March 16, 2018

Meet the Candidates: ALA President 2018–19

Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2019–20 presidential campaign opened on March 12, and ALA members in good standing can cast their ballots through April 4. Results will be announced April 11. LJ invited the candidates to weigh in on some key issues pertaining to ALA and librarianship; more information can be found on ALA’s Election Information page.

Ghikas, What ALA Needs: The Perfect Model for the Search Committee | Blatant Berry

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) recently appointed Mary Ghikas ALA executive director (ED) through January 2020. Ghikas has been interim ED since last August 2017, when previous ED Keith Fiels retired. Before that she was senior associate ED of member programs and services. After my last column (“A Librarian Must Lead ALA”), the news was deeply reassuring.

Federal Budget Request Seeks to Defund IMLS, Cultural Agencies—Again

The FY19 budget request released on February 12 by the Trump administration calls for the defunding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as well as a number of other programs relevant to libraries, just as it did last year.

News from the Show Floor | ALA Midwinter 2018

Library vendors had lots of news to share at this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Denver. Here are a few of the announcements LJ had the opportunity to learn about in person.

Redefining Libraries, Librarianship, and ALA | ALA Midwinter 2018

The 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting returned to Denver for the fourth time since 1982, offering attendees a range of programming from high-name-recognition speakers to a controversial President’s Program to a lively assortment of forward-looking symposia sponsored by the Center for the Future of Libraries.

A Librarian Must Lead ALA: Be Sure You Vote in March | Blatant Berry

If this headline seems familiar, there’s a good reason: one year ago I said something very similar in “The Devalued MLIS.” At the time, I was addressing the upcoming vote of the American Library Association (ALA) Council on whether ALA should require candidates for its open executive director spot to hold a master’s degree in library science.

ALA Full Membership to Vote on Executive Director Qualifications

Update: On January 25, the ALA Executive Board appointed interim executive director Mary Ghikas as executive director through January 2020, effective immediately. The session at ALA Midwinter will continue as scheduled, and the qualification question will remain on the upcoming all-member ballot. The search process for the executive director will begin in spring 2019 after the position description requirements have been finalized. The ALA Executive Board plans to name a new executive director after the board meeting in October 2019.

Mile High | ALA Midwinter Preview 2018

The American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting returns to Denver, February 9–12, at the Colorado Convention Center. While the later-than-usual timing pushes the conference closer to March’s Public Library Association (PLA) biennial gathering, a potential bottleneck for some, Midwinter offers plenty of compelling content to pull librarians to the Mile High City.

National Library Partnership Tackles Health Literacy Gap

More than 90 million Americans have low health literacy, hindering their ability to take control of and address their own health needs, according to a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Public Library Association (PLA) and its parent organization the American Library Association (ALA), together with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), are working to expand the extent to which libraries—among the most trusted of community institutions—can address this issue.

ALA Launches Policy Corps

On October 3 the American Library Association (ALA) launched the ALA Policy Corps, an initiative that will bring together a core group of library practitioners from across the field and help them develop a deep expertise in public policy issues.