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. Please note that these blog posts are by individuals and do not reflect the views of their employers.


By Twanna K. Hodge, Academic/Research Librarian, SUNY Upstate Health Sciences Library As part of the Diversity Research Grants Program sponsored by ODLOS, we've started a monthly spotlight on research advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries.  We welcome your submission of research for inclusion in future spotlights, email us at diversity@ala.org. This month's Spotlight features an interview with Dr. LaTesha Velez and Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas around their work “Mapping Race and Racism in the U.S. Library History Literature, 1997-2015...

Read more | 03/13/2019 - 12:29

By: Mary Hubbard, Assistant Director, Peterborough Town Library Talking about race respectfully and effectively is a daunting prospect. Last summer at the Peterborough Town Library in Peterborough, New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to create a program called “Talking about Race: Staying Curious, Moving Forward and Being Part of the Solution,” which did just that. It was hugely successful and has been repeated at other libraries and community centers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It is a program that can easily be replicated at any library and I encourage you to...

Read more | 03/12/2019 - 10:37

By Carla Davis-Castro, Research Librarian, Library of Congress When it comes to self-care, I have learned a lot from my dogs, Salsa and Tango. Our busy lives may leave us last on our priority list, but here are some things you can do for yourself in order to find renewed focus and energy. 1. Take a break from the screens We use screens for work, socializing, and entertainment. Screens take a toll on our eyes, experts tell us, so give them a break every once in a while. Books don’t produce glare, so I try to read during my work commute instead of checking my phone....

Read more | 03/07/2019 - 08:00

By Christine F. Smith, Collections Services Librarian, Concordia University With the library profession being referred to as a highly stressful job, it’s important for those who work in libraries to develop a toolkit to keep oneself healthy and happy, at work, at home, and generally in life. But, the more we have on our plate, the less time we may have, and the harder it may be to find new ways to improve our lives. With that in mind, this post aims to provide four quick, widely-recommended, tried-and-true tips from the experts and fellow library professionals, to stay centered...

Read more | 02/22/2019 - 15:52

By: Jina DuVernay, Visiting Archivist for African American Collections, Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library I responded to a call for both mentors and mentees from the New Member Round Table program. I thought that it was a great idea and I wanted to participate to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the library profession. Derrick Burton, Library Director of the Luise V. Hanson Library at Waldorf University, and I were paired together and introduced via email by the NMRT Mentoring Program Committee. From that initial exchange until...

Read more | 02/22/2019 - 15:24

By: Cathleen Miller, Curator, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England   As workers, we spend our lives tending to the needs of our organizations, our patrons, and our co-workers. Whether you work in a supportive or a difficult environment, we all live with the stresses of being employed in a service-oriented field, in which few understand the rigors of our jobs or the stresses that accompany them. So how do we tend to our spirits in the face of a frustrating encounter with a patron, a colleague who makes our day-to-day work stressful, or when we learn that...

Read more | 02/08/2019 - 09:18

By: Erika Lehtonen, Youth Services Librarian, Shelton Timberland Library   When you work in libraries, you give so much of yourself to other people. While most of my experience has been in public libraries, I can imagine library workers from different fields have often felt the same stress, anxiety, and burn out. We can be so busy taking care of others, we forget about taking care of ourselves. One thing I’ve learned is to take time out of my busy week for self-care. Here are a few ideas that work well for me, and I hope they will work well for you, too. Make time...

Read more | 02/01/2019 - 08:00

By: Jody Gray, Director, ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services 2019 marked the first year that three affiliates of the American Library Association (ALA) were included in the Youth Media Awards (YMA) announcements. The American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). The decision to include these affiliates was announced at the 2018 Youth Media Awards. I wanted to address questions that have arisen about the inclusion of the affiliate honor titles at the event. ...

Read more | 01/30/2019 - 14:57

  By: Angelica Garcia, Supervisory Librarian, Learning Resources Center, NCO Leadership Center of Excellence We all struggle with living a life of balance. With increased distractions and the roles that we all have in our lives, it is easy for an area in our life to be neglected. How do you know if your life is out of balance? If your credit card debt is so high that you cannot afford to replace a broken appliance, then your finances are out of balance. If you struggle to walk up the stairs or your clothes no longer fit due to weight gain, then your health is out of...

Read more | 01/04/2019 - 09:30

By: Conrrado Saldivar, Adult Services Specialist at the Natrona County Library and MLIS Student at the University of Washington For many library workers in smaller communities, helping someone download an eBook while waiting in line at the grocery is normal. I’ve even served drinks to a former board member at a second job while talking to the table about how adding video games to the collection aligns with our mission statement. Our work weaves its way into our normal, day-to-day activities and keeps us awake at night whether we want it to or not. Taking time for a little self-...

Read more | 12/27/2018 - 09:43