Ted Danson, Neil Gaiman Headline Midwinter

Youth Media Awards, celebrity authors, and what to expect from the new U. S. Congress highlight San Diego conference

December 13, 2010

Neil Gaiman

Business meetings, celebrity authors—including Ted Danson, Kathy Reichs, Andre Dubus III, and Neil Gaiman—visits with vendors, and an abundance of discussion opportunities will highlight the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7-11, at the San Diego Convention Center and area hotels.

The eyes of the publishing world will turn to California’s second largest city for the announcement of the Youth Media Award winners, Monday, January 10, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The coveted awards honor authors and illustrators of books for children and youth, along with producers of children’s audio and video materials. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards guide parents, educators, ­librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of
librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

For the first time this year, the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award joins the Youth Media Award announcements, which include such prominent literary prizes as the Coretta Scott King Book Award, John Newbery Medal, Michael Printz Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Schneider Family Book Awards, Pura Belpré and other distinguished awards for youth literature. Administered by ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Round Table, the Stonewall Award is to be given annually to English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

“Children’s books regarding the GLBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of diversity,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles, and it is important for parents, educators, and librarians to have access to quality children’s books that represent a spectrum of cultures.”

The demand for quality GLBT children’s books continues to grow as the nation becomes more diverse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent, and the most current U.S. Census data shows that more than 56% of same-sex households have at least one child under the age of 18.
ALA will provide a free live webcast of the Youth Media Awards at 7:45 a.m.( PST) January 10. The number of available connections is limited and the broadcast is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Online visitors can view the live webcast the morning of the announcements at alawebcast.unikron.com. Live results also will be available via Twitter hashtag #alayma). Members also can view live updates via the ALA Youth Media Awards press kit, RSS feed, or ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page. A press release announcing all award recipients will be posted in the Youth Media Awards Press Kit at ala.org/yma prior to 10 a.m. (PST).

Stevens hosts Ted Danson

Ted Danson, who has had a 35-year, award-winning career in films and television, will be featured at the President’s Program, Sunday, January 9, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m, hosted by ALA President Roberta Stevens.

“While most people know him from his popular roles in Cheers, Becker, Damages, and Bored to Death,” said Stevens, “fewer realize that over the course of the past two-and-a-half decades Ted Danson has devoted himself tirelessly to the cause of heading off a looming global catastrophe—the massive destruction of the oceanic biosystems and the complete collapse of the world’s major commercial fisheries. In his book Oceana, he details his journey from a modest local protest in the mid-1980s opposing offshore oil drilling near his Southern California neighborhood to his current status as one of the world’s most influential oceanic environmental activists. Join me for a lively interview with Ted Danson!”

Hot topics

ALA’s Washington Office will bring together experts for an analysis of the 2010 elections and what the impact will be on libraries in both the short and long term, at the Washington Office Breakout Session I: “New Congress/New Challenges,” Saturday, January 8, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Turning the Page on E-books: Exploring the Impact of Digital Books on Library Services,” Saturday, January 8, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., will investigate information technology issues associated with ­e-books. The moderated panel discussion with key stakeholders, including librarians, publishers, and vendors, will tackle the challenges and opportunities e-books present to libraries and their patrons. Attendees will have a chance to win a Sony eReader or Barnes and Noble Nook.

Washington Office Breakout Session II: “Major Changes in E-rate,” Saturday, January 8, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, will provide information about e-rate and how to master the changes in the current e-rate program with John Noran, Schools and ­Libraries Division, Universal Service Administrative Company. He will explain the changes brought by the Federal Communications Commission’s Sixth Report and Order.

The ALA Presidential Candidates Forum, with Susan Stroyan, information services librarian, Ames ­Library, Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, and Maureen Sullivan, professor of practice in the doctoral program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Boston, will take place Saturday, January 8, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Almost 200 discussion and interest groups and forums offer attendees the chance to share ideas and explore solutions with colleagues. Some of the discussions are aimed at new and prospective ­librarians and will include information about career directions and emerging specializations collaboration; current trends and issues related to implementing an Information Commons; literacy and transliteracy; e-readers; developments in service delivery in MUU contexts; virtual communities; mobile frameworks; QR codes; disability service issues such as Web and e-resource accessibility; assessing virtual reference; the evolution of technical services; popular culture; collaborative digitization; storytelling; teaching, curating and preserving new media content; scholarly communication; virtual and physical services; trends in interiors; gaming; independent consulting; approaches to balancing career and family; RDA; access options; who users really are; ERIC changes and future plans; and serving young adults in large urban populations. A listing of scheduled discussion and interest groups and forums is available on the ALA Midwinter Meeting wiki.

The Association’s governing Council will tackle a number of issues during its three sessions, including a report from the Task Force on Traditional Cultural Expressions, designed to give the issue of cultural expression some context, identify issues of concern, and consider a glossary of terms. Council also will address an amendment to the ALA Constitution Article IX, Endowment Funds, from the Constitution and Bylaws Committee that calls for expanding the number of trustees, which is currently limited to three, to no more than six. If approved, the amendment will be placed on the 2011 ALA spring ballot for ratification by the membership.

The governing body will also vote for three of six candidates who are seeking positions on the Executive Board. They are: José Aponte, director, San Diego (Calif.) County ­Library; Karen E. Downing, university learning communities liaison and foundation and grants ­librarian, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Loida Garcia-Febo, coordinator, special services, Queens (N. Y.)  Library; Dora Ho, young adult librarian, youth services, Los Angeles Public Library; Michael Porter, communications manager, WebJunction, Seattle, Washington; and Thomas (Tom) L. Wilding, professor of practice, University of Arizona, SLIS, Tucson.

The three who are elected will serve three-year terms on the Executive Board beginning at the close of the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Immediately following Council II, Monday, January 10, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., there will be an Executive Board Candidates Forum to give Councilors an opportunity to hear the views and to ask questions of the candidates prior to voting.

New leaders begin work

The ALA Emerging Leaders program, now in its fifth year, kicks off with a daylong session Friday, January 7, during the Midwinter Meeting. Eighty-three individuals have been selected through a competitive process for the program this year.

The program enables ­librarians and library staff from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure; and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.

Participants will receive two days of orientation and education with Maureen Sullivan, an organizational development consultant whose practice focuses on leadership development for the profession, and Peter Bromberg, assistant director, Princeton (N.J.) Public ­Library.

Following the kickoff session, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months, culminating with a poster session in which the 2011 Emerging Leaders will showcase the results of their project planning work during Annual Conference in New Orleans. Participants commit to taking part in all aspects of the program and may have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, division, chapter, or round table committee or a taskforce or workgroup upon completion of the program.

Nearly half of this year’s participants have received sponsorships from ALA divisions, offices, round tables, state chapters, ALA affiliate groups, and other organizations. Each sponsor commits to financial support of an Emerging Leader in order to defray costs for attending the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

Celebrity authors

David Levithan, Stewart O’Nan, Armistead Maupin, and Susan Vreeland will be featured on the “ALA Exhibits Round Table Booklist Author Forum Literary Fiction Panel,” Friday, January 7, from 4 to 5:15 p.m.

Levithan is the author of many acclaimed young-adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), which was adapted into a popular movie. He is also an editorial director at Scholastic. The Lover’s Dictionary is his first novel about adults.

O’Nan is the author of a dozen award-winning novels, including A Prayer for the Dying, The Night Country, and The Good Wife, as well as several books of nonfiction, including, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful. A sequel to the bestselling, much-beloved Wish You Were Here, his intimate new novel, Emily, Alone: A Novel, follows Emily Maxwell, a widow whose grown children have long moved away.

A former naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam, Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle. Maupin is the author of nine novels, including the six-volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, The Night Listener, and Michael Tolliver Lives. Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. Maupin’s newest novel is Mary Ann in Autumn.

After Vreeland graduated from San Diego State University, she taught high school English in San Diego beginning in 1969 and retired in 2000 after a 30-year career. Concurrently, she began writing features for newspapers and magazines in 1980, taking up subjects in art and travel, and publishing 250 articles. Vreeland ventured into fiction in 1988 with What Love Sees, a biographical novel of a woman’s unwavering determination to lead a full life despite blindness. The book was made into a CBS television movie starring Richard Thomas and Annabeth Gish. Vreeland is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, and Luncheon of the Boating Party. Her newest book is Clara and Mr. Tiffany.

The Sunrise Speaker Series starts off with bestselling author Kathy Reichs Saturday, January 8, from 8 to 9 a.m. Like her character Temperance Brennan (the central character in the series of the same name), Reichs is a forensic anthropologist. A professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, she also created the Fox television hit Bones. Reichs’s latest publication is VIRALS, her first novel for young readers.

Vernor Vinge will discuss his vision of how we’ll interact with information in the future Saturday, January 8, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in an interview with American ­Libraries Perpetual Beta blogger Jason Griffey, sponsored by ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association’s Imagineering Interest Group. Vinge’s work pushes information and technology to its incredible, but possible, conclusions. The author of several books, he explores in Rainbows End one potentially very real future for libraries in which we live in a world of complete information immersion.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, January, 9, Andre Dubus III will conclude the Sunrise Speaker Series. Dubus began writing fiction at age 22, just a few months after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Because he prefers to write in the morning, going from “the dream world to the dream world,” as the Irish writer Edna O’Brien puts it, he took mainly night jobs: bartender, office cleaner, halfway house counselor and, for six months, assistant to a private investigator/bounty hunter. Dubus is the author of the upcoming Townie, to be released in February; the Garden of Last Days; and House of Sand and Fog, an Oprah Book Club pick, and a finalist for the National Book Award.

Acclaimed science fiction author Richard Rhodes will address the conference Saturday, January 8, from 4 to 5 p.m., during the 12th Annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture. He is the author or editor of 22 books, including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, which was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer Prize in history. Rhodes has received numerous fellowships for research and writing.

Neil Gaiman and Nancy Pearl will spend an afternoon discussing Gaiman’s work The Graveyard Book, the first book to win both the Newbery and Carnegie Medals, Sunday, January 9, from 2 to 3 p.m. Other books by Gaiman include Coraline, recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated animated film; and the adult novels American Gods, Stardust, and Neverwhere, which have become new classics. Listed as one of the top 10 living post-modern writers in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gaiman is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. He is credited as one of the creators of modern comics, and his ground-breaking Sandman series became the first comic to receive a literary award: The World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. With a growing army of more than 1.5 million Twitter followers, Gaiman can frequently be found online, chronicling his adventures across the globe.

Well-known to librarians, Pearl writes and speaks about the pleasures of reading. Pearl regularly comments on books for NPR’s Morning Edition. She is the author of Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers; Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason; More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason; and Book Crush: For Kids and Teens: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest, all published by Sasquatch Books. Pearl is the recipient of the 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Award from ALA’s Reference and User Services Association, the 2004 Women’s National Book Association Award, and the 1998 Library Journal Fiction Reviewer of the Year award.

Michael K. Honey, Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities and professor of Labor and Ethnic Studies and American History at the University of Washington at Tacoma, will keynote the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration, Monday, January 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. This year’s theme is “Everybody Can Be Great …” and will bring together leaders from the Association, including President Stevens and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. Featured readings will include selections from the works of Dr. King.

Honey is the author of numerous books, including his latest, All Labor Has Dignity (Beacon, 2011), a collection of Dr. King’s speeches on labor rights and economic justice from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, culminating in the momentous Mountaintop speech delivered before his death in 1968. Other titles include the acclaimed Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign (W.W. Norton, 2007), Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (University of California Press, 1999), and Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (University of Illinois Press, 1993). In addition to his writing and teaching, Honey regularly speaks on various historical issues at campuses and community organizations across the country.

The King Sunrise Celebration is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force of ALA’s 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.

Bestselling authors Elizabeth Adler, Conor Grennan, Paula McLain, Richard Louv, and Luanne Rice will discuss their writing life and forthcoming books at the Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) Gala Author Tea, Monday, January 10, 2 to 4 p.m.

This ticketed event (advance tickets $49, $45 for ALTAFF division members, and $55 onsite) features tea, coffee, finger sandwiches, and a variety of sweet treats. A book signing will follow, with some books given away free and others available at a discounted price. ALTAFF will also recognize the winners of the 2010 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards. Visit ALTAFF for more information.

For room locations, consult the program book distributed onsite. Visit ala.org or americanlibrariesmagazine.org for updates as they become available.

Browse the exhibits

The exhibits will be open January 7–11, in Halls E-H at the convention center, opening Friday, January 7, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:15 p.m., preceding the All-Conference Reception on the exhibit floor from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the exhibitors and the Exhibits Round Table, along with ALA, the All-Conference Reception will feature food and music as well as over 30 gifts (not limited to baskets anymore) to be given away by exhibitors on Friday only. To register to win a gift, visit the exhibitor’s booth during the Opening Reception. Winners need not be present to win.

Exhibit hours are Friday, January 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, January 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other special events scheduled for the exhibit floor include the “Spotlight on Adult Literature,” Saturday, January 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., at booth 933, sponsored by ALTAFF and ALA Conference Services. Participating publishers will feature book signings and some will give away free books and galleys in the Exhibit Hall. Visitors can register to win a prize basket.

New this year is the “Wrap-up, Rev Up Celebration!” Monday, January 10, from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m., where conferees can celebrate a successful 2011 Midwinter Meeting and rev up for Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23-28. There will be entertainment and prizes.

Career counseling

ALA’s JobLIST Placement Center will be open Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hall H in the convention center. There will be an orientation Saturday, January 8, at 8:30 a.m.

As part of its efforts to help job seekers retool their skills and prepare for job searches, the Placement Center will host Caitlin Williams, career development consultant and coach from San Jose, California. She will provide free 20-minute career counseling sessions to conference attendees. Williams works with individuals and organizations to create and implement professional development initiatives. She focuses on helping professionals leverage their talents. Williams teaches in the master’s program in counselor education at San Jose State University and is associate editor of the National Career Development Association’s Career Convergence Organizations Department.

To sign up for a session, send an e-mail message to Placement Center Manager Beatrice Calvin at ­bcalvin@ala.org. Use MDW11 Counseling in the subject line and indicate day and time preferences. Conference attendees may also sign up onsite at the scheduling booth in the Placement Center.

For more information, visit the JobLIST Placement Center site or contact bcalvin@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext. 4280.

The following is the schedule for business and financial meetings, including the Executive Board, Council, Budget Analysis and Review Committee, Planning and Budget Assembly, Finance and Audit Committee, and the ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). For room locations, consult the program book.

Friday, January 7

  • Executive Board Meeting I, 8:30 a.m–-noon.
  • BARC/Finance and Audit
  • Committee Executive Board Joint Meeting, noon–1:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 8

  • Council Orientation Session, 8–10 a.m.
  • Finance and Audit Committee of the Executive Board, 9–11 a.m.

Sunday, January 9

  • Council/Executive Board/
    Membership Information Session, 9–10 a.m.
  • Council I, 10 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • ALA-APA Information and Council, 12:15-12:45 p.m.
  • Planning and Budget Assembly, 1–2:30 p.m.
  • Council Forum, 8:30–10 p.m.

Monday, January 10

  • Council II, 10 a.m–-12:15 p.m.
  • Executive Board Meeting II, 2–4:30 p.m.
  • Council Forum, 8:30–10 p.m.

Tuesday, January 11

  • Council III, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • Executive Board Meeting III, 1–5:30 p.m.