April 18, 2014

A Personal History of Libraries

John Scalzi at the Movers and Shakers luncheon

When science fiction author, past Science Fiction Writers of America president, and noted blogger John Scalzi spoke at LJ’s Movers & Shakers luncheon during ALA Annual 2013, part of his address consisted of reading aloud from his Personal History of Libraries. It moved many in the room to tears—including Scalzi himself—and concluded with his thanks to libraries for their influence on his life and others. In honor of Thanksgiving, and with his permission, LJ reprints the piece here.

Collaboration, Innovation, & the Next Generation | ALA 2013 Report

BIG TURNOUT A streamlined location list meant high traffic at the 2013 ALA conference in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel (1) welcomed everyone, as did banners at McCormick Place (2). Record crowds (3) jammed the exhibit floor. Freakonomics author Steven Levitt (4) presented the keynote address at the Opening General Session, with ALA leadership cutting the ribbon (5) to the exhibit hall. On the floor (6), librarians’ love for authors got its own T-shirt declaration. Activist Temple Grandin (7) drew a crowd as part of the Auditorium Speaker Series, as did author Alice Walker (8), who read from The World Will Follow Joy, her new book of poems. New generations of librarians schmoozed at the LJ-cosponsored Tumblarian Meetup (9), featuring (l.–r.) Kate Tkacik, Amanda Brennan, and Rachel Fershleiser. Author Khaled Hosseini (10) made an appearance, and Australian author Zane Lovitt (11) signed copies of The Midnight Promise, his new crime fiction novel. The accent gets ’em every time. Photos by Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Library Journal

At ALA annual, record crowds shared enthusiasm for new technology, tools, and team-ups to promote core library values such as privacy and diversity

$1 Million Gates Grant to Fund Chicago, Aarhus Libraries’ Innovation Partnership | ALA Annual 2013

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

On June 30, at the Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia wing, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will allow the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark to work together to create a new model for innovation, experimentation and decision-making within libraries.

ALA Recovers $175,000 in Misappropriated Funds

Early at the Annual conference of the American Library Association (ALA) copies of a page from Illinois Lawyer Now, a publication of the Illinois State Bar Association, were quietly distributed to members of the press. The page reported the disbarment and suspension of 11 Illinois attorneys. Included was the disbarment of Mary Frances Wilkens, a lawyer since 2006, who was charged with misappropriating $174,300.53 from ALA for her own personal use between 2006 and 2012. Wilkens was employed in the offices of ALA Booklist, the Association’s book review publication.

Fiction Breakout: The United for Libraries Panels at ALA | ALA 2013

Fiction Breakout: The United for Libraries Panels at ALA | ALA 2013

Periodically, we hear that fiction is dead or at least seriously impaired, a belief spectacularly disproved by the four United for Libraries panels at the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago. From Anton DiScalfani, crossing boundaries with her luminous and erotically charged best seller, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, to John Scalzi, who […]

Fleeing the Reference Desk | ALA 2013

Fleeing the Reference Desk | ALA 2013

Librarians gathered for what was billed “a refdesk-shattering event.”

ALA Annual Features High Traffic, Energy | ALA Annual 2013

Robust crowds showed for the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, which took place in Chicago June 28-July 2. Total attendance topped more than 26,000, dramatically higher than 2011 and 2012, which both came in at about 20,000. In addition to the greater total attendance, ALA’s recent initiative to condense programming into fewer, closer locations meant more bodies physically on site, garnering grateful shout-outs from several attendees on Twitter. The combination of more attendees and fewer competing venues also led to excellent traffic in the exhibits, several vendors told LJ, and a sense of intensity that attendees welcomed.

2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction | ALA 2013

2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction | ALA 2013

The 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction winners are announced in Chicago during the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference.

ALA Annual Conference Day Three: First Time Authors, Top Tech Trends, Library of the Year | ALA 2013

Auditorium Speaker Temple Grandin

Photo gallery of events from the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL

ALA Launches Resources for Commuity Dialogue Around Privacy | ALA 2013

The American Library Association has launched a new website, ala.org/liberty, in response to the recent revelations about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The site offers a toolkit and other resources for libraries to convene forums and moderate community discussions on privacy. Many more resources will be added in the weeks to come, an ALA representative said.