One of the breakout groups at the advocacy meeting. From left: Casey Wallace, Christopher Moffat, Elissa Checov (a 2016 I Love My Librarian winner), Eugene Hamer, and Susan J. Schmidt (United for Libraries president). In the background is Donna McDonald (United for Libraries secretary).

Advocate Proactively

January 23, 2017

Donna McDonald, director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System and secretary of United for Libraries, noted that many public library users are “unaware of the library’s funding challenges, and the biggest supporters may not be frequent users.” Elected officials can often be a “hard sell” because they are also looking at funding for … Continue reading Advocate Proactively



Anthony Marx and Brian Bannon in conversation about libraries' roles as civic spaces.

Library Service in a World That’s Getting Closer

January 23, 2017

Liou’s presentation was a perfect follow-up to the city-wide vision of the Atlanta Beltline described by Ryan Gravel during Saturday’s Arthur Curley Lecture, showing how small investments in the assets neighborhoods already have can make a big difference. Liou’s vision for Buford Highway builds on a fundamental belief that the area is special because of … Continue reading Library Service in a World That’s Getting Closer


Ryan Gravel

“Unfettered by Reality”

January 23, 2017

Gravel—who sparked the idea for the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile multiuse trail or repurposed rail lines that will eventually connect 46 neighborhoods—should know. His “ulterior motive,” he says, was simply creating a city that he wanted to live in. Gravel’s talk was testament to how one person with a bold idea can make a difference … Continue reading “Unfettered by Reality”



Top Ten Tweets

Top 10 Tweets—Sunday Edition

January 23, 2017

Kwame Alexander blew us all away with the importance of poetry, children’s input, and books. "Books are like amusement parks; sometimes you've got to let kids pick their ride."– Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medal winner #alamw17 — Kathy Mansfield (@akmansfield) January 22, 2017 Poems can change you, transform you – @kwamealexander #alamw17 — Jennifer Demas (@jenn5656) … Continue reading Top 10 Tweets—Sunday Edition


Cheryl Gorman (right), senior fellow of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served as moderator for the 90-minute town hall meeting.

ALA’s Town Hall Meeting

January 22, 2017

The event was streamed live on the American Libraries Facebook page, where it is available for replay. Cheryl Gorman, senior fellow of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served as moderator for the 90-minute session, which gave each member a maximum of three minutes to state his or her concerns. A total of 32 individuals … Continue reading ALA’s Town Hall Meeting


Matthew Boyer

Virtual Reality as the New Field Trip: The Importance of Place in Learning

January 22, 2017

Boyer started the session with the example of the New York Times recently giving its subscribers Google cardboard in order to allow them to view newly published content in a virtual reality format. “The question becomes for all of us, is virtual reality the next content delivery platform?” Boyer said. Technology companies are investing in … Continue reading Virtual Reality as the New Field Trip: The Importance of Place in Learning


Scott Allen, Larra Clark, Margaret Caspe, Johanna Pringle

Changing Policy to Support Family Engagement

January 22, 2017

That was the question at the center of “Improving Federal and State Policy to Support Family Engagement in Libraries,” a Saturday morning panel sponsored by the Public Library Association (PLA) at ALA’s 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta. Caspe reinforced that family engagement is a shared responsibility, can happen anywhere, and can happen at … Continue reading Changing Policy to Support Family Engagement


Research Libraries Transform

January 22, 2017

Catherine Murray Rust, dean of libraries at Georgia Tech University, detailed how her library undertook such an endeavor in Reimagining the Research Library for the 21st Century, an ALA Masters Series session at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting. It was an extensive project, with some elements still ongoing, but it boiled down to three basic … Continue reading Research Libraries Transform


ALA logo

Librarian of Congress Thanks Library Community at Council I

January 22, 2017

Todaro introduced a special guest, Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden, who gave remarks and thanked the library community for making her confirmation possible. 2014–2015 ALA President Courtney L. Young, chair of the ALA Executive Director Search Committee, presented the committee members (CD#10.2): Keri Cascio, Diane R. Chen, Joseph M. Eagan, Miguel Figueroa, Dora T. … Continue reading Librarian of Congress Thanks Library Community at Council I