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: Deena Caswell, Supervisor of Outreach and Diversity, Cherry Hill Public Library “Drag queens will read to kids at Cherry Hill library, and it sounds like fun” read the headline in the May 31, 2017 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. If only it had been that simple. In early 2017, I began planning for the third running of my “Pride at the Library” event series, celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. Previous years’ programming had included film screenings, book discussions, and informational sessions from local organizations like PFLAG...

Read more | 10/11/2019 - 08:00

By: Babak Zarin, Access Services Librarian, Central Rappahannock Regional Library   Mentoring. An ancient idea, the word itself dates back to Homer’s Odyssey. mentoring has become a highly recommended way to help students discover how their academic skills and knowledge can apply to practice and to figure out reasonable professional goals. And many students enjoy having someone offer them guidance as they develop their professional identity as librarians, making mentors highly sought after. But how do you find the mentor that’s right for you?...

Read more | 10/03/2019 - 08:00

Yuri Shimoda obtained an MLIS at UCLA, with a focus in media archival studies, in June 2019. While at UCLA Shimoda helped to establish the first student chapter of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), co-founded Basement Tapes Day, and served as a Graduate Student Assistant at the UCLA Music Library and a UCLA Community Archives Lab/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Intern at Visual Communications, a media arts center for Asian-American and Pacific Islander filmmakers. Shimoda has also served a summer as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow in the Recorded Sound Section at the...

Read more | 10/01/2019 - 11:43

By:  Shu Wan, Student, University of Iowa My name is Shu Wan and I am originally from China.  I’ve been enrolled as an MLIS student at the University of Iowa for almost one month and I have already served as an ArchivesSpace assistant in the Department of Special Collections of the UI Libraries for over one year. Initially coming to Iowa to pursue an advanced degree in U.S. history, I had no idea of library job before getting this assistant job. It was my first interaction with the library profession. As the only foreigner among students and staff working in the...

Read more | 09/27/2019 - 08:00

By: Denice Adkins, Associate Professor, School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, University of Missouri 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 we highlight, Dr. Amy VanScoy of the University at Buffalo and Dr. Kawanna Bright (then a doctoral student at the University of Denver) to discuss their research into...

Read more | 09/20/2019 - 08:00

By: Sally Inglett, President & Founder, MEternally, LLC A dementia-friendly movement is sweeping the nation, and for good reason. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that almost 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related diseases, and a projected 14 million will be by 2050 unless a cure is found.  We need to be concerned that these populations, along with personal and professional caregivers, are considered when creating offerings for patrons. The time has come where most lives are impacted by or connected to...

Read more | 09/13/2019 - 08:00

By: Tommy Vinh Bui, Teen and Adult Services, Los Angeles County Library  Long have I found myself adrift in a constantly roiling strait of changing cultural identities and blurry borders of personal allegiances. I’m the child of Vietnamese refugees and grew up in the largely Spanish-speaking neighborhood of Pacoima and have found myself serving as a librarian in an array of vulnerable communities throughout my career. My most recent stint as a librarian is  in the city of Inglewood. Inglewood is currently undergoing an economic renaissance but wrests with urgent issues...

Read more | 09/06/2019 - 08:00

By: Babak Zarin, Access Services Librarian, Central Rappahannock Regional Library So there you are. Your department is throwing a social reception, and you want to talk with someone, but you have no idea how to get started and you’re starting to wonder why you came in the first place. Social networking is a skill, one that can take a lot of time and experience to develop since it involves you having to go places and speak with people you may not know very well. Social networking is also an increasingly required skill to have as we shift into the “Age of...

Read more | 08/29/2019 - 09:00

  By: Katrina Spencer, Literatures & Cultures Librarian, Middlebury College For two years now, I have been publishing a weekly book review column, “The Librarian Is In,” in Middlebury College’s weekly print and digital newspaper, The Campus. I have found it a wonderfully enriching experience that has benefited the community, my critical thinking, my relationships with library users and even one of my side hustles. Let me share some of the cool takeaways and results from my journey. You remain in the public eye. One of the challenges...

Read more | 08/23/2019 - 07:00

By: Kasey Butcher Santana, Ph.D., Library Specialist, Arapahoe Libraries “It worked!" our inmate worker told me when he came in one Tuesday. "My cellie stayed up really late reading the book and then I saw him go next door and I thought there was going to be a fight, but they were talking about what they thought was going to happen. They never talk." Our inmate worker was responding to a program Arapahoe Libraries ran in the Arapahoe County Detention Facility over late spring called One Book, One Facility. The program was designed to build community by...

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