January 20, 2015

Authors & Celebrities | ALA 2014 Preview

ALL BETS ARE ON Attendees at ALA will enjoy hearing from authors (top row, l.–r.) Ryan Winfield (Isn’t It Romantic?), 
Ann Hood (Hot Picks for Book Clubs), Adi Alsaid (First Author, First Book), Issa Rae (The Laugh’s on Us), and (bottom row, l.–r.) Jean Kwok (Gala Author Tea), as well as daredevil Philippe Petit (United for Libraries President’s Program). 
Winfield photo by Mike Chard; Hood photo by Joyce Ravid; Rae photo by Leroy Hamilton;  Kwok photo ©Chris Macke

Numerous events will take place at the stage in the exhibits hall, including readings, panel discussions, and presentations on topics popular in libraries and among librarians—from crime fiction and poetry to trivia, vampires, and more. For the full schedule, go to ow.ly/wCkW4.

Betting on Vegas | ALA 2014 Preview

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Something different is in store for attendees of this year’s American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, to be held June 26–July 1 at Nevada’s Las Vegas Convention Center. For ALA annual and Midwinter Meeting veterans, accustomed to a rotation of familiar venues, Las Vegas offers a new twist. This is only the second ALA get-together held in Las Vegas; the first was in 1973. It remains to be seen whether the famous tourist destination will attract attendees in the numbers that habitually turn out for centrally located Chicago—and whether those who do turn up will forsake the exhibit floor for the town’s famous shows and casinos.

Trapped in Orlando | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

There are lots of reasons I don’t want to go to Orlando, FL, again to attend a conference of the American Library Association (ALA). Most are matters of personal comfort, cost, and convenience, so the good things I’d get from the conference outweigh those annoyances. In 2016, however, there is a compelling reason to stay away from Orlando, especially if you are a young African American.

Meet the Candidates: ALA President 2015-16

Maggie Farrell left, Sari Feldman right

The campaign to elect the 2015-2016 President of the American Library Association (ALA) ends this month. To help inform ALA members who haven’t yet voted, and to give other librarians some additional insight into key issues currently on the ALA agenda, LJ asked each of the candidates to respond to five questions. The candidates, Maggie Farrell, dean of libraries at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio, responded. (Full biographies of both candidates are available on the ALA Election Guide.)

New Adult Fiction | PLA 2014

New Adult Fiction | PLA 2014

New Adult (NA) fiction is the rage these days in the publishing world, but what is it exactly? Is it an actual genre or just a marketing term? At a lively PLA2014 ConverStation session entitled “New Adult Fiction: What is It, Where is It, and What Should We Do with It,” facilitators Sophie Brookover (LibraryLinkNJ—The Library Cooperative, Piscataway, NJ) and Kelly Jensen (Beloit (WI) Public Library) ) threw out five questions for the audience to discuss at their tables and then share in the main conversation.

Midwinter Murmurs | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Despite what appeared to be high registration for the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in Philadelphia this January, we heard low rumblings of discontent. These comments were usually voiced late in the night at the parties and barroom gatherings. Much said at such gatherings never moves into the formal deliberations of ALA legislation. That is too bad. Some of it deserves attention and might even help ALA remain as strong as it is today.

The Subconference: Passing Fad or Next Big Thing? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

The MLA Conference is a top attention getting event in the higher education media. But the unofficial and unrecognized MLA Subconference generated lots of buzz. What does it say about higher ed, and will it catch on?

Thinking Your Way to a More “Leaderly” Presence | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

New research suggests that you may be able to think your way to being more “leaderly” by changing your how you think about yourself.

Amid Winter in Philadelphia | ALA Midwinter 2014

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Snow and cold presented transportation challenges in getting to Philadelphia for the American Library Association (ALA)’s 2014 Midwinter conference, leading some exhibitors to express disappointment in the light crowds on the exhibit floor, though ALA reports attendance of 12,207, topping San Diego, Dallas, and Seattle’s numbers (However, the growth came mostly in exhibitors and exhibitor-invited complimentary attendees.) Those hardy, or lucky, librarians that did make it got some good leads and found excitement in a number of places. Besides grabbing the many galleys on offer and waiting on line for signings, the presence of Google Glass (being demonstrated under the aegis of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy) created buzz. Via Twitter, librarians reacted to the wearable computing device in ways that ran the gamut from enthusiasm to criticism of the functionality to concern about patron privacy.

Why Would I Go to ALA? | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

As I write this, ALA Midwinter is about to take place in Philadelphia. I’ve been hearing from friends and colleagues wanting to know if I’ll be attending the meeting, which I won’t. I haven’t been to an ALA conference in a while, and now I’m thinking about what it will take to get me to an ALA, whether annual or midwinter.