I am ALA

Meet ALA Member: Nicholas Alexander Brown


Nicholas Alexander Brown, M.Mus, M.S.L.I.S.
Director of Special Productions & Initiatives
Washington Performing Arts
Washington, D.C.

How do you make change happen?

Advocating for change is such an important part of librarianship—no matter the role or setting, given the rapid changes in our society. The values we uphold and defend—from intellectual freedom to cultural equity—are essential ingredients for effectively serving our communities and customers. It is our responsibility to affect change in order to meet evolving needs from all of our customers. I really believe in the “it takes a village” mantra. As librarians and information professionals, we must inspire stakeholders to see the collective benefits of growth and evolution (and yes, data helps with this!). Often times the most impactful change is incremental, but it’s important that we stay motivated to be proactive about identifying opportunities to drive change, whether it takes the form of introducing a new public program format (e.g. Drag Queen Story Time) or ensuring that our collections development policies balance patron-driven interests with long-term strategies for preserving cultural memory.

What are you currently reading/ listening to/ watching/ making?

I’m currently reading my way through my Pride Month #TBR (To Be Read) pile, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The books range from Sarah McBride’s powerful memoir Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and The Fight for Trans Equality to the original script of Boys in the Band by Matt Crowley. Right now I’m making my way through Darryl W. Bullock’s David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music, which feels like the perfect convergence for my music librarian and LGBTQ+ curatorial hats. One of my favorite parts about being involved in ALA is being a GLBTRT membership, which provides me the opportunity to learn from amazing colleagues from across the country and beyond.