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Chapters, Affiliates Display Their Strength

December 14, 2011

ALA provides a strong, unified voice for our libraries. Much of the Association’s strength comes not just from our divisions, round tables, and other ALA units, but also from our chapters and affiliates. Each year, many chapters and affiliates invite the ALA president to participate in their conferences, providing a wonderful opportunity for both ALA’s … Continue reading Chapters, Affiliates Display Their Strength


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The Big Easy Revisited

September 27, 2011

Returning to New Orleans for the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference this year was both rewarding and emotional for many of us. Five years earlier, we traveled to Louisiana less than a year after the devastating hurricanes and massive flooding from failure of the levies. At that time, we were welcomed with much more … Continue reading The Big Easy Revisited


Empowering Voices

July 26, 2011

We are living in extraordinary times. Throughout the library world, reductions in financial resources threaten our survival. At the same time, many libraries are experiencing large increases in demand and usage. In academic, public, school, and special libraries, these challenges call for all of us to work together and build a better future for all … Continue reading Empowering Voices


Wrapping Up a Busy Year

May 18, 2011

For my last message as ALA president, I’d like to update members and others on the initiatives that were kicked off at the Inaugural Banquet last June and offer a brief comment on recent events that affect the future of libraries. With “Our Authors, Our Advocates: Authors Speak Out For Libraries,” we tapped into a … Continue reading Wrapping Up a Busy Year


Transforming Libraries

March 21, 2011

A key goal of the 2011–2015 ALA strategic plan is to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services for today’s dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment. Virtually every media interview I’ve had during the past seven months has been an occasion to illustrate how libraries, the people who work in them, … Continue reading Transforming Libraries



Some Good News Out There Too

October 20, 2010

One of the best aspects of being ALA president is the opportunity to be a part of state chapter conferences.  I’d like to focus on my experience at the Kentucky Library Association/Kentucky School Media Association joint conference in Louisville, September 15-18. The hospitality of colleagues in Kentucky was outstanding, thanks to Emmalee Hoover, Leoma Dunn, and … Continue reading Some Good News Out There Too


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In Their Own Words

August 12, 2010

“Our Authors, Our Advocates” was launched at my Inaugural Banquet during Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in June. I was deeply honored to have as my special guests four wonderful authors who spoke so eloquently. They were, by turns, funny, passionate, compelling, and thoughtful, and they illustrated how authors can partner with us to advocate … Continue reading In Their Own Words


Advancing Advocacy

June 23, 2010

During my travels as president-elect, I often spoke about the challenges and opportunities of becoming 21st-century libraries that incorporate new formats, technologies, and ways of learning. By transforming libraries for this new era, we are leaders in a rapidly changing and increasingly global economy that depends on people getting the right information, at the right … Continue reading Advancing Advocacy


Advocacy: Part II

October 23, 2009

In my first column, I mentioned the symbolic journey on the old Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.—Library Advocacy. Let's now embark on the second part of that trip. It is still the same route from Chicago to L.A., but this time the road leads to Literacy Advocacy. Although I include all types of literacy, … Continue reading Advocacy: Part II