proposals for the Emerging Leaders Program (EL), a leadership development program for professionals in their first five years in the librarianship field. For the 2018 cohort of Emerging Leaders, AILA submitted a proposal, “Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums of the United States Directory & Interactive Map,” which was shortlisted as one of many project options for the incoming group professionals. The goal of this...

Read more | 11/12/2018 - 12:26

Hadeal Salamah, Children’s Librarian, D.C. Public Library After reflecting on my time spent at JCLC, I realized that I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the presentations that I have heard. We are a community of information professionals, and yet, there is so much ignorance in our community in dealing with culture, diversity, race, etc. It’s even more evident that there is a problem as I think about staff relations and how they relate to those issues. At the discussion panel I attended called “Mentoring the Next Generation of Librarians of Color,” I...

Read more | 10/26/2018 - 10:00