The Conversation Starts in Dallas . . .
. . . on the transformation of the profession, the best books for children, top authors, and exhibits
Posted Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:05
Skyline of Dallas as seen from the convention center. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Convention Center and Visitors Bureau
Join the more than 10,000 library leaders, publishers, authors, and guests in discussions about the transformation of libraries, learn firsthand from frontline Occupy movement librarians, and engage in the excitement of Youth Media Award announcements during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting January 20–24 at the Dallas Convention Center and area hotels.
More than 1,800 meetings will also probe such issues as the ongoing struggle for libraries facing budget cuts, the emergence of ebooks, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns. Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit with more than 400 companies and get signed books from favorite authors.
One of the major meeting highlights is the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards, Monday, January 23, at 7:45 a.m. The awards—including the prestigious Caldecott and Newbery medals, as well as the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Printz awards—honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators and producers of children’s audio and video materials.
Approximately 10,000 webcast viewers will join more than 1,300 onsite audience members for the announcement of 18 awards. The number of available connections for the webcast is limited, so access is on a first-come, first-served basis at tinyurl.com/ymawebcast. Results can also be followed live at twitter.com/ALAyma (#alayma). Members also can view live updates at ala.org/yma. The press release announcing all ALA Youth Media Award recipients will be available at ala.org/yma prior to 10 a.m. Central time. After the announcements, highlighted videos from winning authors will be available at www.youtube.com/ALAYouthMediaAwards.
what’s new and renewed
New this year is the ALA Masters Series, designed to offer insight into the hottest trends and issues, with experts from across library specialties describing their latest in-house innovations in fast-paced 30-minute sessions. To kick off the program, a special hour-long Masters Series session, “A Library Occupies Occupy Wall Street,” is slated for Saturday, January 21, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Attendees will learn firsthand from five librarians on the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street movement—Betsy Fagin, Mandy Henk, Zachary Loeb, Danny Norton, and Jamie Taylor. They will share their experiences as well as discuss the building of the People’s Library.
Fagin is a 2004 ALA Spectrum Scholar from the University of Maryland. Henk, a librarian since 2003, has been working in reference and teaching, but her main focus has been access services. Loeb received his MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2011. Norton is a page at the New York Public Library, liaison for educational outreach with the People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street, and a distance-education library student at the University of Maine at Augusta. Taylor is an art librarian and archivist at Poster Auctions International in New York City.
Two other Masters Series sessions are scheduled. “Reimagining the Public Library in a Post-Recession Economy,” Saturday, January 21, 12:30 to 1 p.m., will address how Dallas Public Library is rethinking everything as it transitions out of the Great Recession of 2008. Mobile technology allows staff to deliver service at point of contact, an innovation incubator provides opportunities for assistance to those wanting to start a microbusiness, and a renewed commitment to library services in a digital age has staff focused on the customer’s experience.
Sunday, January 22, from 12:30 to 1 p.m., Carl Lennertz will describe how attendees can be part of World Book Night, a giveaway of one million books to underserved readers across the United States that is slated for April 23. Librarians as well as booksellers will be asked to be volunteer, and libraries and bookstores will serve as book-drop points. Lennertz launched World Book Night after working in sales at Random House, as marketing director at Knopf, as associate publisher at Little Brown, and as vice president of sales at HarperCollins. In the midst of all his work history, he also launched Book Sense.
Following an eight-year hiatus, the ALA Fun Run makes a return as the Association adds a “Think Fit @ ALA”; focus that encourages both personal and environmental health at this year’s first face-to-face Association event. Open to all attendees, the Fun Run 5K and Walk will take place at 7 a.m. Saturday, January 21. An annual event for 21 years debuting in Dallas in 1984, the ALA Fun Run was established as an organized healthy activity during Annual Conference.
“Think Fit” encompasses all Midwinter sessions, programs, and events following its focus, and is headlined by the Fun Run 5K and Walk. ALA Conference Services will identify events promoting personal or environmental health and will note them with the “Think Fit @ ALA” logo in the program book.
Registration for the Fun Run 5K and Walk is open to all Midwinter attendees. Participation includes an event T-shirt, a goody bag, and the awards ceremony. The cost is $25 before January 17 and $30 per person after January 17 or onsite. Visit alamidwinter.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2011, ALA announced a partnership with the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in Go4Life, a new national exercise and physical activity campaign for people over age 50. The goal of Go4Life is to provide resources to older adults on how to incorporate more movement into their everyday lives. The federal campaign is based on research that shows exercise and physical activity can help people stay healthy and independent and prevent some of the chronic conditions associated with aging. The Association will offer Go4Life resources, such as free guides and DVDs, to Midwinter Meeting attendees and in June during Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.
The center of the campaign is an interactive website that provides information for individuals, families and friends, organizations, and health care professionals. It features exercises, success stories, and free materials to motivate the growing numbers of older people to start exercising—and keep exercising—to improve their health and achieve a better quality of life.
Following successful Unconferences at past ALA events, another one is being hosted Friday, January 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Unconference is a participant-guided experience that harnesses the unstructured conversations people usually have between conference sessions into the conference itself. Organized by the crowd, Unconferences are about sharing the knowledge and passion participants have for the profession and taking what is learned into the world to make a difference.
In a similar vein, Midwinter attendees can also take part in the first-ever Midwinter Library Camp, Monday, January 23, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., designed to get people together to talk about anything library or conference related.
The Unconference will set the stage for “Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities,” two afternoons of conversation hosted by ALA President Molly Raphael about the evolving needs of our communities and how we can transform libraries and librarianship. In these conversations, Syracuse iSchool professor David Lankes will lead small groups in addressing questions about transforming our communities and the profession. Facilitators from the graphic recording company Sunni Brown will help create visual images of the plenary conversations that conclude each afternoon.
The Saturday, January 21, session will focus on “Understanding Your Communities,” while “Transforming Librarianship” is the Sunday, January 22, session topic. Both programs run from 1 to 3 p.m. each day and are open to all Midwinter Meeting attendees. Participants will also receive a coupon for 5% off the price of Lankes’s book Atlas of New Librarianship (Association of College and Research Libraries/MIT Press, 2011), available at the ALA Conference Store.
Lankes’s current focus is on reconceptualizing the library field through the lens of “new librarianship.” He is a professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, director of the library science program for the school, and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse.
Picking up and continuing the conversation as the featured speaker in Raphael’s President’s Program, Sunday, January 22, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., is Rich Harwood, described as “one of the great thinkers in American public life.” President and founder of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, he has become a leading national authority on improving America’s communities, raising standards of political conduct, and reengaging citizens regarding today’s most complex and controversial public issues.
The “Empowering Voices” events are part of a range of programming under the Midwinter focus of “The conversation starts here… .” They begin with the Advocacy Institute Workshop, “Mobilizing Community Support for Your Library,” Friday, January 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. “Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities” is sponsored by the Texas Library Association.
Part of President Raphael’s diversity leadership initiative “Empowering Diverse Voices,” Champion Connections will take place Saturday, January 21, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. to provide selected new and emerging leaders with an opportunity to meet with established leaders within ALA, its divisions, round tables, and affiliates.
“My own champion story starts with my work with Julie Todaro in the Texas Library Association,” said Mary Jo Venetis, coleader for the Champion Connections project. “Julie became my champion when she advocated for my participation at the next level of leadership in 2009–10 ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Presidential Initiative. With that single recommendation, Julie set me on a new path to leadership within the Association.”
“One can never have too many champions,” added project coleader Rose Dawson. “As a person of color, I found it invaluable to have advocates such as Molly Raphael and the late Effie Lee Morris providing guidance. They played an important role in bringing my skills and talents to the larger library arena. Having an advocate is a real must.”
The “ALA Washington Office (WO) Update: Orphaned Works and Digital Libraries” will be held Saturday, January 21, from 8 to 10 a.m.
Tips for those working in libraries on the verge of closure will get valuable information at “How to Save Your Library Using Grassroots Strategies: Success Stories” during the ALA WO Breakout I Saturday, January 21, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Advocacy guru Stephanie Vance will share tips on how to influence policymakers during tough economic times. Also, hear success stories from library advocates around the country and what they have done to influence policymakers in their community. Attendees will be offered 10 principles for grassroots success.
The WO Breakout II, “Online and Above the Radar: Ensuring the Use and Discoverability of Digital Collections,” will be held Saturday, January 21, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Building on the ALA Office of Information Technology Policy’s (OITP) Perspectives Paper, “Digitizing Hidden Collections in Public Libraries” (PDF file), a panel will address initiatives aimed at providing increased access to the small- and medium-sized digitization projects created by libraries, archives, and museums. Panelists will discuss how to ensure access to and discoverability of digitization projects after their creation and best practices for collaborating with other institutions.
OITP will also host “Do I Own These Ebooks or Not? The Adventures of Jo Budler, Kansas State Librarian,” Saturday, January 21, from
1:30 to 3:30 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (revised time) Hear the story about how one state librarian dared to suggest that Kansas libraries owned—and did not rent—the ebooks they had purchased. Budler will tell the behind-the-scenes story about the publishers’ reaction to her claim and what this daring effort might mean for state and public libraries across the country.
The ALA Presidential Candidates Forum, with Gina J. Millsap, chief executive officer of the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, and Barbara K. Stripling, assistant professor of practice at Syracuse (N.Y.) University, will take place Saturday, January 21, from 11 a.m. to noon.
In addition to a number of other issues, ALA’s governing Council will vote for three of six candidates who are seeking positions on the Executive Board. They are: Robert (Rob) Banks, chief operating officer, Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library; Karen Downing, university learning communications liaison, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Rosario Garza, executive director, Southern California Library Cooperative, Monrovia; Alexia I. Hudson, reference and instruction librarian, Penn State Abington; John A. Moorman, director, Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library; and Bobbi L. Newman, graduate student, public policy and administration, Iowa State University, Ames.
The three who are elected will serve three-year terms on the Executive Board beginning at the close of the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Additional nominations may be made from the Council floor. Immediately following the Council II meeting Monday, January 23, the Executive Board Candidates Forum will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The forum gives Council members an opportunity to hear the views of the candidates and to ask questions of them prior to voting.
The Exhibits Round Table/Booklist Author Forum, Friday, January 20, from 4 to 5:15 p.m., kicks the meeting off when authors representing different voices come together to discuss their work as it relates to exploring social conditions past and present in fiction and nonfiction. Authors Helen Schulman and Hillary Jordan will share, with moderator Brad Hooper, Booklist adult books editor, their own special approaches to capturing society at large and family in particular, either in contemporary times or in the historical past. The authors will sign copies of their latest works at their publishers’ booths during the opening exhibits reception immediately following the forum.
Schulman, who is also associate professor of writing at the New School in New York City, is author of the New York Times bestseller This Beautiful Life(Harper, 2011), a novel that examines the balancing act needed to nurture a family through these manic times.
Jordan wrote the international bestseller Mudbound (Algonquin,2008), an Alex Award winner as well as a winner of the Bellwether Prize for literature that addresses issues of social justice. Her latest book, When She Woke (Algonquin, 2011), is a fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future.
The Auditorium Speaker Series, featuring authors Susan Cain and John Green, takes place Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22, both at 10 a.m.
Cain is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, scheduled for January release by Crown, which examines how dramatically our culture misunderstands and undervalues introverts in this increasingly social world. She will address, based on the latest psychology and neuroscience, why she considers introverts’ traits to be advantageous and why she feels she owes her success to them.
Green will look at how social networking relates to literature and how librarians can reach patrons through fun and inventive social networking He has more than 1.1 million Twitter followers, while his vlogbrothers YouTube channel has more than 600,000 subscribers and 183 million views. Green’s appearance kicks off the tour for his book, The Fault in Our Stars, scheduled for January publication by Dutton.
Green will also be the featured speaker at the annual Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) fundraising author event Sunday, January 22, beginning at 6 p.m., at Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street. His talk will begin at 7 p.m., to be followed by a book signing.
Freedom to Read Foundation Executive Director Barbara Jones said, “John Green is not only a wonderful author, but he is an inspirational voice for defending the right to read. He has a particular gift for connecting with young people, often giving voice to frustrations, fears, and desires they are starting to come to terms with. He has been forthright in his opposition to censorship, with his “I Am Not a Pornographer” video being a particularly strong rebuke to a challenge in a New York school of his book Looking for Alaska.”
The suggested donation is $25 ($10 for students). Refreshments will be provided. Copies of Green’s books will be on sale at the event, with proceeds benefiting FTRF. Preregistration is encouraged because of space limitations. For more information, or to make a donation, visit FTRF.
Author and activist Jamal Joseph will present the 13th annual Arthur Curley Lecture, Saturday, January 21, from 4 to 5 p.m. In the 1960s, Joseph exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their campus to the ground. Today, he is the chair of Columbia’s School of the Arts film division. His personal odyssey—from the streets of Harlem to Rikers Island and Leavenworth, and to the halls of Columbia—is detailed in his upcoming book, Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention. Charged with conspiracy as one of the youngest members of the Panther 21 in one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the 1960s, Joseph was twice sent to prison. While incarcerated, he earned two college degrees and wrote five plays and two volumes of poetry.
Joseph has written and directed for Black Starz, HBO, FoxTV, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and A&E, and was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award in the Best Song category for his contributions to the song “Raise It Up,” performed by IMPACT Repertory Theatre and Jamia Nash in the 2007 film August Rush. He is also the founder and artistic director of IMPACT, a Harlem-based youth theater company, and executive director of New Heritage Films, a not-for-profit organization that provides training and opportunities for minority filmmakers.
The Arthur Curley Lecture honors the late Arthur Curley, 1994–95 president of ALA and director of the Boston Public Library from 1985 to 1996. To donate to the Arthur Curley Memorial Fund, visit ala.org/giveala.
Rev. Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin, professor of religious studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, will keynote the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration Monday, January 23, from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.
Baldwin has written and edited several books, including his latest, Thou Dear God: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits (Beacon, 2011), the first-ever collection of 68 prayers by Dr. King. His other titles include Toward the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King Jr. and South Africa (Pilgrim Press, 1995), To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Augsburg Fortress, 1992), and There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King Jr. (Augsburg Fortress, 1991). Baldwin’s work has won the American Theological Library Association Award and the Midwest Book Achievement Award of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. An ordained Baptist minister, Baldwin came of age during the civil rights and Black Power eras. He participated in student demonstrations and other civil rights activities while attending college.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Honoring a Legacy that Still Inspires.” The program is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It is supported by ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. Light refreshments will be served.
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations will host its annual Gala Author Tea Monday, January 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., featuring Kim Edwards, Erin Duffy, Pam Houston, Taylor Stevens, and Leonard Kniffel. Attendees will enjoy tea, finger sandwiches, and a variety of sweet treats. Some books will be given away; others will be available for purchase at a generous discount.
Edwards is the author of The Lake of Dreams (Penguin, 2011); The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (Penguin, 2006); and The Secrets of a Fire King (Picador, 1998), a collection of short stories that was an alternate for the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award.
Duffy, author of Bond Girl (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2012), graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in English and went on to spend more than a decade working in fixed-income sales on Wall Street. Bond Girl is her first novel.
Houston, who wrote Contents May Have Shifted (2012), is director of creative writing at the University of California at Davis. She is also author of two collections of linked short stories—Cowboys Are My Weakness (1993)and Waltzing the Cat( 1999)—the novel Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More about Me, all published by W. W. Norton.
Author of The Innocent (Crown/Random House, 2011), Stevens is also the New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist, the first novel featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe. Born into the Children of God, raised in communes across the globe, and denied an education beyond the 6th grade, Stevens broke free and now lives in Texas.
Kniffel wrote Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books (ALA Editions, 2011). He was editor in chief of American Libraries magazine from 1996 to 2011 and worked as a librarian for 18 years at Detroit Public Library. Kniffel is also author of A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American’s Journey Home (TAMU Press, 2005).
Advance Gala tickets are$49 ($45 for ALTAFF members) and $55 onsite, if available. Visit ala.org/altaff.
The Midwinter Meeting wraps up and plans for Annual Conference in Anaheim begin Monday, January 23, from 2 to 3 p.m., when pop star Lisa Loeb brings her humor and creativity to the Wrap Up/Rev Up Celebration.
Grammy-nominated Loeb has had a multidimensional career that has encompassed music, film, television, and voice-overs. From her first success, the platinum-selling song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites, to her first children’s songbook, Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling, 2011), Loeb’s following has exploded. Her studio releases include the Gold record Tails and its follow-up, the Grammy-nominated and Gold-selling Firecracker. Her recordings include two award-winning children’s CDs. Loeb also created the Camp Lisa Foundation for children.
Don’t miss the exhibits
With more than 400 exhibiting organizations and the PopTop stage featuring the hottest authors, the exhibit floor is an integral part of the education that takes place at the Midwinter Meeting. The Small Press/Small Product area is often where new and independent presses launch their latest titles.
Immediately following the ERT/Booklist Author Forum, the exhibit hall will open with food, drink, and entertainment. Hours are Friday, January 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, January 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A number of authors and illustrators will be on hand daily at publisher booths throughout the exhibit hall. The PopTop stage will focus on various genres each day: Mystery Day, Saturday, January 21; Romance Day, Sunday, January 22; and Storytelling Day, Monday, January 23.
The Spotlight on Adult Literature, jointly sponsored by ALTAFF and Conference Services, Saturday, January 21, from 2 to 4 p.m., is an opportunity for conference attendees to learn more about new authors as well as new books from seasoned authors of adult literature. Participating publishers will provide free books and some will host author signings. A flier listing all participating publishers will be available at exhibit hall entrances.
The ALA Conference Store, located on the exhibit floor, will offer Midwinter promotional and continuing education items. This year’s new ALA Graphics products include the return of longtime reading advocate Oprah Winfrey to the popular READ campaign for her third poster. Other new posters and bookmarks include Hugo Cabret from Hugo, the new Martin Scorsese movie based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Take Time to Read, based on the stunning steampunk fantasy Return of the Dapper Men, as well as the new Breaking Dawn poster featuring Jackson Rathbone. Popular posters featuring Drew Brees, Nathan Fillion, and Rachel McAdams will also be available, as well as posters and bookmarks featuring such popular characters as Bad Kitty, Scaredy Squirrel, Percy Jackson, and Wimpy Kid.
Also available for purchase will be items promoting National Library Week, Teen Tech Week, and Choose Privacy Week, and the popular “Love My Library” buttons and pens. The ALA Store will also be the place to purchase the official conference T-shirt. Stop by the Conference Store to ask questions and get helpful hints about using the READ Design Studio software for creating customized READ posters.
Several new titles from ALA Editions will make their debuts during the Midwinter Meeting. In No Shelf Required 2: Use and Management of Electronic Books, a sequel to the bestselling No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries, expert Sue Polanka dives even deeper into the world of digital distribution. Other titles will include Small Public Library Management and the third edition of Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions.
Visit the Membership Pavilion to learn how joining the ranks can enhance careers, connect you with colleagues from around the world, and help improve library services to your community. Colleagues from the New Members Round Table will be on hand to help newer members find ways to get more involved. Information and displays will be available from every ALA division, round table, and office.
The Placement Center, provided by ALA’s Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, will be open Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an orientation session Saturday, January 21, at 8:30 a.m.
An open house will be held Sunday, January 22, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Representatives from various libraries and library-related companies will talk with conference attendees about work environments as well as activities in and around their institutions. There is no cost to participate.
Counselors will be available to guide job seekers in strategizing for the next phase of their careers, solve current job situation problems, and provide assistance in rejuvenating careers. Twenty-minute confidential one-on-one sessions are available. Contact Beatrice Calvin at email@example.com for reservations.
Job seekers should register and search for jobs on the JobLIST website. All services are free to job seekers. Registration is not required but is recommended, and will give registered employers access to your résumé and allow for direct communication between job seekers and employers.
Employers who want to post positions should also post them at joblist.ala.org. Employers who want to use the interviewing facilities must have an active ad placed on JobLIST at the time the interview is scheduled.
The following is the schedule for business and financial meetings, including the Executive Board, Council, Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), Planning and Budget Assembly, Finance and Audit (F&A) Committee, and the ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). For room locations, consult the final program book.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
- Executive Board I, 8:30–11 a.m.
- ALA-APA Board, 11 a.m.–noon
- BARC/F&A Executive Board Joint Meeting, noon–1:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
- Council Orientation Session, 8–10 a.m.
- F&A Committee of the Executive Board. 9–11 a.m.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22
- Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session, 9–10 a.m.
- ALA-APA Council, 10:15–11 a.m.
- Council I, 11:15–12:30 p.m.
- BARC, noon–1:30 p.m.
- Planning and Budget Assembly, 1–2:30 p.m.
- Council Forum I, 8:30–10 p.m.
MONDAY, JANUARY 23
- Council II, 10 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
- Executive Board II, 2–5 p.m.
- Council Forum II, 8:30–10 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24
- Council III, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
- Executive Board III, 1:30–5:30 p.m.