April 19, 2014

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.

Making Space for the Silenced | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

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?

Why ALA Needs a Code of Conduct | Backtalk


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.

Big Spenders Meet Vendors & Job Seekers


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!”

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.

Q&A: Recorded Books VP Matt Walker

Matt Walker

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.

Q&A: Gale VP and General Manager Jim Draper

Jim Draper

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.

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

A World of New Titles: Editor’s Picks | BEA 2013


At BookExpo America, LJ’s Reviews editors found titles to intrigue, inspire, and set imaginations free. LJ’s Review editors logged many hours at BookExpo America searching for forthcoming titles that show the most promise for libraries and their patrons.

$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.