ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

American Library Association • June 2, 2017
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Annual Conference preview

Chicago River

While the World Series championship comes to the Chicago Cubs only once every 108 years, the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition is a far more common Chicago event, if not more exciting. Returning to McCormick Place after four years, the conference will offer a host of professional development opportunities, new ideas to help shape the future of libraries, a full slate of author programs and fascinating speakers, and a variety of special events and other activities. Here is a taste. And be sure to consult our dining guide....

American Libraries feature, June

My ALA journey

From the Executive Director, Keith Michael Fiels

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “This is my last column as executive director. My journey with ALA began 40 years ago, when I climbed into a beat-up Chevy Vega and drove to Chicago for my first ALA conference. As any new conference-goer knows, it was overwhelming. I found the job I’d come looking for, and in the process, I also discovered the difference between a job and a career. In the years that followed, the people I met through ALA mentored me, challenged me, and helped get me through tough times.”...

American Libraries column, June

At the heart of our work

From the ALA President, Julie B. Todaro

ALA President Julie B. Todaro writes: “The past year has been—to say the least—the most interesting of my career. And I can say both humorously and truthfully that I did not know how hard it would be to be president. We continue to communicate and educate stakeholders about our work, its value, and the very need for our existence. Many libraries face similar challenges more regularly, and I have a newfound appreciation and respect for what you do every day.”...

American Libraries column, June

Kathi Kromer named Washington Office director

Kathi Kromer

After a nationwide search, ALA has announced Kathi Kromer as the new associate executive director of the ALA Washington Office on June 1. She will start on June 5. Kromer was vice president of strategy and outreach for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association from 2005 to 2016. She was one of the key architects responsible for legislation that created the National ALS Registry and the US Department of Veterans Affairs ruling that ALS is a service-connected disease....

AL: The Scoop, June 1

Registration open for Sharjah Book Fair

Sharjah/ALA conference logo

Registration is now open for the 2017 Sharjah International Book Fair / ALA Library Conference. The conference is at the heart of an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations and is ALA’s most ambitious international professional development collaboration to date. The 2017 conference—the fourth annual event—will take place at the Sharjah Expo Centre, November 7–9, and includes a day of preconferences and a full roster of presentations. Incoming ALA President Jim Neal and Sohair Wastawy, executive director of the Qatar National Library, will headline the event....

International Relations Office, May 31

Massachusetts State Library relents on usage fees

Worcester WWI veteran Cornelius Kelley. Photo from the Massachusetts State Library

An effort by Worcester historians to put faces to the names on the city’s World War I memorial recently encountered an expensive hurdle from the Massachusetts State Library. The issue, concerning usage fees for images in the library’s collection, appeared on its way to being resolved in early June, ending what had been a potentially costly predicament. The library wanted to charge $100 for each image from its collection used in a commemorative book being compiled to honor Worcester’s World War I fallen....

Worcester (Mass.) Telegram, June 1

Making in the library while learning to fail

Library makerspace

Abigail Phillips writes: “I first became interested in library makerspaces while touring Chicago Public Library’s Maker Lab (not yet open to the public) and its already thriving YOUMedia during ALA Annual Conference in 2013. There are many positive aspects of youth involvement with making, such as fostering inventiveness, introducing STEAM learning outside of the classroom, and promoting learning as play. But in this post, I will focus on two major benefits of making in libraries: cultivating a capacity to create and learning to fail.”...

YALSA Blog, June 2
ALA Annual Conference

Talking tech with Marcellus Turner

Marcellus Turner

Seattle Public Library has an array of tech initiatives under way, including its portable Wi-Fi hotspots and a new website scheduled to launch at the end of the year—one of the insights City Librarian Marcellus Turner (right) shares in this podcast. GeekWire Editor Todd Bishop and Education Technology Analyst Frank Catalano sit down with Turner to talk about how new tech initiatives are changing libraries. Turner also gives us tips on using existing technology resources, including the library’s extensive online databases and journals....

GeekWire, May 31; July 12, 2015

Academic libraries and sustainability rersources

Sustainability in Libraries, Kellie Sparks

Kellie Sparks writes: “Academic librarians have a notable opportunity to take the lead in ensuring that reliable information enters the hands of community members, including leaders and activists. One area for improvement is the topic of sustainability—an issue not just for those interested or working in the sciences, but one for every living, breathing being. Academic libraries can move toward providing a fact-based voice in fighting climate change in their communities.”...

AL: The Scoop, May 31

“Academic terrorist”

Former Scholarly Open Access blog

Carl Straumsheim writes: “Months after an academic librarian deleted lists of ‘predatory’ journals and publishers from his blog, a website with derogatory comments about his academic qualifications and mental health remains online. Jeffrey Beall, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver, for years maintained lists of scholarly journals and publishers he deemed ‘predatory’—meaning they abused open-access publishing practices for their own monetary gain. The website labels Beall an ‘academic terrorist,’ and a ‘predatory blogger.’”...

Inside Higher Ed, June 2
Latest Library Links

Reading to therapy dogs improves literacy attitudes

Child reads aloud to therapy dog

Second-grade students who read aloud to dogs in an after-school program demonstrated improved attitudes about reading, according to researchers at Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction at Tufts University. Their research appears online in advance of print in the Early Childhood Education Journal. Researchers wanted to learn if animal-assisted intervention in the form of reading aloud to dogs in a classroom setting could contribute to improved skills and attitudes....

Tufts Now, May 31

Indie Author Day and libraries

Indie Author Day

Peyton Stafford writes: “To begin looking at Indie Author Day (October 14), let’s examine some of the library issues that the event addresses, so we understand why libraries participated in it last year and how it benefited them and their patrons, as well as why it is worth beginning or continuing in libraries. Indie Author Day is a package that addresses a constellation of indie author issues. There is now a trend toward more readers reading more indie authors; likewise, more readers are shifting from print to digital.”...

No Shelf Required, June 1

The future of library experiences

Machine learning

Margaret Heller writes: “Is the future of research voice-controlled? The future might look like a system that can parse imprecise human language and turn it into an appropriately structured search query in a database or variety of databases, bearing in mind other variables, and return the correct results. Pieces of this exist already, but I suspect over the next few years we will be building or adapting tools to perform these functions. As we do this, we should think about how we can incorporate our values and skills as librarians into these tools.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, May 31

Maryland students create multicultural bookmarks

Three of the Montgomnery County student bookmarks

Yael Fishman admits she never uses bookmarks to keep her place in a book, so “half the time I forget where I am.” But the 6th grader hopes that the kids who use the bookmark she has designed for Montgomery County (Md.) Public Libraries “will grow up to like reading” as much as she does. Eleven of her fellow students at Mario Loiederman Middle School and 12 students at Wheaton High School also created original bookmarks, most of them bilingual, that have been printed and distributed to all the library branches....

Artivate, May 12; YouTube, May 4

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