November 27, 2015

Transformation Time: Sari Feldman hits the right tone | Editorial


The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.

ALA Launches “Libraries Transform” Campaign


On October 29 American Library Association (ALA) president Sari Feldman launched the Libraries Transform campaign, a three-year national public awareness initiative focusing on the ways public, academic, school, and special libraries and librarians across the nation transform their communities. Events kicked off in Washington, DC, as the Libraries Transform team visited a cross-section of transformative libraries, and will continue with contributions from libraries—and library lovers—everywhere.

Senate Passes 10 Year Term for Librarian of Congress

Library of Congress Reading Room

As President Obama ponders his choice for the next Librarian of Congress, the first time in nearly three decades that such a nomination will be necessary, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill to put a ten-year term on the position, stripping the job of the lifetime tenure it has carried since 1802.

The ALA Takeaways | ALA San Francisco 2015 Report

GOOD TIMES AT ANNUAL. Top row, l.-r.: Celebrating the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act at San Francisco’s City Hall; on the show floor, 3M set up a Diversity Wall to promote diverse books and made a donation for each title suggested; Sunday’s Pride Parade headline said it all. Second row, l.-r.: ALA Keynoter Roberta Kaplan dovetailed with the historic events of the week in her speech at the Opening General Session; Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Melanie Townsend-Diggs and Carla Hayden (holding check, l.–r.) received TechLogic’s People First Award during the Opening Session; Sarah Lewis headlined at the ALA President’s Program, Third row, l.-r.:  the exhibits, as always, were a huge draw; the Knight Foundation took the opportunity to make a big announcement. Fourth row, l.-r.: part of the Auditorium Speaker Series, Gloria Steinem drew a crowd; the winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were announced, with keynote by basketball legend–turned–novelist Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Nonfiction winner Bryan Stevenson (12)—Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption­—posed with well-wishers; fiction winner Anthony Doerr (13)—All the Light We Cannot See—was all smiles. Photos by Tom Graves and James Rosso/

The opening general session of this year’s American Library Association (ALA) conference in San Francisco was a victory celebration, thanks largely to ALA’s luck and planning in booking Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for the Supreme Court case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, as the opening keynote. On the two-year anniversary of that case, the court found in favor of marriage equality, turning Kaplan’s appearance into so much more than a speech. While Sunday’s Pride Parade added logistical complications to travel, the mood was gala, with many of the 15,883 attendees and 6,813 exhibitors popping over to see the scene or participate. Total attendance was up by almost 3,000 compared with the 2014 annual conference in Las Vegas.

Libraries and Book Collections as Essential Cultural Institutions | ALA Annual 2015


While it has always fallen to libraries to preserve the historical record of the communities they serve, libraries also need to consider their own history—especially in light of the changing landscape they face. At the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, a panel of three authors whose recent books focus on private, public, and academic libraries spoke with moderator Barbara Hoffert, editor of LJ’s Prepub Alert, on Libraries and Book Collections as Essential Cultural Institutions: A Historical and Forward-Looking Perspective. The panelists discussed their own studies, and charged libraries to examine the cultural legacies of their own collections.

Getting a Bigger Piece of the Fundraising Pie | ALA Annual 2015


At the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, ALA’s United for Libraries division presented a well-received session, Getting a Bigger Piece of the Pie: Effective Communication with Funders and Policy Makers. A panel of three experienced fundraisers talked about what is and isn’t working in their ongoing mission to help support their libraries, offering a range of good advice to library leaders and fundraisers at every level.

Students, Faculty Engage with Streaming Video | ALA Annual 2015

From session slideshare

The use of video in higher education isn’t new, but the delivery method is changing. Streaming video offers access to important content and cutting-edge issues, and is easy to integrate into online courses. However, its recent popularity in the classroom—both on campus and for distance education—requires faculty, librarians, and distributors alike to learn a new set of rules. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Video Round Table hosted a session at the ALA Annual Conference to examine student and faculty engagement with streaming video, and the concerns surrounding it.

OITP Hacks the Culture of Learning in the Library | ALA Annual 2015

Maker Space open house @ NYSCI
Photo by Nick Normal

While the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is largely concerned with policy on the legislative level, an OITP-sponsored program at ALA’s 2015 annual conference, Hacking the Culture of Learning in the Library, focused on what libraries themselves need to know to function as outside-the-school-walls learning zones. Moderator Christopher Harris, school library system director at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and ALA OITP Fellow for Program on Youth and Technology Policy, began the interactive session by noting that public, school, and academic libraries have a great opportunity to frame a common theme to work around—Libraries Are Education—and set about exploring some of the issues at stake.

Academic Libraries Look Toward the Future | ALA Annual 2015

library crystal ball

As proof positive that, even with their superior powers of observation and vision, librarians can’t predict the future, the planners for the American Library Association 2015 annual conference definitely underestimated how many people would be attending the program Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Directions for Higher Education and Academic Libraries, sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries University Libraries Section (ACRL ULS). Every seat was filled, as well as all available floor space, with attendees eager to hear the panel’s thoughts on what the future may hold for academic libraries.

Getting Graphic at ALA | ALA Annual 2015

Comic Book Club Handbook cover (illustration of a bird reading a comic book)

The American Library Association’s annual conference produced a crop of comics news, beginning with the Comic Book Club Handbook, a new resource produced by Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in collaboration with Comic-Con International, with the assistance of Erwin Magbanua of the San Diego Public Library and illustrated by cartoonist Rick Geary.