August 17, 2017

Meredith Schwartz

About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

Be Heard: Advocacy in Action | Federal Advocacy

U.S. library advocates battle unprecedented challenges to federal support; you can help.

Vendors Get Organized | Federal Advocacy

On May 17, some 25 publishers, technology vendors, trade associations, and other businesses serving the library market announced the formation of the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI) to advocate for federal library funding.

Tools You Can Use | Federal Advocacy

At ALA’s recent annual conference, ALA’s Washington Office (WO) reported to Council that the 2017 National Legislative Day was the biggest ever. But if you missed it, fear not—WO and ALA as a whole also have many tips for how local librarians on the front lines can get involved with the fight for federal funding from their hometown without traveling to DC. For more tools and tips, see ALA’s Fight for Libraries! Campaign Tools.

Government, Inside and Out | ALA Annual 2017

The American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, held June 22–27 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, saw booming attendance. At the conference’s end, the convention center had seen 23,545 people come thru the doors, made up of 17,657 attendees and 5,888 exhibitors, beating 2016’s Orlando conference by more than 8,000 people and even narrowly edging out 2015’s San Francisco event by nearly 1,000 attendees. For all those attendees, internal governance was far from the only thing on the agenda, but neither was it forgotten—and, of course, it reflected the currents in the larger worlds of both governance and libraries.

Community Vision | Library Design 2017

Montana’s Belgrade Community Library is perhaps best known to LJ readers as the 2015 Best Small Library in America. After receiving the award, Director Gale Bacon tells LJ, many in the community started asking what the library’s next step was. The 9,700 square foot building presented the six-person staff with “huge physical space challenges,” Bacon says—not only limiting the size of the collection and staff work space but having routinely to turn would-be attendees away from programs. So achieving this milestone seemed like the right time for reexamination.

Rising Above | Library Design 2017

By the time it opens in 2018, the Calgary Public Library’s (CPL) new Central Library will have been 14 years in the making. In 2004, the City of Calgary, Alta., first allocated funding to study its residents’ future library needs. Since then it has committed a whopping $175 million (in Canadian dollars, or $128 million U.S.) to the project, out of a total estimated cost of $245 million (about $180 million U.S.).

Raising Arizona State | Library Design 2017

After the impact of the recession, Arizona State University (ASU) bounced back with an ambitious agenda of innovation, positioning itself as the “New American University.” ASU prides itself instead on being “measured not by whom it excludes but by whom it includes and how they succeed,” and now ASU’s flagship library is reinventing itself to serve the whole student.

Literate on Literacy | Public Library Think Tank

Literacy—and how libraries are reimagining services to address it for patrons of all ages—took center stage at the Northeast Dade–Aventura Branch, Miami Dade Public Library System (MDPLS), FL, March 9–10, at LJ and School Library Journal’s 2017 Public Library Think Tank. The event—targeting “Libraries and Literacies: Redefining Our Impact”—looked at multiple literacies, including digital, media/information, civic, reading, visual, multicultural, and health, and focused on strategic thinking through a literacy lens.

ALA in ATL | ALA Midwinter Preview 2017

From the opening session with political comedian W. Kamau Bell through the closing keynote by actor Neil Patrick Harris, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting sets an ambitious agenda, tackling timely political issues such as how to work with the new presidential administration and Congress; ongoing social concerns like equity and inclusion; and how best to drive the continuing technological transformation of libraries on the one hand and accurately assess our successes—and learn from our failures—on the other.

Aspiration to Action | Diversity 2016

What can we do? This has to be one of the most commonly asked questions in America—even before the recent presidential election brought a wave of hate crimes more pervasive than the one that followed the September 11 attacks. The ongoing impact of bigotry in America is, perhaps, the quintessential “wicked problem.” A legacy of housing discrimination continues to shape neighborhoods—and how they are served by schools, police, and, yes, libraries—to this day. Studies continue to show implicit bias along lines of race and gender that impacts hiring, promotion, compensation, and retention—and explicit bias is still with us. All of these factors feed one another, eluding simple solutions to any that leave the others out of the equation.