Joseph Janes

Just Curious

October 20, 2014

We’ve all done that a thousand times. On the surface, “just curious” is one of those phrases that doesn’t really mean anything and gets tossed in just to signal that a question isn’t urgent or immediate or that it doesn’t connect to any larger matter. Which is fine on its face and is, in most … Continue reading Just Curious


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The Case for 3D Printing

September 16, 2014

When I talk to librarians about 3D printing, the most common question I hear—after the question about printing a gun—is “Why provide this service?” Of the many answers, the most straightforward is “We’ve always done this sort of thing.” The library is, at its core, an engine for the democratization of knowledge and information. Conceptually, … Continue reading The Case for 3D Printing


Courtney L. Young

Advocate. Today.

September 12, 2014

The first few months of my tenure as president of ALA have been amazingly full and rewarding. At once exhilarating, educational, and sometimes exhausting, this time has reinforced one of my own longest and deeply held convictions: Libraries are powerful. They shape minds, bolster economies, and anchor communities of every size in every corner of … Continue reading Advocate. Today.



Newsmaker: Azar Nafisi

August 13, 2014

AMERICAN LIBRARIES: Your efforts to promote literacy and books of universal literary value are directed primarily toward young people and adults. AZAR NAFISI: Oh, definitely. They are directed toward readers in general. I think that readers have so much in common no matter what background they come from or what age they are. Where do … Continue reading Newsmaker: Azar Nafisi


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How We “Do” Annual Conference

July 30, 2014

ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition can be quite a production, especially in Las Vegas. For the Ameri­can Libraries team, this past conference involved four editors reporting, blogging, tweeting, and posting on Face­book, with five freelance librarian writers reporting. Two edi­tors hung back in the Chicago office to accept our on-the-spot work, editing for style, resizing … Continue reading How We “Do” Annual Conference


Courtney L. Young

Advancing Our Mission

July 30, 2014

As I begin my ALA presidency, I’m aware of the need for both consistency and change. Like ALA presidents before me, I bring to the table my commitment to the profession as well as a good understanding of the Association’s structure, finances, members, and aspirations. But my unique experiences will also help shape my approach … Continue reading Advancing Our Mission


Kindergartners Go to College

July 11, 2014

Kindergartners get a Sneetches storytime at Fullerton College Library from Acquisitions Librarian Monique Delatte Starkey (left) and Library Assistant Betsy Murray. The children were among 1,800 who came to the campus’s 19th annual KinderCaminata (children stroll) this spring, during which they tour the campus with parents and teachers. “One event goal is that young participants, some from disadvantaged backgrounds, … Continue reading Kindergartners Go to College


Meredith Farkas

Through Their Eyes

July 7, 2014

I was observing students conducting research to see how they approached it and what tools they used, but when I saw Steve use that discovery tool, it was difficult to focus on anything else. Seeing that he was so overwhelmed by the number of links and buttons on an item record that he couldn’t even … Continue reading Through Their Eyes



Joseph Janes

Rolling the Dice

June 23, 2014

As I write this, I’m preparing for my annual trip with a couple of dear friends to Las Vegas. This is more nice meal/Cirque du Soleil than bottle service/strip show; we’re the dignified types—though one does get to see a great many more aspects of the human condition there than in other places, for sure. … Continue reading Rolling the Dice


Linda Braun

The Myth of Busy Summers

June 23, 2014

When library staff members serving youth tell me how much busier they are when school is out for the summer (and in preparing for students’ vacation time), it makes me a little crazy. I say to myself, “Shouldn’t library staff be this busy all year long?” And really, what message does it send when talking … Continue reading The Myth of Busy Summers