July 23, 2014

Banned Books Week Announces Comics Focus | ALA 2014

CBLDF Handbook 2014

The 2014 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas this week set the stage for Banned Books Week, scheduled for September 21-27, 2014. This year, Banned Books Week will shine light on banned and challenged comic books and graphic novels. On the show floor, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which provides legal support and expertise to readers, authors, and librarians, debuted a new handbook offering rundowns of commonly challenged comic titles, myths about banned books, and ideas for programming around Banned Books Week.

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.

Best Guesses: A Q&A with Center for the Future of Libraries’ Miguel Figueroa

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Last year, the American Library Association (ALA), working with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), established the new Center for the Future of Libraries (CFFL), a new program envisioned as a way to keep libraries ahead of the curve as they prepare for what’s to come in the industry—whatever that might be. That lack of certainty isn’t daunting the center’s new director, Miguel Figueroa. A 2005 LJ Mover and Shaker and former director of the ALA’s Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services who most recently worked with the Association of Theological Libraries, Figueroa talked with LJ about what the future might hold for libraries and how librarians can be ready for anything.

Round of Elections Means Change at the Top for Major Library Orgs

In elections ending in April, three of the country’s major library organizations—the American Library Association (ALA), Public Library Association (PLA), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—selected new leaders for the coming years.

To Tackle Major Issues Affecting Kids, ALA Divisions Must Collaborate | The Next Big Thing

To Tackle Major Issues Affecting Kids, ALA Divisions Must Collaborate | The Next Big Thing

The effects of screen time on little ones, the integration of technology with library programming – these are some of the issues now facing the profession. It’s time to break down divisional silos, according to Christopher Harris, and work together to ensure libraries’ effectiveness in serving kids and teens.

ALA and the Reunification of Librarianship

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The American Library Association (ALA)’s burgeoning budget crisis and dip in membership shows the group is having a tough time thriving as a multi-type library organization. It might be easy to cast a net of blame across the tepid economy, the aging profession, even entrenched leadership in ALA itself. But we think ALA’s membership woes are caused by a lack of unity across librarianship, a problem that is reinforced by ALA’s organizational structure and too narrow publications. In the tradition of thinking such as Andy Woodworth’s ‘big tent’ librarianship, we believe the leadership of the ALA should be at the forefront of unifying librarianship, working to link our academic, public, and school libraries and librarians. Instead, we shudder as we see ALA working to reinforce silos that separate public, academic, and school libraries from one another, rather than bridges to connect them.

ALA Withdraws Accreditation from SCSU MLS Program

After years of struggling to get its house in order, the Masters of Library Science (MLS) program at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) lost its American Library Association (ALA) accreditation last week. While faculty and administrators hope to take the withdrawal as an opportunity to focus their efforts at revitalizing the troubled program, the withdrawal of ALA accreditation is a serious blow to the school.

Readers’ Advisory Panels Look at Genre and Marketing | ALA 2013

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)-sponsored panel, “Beyond Genre: Exploring the Perception, Uses, and Misuses of Genre by Readers, Writers, and Librarians” attracts a large crowd, eager for discussion.

Back Home to Chicago: LJ’s Guide to the 2013 ALA Annual Conference Program

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To aid in your use of the handy ALA Scheduler this year LJ ’s editors have selected a few of their favorite ALA program sessions from the sprawling array of options on offer. We hope these selections will give you the best shot at the newest and best ideas and innovations, the most useful information and best practices, and, of course, the most entertainment for the time and money you have invested. If all else fails there is always “that toddlin’ town” outside.

ALA Highlights Benefits of Federal Broadband Funding, Argues that E-Rate Must Be Enhanced to Sustain Progress

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s $4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) has helped about 20 percent of U.S. libraries make improvements to publicly available technology resources and digital literacy within their communities, according to a report released on Monday by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).