May 27, 2015

News from the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeeting

ALA Reference Announcements | Reference News, March 1, 2015

ALA Reference Announcements | Reference News, March 1, 2015

Several database vendors were showing or announcing new products at this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in Chicago, held January 30–February 3.

OITP’s Policy Revolution! Initiative (The Exclamation Point is Important) | ALA Midwinter 2015

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On February 1 the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) hosted a session at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Chicago to answer the question, “What is a policy revolution anyway?” The answer: the Policy Revolution! Initiative (PRI)— the exclamation point is important, panelists advised—is a three-year grant-funded program to advance library policy at the national level, led by ALA OITP and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), with guidance from a Library Advisory Committee.

OCLC Works Toward Linked Data Environment | ALA Midwinter 2015

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In an effort that parallels and complements the Library of Congress’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), OCLC is using schema.org to help facilitate this discoverability using linked data, explained Richard Wallis, technology evangelist for OCLC and chair of the W3C Schema Bib Extend Community and his colleague Ted Fons, executive director, Data Services and WorldCat Quality Management for OCLC during the “OCLC Links and Entities: The Library Data Revolution” session at the American Library Association’s 2015 Midwinter conference in Chicago.

“All Eyes on IMLS”: Priorities for 2015 | ALA Midwinter 2015

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Eager to promote strategic priorities for 2015, officials for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) trained a spotlight on the various federal funding resources available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) during a recent American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter session in Chicago. At a talk entitled, “All Eyes on IMLS: Funding Priorities and Reauthorization,” IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx and Robin Dale, the associate deputy director for state programs, outlined the scope and focus of LSTA’s grants to states and other discretionary spending for libraries.

RUSA’S Top Pop Fiction | ALA Midwinter 2015

RUSA’S Top Pop Fiction | ALA Midwinter 2015

In spite of a record-breaking blizzard that shut down most of Chicago on Sunday, February 1, RUSA’s Book and Media Awards Ceremony went on as scheduled at the Hilton Chicago, where the Reading List Council announced the 2015 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers.

LITA Members Talk Tech Trends | ALA Midwinter 2015

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Five experts discussed the latest in library tech during the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter 2015 conference in Chicago. In front of a full house despite the snowstorm outside, the lively discussion of trends ranged from coding classes for girls to the growing infrastructure demands of open access publishing.

ALA Presidential Candidates Present Their Platforms | ALA Midwinter 2015

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The American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Candidates’ Forum, held Saturday evening, offered an opportunity for the four candidates running for the 2016–17 ALA presidency to present their platforms and answer audience questions. Candidates Joseph Janes, James LaRue, JP Porcaro, and Julie Todaro discussed their philosophies and history of service—both within and outside ALA—and answered questions on subjects ranging from their membership in ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation to the relevance of current library education and job prospects for future librarians. Barbara Stripling, ALA president from 2013–14, moderated the forum.

Knight Foundation News Challenge on Libraries Winners Announced | ALA Midwinter 2015

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On January 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the winning 22 projects for its Knight News Challenge on Libraries. A total of $3 million will be distributed among the recipients, representing libraries and organizations from across the United States who brought a wide range of innovative ideas to advance the mission of libraries.

Conference on the Ice | ALA Midwinter 2015

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While the American Library Association (ALA) conferences held in Chicago commonly see some of the highest attendance thanks to the association’s hometown’s central location, winter weather hitting Sunday of this year’s Midwinter made that something of a mixed blessing—more than 19 inches of snow between Saturday night and Monday morning. While many locals stayed home (and perhaps watched the Super Bowl) and a few out-of-towners were able to beat the storm by departing early, many librarians and vendors were snowed in. Some 1,500 flights were cancelled arriving and departing Chicago’s airports on Sunday and Monday, forcing them to stay one, two, or even three days longer than originally intended—including much of the LJ staff.

Connecting in Chicago | ALA Midwinter Preview 2015

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There will be more than enough information and action at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits (MW) of the American Library Association (ALA) to make it worth the cost and time for any library worker to attend. It features a sparkling array of celebrities and authors, a massive exhibit show floor at McCormick Place, a pile of jobs and opportunities, a packed schedule of meetings, the fantastic city of Chicago, and, best of all, plenty of chances to booze and schmooze with peers, colleagues, vendors, and new professional friends.