The Scoop

  • 2009 Midwinter Meeting Overview

    February 17, 2009

    From Denver comes coverage of ALA’s 2009 Midwinter Meeting. Included are the announcement of this year’s Newbery Medal-winning book, sights from the exhibit hall, the annual “View from the Top” discussion panel, conversations with former ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano and former Colorado State Senator Ken Gordon, and ALA Immediate Past President Loriene Roy discussing the … Continue reading 2009 Midwinter Meeting Overview

  • ALA Youth Media Award Winner Notifications

    February 11, 2009

    Before the Newbery, Caldecott, King, and ALA’s other prestigious youth media awards were announced at the Midwinter Meeting in Denver, the selection committees crowded into tiny private rooms to call the honorees. This year, AL Focus was invited to capture some of those happy calls and reactions. More ALA videos available at

  • President Obama Says It Again

    February 10, 2009

    You probably heard it for yourself, but last night President Barack Obama did it again. He said "libraries." At his first prime-time press conference since taking office, he addressed a nervous nation about unemployment, emphasizing that "the single most important part of this Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is the fact that it will save … Continue reading President Obama Says It Again

  • Midwinter 2009: Steve Vander Ark Interview

    February 9, 2009

    AL Focus caught up with Steve Vander Ark, author of The Lexicon: An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction and Related Materials, and co-author Lisa Bunker, in the exhibit hall at the 2009 Midwinter Meeting. More ALA videos available at

  • An Angel with $50 for 50 Libraries

    February 6, 2009

    Got a fax yesterday from Ken Miller, director of the Bayliss Public Library in Sault Sainte Marie, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula near the Soo Locks. Ken and I were pages together a long time ago at the Detroit Public Library. "We received the attached letter with a $50 check," Ken said. "I thought you … Continue reading An Angel with $50 for 50 Libraries

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  • Midwinter 2009: Vance on Advocacy

    February 6, 2009

    Stephanie Vance of discusses the three points ALA members need to keep in mind when advocating for libraries with the new presidential administration. Vance talked with AL Focus after speaking at the Washington Office Update at ALA’s 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver. More ALA videos available at

  • ALA Council: Who, What, Why, and How

    February 6, 2009

    Members of ALA Council discuss what Council actually does and why you should consider getting involved. More ALA videos at

  • Ingrid Law interview

    February 4, 2009

    Just one day before winning a Newbery Honor for her book “Savvy,” author Ingrid Law sat down with Booklist and spoke about the origin of the term, how she wanted to write a book about magic without the word “magic,” talking to children about their own secret powers, and the how librarians inspire her. Bonus: … Continue reading Ingrid Law interview

  • Buildings and Landscapes

    February 3, 2009

     The beginning of February also means the beginning of Facilities season at AL. The Library Design Showcase in the April issue is one of the largest individual articles of the year, and with the deadline for submissions passing yesterday, the bulk of the work on this end starts now. AL editors and designers will meet … Continue reading Buildings and Landscapes

  • Midwinter Wednesday: Council Commends Obama, Urges Peace

    January 28, 2009

    The third and final Midwinter session of ALA Council commenced bright and early Wednesday morning and the agenda moved rapidly into resolutions presented by Ken Wiggin, chair of the Committee on Legislation. The Council passed a glowing resolution praising President Barack Obama for "recognizing the importance of openness, transparency, and accountability in government by signing … Continue reading Midwinter Wednesday: Council Commends Obama, Urges Peace

  • Midwinter Tuesday: Heard, Overheard, and Smelled

    January 28, 2009

    Strolling through the Midwinter exhibit hall just before it closed on Monday afternoon, I felt that traffic was light and wondered what some of the vendors would have to say about it, plus I wanted to pick their brains about what they were doing to prepare for revenue drops precipitated by the economic meltdown. I … Continue reading Midwinter Tuesday: Heard, Overheard, and Smelled

  • Midwinter Tuesday: Heard and Overheard

    January 27, 2009

    As my last Midwinter post (from the Denver airport, on a decidedly spotty wireless connection), I offer this collection of interesting, thought-provoking, or just amusing quotes from the meeting—weather heard or overheard. "I'm just going to stand here and have a wonderful time!" —a woman near the entrance on Friday, apparently after unexpectedly meeting the … Continue reading Midwinter Tuesday: Heard and Overheard