Using Sci-Fi to Tinker with Mankind

Science fiction and fantasy are broad genre labels. There are no boundaries to their fantastic natures—they can encompass all variety of settings, times, and narrative structures. As a result, sci-fi and fantasy can be prime petri dishes for experiments on the human condition. How will a human being act when confronted by aliens from other planets, elf and dwarf worlds, benign robots, or the prospect of having superpowers?

Ebook Strategies for Librarians and Publishers

E-Content Quarterly Editor Mirela Roncevic on Sunday served as moderator for a panel of librarians and publishers who discussed “Leading with Ebooks: New Strategies for Librarians and Publishers.” The event was sponsored by Total BooX, an ebook provider that offers a pay-as-you-read model, and it was dedicated to the late Ernie DiMattia, an early adopter of Total BooX and the long-time director of the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut, who died on June 26.

Ilyasah Shabazz Discusses the Power of Family and Heritage

“We allow our children to be taught to hate,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, and an auditorium speaker on Sunday at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. When love and positive values are not instilled in a family, she said, “Ultimately, we have failed our obligation to God (if you believe in God), our obligation to our children, and our obligation to ourselves. We must do better.”

Earn What You’re Worth

Many library professionals, when offered a job, are so relieved to hear that the search is over that they agree to any terms an employer sets. But agreeing to the first salary an organization offers is not the best career move, according to the ALA­–Allied Professional Association’s program “Earn What You’re Worth: Salary Negotiation for Library Workers.”

American Indian Youth Literature Awards

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards (AIYLA) ceremony took place on Sunday afternoon. The awards are presented every two years to authors whose works “identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians,” and present American Indians “in the fullness of their humanity” both past and present. 

Literary Speed Dating

While libraries are so much more than the physical books on our shelves, those books play a critical role in the services we provide to patrons. Which is why, for many of us, half the fun of ALA Annual Conference is hearing about what is new and upcoming from our favorite authors.

With a plethora of exciting titles on the horizon, a quick and fun way to get the word out is through literary speed dating—the first of its kind at Annual Conference. I had the opportunity to attend two of these whirlwind events, and they were quite the experience.

LITA President’s Program Presents the Girl Scouts of Technology

I am not a tech head. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet, my smartphone, and gifs, but I know very little about the computer science behind the technology I use. Yet the increasing power of technology and the role it plays in our daily lives cannot be understated. Computer science is currently the fastest-growing, highest-paying profession in our economy, but the United States can only fill 30% of the available jobs. With such a rich and open field, one might assume that men and women would be flocking to this career path equally. However that is not the case.

Council I Expresses Support for Air Force Libraries

On Saturday, ALA Council met for its first session, with ALA President Barbara Stripling presiding. Among its actions, Council passed a Resolution in Support of Stable Funding for Air Force Libraries (CD#43).

Gaming in Libraries

The Game Making Interest Group’s meeting this year centered around the recently published book Gaming in Libraries: Essays on Using Play to Connect and Instruct (McFarland, 2014), which was edited by the group’s chair, Breanne Kirsch. The Sunday discussion, sponsored by LITA, was filled with short lightning presentations from those who contributed to the book, giving attendees an opportunity to directly engage authors with questions about their work.

Discussing Virtual Reference


Updated Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 14:52

If you are thinking about or are in the early stages of building a virtual reference service for your library, implementing a Virtual Reference Companion (VRC) Resource is a great place to start.


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