American Library Association • January 12, 2016
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ALA Midwinter Meeting highlights

ALA President Sari Feldman and the ALA Executive Board hold a virtual ribbon cutting to open the exhibit hall

A total of 11,716 librarians, library workers, and supporters, including 3,622 exhibitors, shared the latest library-related trends, updates, innovations, products, titles, and services at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Boston, January 8–12. Lively conversations, productive problem-solving, and networking took place throughout the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and other venues at 2,400 scheduled meetings and events. Read the in-depth coverage by American Libraries....

Conference Services, Jan. 11

2016 Youth Media Award winners

Newbery winner Last Stop on Market Street, and Caldecott winner Finding Winnie

On January 11 ALA announced the top books, videos, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards—at its Youth Media Awards ceremony at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, won the 2016 John Newbery Medal, and Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, was the winner of the 2016 Randolph Caldecott Medal....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11

2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals

The Sympathizer and Hold Still, Carnegie Medal winners

ALA has selected The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, published by Grove Press, as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann, published by Little, Brown, and Company, as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. The selections were announced January 10 during the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony and Reception during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11
Libraries Transform

Sen. Cory Booker headlines President’s Program

ALA President Sari Feldman presents Sen. Cory Booker a Libraries Transform t-shirt

“Libraries are an essential bedrock of this democracy and ensure that we as a nation are who we say we are,” stated Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) at the onset of the President’s Program at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Sunday. Booker was on hand to talk about themes from his forthcoming book United (Penguin Random House), including ideas for coming together, improving our country’s access to information and infrastructure, and living up to our “boldest visions and aspirations.” Watch the video (3:13)....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11

Practicing activism every day

Mary Frances Berry at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration in Boston

Civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry keynoted the 16th annual holiday observance and sunrise celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday morning at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston. Since her days at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Berry has been a prominent activist on issues related to civil rights, gender equality, and social justice. She began her talk recalling how both King’s life and death has influenced her activism. Watch an exclusive interview with Berry (2:52) and excerpts from the observance (4:30)....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11
AL Direct 10th anniversary, 2016

Digital humanities: Bringing librarians and faculty together

Digital Humanities panel

The roles and structures of libraries are changing as digital humanities research and projects increase. A panel of experts met at Midwinter to discuss the opportunities this growing field presents for libraries to engage with academic faculty and increase the value of librarians on campus. Kathy Rosa, director of ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics, offered a basic definition of digital humanities: digital tools and technology applied to the traditional objects and methods of the humanities....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11

The writer as witness

Left to right: Terry Tempest Williams, Mark Kurlansky, Ken Burns

“I’ve always asked myself: Who are we? Who are those strange and complicated people called Americans?” Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer Ken Burns’s response when asked how he chooses the subjects of his work encapsulates “The Writer as Witness,” the theme of the ERT / Booklist Author Forum at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. A writer must look both outward and inward to completely, accurately, and honestly tell a story, he stressed. Watch an exclusive interview with Ken Burns (3:43) and excerpts from the program (3:47)....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 9
Latest Library Links

Diversity research update

Kawanna Bright (left) speaks at the Diversity Research Update

Willie M. Miller writes: “The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) held a Diversity Research Update at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday that showcased the research projects of four Diversity Research Grant recipients. The grant provides a one-time $2,500 award to support a yearlong project to address critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 10

Rare materials in offsite storage

Beth Kilmarx (left) and Charlotte Priddle, RBMS Curators and Conservators Discussion Group co-conveners

Erika Jenns writes: “The focus of the discussion at the ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section’s Curators and Conservators Discussion Group on Saturday was on the role that curators and conservators play in relation to materials in offsite storage. Charlotte Priddle, curator and librarian at New York University’s Fales Library, and Beth Kilmarx, curator of rare books at Binghamton University, were the co-conveners for this session.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 10

Learning Lab insights

Session attendees discuss ideas for successful informal learning in libraries

Learning labs. Makerspaces. Fab labs. “They might have different focuses and names, but they all share common elements,” said Kyungwon Koh, assistant professor at University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies. “It’s important that these programs are teen-driven, youth-driven. In these spaces, relationships between mentors and creators are key.” This is how Koh kicked off the “YALSA Trends Impacting YA Services: Competencies Needed to Provide Teen Library Services of the Future” program at Midwinter....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 9

Data visualization for the rest of us

Infographic on Colorado school librarians

Linda Hofschire knew something had to be done. An analyst at Library Research Service at Colorado State Library, Hofschire says that her colleagues have been collecting school library impact studies since the early 1990s to assess the influence of school libraries on student test scores. By her own admission, these were thick, technical reports “full of lots of jargon.” But CSL’s constituents were asking for data that was more presentable—something they could show to their principals, administrators, and superintendents....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 9

Excitement in the exhibit hall

Alison Griffin (middle), Vancouver, Canada, looks at books in the exhibit hall along with other attendees

Thousands of attendees packed the exhibit hall aisles, wandering from booth to booth, often loaded down with bags of free books and swag. Vendors flashed gimmicks to attract the most eyes and traffic. Food lines snaked through passageways and logjammed movement. Crowds stacked deep to hear Pop Top Stage speakers and see chefs wow with culinary skills on the What’s Cooking @ ALA stage. Laughter, voices, music, and an overall joyful buzz floated above and through it all....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 11

LITA Top Tech Trends

Moderator Lisa Bunker introduces LITA Top Tech Trends panelists (from left) Alex Lent, Jamie Hollier, Jason Griffey, Thomas Padilla, Jim Hahn, and Kent Varnum

Willie Miller writes: “The ever-popular LITA Top Tech Trends panel opened to standing room at Midwinter. The first panelist to speak was Jamie Hollier, co-owner and co-CEO of Anneal, a technology consulting company. Her first trend was an increase in interoperability related to data. She discussed ways that interoperability was important to communication, data standards, and infrastructure. Her second trend, which also happened to be panelist Jason Griffey’s second trend, was autonomous agents.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 10

Keeping it user centered

One does not simply ask a user what they want

Margaret Heller writes: “Keeping any large technical project user-centered is challenging at best. Adding in something like an extremely tight timeline makes it too easy to dispense with this completely. I have realized from talking to others that they need help advocating for the importance of user research. As we turn to our hopes and goals for 2016, let’s all make a resolution to figure out a way to make better user experience research happen, even if it seems impossible.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, Jan. 11

Eight ways to find something worth reading

Londreads logo

Lucas Lindsey writes: “Last year I drowned myself in longform stories. I read hundreds of them, thousands of words at a time, just to curate five recommendations a week for Writrsbloc. Lucky for you, all that searching for good reading taught me a thing or two. First, social feeds are a mess. Second, nobody has content discovery pegged, and even fewer have the business model figured out. Here are the eight tools I always found most useful in finding something worth reading.”...

Medium, Jan. 8

The best password managers of 2016

LastPass 4.0 Premium

Neil J. Rubenking writes: “Year after year studies reveal that the most-popular passwords are just awful. Install a password manager and change all of your passwords so every single one is different, and every single one is long and hard to crack. Until our internet culture evolves into some post-password Nirvana, everyone needs a password manager. All the commercial password managers listed here earned 3.5 stars or better. Strapped for cash? We’ve rounded up free password managers separately.”...

PC Magazine, Jan. 8; Jan. 20, 2015

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