Advocacy

The Second Phase of Technological Disruption

I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.

Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.

High-Wire Creativity: Philippe Petit

Card tricks. Sleight-of-hand magic. Props. Audience participation. No, this isn’t a description of a hot new show on the Vegas Strip. These are a few highlights of the United for Libraries President’s Program, held Monday at the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

A Conversation with Lois Lowry

 

 

Acclaimed author Lois Lowry shares childhood memories of her library and her positive outlook on libraries’ future role in the lives of children in an exclusive video interview with American Libraries.

 

She also discusses The Giver.

Hey Librarians, Call Me

On Tuesday, comedian, actor, director, and author B. J. Novak offered some entertainment at the Closing Session of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. In addition to having the “honor of addressing an audience of more than 1,000 librarians in Las Vegas,” Novak quipped that it was a “specific sexual fantasy.” He put up a photo of himself and a phone number on the big screen with the caption, “Hey librarians, call me.”

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.

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.”

“Alexandria Still Burns” in Las Vegas

Philadelphia photographer Kyle Cassidy generated so much interest with his portraits of librarians taken at the ALA 2014 Midwinter Meeting in a February 11 article in Slate that he returned to take more at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Consortia, Buy It Now, and Simon & Schuster

Today’s announcement (PDF file) that Simon & Schuster is making it possible for all public libraries to acquire its ebook content is welcome news. S&S had been the major holdout among the biggest publishers.

Simon & Schuster Expands Its Library Ebook Pilot Nationwide

There is good news (PDF file) on the ebook front, as Simon & Schuster converts its pilot on library ebook lending to a national program. Frankly, some of us, yours truly included, once thought that this day would never come.

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