May 29, 2016

Knight Foundation Launches Second News Challenge on Libraries | ALA Midwinter 2016

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The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) kicked off the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston on the morning of January 10 with a session announcing its second News Challenge on Libraries. The challenge, which launches February 24, will address the question “How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?” Winners will receive a share of $3 million in funding toward their projects. In addition, a select number of projects will be considered for the Knight Prototype Fund.

Library Vendors Debut New Offerings | ALA Midwinter 2016

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As always, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting was the occasion for the debuts of new offerings from a wide range of library vendors. Below, please find a smattering of those we spotted in the aisles in alphabetical order. This list is necessarily far from comprehensive; if we missed yours (or your favorite) please add it in the comments!

Aspen Institute Releases New Action Guide for Public Libraries | ALA Midwinter 2016

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The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries (DPL) unveiled its newest publication at a session at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting. The Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Public Library, a set of resources to be used in connection with DPL’s report Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, was released simultaneously with the session on January 10. On hand to launch the Action Guide were DPL director Amy Garmer; DPL advisor (and ALA past president) Maureen Sullivan; and John Palfrey, author of the recent BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books) and a 2011 LJ Mover & Shaker (among many other roles).

Bots, Block Chain, and Beacons: Hot Topics at LITA Tech Trends Panel | ALA Midwinter 2016

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Moderator Lisa Bunker, Social Media Librarian for Pima County Public Library (AZ) ; Jason Griffey, founder and principal of consulting and creation firm Evenly Distributed; Jim Hahn, orientation services and environments librarian and associate professor at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library; Jamie Hollier, co-owner and co-CEO of technology consultancy Anneal; Alex Lent, director of the Millis Public Library (MA); Thomas Padilla, digital scholarship librarian at Michigan State University Libraries; and Ken Varnum, senior program manager for discovery, delivery, and learning analytics at the University of Michigan Library, during the Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel at the American Library Association’s 2016 Midwinter conference in Boston.

Ready for the Next Phase | ALA Midwinter 2016

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The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2016 Midwinter Meeting, held January 8–12 in Boston, was pleasingly free of snow—even if the temperature did fluctuate enough, from nearly 60 rainy degrees on Sunday to well below freezing Monday evening, to make packing light impossible. But weather uncertainties took a back seat to the overwhelming atmosphere of positivity at the Boston Convention Center and Exhibition Center and surrounding venues during Midwinter’s 2,400 scheduled meetings and events. There was a strong sense among attendees, panelists, ALA officials, and exhibitors of libraries being poised to step into the next phase—whatever that might be. Below are some of the event’s highlights; more detailed coverage will follow.

LJ’s Reviews of Notable Nonfiction & Poetry | ALA Midwinter 2016

Check out LJ‘s reviews of the 2016 selections of RUSA’s (Reference and User Services Association) Notable Books List

LJ’s Reviews of RUSA’s Notable Fiction | ALA Midwinter 2016

LJ‘s reviews of the 2016 selections of the Notable Books List, an annual best-of list comprised of 26 written for adult readers and published in the U.S., including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

LJ’s Reviews of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal Winners | ALA Midwinter 2016

Established in 2012, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction honor the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the United States the previous year.

We Need Diverse Books at ALA Midwinter

A standing-room only crowd, along with dozens of others sitting in staggered rows on the floor, attended the We Need Diverse Books panel at the most recent ALA Midwinter conference in Boston. A mainstay at both ALA and New York Comic-Con, the We Need Diverse Books campaign continues to engage followers and supporters throughout the […]

The New Fundraising Landscape | Budgets & Funding

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Public libraries in the United States have traditionally relied on local support for the vast majority of their revenue. While this is still largely true, the funding landscape is getting more diverse, and there is a greater need for libraries to be increasingly creative when it comes to balancing base funding with new sources. Money allocated at the local level rarely stretches far enough to cover staffing, operations, collection development, and programming, let alone experimentation to invent or test innovative new services. Local funding is also subject to political winds as administrations change.