In a time when the mission of libraries is rapidly evolving, how can we craft buildings that not only endure but thrive when meeting new challenges? This question underlined the learning at LJ’s Design Institute (DI) held May 16 in Salt Lake City. Presenters and peers asked attendees to redefine how they thought about sustainability, exploring the idea in terms of conserving energy and being environmentally responsible and looking at the sustainability of a building holistically—from how comfortable patrons and employees are to how the space can change to support new ventures, some of which designers and librarians might not have imagined yet.
On June 6, the City University of New York (CUNY) held its first library assessment conference. Called Reinventing Libraries: Reinventing Assessment, the event grew from its initial target of 100 attendees to almost twice that many, and positive feedback from many attendees included calls for the conference to be repeated, or even turn into an annual event. Several recurring themes became leit motifs running throughout the day: turning from an emphasis on exclusively quantitative to qualitative assessment, libraries partnering with faculty on instruction, and the intersection of outcomes measurement and predictive analytics in a new granular portrait of individual students’ library use.
On November 8, 2013, librarians and architects from around the country gathered at the newly renovated Central Branch of the St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) to discuss the present and future of building libraries at LJ’s Design Institute (DI). The watchword of the fall 2013 DI was flexibility, and the emphasis of the event was on creating libraries that can adapt to serve new purposes—some of which librarians and designers can’t even yet foresee.
With Book Expo America (BEA) just one month away, one of the publishing industry’s biggest events is in hot water with readers and writers alike as the company has been taken to task in recent days for assembling a list of guests at the consumer-centric May 31st BookCon event that consists of 30 white writers and one Internet-famous cat. The lack of diversity drew fire on social media, where readers, writers, and book critics have weighed in on the pallid lineup as a symptom of larger problems the publishing industry has in addressing diversity.
On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content. EBSCO is a platinum sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Scott Wasinger, Vice President of Sales for eBooks and Audiobooks at EBSCO Publishing, in the third of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.
LJ’s Design Institute (DI) in Cuyahoga County, OH, was itself an example of one of the major trends it planned to cover—flexibility. When Hurricane Sandy rendered New York–based LJ staff and many presenters incommunicado or unable to travel to the event on its originally scheduled date, architects and the event’s host, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), worked with LJ to pull off a rescheduled get-together only a month later on December 14, 2012. Attendees rearranged their schedules to provide a full house despite the short notice and approaching holiday season.
In April, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries program hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, the aptly named Peer Learning Meeting (PLM). According to the Gates Foundation, the conference is held roughly every 18 months and is described as “a multiday event where Global Libraries (GL) grantees, staff, and partners meet to exchange ideas and experiences, share success stories and challenges, discuss practical solutions, and build relationships with their fellow professionals in the field.” This year, some 120 librarians from 32 countries gathered to share the challenges they face and the solutions they’ve found.
To aid in your use of the handy ALA Scheduler this year LJ ’s editors have selected a few of their favorite ALA program sessions from the sprawling array of options on offer. We hope these selections will give you the best shot at the newest and best ideas and innovations, the most useful information and best practices, and, of course, the most entertainment for the time and money you have invested. If all else fails there is always “that toddlin’ town” outside.