Youth Media Award winners.

American Library Association • January 24, 2017

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2017 Youth Media Award winners

A selection of the Youth Media Award winners

On January 23, ALA announced the top books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults at the Youth Media Awards at its 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. Among them were the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, the Coretta Scott King Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, and many others. For the first time, one title won four different awards: March: Book Three, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. Watch some excerpts on the YMA video (1:44), or watch the full ceremony online (1:07:01)....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 23; ALA YouTube channel

Midwinter Meeting attendees look to the future

Midwinter Meeting attendees ride down the escalators to the Exhibit Hall opening

The thousands of librarians, library workers, and supporters at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, held January 20–24 in Atlanta, delved into the future of libraries and brought a heightened sense of urgency to examining current needs and aspirations. The 1,120 scheduled meetings and events took place throughout the Georgia World Congress Center and other nearby sites. There were 8,995 registered for the event, including 2,916 exhibitors. Check out Midwinter photos, videos, Facebook posts, tweets, American Libraries Midwinter coverage, and Cognotes issues on the ALA website....

ALA Conference Services, Jan. 23

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books, Literary Classics

Ring in the new year with a classic

Recorded Books is primed to kick off its third year of The Literary Classics Online Book Club. Free to libraries, the club is for all those who enjoy talking about classic literature. Look for these beloved titles in 2017

2017 Book Club Picks

January/February: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
March/April: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
May/June: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
July/August: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
September/October: Dracula by Bram Stoker
November/December: Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

ALA’s Town Hall meeting

Cheryl Gorman (right), senior fellow of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served as moderator for the 90-minute town hall meeting

Immediately after the first meeting of the ALA Council on Sunday, the ALA Executive Board held a town hall–style meeting to allow ALA members to share their ideas on what they think the direction of the Association should be. Many members have expressed concerns about the effects of the US election on ALA policy and advocacy efforts. The Town Hall was proposed so that attendees could share feedback, concerns, ideas, and aspirations. The event was streamed live on the American Libraries Facebook page, where it is available for replay....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22

Poetry is the answer

Kwame Alexander

Poet, educator, and Newbery Medal–winner Kwame Alexander (right) wasn’t quite sure what to say or how to confront the current political climate in the President’s Program speech he was scheduled to deliver at the Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. So he called up a librarian friend for advice. “He said, ‘One, we need you more than ever. Two, what would Martin Luther King Jr. do? Three, I need to know we’re not going backward. Four, I need someone to tell me what to do,’” said Alexander. His thoughtful, rhapsodic verse set to accomplishing these objectives. Watch a video interview (3:05) with Alexander....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 23; ALA YouTube channel

What’s left to say about Thomas Jefferson? Everything

Annette Gordon-Reed

Erika L. Jenns writes: “At her Auditorium Speaker Series presentation Sunday morning, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Harvard University Law Professor Annette Gordon-Reed (right) discussed her recently published book, ‘Most Blessed of the Patriarchs’: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. Gordon-Reed said that Jefferson’s participation in the American Revolution ‘made him who he was.’ That includes how he saw African American people.” Watch a video interview (2:39) with Gordon-Reed....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22; ALA YouTube channel

Building strength through laughter

Comedian W. Kamau Bell delivers the keynote during the Opening Session

“They said I can say anything!” W. Kamau Bell (right) exclaimed that phrase often during his Opening Session talk at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. His candor was necessary. The stand-up comic and host of the CNN program The United Shades of America was the perfect choice to kick-off a meeting that opened on the same day as Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. The audience needed to laugh and vent, and Bell enabled. Watch a video interview (3:25) with Bell....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22; ALA YouTube channel

Advocate proactively

One of the breakout groups at the advocacy meeting. From left: Casey Wallace, Christopher Moffat, Elissa Checov (a 2016 I Love My Librarian winner), Eugene Hamer, and Susan J. Schmidt (United for Libraries president). In the background is Donna McDonald (United for Libraries secretary)

“Are you a proactive or reactive advocate?” was the question asked of those who attended a Monday meeting on advocacy, sponsored jointly by RUSA and United for Libraries at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. Donna McDonald, director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System and secretary of United for Libraries, noted that many public library users are “unaware of the library’s funding challenges, and the biggest supporters may not be frequent users.” Elected officials can often be a “hard sell” because they are also looking at funding for roads, police, and other community essentials, she said....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 23
ALA Midwinter meeting

“Freedom ain’t never been free!”

Attendees at the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration sing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing“

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration has been a staple each Monday at the ALA Midwinter Meeting for the past 17 years. Sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the celebration’s theme in Atlanta was “Freedom Ain’t Never Been Free!” and featured short readings from King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and other sermons, speeches, and writings. Some 200 turned out at 6:30 a.m. for the observance....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 23

Symposium on the Future of Libraries: Day 1

The Symposium’s plenary session featured (from left) Moderator Charlotte Roh of the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, Isha Lee, and Darlene Gillard

Messages of welcoming and empowerment led the first day of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries as social innovators Isha Lee from Welcoming America and Darlene Gillard from digitalundivided shared their visions for the future. Welcoming America focuses on the innovation opportunity in helping communities best prepare themselves as fertile spaces for new immigrants to thrive. digitalundivided built its BIG Incubator program for empowering black and Latina entrepreneurs by looking at the data for black women in tech entrepreneurship in the US. See what was happening in the Symposium on Day 2 and Day 3....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 21–24

Librarians on the March

Crowd at the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women

A mass of enthusiastic demonstrators took part in the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women on January 21, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. A contingent of at least 200 librarians participated, many dressed in pink pussyhats and Nasty Women t-shirts, brandishing signs like “Make America read again” and “Keep your hands off my area studies.” The demonstration was one of hundreds held in all 50 states and dozens of countries to show opposition to the policies of the Trump administration on immigration, women’s rights, health care, climate change, choice, diversity, and equality....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 21
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Chicago Public Library internet policies

Computer room in Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library

Karin Hansen went to the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago in January to fill out forms for her mother’s nursing home, but the man on the computer next to her came to watch pornography. What websites library guests can access has been argued in courts for decades, but in Chicago, librarians don’t monitor guests’ search history, and the only forbidden content per the library’s guidelines is child pornography. Jamie LaRue, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, has a simple remedy: “Remind people to behave well in public.”...

DNAInfo Chicago, Jan. 24

School libraries and their influence on school culture

Positive school culture

Sedley Abercrombie writes: “School culture refers to the way teachers and other staff members work together and the set of beliefs, values, and assumptions they share. A positive school climate and school culture promote students’ ability to learn. Students, staff, administration, and parents are influential to the school culture, but so is the facility, the history, and the community. Each component can have a positive or negative effect on the school culture, but none can take the entire credit or blame for the school culture.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Jan. 24

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