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: Katrina Spencer, Librarian for African American and African Studies, the University of Virginia; and Mara Thacker, South Asian Studies & Global Popular Culture Librarian, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign   Katrina Spencer (right) interviews Mara Thacker (left) about a new publication, the Journal for Library Outreach & Engagement (JLOE).   Katrina Spencer: What is the Journal for Library Outreach & Engagement (JLOE)?  Mara Thacker: The Journal of Library Outreach and Engagement (JLOE) was started back in...

Read more | 01/15/2021 - 08:00

  By: Kiera Vargas, Owner, ePIFhany Every year my son ages, I become more anxiety-ridden. Whether he drives to the store to pick up an item I forget or whether he goes thrifting with his friend, periodically I check his location. His dad and I brainstormed phrases to put on bumper stickers for his car, I have left my sorority tag on his car, and I purchased his dad's fraternity tag to also place on his car. I want him to be marked because unfortunately, he is a target. I remind him daily that although “your dad is a police officer and your mom holds a Juris Doctorate...

Read more | 11/20/2020 - 08:00

By: Nicholas Alexander Brown, COO for Communication and Outreach, Prince George's County Memorial Library System On July 20, 2020, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS), PGCMLS Foundation, and three partners in Prince George’s County convened a timely conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi on his landmark book “How to Be an Antiracist.” While Dr. Kendi participates in events virtually every day, this event proved to galvanize local, national, and international interest. Working with PGCMLS and the Maryland State Library, 19...

Read more | 11/13/2020 - 08:00

By: Jennifer T. Nardine, T&LE Librarian, Coordinator of Int'l Outreach, Libraries at Virginia Tech I didn’t know, when I took this picture below, that it would be something of a running theme this year. It’s been…an adventure, to say the least. At this point, some of us are numb while others feel deeply and overwhelmingly.   I’ve heard a lot about self-care in the last months and, as a rising mental health counselor as well as a librarian, it’s a multifaceted concept. The self-care wheel—a visual...

Read more | 11/06/2020 - 08:00

By: Tina Chan, Reference Services Program Manager and Social Sciences Librarian, MIT Libraries Self-care Strategies for a Healthy Work-Life Balance Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many people.  Like many, I practice social-distancing and wear a mask while outside, and I work from home since my library closed. I had to set up and adapt to my work-from-home space while setting boundaries since my work and home spaces were in the same location. I recognize I am privileged to work from home while others were laid off,...

Read more | 10/30/2020 - 08:00

By: Karen I. Berry, Instruction Librarian, John Preston McConnell Library at Radford University In early 2020, two of my instruction librarian colleagues and I had finished reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and felt prepared to address the symptoms of white fragility that we had seen in ourselves and our coworkers. While previous efforts toward social justice in the library had fizzled out, reading this book and hearing first-hand from a Black faculty member of a microaggression they had experienced in the library made us decide that it was time for another try....

Read more | 10/23/2020 - 08:00

By: Melody Scagnelli-Townley, Outreach Librarian, Bayonne Public Library I think we can all agree that 2020 is indeed a strange time. “Self-care” seems like such a trite phrase to use when in the midst of a literal global pandemic and many of us feel like we’re in damage control and self-protection modes most or all of the time. I was suddenly thrust into work-from-home by my library’s closure on March 16. My job as Outreach Librarian focused on helping patrons in person at the Reference Desk...so how was I supposed to work from home? People...

Read more | 10/16/2020 - 08:00

By: Kevin Adams, Information Literacy Librarian, Alfred University Libraries This summer I was lucky enough to begin working as the Information Literacy Librarian at a small private liberal arts college nestled in a rural village in upstate New York. As I made the move from a city in the Midwest, I was concerned that I would lose the anti-racist energy that I had been personally building through involvement with marches whose size rivaled the entire student population of my new institution. By happy coincidence, my first day on the job included a librarian faculty...

Read more | 10/02/2020 - 08:00

By: Emma Wood, Associate Librarian, UMass Law Library Libraries may emerge from the COVID-19 crisis in a posture of growth. There are two clear opportunities for librarians to seize.  First, the pandemic has brought to light the importance of “third place.”  The term refers to space that is separate from home and work where we seek conversation, neutral ground, and comfort in feeling connected.  Examples include bars, coffee shops, churches, and beauty salons. Urban Sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined the phrase in his 1989 book The Great Good Place. ...

Read more | 09/30/2020 - 15:50

By: Hannah Lee Park, Education and School of Professional & Extended Studies Librarian, American University Library The Writing Studies/Information literacy committee at American University, which is a joint committee between the Writing Studies Program and the Library, received an Inclusive Excellence Collaboration mini-grant to gather, annotate, and disseminate scholarship in antiracist praxis. There were three prongs to the Antiracist Praxis project: the creation of a subject guide and two in-person Teach-Ins. The Antiracist Praxis subject guide identifies the main ideas, key...

Read more | 09/30/2020 - 13:48