Our Work in Washington

Advocacy and lobbying in the nation’s capital on behalf of libraries and the library profession was the focus of “Washington Update–2014 Congressional Election and Its Impact on Libraries,” an event held Saturday morning at ALA’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas. Strides in the right direction are being made, but the work is far from over.

A Word from the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medalists

Doris Kearns Goodwin praises grassroots activism:
Donna Tartt shares how New York Public Library staff helped her research The Goldfinch. Click here (MP4 file) to see the interview with Tartt. 

Examining Our Values

The Reference and User Services Association’s President’s Program on Saturday afternoon offered a wide-ranging look at how academic and public libraries developed their traditional service values.

How to Handle Controversial Programming

On Saturday, ALA's Public Programs Office and Office for Intellectual Freedom presented “Managing Challenges, Maximizing Impact: Policies and Practices for Controversial Programming.” Using the “Muslim Journeys” program as an example, Lesley Williams, head of adult services at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library, and Martin Garnar, reference services librarian and professor at Regis University in Denver, presented on managing controversial programming.

ALA First-Timer: Going to the Movies

Coming from a small town with just one movie theater (showing only commercially predictable films), I was especially excited to check out the “Now Showing @ ALA” series.

ALA First-Timer: TEDx Program Empowers

If you present information in a visual format, it may be tweeted, shared, and commented on for months to come, as ideas make their way around the world. 

That’s where a 20-minute TED (technology, entertainment, design) talk has the ability to meet the public at just the intersection between attention and a need for visual.

At Friday’s program “TEDx: An Independently Hosted Event at Your Library,” speaker Robert Barr, director of Juneau (Alaska) Public Library, demonstrated how he is capitalizing on the civic engagement tools that a TED talk can provide a community.

Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Genre Reading of the Year

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) hosted Sunday morning’s “Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year” program. Sponsored by publishers Penguin, HarperCollins, and Macmillan, the program featured talks by four authors who won the 2014 Notable Book Award and Reading List Book Awards, which honor authors in genre fiction and nonfiction. The program featured authors Tessa Dare, Christopher Buehlman, Victoria Schwab, and Daniel J. Brown.

Make a Game

Saturday’s Games and Gaming Round Table’s featured program—“Come Make a Game”—was filled with more than 100 people and hummed with an enthusiasm rarely seen at programs. “This is the most energy I have seen in one of my sessions,” said Scott Nicholson, associate professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and director of the Because Play Matters game lab.

ALA’s Volunteer Ambassadors

Now in its fourth year, the Ambassador program run by the ALA Membership Development Office was in full force at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas and operating out of the ALA Membership Pavilion. Paul Signorelli, who has served as consultant to the program, gave American Libraries a rundown on how it operates:

Mass Surveillance and the Snowden Revelations

As part of its ongoing collaboration with the National Security Archive (NSA), database publisher ProQuest invited NSA Executive Director Tom Blanton to keynote its customer luncheon at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference.


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