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.
When I read Nina de Jesus’s blog post, “Locating the Library in Institutionalized Oppression,” I stashed it away so that I could mull it over. I am a bit of a library Pollyanna, making grand claims for the values libraries uphold, but I also remember the many times I went into libraries and felt intimidated. I am, aS many undergraduates are, loath to publicly announce my ignorance by asking questions that I can’t quite articulate. Where is everything? How does it work? Am I in the right place? Should I even be here?
The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced a statement of appropriate conduct for ALA conferences. This statement is a mechanism for addressing disputes, but it is also a declaration of values: it signals to everyone who we are. Furthermore, it’s part of an ongoing dialog about inclusion in library-related conference communities.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), 50 percent of those attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia will be top managers in libraries; 92 percent will have “buying influence” for products or services exhibited; and 62 percent will find new companies with which to do business during their time in the exhibits. The pitch emphasizes that the Midwinter Meeting has been redesigned to include programs and special events to “become the place where librarians from across the country discuss and explore the future of libraries and librarianship.” More than 8,000 librarians are expected in the City of Brotherly Love, and according to ALA’s message to exhibitors, “These are the decision makers you need to meet!”
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.
On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content. Recorded Books is a gold sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Matt Walker, vice president of Recorded Books, in the second of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.
On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is a gold sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Jim Draper, Vice President and General Manager, Gale, in the first of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming libraries.
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.