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: Maggie Halterman-Dess, Library Annex Coordinator, University of Iowa Libraries At Thanksgiving last November, before the Sars-Cov-2 Novel Coronavirus was even a news oddity, I said goodbye to my elderly relatives with a sense that this might be the last time I saw some of them. Although I would be spending the December holidays with my in-laws or at home, we parted looking forward to seeing one another again at Easter. You know the rest. Our traditional Easter potluck was canceled, along with everything else after mid-March. It was a disappointment to miss one of...

Read more | 09/25/2020 - 08:00

By: Deborah Hakes, Director of Communications and Marketing, Georgia Public Library Service For the 35,000 residents of Harris County, Georgia, the local library has been a lifeline during COVID-19 closures. The two-year-old facility is a focal destination point in Hamilton, a rural town with around 1,100 residents located just north of Columbus, Georgia. “To say libraries are still offering a vital service during the pandemic would be an understatement,” said Ryan Willoughby, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Georgia, Inc. “There is...

Read more | 09/18/2020 - 08:00

By: Tommy Vinh Bui, Teen & Adult Services Librarian, Los Angeles County Library  Any number of things can be the source of surplus stress these days for a librarian. From the sight of aisles completely abandoned of patrons to the unrelenting uncertainty and feelings of displacement stirred by constant teleworking, these are turbulent and disorienting times we’re enduring, and day by day the challenges seem to compound. Our very identity as librarians are ostensibly being existentially dismantled before our eyes. But if librarians are adept at anything,...

Read more | 09/11/2020 - 08:00

By: Nick Demske, Community Resources Librarian, Racine Public Library (Wisconsin) and Elkid Alvarez Maldonado, Community Engagement Specialist/ Especialista de Alcance Comunitario, Kenosha Public Library (Wisconsin) In January 2019, before COVID-19, George Floyd, and before the Racine/Kenosha community was literally on fire every night, ALA put out a call for applications for library workers to become “Racial Healing Circle (RHC) Facilitators.” After reading all the materials provided, neither one of us understood what it was, but it was evocative. We applied and were...

Read more | 09/09/2020 - 11:00

  By Rachael-Joy Davis, Library Services Specialist, California State University, Sacramento University Library As a member of the User Services department, I supervise 25-30 student employees at a busy library service desk. Our student employees are the first and last faces library patron see when entering or exiting the library. They are fulfillment operators and shelvers, reference and roving reference support, and technology troubleshooters. They are friendly, familiar faces to our patrons and provide exceptional service in a non-threatening, positive, and inspirational...

Read more | 09/04/2020 - 08:00

By: Lorraine LaPrade, Librarian/ Services Associate, City University of New York/ Teachers College, Columbia University Before COVID-19 and the switch to remote work, I kept my position as a librarian—champion of the research process—and my background as an artist and social dancer—champion of creative expression, lover of the dance break—separate. However, working remotely has shown me that in order to manage all of my responsibilities, I needed to bring these, seemingly, unrelated experiences together. Once I added a little more dancer to my...

Read more | 09/02/2020 - 12:44

By: Elby Wang, Reference/Outreach Librarian, Cherry Hill Public Library   Keeping a library program alive year after year is a mighty endeavor for any team. At Cherry Hill Public Library, our English as a Second Language (ESL) teammates have become even more than a team. We have become a family, and I am writing to share our ESL family’s quarantine story.  We are proud to share that our volunteer teachers are teaching seven classes a week with remote learning, including conversation, reading, writing, and book club classes. Moreover, new connections continue to be...

Read more | 08/27/2020 - 08:00

By: Karleen Delaurier-Lyle, Information Services Librarian, Xwi7xwa Library I have worked at Xwi7xwa Library for approximately three years, both as a student worker and as the Information Services Librarian. At the reference desk, I am frequently asked how people can make their research relevant to the land they are on. I humbly offer up this blog post as a place for people to think about themselves, the places they are from, and the land they occupy. In a recent UBC Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (CTLT) webinar session called "Centering Indigenous Perspectives in...

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

By: Talia Evans, Media Relations Specialist, Kansas City Public As stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations were handed down as COVID-19 spread, the first thought on the minds of so many at the Kansas City Public Library was, ‘how can we still help our community?’ More importantly, what about those who rely on us for access to a computer and the internet? After figuring out the basics, the focus quickly shifted to the digital divide which exists in our city. Citywide, 13 percent of all homes don’t have a computer and 17 percent are without...

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

By: Laura Lipke, MLIS The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our service to communities in ways librarians could never have foreseen. Even with historic knowledge of the 1918 Pandemic, no amount of disaster planning could have prepared the profession for the implications we are facing in this current crisis. However, there are many insights we may now learn from these circumstances. One of these lessons is in the methods and sources we utilize to design and communicate with our patrons from traditionally underserved communities. As librarians, we are well aware of the increasing...

Read more | 07/30/2020 - 08:00