Libraries and the legacy of 9/11

American Libraries logo

In our September/October issues, we examine the lasting effects of the September 11, 2001, attacks on libraries and librarians. The stories in this special report include: a look back at the  and the documentation activities that followed this immense cultural loss; recollections from librarians who with programs and information about Islam and the Middle East; a profile on —a small Canadian town that found itself in the spotlight when 6,500 travelers were diverted there after the attacks; an overview of  of September 11; and an interview about , the four librarians who challenged the Patriot Act and government overreach that followed the attacks. Twenty years on, these accounts remain powerful and relevant, serving as a reminder of the profession’s role in telling and keeping our collective history....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

ALA is working with state chapters and state libraries in the Gulf region and East Coast to gather and provide reports of libraries that were damaged during Hurricane Ida. ALA will be providing updates through its media channels and on its . Members and library supporters interested in helping rebuild libraries to help their communities recover can donate at (select Disaster Relief Fund)....

ALA Chapter Relations Office

Marshall Breeding writes: “On September 1, Francisco Partners, a private equity investment firm, announced it had acquired Follett School Solutions. Follett School Solutions’ products include the Destiny Library Manager used by many US K–12 school libraries, the Aspen Student Information System, and the Titlewave ecommerce platform, which it uses to distribute print and digital content for educational institutions. Francisco Partners states that it does not plan to fold Follett School Solutions into any of its other educational technology business and will operate it as an independent company. It may bring new business or technology assets to strengthen its acquisition, a common strategy among investment firms.”...

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 8



Luxer One has introduced an innovative solution to the struggling public library communities affected by COVID-19 with their Smart Lockers. Smart Lockers offer a safe, contactless self-service pickup and return process for staff and patrons. Luxer One’s integrated technology can even be synced with leading integrated library service platforms to provide in-depth tracking on every item that is exchanged via smart locker. These durable lockers provide an intuitive user experience with 24-hour access for busy families in need of materials. For more information on Smart Lockers, visit: .



Robert “Jay” Malone took the helm of ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries on September 7. As ACRL’s new executive director, Malone will lead the largest of ALA’s eight divisions, which includes more than 9,000 individual and institutional members. Malone answered our 11 Questions to introduce himself to ALA members....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 8

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall writes: “Almost a year ago, guided by member leaders and staff, ALA began work on a pivot strategy. Titled ‘The Pathway to Transformation,’ the five-year plan culminates in 2026—the year ALA turns 150—and is guided by , and a commitment to deepening ALA’s equity, diversity, inclusion, and social ­justice–centered work and impact.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Five libraries are winners of the 2021 Library Building Awards, sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (a division of ALA) and the American Institute of Architects. The awards recognize the best in library architecture and design and are open to any architect licensed in the United States. Projects may be located anywhere in the world....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Latest Library Links

Booklist, ALA’s review publication, proudly announces the launch of , a new digital library patron–facing magazine featuring diverse readers’ advisory recommendations for readers of all ages. Each month, Booklist Reader will showcase top-10 lists; must-reads; interviews with (and articles by) top authors and illustrators; and adult, youth, and audio recommendations for all communities and all who love to read. Booklist Reader will be freely available to all from now through the December 2021 issue....

Booklist Publications, Sept. 7

Do you have a burning question (about censorship) for New York Times–bestselling author and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds? If you’re a teen or an educator, a librarian, or a bookseller who works with teens, the Banned Books Week Coalition wants to include you in its with Jason Reynolds at 1 p.m. Eastern on September 28. , and they could be included in the conversation....

Banned Books Week, Aug. 31

Using a new documentary, librarians throughout Rhode Island are trying to dispel the misconceptions about school librarians as tight, quiet, stoic, and rigid. These librarians want to show that libraries can be safe places for student empowerment, transform libraries into learning communities, and prove that reading is fun. The short film was produced by the School Librarians of Rhode Island and in collaboration with University of Rhode Island....

Cranston (R.I.) Herald, Sept. 1

ALA news and press releases

Nina Metz writes: “Launched in August, is the brainchild of Maya Cade, who works as the audience development strategist at The Criterion Collection. But in her own time, she’s been developing a comprehensive register of more than 200 Black films made between 1915 and 1979 that are available to watch via streaming. It’s a labor-intensive, impressive project and it is Cade’s response to a question she has been mulling for some time now: What does it mean to make Black film history accessible?”...

Chicago Tribune, Sept. 2

Justin Wm. Moyer writes: “When supporters of D.C. Public Library’s Mt. Pleasant branch printed shirts that said, ‘What’s more punk than the public library?’ earlier this year, they thought they would sell 50. Instead, they’ve sold 7,000, made $100,000, and started a viral campaign that’s redefining a community resource typically associated with shushing.”...

Washington Post, Sept. 4

NYPL School Outreach Librarian Tiffany James writes: “For many New Yorkers, this time of commemoration is a moment to teach, discuss, and reflect on our recent history with readers who had not yet been born. As the book discussion, recommendations, and resources below attest, there are lots of ways to explore 9/11 and the legacy of that terrible day with kids and teens, both in the classroom and at home.”...

NYPL Blogs, Sept. 7

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the .


Editor, AL Direct:

Direct ad inquiries to:

Send news and feedback:


All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site. .


American Libraries will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the .


To manage your American Libraries email preferences, please click .

To unsubscribe from all American Library Association communications, click .


American Library Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Higher Logic