On April 13, the American Library Association (ALA) and Google announced the “Libraries Ready to Code” project, which will investigate the current status of computer programming activities in U.S. public and K–12 libraries with the goal of ultimately broadening the reach and scope of these coding programs. The project will include an environmental scan, practitioner interviews, focus groups, and site visits, and particular attention will be focused on opportunities that libraries are providing to minorities, girls, and other groups that are currently underrepresented in computer science and related fields, according to an announcement. The results of the project will be used to further engagement by ALA, and to inform a computer science policy agenda as part of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy’s (OITP) Youth and Technology program.
Organizations & Consortia
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) annual convening is by nature a globe-trotting affair. In the past several years it has been held in Cape Town, South Africa; Lyons, France; Helsinki, Finland; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This year the IFLA World Library and Information Congress will return to the United States for the first time since 2001, taking place August 13–19 in Columbus, OH. LJ caught up with Patrick Losinski, Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO, and Carol Diedrichs, dean emeritus of Ohio State University Libraries, to talk about best aspects of holding a global event locally.
Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2016–17 presidential campaign opens today, and ALA members in good standing can cast their ballots through April 22. This year’s candidates come from a range of backgrounds: Christine Lind Hage is director of the Rochester Hills Public Library, MI; Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe is a professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and James G. Neal most recently served as the vice president for information services and university librarian at New York’s Columbia University. LJ has invited them to weigh in on some key issues pertaining to ALA and librarianship; more information about the election can be found on ALA’s Election Information page.
I’m concerned that the Canadian Library Association (CLA) has decided to disband. It isn’t just that I remember many of the top Canadian librarians I befriended and the good times I had at CLA conferences. The Canadian librarians I recently talked to were very unhappy about the dissolution of CLA (though they were too few to be a valid sample, and their views are too close to mine to help me understand what brought about this drastic action).
In its inaugural visit to Denver, April 5–9, the Public Library Association (PLA) conference schedule offers a thought-provoking yet playful agenda full of replicable exemplars from innovative libraries across the country. The packed schedule contains far too much to sum up; what follows is a smattering of sessions that caught the eye of the LJ editors who will be attending, ranging from civic inclusion to the first-ever mini hands-on how-to festival.
Following a months-long analysis by an exploratory committee, the boards of not-for-profit, open-source digitization and repository software and service providers LYRASIS and DuraSpace on January 27 unanimously approved an “Intent to Merge” agreement. The two organizations have begun seeking input from their respective members as well as the wider research, library, archives, and museum communities, as part of a due diligence process that will “determine the feasibility of a combined organization…. [and] include a deeper assessment of the individual organizations and how they might partner effectively.
After months of discussion, voting among members, and the recommendations of its advisory council, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) voted to disband at a Special General Meeting held on January 27. The CLA—a nonprofit national association that has been the voice for Canada’s library community since its formation in 1946—will dissolve following its final annual conference in June 2016.
American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting attendees were presented with a slate of strong contenders from both public and academic libraries at the ALA 2017–18 Presidential and Treasurer Candidates’ Forum on Saturday evening, January 9. Presidential candidates Christine Lind Hage, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, and James G. Neal, as well as treasurer candidate Susan H. Hildreth, presented their platforms and discussed their stances on topics that will affect ALA in the months and years to come: investments; international outreach; the development of a leadership pipeline; the proposed name change for the Office for Literacy, Diversity, and Outreach Services; and work with the Freedom to Read Foundation. In particular, candidates highlighted their visions for ALA’s three current strategic directions: advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development.
As always, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting was the occasion for the debuts of new offerings from a wide range of library vendors. Below, please find a smattering of those we spotted in the aisles in alphabetical order. This list is necessarily far from comprehensive; if we missed yours (or your favorite) please add it in the comments!
CHORUS (the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States) has partnered with a number of federal agencies over the past six months to help them comply with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directives requiring open access to federally funded research. The United States Department of Energy (DOE), the Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have all reached agreements with CHORUS.