Making the Most of Midwinter 2018

November 1, 2017

Looking forward ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries presents the second annual Symposium on the Future of Libraries, included with full registration for Midwinter. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (February 10–12), attendees can explore near-term trends inspiring innovation in academic, public, school, and special libraries and longer-term trends that will help professionals adapt to … Continue reading Making the Most of Midwinter 2018


50 years of the Office for Intellectual Freedom

50 Years of Intellectual Freedom

November 1, 2017

This December, OIF is celebrating 50 years of fighting for intellectual freedom: half a century of championing ­libraries, finding allies within the literary community, and aiding librarians in times of high anxiety. It’s an evolving role to be cherished and safeguarded. Lighting the flame At the 1965 Midwinter Meeting preconference in Washington, D.C., the Intellectual … Continue reading 50 Years of Intellectual Freedom


Michigan State University librarian Eric Tans with the book debinding machine

Leading the Green Revolution

November 1, 2017

“When you start talking about compost and food waste, people immediately think of fruit flies and mice and stinky garbage,” Tans says. As the school’s environmental sciences librarian, Tans participates in MSU Libraries’ robust programming around recycling, composting, and deaccessioning books. Founded in 1855, MSU is a historically agricultural school. The institution’s long tradition of … Continue reading Leading the Green Revolution


The New Instruction Librarian: A Workbook for Trainers and Learners 

The Hats We Wear

November 1, 2017

So why do we need to keep talking about this? Teaching is certainly a huge part of any instruction librarian’s job, but to be effective, he or she must move beyond the classroom and into different spheres of library life. Our work is multifaceted, and we need to address that as we prepare for that … Continue reading The Hats We Wear


Emil Ferris

Newsmaker: Emil Ferris

November 1, 2017

You worked on this story for several years while recovering from West Nile virus, getting a master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and raising your daughter. Then this nearly 400-page book comes out, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman is calling you “one of the most important comics artists of our time.” How … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emil Ferris


Dewey Decibel podcast presents its Halloween episode, "The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake."

The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake

October 25, 2017

In Episode 19—our special Halloween episode—Dewey goes on the road to bring you a story from Avon Lake, a town nestled along Lake Erie with a population of about 23,000. Lurking below the idyllic setting is a condiment caper that’s been baffling the community for months. Dewey Decibel correspondent Terra Dankowski—inspired by a photograph that … Continue reading The A1 Mystery of Avon Lake


Welcome to Wrocław

September 22, 2017

“It is time for you, at this conference, to engage and explore,” said Donna Scheeder, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to the crowd gathered for the Opening Session of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) on August 20. “I’m sure among this group is a future IFLA president somewhere.” Speakers seemed … Continue reading Welcome to Wrocław


The North York Central Library branch of Toronto Public Library hosted a Syrian newcomers event to welcome its newest patrons. Photo: Toronto Public Library.

Project Welcome

September 22, 2017

Since 1975 the United States has accepted more than 3 million refugees. Despite current restrictions, more than 45,000 arrived between October 2016 and June 2017. The American Library Association (ALA) recognizes America’s immigrants as strong and valuable members of the social fabric of this nation, and the Library Bill of Rights states that a person’s right … Continue reading Project Welcome


African librarians at a leadership training event in Mahé, Seychelles. Photo: Darren Hoerner.

PLA in Africa

September 22, 2017

PLA recognizes that a connected library field is a strong library field. By sharing effective practices and working together to address common issues, libraries can leverage their resources for exponential impact. PLA provides training for leaders to make these connections through the academy and other networking opportunities. All leadership activities are based on a leadership … Continue reading PLA in Africa


Joan Petit’s first-year information science graduate students at Jimma University in Ethiopia. Photo: Joan Petit.

An American Librarian Abroad

September 22, 2017

Over the past year, while on sabbatical from my position at Portland (Oreg.) State University Library, I had the privilege of serving as a Fulbright Scholar in the department of information science at Jimma University in Jimma, Ethiopia. I had contacted a few different Ethiopian universities hoping to garner an invitation to join their faculty, … Continue reading An American Librarian Abroad


The ALA tour group listens as Nancy Coradin (center) translates the narrative about the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí in Havana. Photo: Barbara Conaty.

ALA in Cuba

September 22, 2017

Cuba’s Ministry of Culture administers the public library system, which includes Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí and about 300 provincial and municipal public libraries that serve a population of 11 million. Another 1,300 school libraries are administered by the Ministry of Education. The group convened at the host library: the Biblioteca Pública Rubén Martínez … Continue reading ALA in Cuba


Denice Adkins (left) and Elizabeth Jean Brumfield (far right) at an LIS curriculum committee meeting at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Changing Perspectives through Exchange

September 22, 2017

A mentor and mentee case study IFLA IMLS fellow Elizabeth Jean Brumfield, distance services librarian at Prairie View (Tex.) A&M University (PVAMU), has been mentored by Denice Adkins, associate professor at University of Missouri’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. Through their interactions, they were able to view librarianship from each other’s perspective. Adkins’s … Continue reading Changing Perspectives through Exchange