ALA voting begins March 13.

American Library Association • March 7, 2017
ALA TechSource

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Voting in ALA elections begins March 13

ALA Guide to the 2017 elections

The polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on Monday, March 13, for the ALA annual election and will close on Wednesday, April 5, at 11:59 p.m. Central time. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be ALA members in good standing as of January 31, 2017. Over the three-day period of March 13–15, voters will be notified by email and provided with a unique URL that will take them to their specific ballot(s). For more information, refer to the ALA Guide to the 2017 Elections in either PDF format or Flipbook....

Office of ALA Governance

The presidential candidates

Left to right: Loida Garcia-Febo, Terri Grief, and Scott Walter

The candidates for ALA president in 2017 are Loida Garcia-Febo, international library consultant and president of Information New Wave in Brooklyn, New York; Terri Grief, school librarian at McCracken County (Ky.) High School; and Scott Walter, university librarian at Depaul University in Chicago. They participated in a candidates’ forum on January 21 at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. A video of the forum (1:04:38) is available on YouTube....

Office of ALA Governance

The Council roster

ALA Council poses for a historic group shot in 2016

The Council is the governing body of ALA. It delegates to the divisions of the Association authority to plan and carry out programs and activities with policy established by Council. Council determines all policies of the Association, and its decisions are binding unless set aside by a majority vote in which one-fourth of the members of the Association have voted. This year, 85 candidates, those selected by the Nominating Committee as well as petition candidates, are running to fill 33 vacant Councilor-at-Large seats. Candidate biographies are available on the ALA website....

Office of ALA Governance

Division and round table elections

Division and round table ballots

ALA members who are also members of the Association’s 11 divisions or 20 round tables are also eligible to vote in the elections for officers of those divisions and round tables of which they are members. Ballots for relevant ALA units will also be sent along with the general ALA ballots. Visit the websites of specific divisions and round tables for more information....

Office of ALA Governance
ALA news

In D.C., it’s all about our values

From the Executive Director, by Keith Michael Fiels

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “Over the past two months, there’s been a lot of discussion about advocacy in the new federal environment. Much of this discussion has centered on our core values and how our positions and efforts need to focus on what promises to be a challenging period ahead. As an Association, we advocate for a wide range of federal legislation and policy issues, from intellectual freedom and privacy to access to government information to preservation to copyright.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

Mental health first aid

1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness

Kaitlin Throgmorton writes: “Though many library staffers receive physical first aid and CPR training as part of their jobs, mental health first aid training happens far less often. For libraries, however, mental health training can defuse tense situations, provide needed resources, and most importantly, help patrons through crises. Mental health training is offered through various providers, including Mental Health First Aid USA, operated by the National Council for Behavioral Health.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

Bridging the gap for vets

A volunteer (left) helps a veteran at San Francisco Public Library’s Veterans Resource Center. The center is part of the Veterans Connect @ the Library program. Photo by Jason Doiy

Novato Public Library, located in a small town in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, has become a meeting place for military veterans. That’s thanks to a four-year-old California public library program called Veterans Connect @ the Library, which helps put veterans in touch with benefits and services. At Novato, for example, one retired Air Force officer who volunteers at the library has become someone whom vets can not only get information from but can also communicate with....

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.
ALA Annual Conference

Government data is not always easy to find

Scientific data

Reports that the administration is proposing deep budget cuts for such government agencies as NOAA and EPA have fueled new fears of databases being axed, if only as a cost-saving measure. It is illegal to destroy government data, but agencies can make it more difficult to find by revising websites and creating other barriers. Much of the data collected over the decades remains held only by the government, scattered on thousands of servers in hundreds of departments where it may not be backed up and could be impossible to find....

New York Times, Mar. 6

Your library can be a job seeker’s wonderland

Factiva Expert Search

Megan Mall writes: “In my previous position, I worked as a librarian in a university career center. In short, I helped students research companies and industries to prepare for interviews. The idea that a librarian could help students with their career pursuits was initially something of a mystery to them. But once they saw the caliber of information available through subscription databases and the librarian’s expertise at work, they were converts. Here is how you can launch a career resource center.”...

ACRLog, Mar. 6

IMLS supports libraries offering teens technology

MoboRobo: Robots on the Go is a Terrebonne Parish (La.) Library program funded through an IMLS Sparks! Ignition Grant for Libraries

In honor of YALSA’s Teen Tech Week 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is spotlighting five recent projects it has supported that demonstrate how libraries leverage technology in service of teens. These libraries serve a range of diverse communities and experimented with a variety of tools and approaches, including Minecraft, digital credentialing, making, and robotics. IMLS has supported each of these projects, which are getting highlighted this week in a series of guest blog posts....

UpNext Blog, Mar. 6–7
ALA Midwinter Meeting

What calling Congress achieves

Illustration by Oliver Munday

Kathryn Schulz writes: “There are a great many ways to petition the government, including with actual petitions, but, short of showing up in person, the one reputed to be the most effective is picking up the phone and calling your congressional representatives. The Stop Online Piracy Act is a good example of this. Before it failed, lawmakers were most likely to think about its impact on copyright holders. Today, no one can contemplate a copyright bill without remembering other constituents, from librarians to the tech community.”...

The New Yorker, Mar. 6

Smelling rare books and artifacts in the Morgan Library

Carlos Benaim invited Jane Kang to smell a 16th-century book at the Morgan Library

Randy Kennedy writes: “Over the past year, a Columbia University preservation expert and a curator at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan have been engaged in an unusual poetic-scientific experiment—trying to pin down the powerful connection between smell and memory. Over the last year, Jorge Otero-Pailos and seven graduate students have been conducting an olfactory project in collaboration with Christine Nelson, curator of literary and historical manuscripts at the Morgan Library.”...

New York Times, Mar. 3

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