ALA Orlando Highlights– by ALASC Chair Tiana Trutna

This year in Orlando was my first experience with the ALA Annual conference and as I reflect upon it, I came away proud to be pursuing the library profession. 
What made me proud was the intentional attention to increasing diversity, and all the efforts of inclusion. There was a blood drive and a vigil in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting, and most of the bathrooms were gender neutral. You could write a postcard to Governor McCrory in North Carolina in response to the hateful bathroom bill, there was wheelchair access and ASL interpreters were present, and speakers included a transgender woman and a woman whose family had been deported.

The keynote for the opening ceremony was Michael Eric Dyson, who gave a beautiful, brilliant, fiery speech on race relations and relations with LGBTQIA communities. 
I was lucky enough to participate in the Student to Staff program, and supported the International Relations Office, which meant that I got to interact with some of the 395 librarians representing 80 countries.

While there is still much to do, for all of us to actively and intentionally embrace all the beauty of diversity – to be librarians that are not only aware of diversity, but are culturally competent – the fact that there are steps in place to make this a reality, gives me hope. And hope is what we need.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, here are some highlights you can watch.


photo montage courtesy of Tiana Trutna