February 20, 2017

The Devalued MLIS: ALA’s Leader Must Be a Librarian | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

For nearly all 140 years of the existence of the American Library Association (ALA), its Executive Director (ED) has been a professional librarian. Today, the credential required to ensure that the ED is a librarian is the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree. However, a group of ALA councilors and Executive Board members apparently wanted to change that.

A Unified Voice: Confronting an Assault on Information | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

I wrote recently that the rate of media illiteracy is the information crisis of our time (“Faked Out,” School Library Journal, 1/17, p. 6), but now that very real issue has nonetheless been trumped by a full-on deliberate assault on the flow of information—from journalism and scientific research to dissemination via social media and traditional channels. There is no such thing as an alternate fact, but there is certainly an alternate reality: a chilling, censorial, obfuscating one being offered as a threatening new normal by the new federal administration in the first days and weeks of 2017.

Improving Federal and State Policy & Family Engagement in Libraries | ALA Midwinter 2017

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Update as of February 2017: Since this post was published, the Department of Education has removed the website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). LJ is keeping  the original post as is, in case IDEA is reinstated. A rainy day didn’t prevent attendees from joining a session on Improving Federal and State Policy […]

Racial Justice at Your Library hosted by Libraries4BlackLives | ALA Midwinter 2017

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After the July 2016 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, the #librariesrespond hashtag was a safe place for librarians on twitter to share everything from programs to resources to self-care tips. During this time, Amita Lonial, Learning Experiences Manager at Skokie Public Library (IL), wondered if libraries […]

Placemaking and the Public Library | ALA Midwinter 2017

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“People crave community. Community needs space. Space can create community. If you are not creating community, you are probably not creating places,” explained Michelle Jeske, City Librarian at Denver Public Library (DPL) and a 2005 LJ Mover & Shaker, to an eager crowd gathered for Placemaking and the Public Library on Sunday, January 22. What […]

ALA Goes Looking for a Leader | Leading From the Library

Steven Bell

There’s no debate that it will be hard to replace the American Library Association (ALA)’s current Executive Director (ED). But there’s plenty of debate over the next ED’s qualifications. Should the MLS be required? Or do we look for the best association leader we can find?

Not Business as Usual | ALA Midwinter 2017

ALA Midwinter attendees waiting for the show floor to open

In spite of intermittent rain, the mild temperatures of Atlanta, GA, made it a welcome destination for the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, held January 20–24. Current events—notably the inauguration on Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th president—drove a series of offerings that were definitely not business as usual.

Academic Librarians On Taking Their Seats at the Table | ALA Annual 2016

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At “Taking Our Seat at the Table: How Academic Librarians Can Help Shape the Future of Higher Education,” sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries University Libraries Section (ACRL ULS), library administrators spoke up on how their institutions are looking ahead—both within and outside of the library.

Exhibitor News Roundup | ALA Annual 2016

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As always, the American Library Association’s 2016 annual convention included many announcements and product launches from library vendors. Here’s a roundup of some of the news from this year’s show floor.

Serving Newly Released Adults | ALA Annual 2016

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A standing-room only crowd attended Literacy Inside and Out: Services to Incarcerated and Newly-Released Adults and Their Families at the recent American Libraries Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. I’ve been thinking about this issue—and serving under-served communities in general—since I was a public librarian. Once, a patron cautiously approached the reference desk, explaining that he had been recently released and needed assistance familiarizing himself with the library. At the time, I didn’t realize how a building full of large, imposing stacks could be intimidating for those who hadn’t been to a library before, or not for a long time.