Periodically, we hear that fiction is dead or at least seriously impaired, a belief spectacularly disproved by the four United for Libraries panels at the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago. From Anton DiScalfani, crossing boundaries with her luminous and erotically charged best seller, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, to John Scalzi, who [...]
Alice Walker wore purple.
It was not the last official day of the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Chicago, but the McCormick Center’s auditorium had a kind of concluding air about it. (Perhaps it was the number of librarians carting luggage up and down the halls.) Eva Poole, President of the Public Library Association (PLA), introduced Monday’s midmorning speaker. The audience settled into its seats.
When she arrived at the podium, she sighed. “I’m so glad to see you.”
Sunday morning’s “In Visibility: Race and Libraries” was a crash course in sociology and libraries, taught by Todd Homna, assistant professor of Asian American Studies at Pitzer College and a former ALA Spectrum Scholar. Sponsored by ALA’s Office for Diversity and the Spectrum Scholars Program, asked the question: “Where do we locate race in relation to librarianship?”
For lovers of international crime fiction, June has been busting out all over with a series of readings, panels, and discussions sponsored by four indie publishers and featuring such rising stars as Britain’s Mark Billingham, Austria’s Wolf Haas, Australia’s Zane Lovitt, and Nigeria’s .Bayo Ojikutu. Kicked off at the end of May with events at [...]
What makes library Tumblrs different from your run-of-the-mill library blogs is that they can take advantage of a built-in community with built-in readers. If a Wordpress or Blogspot blog is an island, Tumblr blogs are a city. Many librarians were initially attracted to Tumblr for the same reasons nonlibrarians were—ease of use, social features, the cool factor. But, once they arrived, they began to run into each other, then to talk to with one another, and finally to understand themselves as a community. The portmanteau Tumblarians—meaning “Tumblr librarians”—was coined and a subculture born.
As usual, ALA was a whirlwind of panels, book buzzes, parties, and my favorite—meeting librarians in the inevitable lines for food and bathrooms (will the conference centers ever figure this out?). The best fun was at the AAP Library Family Feud, where librarians took on authors about such burning questions as what 100 librarians said [...]
Despite conventional wisdom that conferences held on the coasts draw smaller crowds and complaints from some vendors that show floor traffic was down, Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA), reported that this year’s Midwinter attendance totaled 10,731. That’s up slightly from 2012’s 9,929 and 2011’s 10,110, though below 2010’s high of 11,095.