CHICAGO – Booklist, the American Library Association’s book review journal, is forging a bold path forward as it dedicates itself to adapting to the evolving needs of its consumers.
In the past year alone, the landscape of librarianship, education, and publishing has been drastically altered by such events as a global pandemic and the urgent call for social justice, and Booklist has taken this opportunity to reexamine its mission and renew its commitment to libraries and the communities that they serve.
As Booklist moves ahead, it is charting its course with the following mission statement:
As the book review journal of the American Library Association, Booklist connects library and education workers to the books and resources needed to support and enrich their communities.
The mission statement reaffirms Booklist’s dedication to linking library staff and readers everywhere with high-quality resources in conjunction with its new advisory board.
The very first volume of Booklist, the American Library Association’s book review journal—published in Boston in January 1905—laid the groundwork for what the magazine is today, expressing its “aims to embody briefly the judgment and experience of librarians for the use of librarians.” The foreword also notes that “in order to make [Booklist] of service to many people, many people should contribute to it,” and, “because of its composite authorship, [Booklist] may vary in its points of view, but it will not lose sight of fairness and truth.”
While Booklist has remained dedicated to these goals, the organization also acknowledges that the world has transformed over the last 116 years.
“It is my honor to work with a dedicated team of advisory board members and staff who eloquently and succinctly articulated the purpose of the American Library Association’s signature review magazine,” said George Kendall, Booklist Editor and Publisher. “With a strong mission to guide all that we do internally, and to frame the value of our content, we are poised and ready for the new and exciting developments to come.”
Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association, commented: “As an association and as a community charged with collecting, disseminating, and stewarding the record of human thought, it is critical that our vehicles for identifying and recommending these works be fully representative of the broadest range of our genius and lived experiences. Only then are such platforms truly credible. Booklist’s evolution – even in my short tenure as ALA Executive Director – is reflective of this commitment to equity, representation, and inclusion, all of which is vital to its continued reach and relevance. “
Booklist is the American Library Association’s nationally distributed book and media review publication. Since 1905, Booklist has been proud to publish thousands of book and audiobook reviews each year, helping library and education workers decide what to buy and how to guide patrons and students of all ages in choosing what to read, view, or listen to. Booklist Publications includes two print magazines, an extensive website and database, e-newsletters, webinars, podcasts, and other literature-based resources that support librarians in collection development and readers’ advisory. For more information on Booklist Publications, including how to become a Booklist reviewer, visit booklistonline.com.
About the American Library Association
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.