July 6, 2015

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.

The San Francisco Deets | ALA 2015

ALA 2015 logo

The opening general session of this year’s American Library Association (ALA) conference in San Francisco was a feel good fest, thanks largely to the good luck and good planning that ALA demonstrated 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 speech into an emotional victory celebration punctuated with standing ovations.

ALA President-Elect Julie Todaro on Transforming Librarians

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The American Library Association (ALA) 2016–17 presidential campaign concluded on May 8, with Julie Todaro winning the role of president-elect. She prevailed over the rest of this year’s unusually large field—Joseph Janes, James LaRue, and JP Porcaro—by a narrow margin, edging out Janes, the runner-up, by only 22 votes. A total of 10,119 votes were cast for the position of president between March 24 and May 1.

A Taste of San Francisco | ALA 2015 Preview

Exterior photo by Melanie Duerkopp; food photo by Frankie Frankey

San Francisco is deservedly known for its restaurant offerings. No conference preview could cover them all (and no conference attendee could visit them). Below is a tasting menu of options that are accessible from the Moscone Center, at 747 Howard Street, provided courtesy of San Francisco local Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group.

Literary Landmarks | ALA 2015 Preview

Photo by San Francisco Travel Association/Scott Chernis

While it is tough to get away from the conference long enough to experience the host city, and there’s a lot to see in San Francisco, here are a few literary-inflected sights courtesy of Not for Tourists that visiting librarians might especially appreciate.

Fog City Reads | ALA 2015 Preview

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The city of San Francisco has been immortalized in hundreds of books in every genre: the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) keeps a Pinterest page of 81 titles and counting, as well as a “literary landmarks of San Francisco” list in its BiblioCommons catalog, plus separate lists for SF-based chefs and books for kids and teens. Here, a curated selection of reading for those ALA attendees who like to immerse themselves in a sense of place while they travel to the conference.

Authors & Celebrities | ALA 2015 Preview

Kopp photo by Leslie Culver; Sherman photo by Emrah Gurel; Crabb photo by Julia Gillard; Poundstone photo ©2012 Michael Schwartz; Thomson photo by Jillian Kalonick; Katzenbach photo by Nancy Doherty

Appearances from authors and celebrities abound at ALA Annual, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Paula Poundstone, Al Roker, Gloria Steinem, and many more.

ALA by the Bay | ALA 2015 Preview

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The American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference returns to San Francisco for the first time since 2001, this June 25–30, with an array of programming that lives up to its colorful surroundings. Innovations this year include a LITA preconference, Learn To Teach Coding and Mentor Technology Newbies, presented in cooperation with Black Girls Code, and a series of sessions offered by ALA’s recently launched Center for the Future of Libraries.

Meet the Candidates: ALA President 2016–17

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Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2016–17 presidential campaign has opened, and ALA members in good standing can cast their ballots through May 1. In order to offer voters some additional insight into the candidates’ opinions and plans, LJ has asked them to weigh in on some key issues facing the president-elect and general items of interest. The four candidates—Joseph Janes, associate professor and chair of the MLIS Program, University of Washington Information School, Seattle; James LaRue, CEO of LaRue & Associates, Castle Rock, CO; JP Porcaro, librarian for acquisitions and technological discovery at New Jersey City University Library, Jersey City, NJ; and Julie Todaro, dean of library services at Austin Community College, TX—have given their responses below.