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


Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report 2018

May 1, 2018

Academic libraries are looking beyond efficiencies in collection management or improvements in library-provided discovery services. Instead, they are addressing broader education needs by inserting relevant resources into platforms that support the curriculum and enhance their institutions’ research activities. Public libraries seek technologies that improve engagement with their communities. These libraries value reliable and feature-rich automation … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2018


ALA Annual Conference

2018 Annual Conference Must-Dos

May 1, 2018

Use the Annual Conference Scheduler to start planning. Speakers who inspire ALA President Jim Neal welcomes Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, filmmaker, immigrant rights advocate, and CEO of Define American Jose Antonio Vargas as his President’s Program speaker (June 24). This year’s slate of Auditorium Speaker Session presenters includes presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin … Continue reading 2018 Annual Conference Must-Dos


Emerging Leaders 2018

May 1, 2018

Initiated in 1997 as a one-year program under former ALA President Mary R. Somerville and revived in 2006 under former ALA President Leslie Burger, Emerging Leaders recognizes the best and brightest new leaders in our profession. It’s open to librarians of any age who are new to the library profession and who have fewer than … Continue reading Emerging Leaders 2018


Notable dissertations

Notable Dissertations 2018

May 1, 2018

How were these dissertations selected? Each year I locate and read the many wonderful LIS dissertations out there via university digital archives and online databases. I select dissertations that have practical implications for libraries. Next I look for a variety of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. Those most relevant to current issues and … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2018


Wikipedian -in-residence at the librarian

Bringing Wikipedia into the Library

May 1, 2018

Wikipedia contributors and librarians share similar skills: an understanding of quality research materials, an interest in effective citation and attribution, and clear public communication. Wikipedia’s “sum of all human knowledge” mission also aligns with the service-focused goals of librarianship, where patron access to public knowledge drives both activities. A difference between the two communities is … Continue reading Bringing Wikipedia into the Library


Junot Díaz

Newsmaker: Junot Díaz

May 1, 2018

Islandborn is your first book for kids. What was its inspiration? There were multiple inspirations. A lot of it was being a writer with godchildren, nephews, and nieces always saying, “Hey, will you write us a story?” And knowing that I should write them a story, because when I was growing up a kid of … Continue reading Newsmaker: Junot Díaz


Michael W. Twitty

Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty

April 27, 2018

Twitty serves as honorary chair of Preservation Week, held April 22–28, which focuses this year on cooking and community archiving. American Libraries spoke with him about what can be learned about the past through food and about his work with Preservation Week. What drew you to food and its history? Going to living-history sites like Colonial … Continue reading Newsmaker: Michael W. Twitty


Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds

April 12, 2018

This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Making Connections at Your School Library.” You’ve said reading the lyrics to Queen Latifah’s 1993 album Black Reign changed your life and inspired you to start writing poetry. When students connect with and see themselves in the music, multimedia, and books they read, it changes their relationship with reading completely. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds


National Library Workers Day logo

National Library Workers Day 2018

April 10, 2018

And every year since 2004, the American Library Association (ALA) has celebrated librarians, support staff, and others for their valuable contributions on National Library Workers Day (NLWD), which this year falls on Tuesday, April 10. The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association (ALA–APA) asked patrons throughout the US to nominate stellar library workers for their hard … Continue reading National Library Workers Day 2018


Catherine Soehner (left) and Ann Darling pose with their book Effective Difficult Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide (ALA Editions, 2017).

A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling

March 21, 2018

What made you want to write about this topic? We wanted to write it because we were both terrible at having difficult conversations. Catherine’s initial attempts led to people being angry and defensive. Or she chose to ignore problems, which made these situations worse. Ann had conversations but failed to address the real issues, so … Continue reading A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling