As usual, ALA was a whirlwind of panels, book buzzes, parties, and my favorite—meeting librarians in the inevitable lines for food and bathrooms (will the conference centers ever figure this out?). The best fun was at the AAP Library Family Feud, where librarians took on authors about such burning questions as what 100 librarians said [...]
Salem Press, which was purchased in 2009 by EBSCO, is moving and shaking once again. Under a new exclusive license between EBSCO Publishing and Grey House, Salem’s literary, history, health, and science works will now be published by Grey House. The company is mainly known for its directories and other ready-reference content, and recently bought [...]
It’s said that in a recession, people opt for old-world comforts. While in the electronic world there isn’t much that’s old world, the librarians who responded to this year’s call for best-database nominations name some mainstays that are likely to inspire some e-nostalgia. Consumer Reports, CultureGrams, and Guide to Reference are resources we’ve relied upon [...]
The librarians who attended Saturday’s “What’s Next for Virtual Reference” discussion group at ALA left with a lot to ponder. The program featured Courtney L. Young who is a librarian at Penn State University and a member of ALA’s executive board, but perhaps better known to the library world as the prolific Tweeter @librarycourtney. Young, [...]
It was not until well into the conversation between New York Times columnist Gail Collins and Library Journal senior editor Margaret Heilbrun that there was any mention of Collins’s absorption with Mitt Romney’s dog, but the audience didn’t want for amusement as Collins discussed her latest book, As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (Norton, 2012).
On January 21, 2012, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, LJ met with reference publishers, database aggregators, and public and academic reference librarians to discuss recent events and issues in the library world. It had been an exciting week. In protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect [...]
On January 21, 2012, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, LJ met with reference publishers, database aggregators, and public and academic reference librarians to discuss recent events and issues in the library world. It had been an exciting week. In protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which would have effectively forced online sites to police user-generated content, online reference giant Wikipedia had “gone dark” for a day.
The blackout was fresh in everyone’s mind and inspired some soul-searching about overreliance on this resource by patrons and librarians alike. But the group covered lots of other topics, too, from debates over patron-driven acquisition (PDA) and how to get reluctant students and faculty into academic libraries, to innovative ways to measure usage and get marketing help from vendors. The following comments are highlights of the conversation.