Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews will appear at Annual Conference on June 22. Photo: Mathieu Bitton

2018 Annual Conference Preview

June 1, 2018

This preview offers a small sample of what to expect. For a complete listing of events, visit 2018.alaannual.org. Conference highlights ALA welcomes former First Lady Michelle Obama as its Opening General Session speaker. 4–5:15 p.m. on Friday, June 22. The lawyer, philanthropist, and author of the forthcoming memoir Becoming will reflect on social and political … Continue reading 2018 Annual Conference Preview


Shrimp and grits at Surrey’s. Photo: Paul Broussard

Big Easy Eats

June 1, 2018

As author of numerous travel guides, including Frommer’s Easy Guide to New Orleans, I’m here to help. My customized dining guide lists a spectrum of selections, focusing on those in proximity to the convention center and some choice spots a short distance away. There’s something for everyone, so dive in with forks ablaze and laissez … Continue reading Big Easy Eats


Emily Knox speaks at the Midwinter President’s Program. Photo: Cognotes

Are Libraries Neutral?

June 1, 2018

The Moderator ALA President Jim Neal Are libraries neutral? Have they ever been? Should they be? Can libraries be neutral as part of societies and systems that are not neutral? Are libraries, through their processes, their practices, their collections and technologies, able to be neutral? ALA has long advocated for certain principles, detailed in the … Continue reading Are Libraries Neutral?




Dallas high school students participate in a Storytellers without Borders session in collaboration with The Dallas Morning News at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library branch of Dallas Public Library. Photo: Tom Huang/The Dallas Morning News

Our Vocation Is Information

June 1, 2018

Although the daily work of librarians and journalists differs, the vocations share many professional values. Brandy Zadrozny, who worked as a librarian for a decade before becoming a reporter and researcher for the Daily Beast and a reporter for NBC News, and Alice Crites, an MLIS-trained research editor whose work has helped earn six Pulitzers … Continue reading Our Vocation Is Information


An Overdue Discussion

June 1, 2018

Point: Jenny Paxson, readers’ advisory librarian, Webster (N.Y.) Public Library Does your library charge fines? We do charge fines at Webster Public Library. How are the collected funds used? We use the funds—$71,000 collected from fines annually—as part of our operating budget. Without them it would be difficult to run the library. Do fines discourage … Continue reading An Overdue Discussion


Hasan Minhaj at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 24. Photo: Laura Kinser

Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj

June 1, 2018

You share some intensely personal experiences in Homecoming King about being the child of an immigrant. Was it hard deciding what to codify into comedy? In a comedy special you have only 70 minutes, so a lot of times you’re working with coffee and you need to boil it down to comedy espresso. I’m trying to … Continue reading Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj



Virginia General Assembly

Finding Advocacy Allies

May 4, 2018

In 2015, we—Virginia Beach City Public Schools Library Services Coordinator and Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Executive Board Member Kelly Miller and Virginia Library Association (VLA) Executive Director Lisa R. Varga—met at a state social function. A few months later, the Virginia General Assembly introduced legislation threatening intellectual freedom. We decided to coordinate our … Continue reading Finding Advocacy Allies