July 30, 2014

Organizations & Consortia

EveryLibrary Launches Fund To Aid Libraries In Crisis

RRF Logo

Most libraries know what its’ like to struggle with finding funding. Getting a levy or tax hike passed is hard work. Living through lean times that freeze hiring and stifle collection development can be trying. But when the rug gets pulled out from under you suddenly, it can be even worse. In order to provide some assistance when eleventh hour budget cuts come knocking, EveryLibrary, the political action committee devoted to strengthening the place libraries have at the civic table, is working on a new program with just these sorts of dilemmas in mind—the Rapid Response Fund.

What Happened in Vegas | ALA 2014

Voices for the Future ALA Pres Barbara Stripling addresses the Opening General Session crowd, and keynote speaker Jane McGonical talking gaming of another kind. Photos by Andrew Estey, Studio J Inc./AP Images for Library Journal

The 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition, held June 26 – July 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, saw some 13,019 attendees. Though this is a pretty substantial drop-off compared with the 20,237 attendees who came to Chicago in 2013, it is higher than the 12,000+ attendees who visited Annual in Anaheim, CA in 2012. Critiques of the location, which has not hosted an ALA annual conference since 1973, included the vast distances between event sites and the expensive transportation—and, of course, the heat, which topped out at 111 degrees. However, those who did attend seemed excited about the exhibit hall’s 800 company offerings, and heavy crowds surging toward the galley giveaways greeted the exhibit openings on both Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Opinion: Rethinking How We Rate and Rank MLIS Programs | LIS Education

screen shot of Time to Degree table

Throughout the United States and Canada, there are more than 63 ALA-accredited programs offering advanced degrees in library and information science. While the number of programs has grown over the years, the field has yet to develop any significant, rigorous measures of evaluation to assess them. Even as interest in LIS education grows, the tools for determining which programs will match a student’s goals or establishing a hierarchy of quality remain stuck in neutral.

Where the Opportunity Is | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

According to some research I came across, there are few academic library positions devoted to distance learning. You wouldn’t know that by the crowd that showed up for the 16th Annual Distance Library Services Conference. Trends in higher education suggest that distance library services may be where the opportunity lies.

Survival Tips & Vegas Eats | ALA 2014 Preview

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Since Las Vegas is a new venue for ALA’s annual conference, many librarians may be first-time visitors. Vegas veteran Jeanne Goodrich, executive director of the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District, offers her advice for how to survive and thrive in the heat.

Authors & Celebrities | ALA 2014 Preview

ALL BETS ARE ON Attendees at ALA will enjoy hearing from authors (top row, l.–r.) Ryan Winfield (Isn’t It Romantic?), 
Ann Hood (Hot Picks for Book Clubs), Adi Alsaid (First Author, First Book), Issa Rae (The Laugh’s on Us), and (bottom row, l.–r.) Jean Kwok (Gala Author Tea), as well as daredevil Philippe Petit (United for Libraries President’s Program). 
Winfield photo by Mike Chard; Hood photo by Joyce Ravid; Rae photo by Leroy Hamilton;  Kwok photo ©Chris Macke

Numerous events will take place at the stage in the exhibits hall, including readings, panel discussions, and presentations on topics popular in libraries and among librarians—from crime fiction and poetry to trivia, vampires, and more. For the full schedule, go to ow.ly/wCkW4.

Betting on Vegas | ALA 2014 Preview

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Something different is in store for attendees of this year’s American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, to be held June 26–July 1 at Nevada’s Las Vegas Convention Center. For ALA annual and Midwinter Meeting veterans, accustomed to a rotation of familiar venues, Las Vegas offers a new twist. This is only the second ALA get-together held in Las Vegas; the first was in 1973. It remains to be seen whether the famous tourist destination will attract attendees in the numbers that habitually turn out for centrally located Chicago—and whether those who do turn up will forsake the exhibit floor for the town’s famous shows and casinos.

To Empower Community Colleges, Empower Their Librarians | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Community colleges are increasingly important to America’s higher education system, but they are also a point of failure for too many students. The American Association for Community Colleges (AACC) is planning to change that with the rollout of a new guide—but where do librarians fit into the program?

Boston Libraries, Archives Commemorate Marathon Attack

A grouping of running shoes at the Dear Boston exhibit

One year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, the city’s libraries and cultural institutions are helping to preserve this painful moment in recent history and helping local residents reflect. Eight libraries and archives, as part of the #BostonBetter consortium, hosted events and exhibits or opened special hours in recognition of the anniversary. Others began working almost immediately after last year’s Marathon to preserve the memories and associated artifacts of the people who experienced the bombings.

Library Lifeline: The Ideas Box from Libraries Without Borders | Editorial

Ideas Box

The new Ideas Box from Libraries Without Borders/ Bibliothèques Sans Frontières is fun, smart, and inspiring. The comprehensive vision behind it and the resulting design hold lessons for anyone interested in library outreach. It takes a significant step forward in framing an ideal outpost library that can reach into the gap as an element of humanitarian aid in the wake of a disaster when basic services and cultural institutions are unavailable or inactive.