2024 LibLearnX preview

American Libraries logo

Stylized illustration of a map of Baltimore

Diana Panuncial writes: “LibLearnX heads to the Charm City this year, and what place could B’more enticing? LibLearnX will be held January 19–22, bringing collaborative learning activities, networking opportunities, celebrations, and author talks to the city of Baltimore. Designed for active learning, the conference will offer more than 100 educational programs in returning formats—Accelerators, Ideas Xchanges, Learning Labs, and ShopTalks—created by and for library workers. New this year are three Timely Topics, categories of sessions pertaining to information professionals’ most asked-about issues: artificial intelligence, intellectual freedom, and sustainability.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

From the Treasurer by Peter Hepburn

Peter Hepburn writes: “Transition can be unsettling, yes, but it is also an opportunity to step back, take stock, and lay the foundation for what will follow. As we work with our interim executive director at the helm and look to the recruitment and eventual arrival of a new executive director, let’s consider three key aspects of the Association’s finances: Our successes, trends we need to keep an eye on, and areas with potential for change.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Ali Hazelwood

Diana Panuncial writes: “Romance author and doctor of neuroscience Ali Hazelwood saw her 2021 debut, The Love Hypothesis, become a New York Times bestseller and go viral on TikTok. Readers praised the book—derived from a piece of Star Wars fan fiction Hazelwood had written—for its classic tropes and STEM themes. Though she is most known for novels set among the halls of academia, her forthcoming novel, Bride (Berkley, February), is a step into paranormal romance. American Libraries spoke with Hazelwood about internet fame, her inspirations for Bride, and what role libraries play in her life....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Ad for the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union. Explore New Member Offers. Visit www.servingamericaslibrarycommunity.org. Join Today


Joanna Goldfarb writes: “Many readers will be able to identify with the following statements: I love my job. I enjoy the people and communities I work with. Every day is different and presents new opportunities and challenges. We also don’t go into librarianship expecting to not be able to pay our bills. It’s time to recognize that enjoying our work and being paid our worth are not mutually exclusive. So, what can we do? We can start advocating for ourselves to our administration, boards, and communities.”...

ALSC Blog, Jan. 3

Hexa Connect, a game developed during the UNLV Lied Library's game jam

Amber Sewell writes: “International Games Month, held annually in November, is an initiative run by the Games and Gaming Round Table of ALA. One popular International Games Month event is a game jam, where participants gather for a set time to either create a game from scratch around a common theme or create new iterations of an existing game. I held a game jam at University of Nevada-Las Vegas's Lied Library in collaboration with our Makerspace. The most surprising feedback for me was that students wanted this competition to evolve into something much bigger.”...

College & Research Libraries News, Jan.

Health Information @ The Library logo

Bobbi L. Newman writes: “The stigmatization of menstruation, commonly known as period stigma, is a pervasive social issue that transcends cultural, economic, and geographical boundaries. This stigma has far-reaching consequences, with one significant manifestation being period poverty. Period poverty is the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products due to financial constraints. Period poverty not only exacerbates gender inequalities but also hinders educational and economic opportunities for those affected. Efforts to combat period stigma and period poverty involve not only providing access to affordable menstrual products but also fostering open conversations to challenge societal norms.”...

Public Libraries Online, Jan. 9

Latest Library Links

Phone with an audiobook on its screen nestled inside a pair of headphones.

Andrew Albanese writes: “Officials at leading library ebook platform OverDrive said that 2023 was another record-breaking year for digital library circulation, with a 19% increase in library checkouts of digital media over 2022. In all, library users worldwide borrowed some 662 million ebooks, digital audiobooks, and digital magazines, OverDrive reps announced in a . In addition, 152 library systems reported more than a million digital checkouts in 2023, up from 129 last year.”...

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 4

Los Angeles Public Library acquires independent publisher

Jim Ruland writes: “When Paddy Calistro and Scott McAuley, the co-founders of Angel City Press, announced they were retiring from the publishing house they’d run for more than 30 years, it sounded like just another sad story in 2023. But the Los Angeles institution had a surprising plan. In an unprecedented turn of events, the publisher has been acquired by the Los Angeles Public Library.” While some libraries operate presses, Los Angeles City Librarian John F. Szabo said he was not aware of other instances of an independent publisher becoming part of a public library in the US....

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 8

Alabama Public Library Service logo

Drew Taylor writes: “In nearly a month since it first launched, the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) in Montgomery has received only six submissions from the public about books that are considered ‘controversial.’ APLS launched a list of books December 14 that parents and the community could contribute to that they considered offensive or inappropriate. The list is part of a growing partisan trend nationwide of people attacking library boards for some of the books they offer. However, some have criticized the movement as a step toward censorship.”...

WIAT-TV (Birmingham, Alabama), Jan. 3

ALA news and press releases

Teenagers running off

Aube Rey Lescure writes: “This is a reading list about young people growing up too fast, too hard, too weird, too tenderly because they live in places where the setting is a driving force for complicated youths. In these stories of fevered hopes and bleak pessimism, absentee parents, epidemics of violence, the anonymity of buzzing metropolises, the wilderness remote towns, the suffocating provincialism, and racial and class tensions are all vivid setting traits to contribute to a kaleidoscopic collection of youth in flux—spanning continents, but all authentic portraits of hyper-particular settings.”...

Electric Literature, Jan. 8

Stack of tablet computers

Stephen Johnson writes: “There’s no reason to throw away/recycle your old iPhones. Instead, you can upcycle them. Even with no carrier, an iPhone or iPad can still function as a versatile wifi device—perfect for configuring as a single-use gadget, whether you want a free baby monitor, an otherworldly musical instrument, or an extra TV remote.”...

Lifehacker, Jan. 9

Old-fashioned library reading room

Stephen McCauley writes: “I made a resolution to abandon my desk at home and only write in libraries. There’s something about each of these very different sanctuaries—with their noisy tourists, rambunctious schoolchildren, snoring visitors escaping the cold or heat, elderly jigsaw-puzzle aficionados—that allows me to leave behind the distractions of the world and my own self-doubts and believe that what I’m doing has some value.”...

Literary Hub, Jan. 9

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the .


Editor, AL Direct:

Direct ad inquiries to:

Send news and feedback:


All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site. .


American Libraries will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the .


To manage your American Libraries email preferences, please click .

To unsubscribe from all American Library Association communications, click .


American Library Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Higher Logic