Resetting the Possibilities

On Friday afternoon, ALA President Barbara Stripling kicked off the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition at the Opening General Session, where she recapped many of the big events from her presidential year.

Libraries as Publishers

“Everyone’s an author, everyone wants you to buy their book, everyone wants you to put their book in your collection,” said moderator Melissa Rice, head of adult services at Frankfort (Ill.) Public Library District, at “The New Library Imprint: Libraries and Self-Publishing” program at ALA Annual Conference Saturday morning.

With 391,000 self-published titles launched in 2012 alone, it is an exploding scene that libraries may want to be a part of.

A Conversation about the Future

On Saturday morning, ALA President Barbara K. Stripling convened a panel to stimulate thinking about the future and the place libraries will have in it. The conversation was a follow-up to the national Summit on the Future of Libraries held May 2­–3 at the Library of Congress. Stripling said that “Each one of us will have a different future library. We have the power to envision our future communities and make a difference right now.”

3D Printing and Libraries

3D printers may be the coolest new tech for libraries, but the complicated relationship between interactive content and libraries means that ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) need to set policy.

In “3D Printers and Library Policies,” presented by United for Libraries on June 28, Barbara Jones, Corinne Hill, and Charlie Wapner spoke about the present uncertainty over how to manage legal issues related to 3D printers and how to develop best practices for future use.

Stan Lee and the Librarians

My spidey senses were tingling but why? Stan Lee was in the house (although I and hundreds of others wound up in the overflow room).

At 91, Stan Lee is an energetic and engaging speaker. The overarching message of his talk at the Auditorium Speaker Series was that libraries, librarians, and comic books are all inspirations for children to learn to read. “I respect you librarians so much,” he said. “What you do is so important.”

Reforma President’s Program on Climate Change

Isabel Espinal, president of Reforma: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and Omar Poler, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, copresented the Reforma President’s Program, “Library Power to the People: Facing Up to the Climate Crisis with Information and Action.” The program was cosponsored by the American Indian Library Association and the newly formed ALA Sustainability Round Table.

Résumé Advice from an Expert

Saturday morning, I visited the ALA JobLIST Placement Center to take advantage of the résumé critiquing service. ALA JobLIST offers résumé critiques Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are interested in the service, schedule an appointment in advance. If you arrive unannounced, as I did, you may have to wait.

This morning I met with Julia Frankosky, government information librarian at Michigan State University, who reviewed my résumé and gave tips on how to make a better impression on potential employers.

Jane Fonda Talks about Teens and Escaping Stereotypes

The hall was packed with a very receptive audience for author and actress Jane Fonda, who appeared as part of the Auditorium Speaker Series on Saturday morning at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I arrived late, and as I settled in, she was getting weepy talking about how special librarians were to her life as she grew up.  Fonda’s mother died when she was 12, and she used her personal tragedy as a segue to discussing how critical adolescence is to the development of personality.

Libraries and the “Internet of Things”

Prior to the official kick-off of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, OCLC hosted a symposium on Friday, June 27, focusing on the “internet of things” (IOT)—the trend in technology moving toward automation and digitally connecting analog items.

Lisa Carlucci Thomas, director and founder of Design Think Do, gave an introduction to IOT and to the symposium’s featured speaker, Daniel Obodovski, coauthor of The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things.

ALAPlay 2014

Each year at ALA Annual Conference, the Games and Gaming Round Table, along with the ALA Comic Book and Graphic Novel Member Initiative Group, put together an evening full of fun and learning where the gaming, graphic novel, and cosplay communities collide. This year’s event—at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on June 27—was the biggest event to date, signaling a tipping point for both the event and GameRT.


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