December 11, 2017

Not Business as Usual | ALA Midwinter 2017

In spite of intermittent rain, the mild temperatures of Atlanta, GA, made it a welcome destination for the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, held January 20–24. Current events—notably the inauguration on Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th president—drove a series of offerings that were definitely not business as usual.

Lisa Lucas: The National Book Foundation and Libraries

In March, Lisa Lucas will complete her first year as executive director of the National Book Foundation (NBF). Lucas took the reins of the nonprofit, which oversees the 67-year-old National Book Awards (NBA), when Harold Augenbraum stepped down. She has her sights set on further enlarging NBF’s reach; LJ caught up with Lucas to find out more about what she has planned and how libraries fit into the NBF’s vision.

Jill Bourne: LJ’s 2017 Librarian of the Year

When she arrived to direct California’s San José Public Library in 2013, Jill Bourne faced the effects of years of decimating budget shortfalls and service cuts. The effectiveness with which Bourne spearheaded her Library Access Strategy, opened the libraries, built new relationships with and support from San José’s civic leadership, and leveraged partnerships and fostered innovation—and is now reaching beyond the library to a new citywide Education and Digital Literacy Initiative—has won over a newly inspired staff and convinced our judges to name her the 2017 LJ Librarian of the Year, sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

Julie Webb: Tennessee’s Friend of the Year

At their Trustees/Friends luncheon on April 8, the Tennessee Library Association and Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL) jointly honored longtime Friend Julie D. Webb with their Friend of the Year Award, which celebrates a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to a Friends organization and the advancement of libraries in the state.

Jenna Hartel | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2016

On her website, Jenna Hartel talks of “a different character of LIS”—one rooted in positivity, curiosity, and proactivity. It’s what she calls “the bright side of information,” a focus on the upbeat aspect of library studies that has won Hartel, associate professor on the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto (U of T), a special spot in the hearts of her students and fellow faculty members—and the 2016 Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by ­Rowman & Littlefield.

ULC Awards Celebrate 2016 Top Innovators

The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) announced the winners of the 2016 ULC Top Innovators Award at the 2016 ULC Annual Forum in Kansas City, MO, on October 6. The award showcases ULC’s Innovations Initiative honoring 20 public libraries whose services “demonstrate how our members, and public libraries in general, continue to evolve and serve as essential technology, education and community leaders,” according to the press release.

Maximizing the Message | LJ 2016 Marketer of the Year Award

Few libraries were untouched by the economic downturn of the 2000s. As systems began to rebound, however, a challenge was to replace the perception that they were down and out with the new reality of extended hours, replenished staff, and improved services. The strongest marketers among them also focused on the stories behind those comebacks, and information about what users could expect going forward. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), in the city of Charlotte and County of Mecklenburg, NC, was determined not just to recover but to come back stronger than ever, to make sure its customers knew it—and to give them a chance to tell their side of the story.

Three More Standouts | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Honorable Mentions

The New Landmark Library Honorable Mentions are three standout academic libraries destined to become classics.

Odegaard Undergraduate Library | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Winner

Through careful programming and design strategies to preserve the essence of the original building, the 2013 renovation of the Odegaard Under­graduate Library at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle not only meets the demand for active learning environments on campus but further catalyses it. The renovation transformed the interior from dark, decentralized, and difficult to navigate to a light-filled hub of activity and stimulus for pedagogical change.

James B. Hunt Jr. Library | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Winner

When the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh opened in 2013, it aimed to define the research library of the 21st century. In its place on the Centennial campus, sitting at the edge of a grand oval green space, the library connects two sections of campus, improves walkability, and anchors student activity across the represented disciplines.