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: Maggie Shawcross, Adult Services Librarian, High Plains Library District A few months back I was approached by a patron. She asked me if I knew about public charge and its implication to those who were seeking residency status or citizenship. She was concerned for a family member who had recently withdrawn herself and family off all public assistance. This cousin has a child with a chronic condition and the patron was worried that this child was no longer covered by government-sponsored health insurance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give her an answer as I was only vaguely aware...

Read more | 06/20/2019 - 09:00

  By: April Sheppard, Assistant Library Director, Arkansas State University Working in an academic library, one quickly learns the impact that library use can have on first-year student success. Not only do we get immediate feedback in the thanks we receive and seeing students return to the library, research repeatedly shows that library use increases first-year students’ GPA and retention. In one 2014 study, some library activities appear to show improvement after just one use.1 To see if this trend held up at Arkansas State University, we measured the impact of the...

Read more | 06/13/2019 - 09:00

  By: Celise Reech-Harper, Associate Director, Beauregard Parish Library Accessibility and inclusivity are often discussed in terms of physical barriers to reaching resources: distances that are too long, rooms that are not navigable, presentations that are unintelligible. However, accessibility is also often dictated by social constraints, expectations, and impressions. The presence of that particular type of access challenge surfaced in my library’s service area last year amid discussions with local partner agencies and community members. While senior adults in...

Read more | 06/06/2019 - 09:00

  By: Monica Porter, Access Services Supervisor, University of Michigan, Shapiro Library and Substitute Librarian, Ypsilanti District Library Academic Outreach and Young People! I am an Access Services Supervisor and a librarian by degree at the University of Michigan, “U of M.”  We are partners with Washtenaw County which assists young adults, 16-24 with internships. Many of the students have stories to tell that range from living in shelters to being in single-parent homes. We have been a part of the Summer Youth Employment program since 2016 and it has...

Read more | 05/31/2019 - 09:00

  By: Christina Caputo, Youth Services Librarian, Arlington Heights Memorial Library Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, all children were homeschooled. Presently, home-based learning has rising numbers of families opting for home-based teaching and learning. Homeschooling is not a novel or trendy movement. In fact, it was the norm centuries ago, for parents (or tutors in wealthy families) to educate the children at home. Public schooling is relatively new compared to homeschooling, which began in the middle of the 19th century.   In 2016, there was an estimated 2....

Read more | 05/23/2019 - 08:00

By: Bob Sisson, Librarian, Northeast Regional Library Our library, the Northeast Regional Library, hosted an Immigrant Resources Fair on June 8, 2018. We are located in northeast Philadelphia and are part of the Free Library of Philadelphia. As a librarian at this location, I work in the Social Sciences and Technology department. In the past, I have done job fairs, community fairs, business fairs, and other large events. I thought the immigrant community could benefit from the same type of event. My idea was to locate, talk to, and attract prospective exhibitors. They were not charged...

Read more | 05/16/2019 - 08:00

  By Joy Urbina, Information Literacy Librarian, University of Texas at El Paso Library Over the years, I have been a mentee and a mentor, in which I have gained several insights. A mentorship is not just for the benefit of the mentee, it is a vehicle for communication between two individuals interested in sharing and appreciating knowledge. I have personally learned just as much from my mentees as I have from my mentors; however, it is crucial to choose the right mentor or accept the right mentee. One place to start is in local library associations, which normally have student...

Read more | 05/09/2019 - 12:00

By: Christina Giovannelli Caputo, Youth Services Librarian, Arlington Heights Memorial Library Fostering employee growth through mentorship accelerates learning and leads to success in the workplace. Whether in professional or private worlds, a feeling of support aids development when transferring to a new role. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have strong mentors. I am very privileged to have grown as a professional under their guidance and expertise. Building relationships is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Emily Loeffler and I met in 2017 when...

Read more | 05/02/2019 - 10:46

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