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.
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.
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.
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).
Despite my frustrations with The American Library Association (ALA) Council, I voted in its election. The ALA Council’s email list (ALACOUN) has been endlessly repetitious for weeks. It was spurred by an array of fatuous messages from a chapter councilor fixated on cutting the number of at-large councilors in that august body.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski recently released a YouTube video thanking the nation’s librarians for their service, and describing libraries as “a vital partner to the FCC in one of our central missions: closing the digital divide and making sure every American can access the opportunities of broadband Internet.”
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today issued a response to American Library Association (ALA) President Maureen Sullivan’s open letter, which on Monday sharply criticized the ongoing refusal of several major publishers to sell ebooks to libraries. The AAP’s response counters that “publishers support the concept of e-lending but must solve a breadth of complex technological, operational, financial and other challenges to make it a reality.” Individual publishers are working to address these challenges, and antitrust laws prohibit publishers from convening to find common solutions to these emerging issues, the statement argues. It goes on to question the timing of the open letter, noting that the AAP had scheduled a meeting between ALA and more than 100 representatives from the publishing community in a few days.
The American Library Association (ALA) on Friday denounced Hachette Book Group’s decision to implement steep price increases on its back-catalog of ebooks sold to the library market. OverDrive broke the news to its customers in an email on September 13, stating that “Hachette will be raising its eBook prices on October 1, 2012 on their currently available eBook catalog (~3,500 eBook titles with release dates of April 2010 and earlier). On average prices will increase 220 percent.” ALA President Maureen Sullivan expressed disappointment at Hachette’s choice, noting that ALA had believed that the publisher was moving toward more favorable terms for libraries.