Dewey Decibel Podcast: The 2017 Youth Media Awards

January 31, 2017

In this bonus episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries reports from the Youth Media Awards (YMAs), held January 23 at the 2017 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta. The YMAs have a devoted fan base, many of whom queue in the predawn hours to get a prime seat for the morning ceremony. Dewey Decibel host … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: The 2017 Youth Media Awards


(From left) Stephen Harmon, AASL president Audrey Church, Jeffrey Martín, ACRL president Ann Campion Riley

The Future of Learning

January 25, 2017

Martín, founder and CEO of honorCode, a program that aims to integrate coding into the K–12 curriculum, spoke about his experiences in developing a coding initiative at Atlanta’s Drew Charter School. “We envision Atlanta as the Silicon Valley for the South,” says Martín, noting that Georgia ranks third, behind New York and California, in the … Continue reading The Future of Learning


A Not-Unfortunate Ending

January 24, 2017

Neil Patrick Harris, before a packed auditorium at the Closing Session of the American Library Association’s 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits on Monday, joked that his name was the next to be added to a list of illustrious and prolific children’s book series authors. The award-winning actor, host, and magician talked about the inspiration behind … Continue reading A Not-Unfortunate Ending


We Need Diverse Books logo

Less Normative Collections

January 24, 2017

Though normative collections are a systematic problem and no one person is to blame, Manfredi said, the session sought to convey how librarians, educators, publishers, and reviewers are complicit in this problem. Manfredi began by identifying examples of microaggressions—comments or actions that may be hostile or demeaning to a minority or marginalized group—and popular misconceptions … Continue reading Less Normative Collections


ALA logo

Council III Addresses Gun Violence

January 24, 2017

Memorials were read for J. McRee “Mac” Elrod; Robert “Bob” Alan; Valerie Bross; Sandra “Sandy” Friedman Dolnick; Nettie B. Taylor; Ruth Gordon; John Shuler; Karen Avenick; Robert White; and Warren “Jim” Haas. A tribute was offered to honor Emily Sheketoff for her service as executive director of the ALA Washington Office. William “Bill” Sudduth, chair, … Continue reading Council III Addresses Gun Violence


ALA logo

Council II Defines ALA Executive Director Search Criteria

January 24, 2017

2017–2018 ALA President-Elect James G. “Jim” Neal introduced CD #35–35.2 and CD #37, which amended the 2015 ALA Strategic Directions by adding a fourth Strategic Direction: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The motion to amend passed with no objections. Bill Sudduth, chair of the Council Tellers Committee, presented a report (CD #10.3) on the election of two … Continue reading Council II Defines ALA Executive Director Search Criteria


Sarah Houghton, director of San Rafael (Calif.) Public Library, discusses 21st-century library ethics at the Symposium on the Future of Libraries.

Exploring Our Foundations in Times of Change

January 24, 2017

The day started with a plenary session with education innovators Jeffrey Martín of honorCode and Stephen Harmon of Georgia Tech Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). Moderators Audrey Church, professor and coordinator of the school librarianship program of Longwood University and president of the American Association of School Librarians, and Ann Campion Riley, associate director … Continue reading Exploring Our Foundations in Times of Change


Top Ten Tweets

Top 10 Tweets—Monday Edition

January 24, 2017

The day started off early with the Youth Media Awards/#ymapjparty. And March: Book Three swept the awards. The lines are long and we are excited!! #ALAYMA #alamw17 pic.twitter.com/bAbgOaITER — Deborah B Ford (@jlgdeborahford) January 23, 2017 wild crowd for @repjohnlewis Printz win MARCH: BOOK THREE #yalsa #alamw17 #printz #ALAYMA pic.twitter.com/FyrAPPIRbF — Della Farrell (@DellaKfarrell) January … Continue reading Top 10 Tweets—Monday Edition


The panel, from left: Fred Stielow, Susan J. Schmidt, Peter Pearson, Sally Gardner Reed

Directors, Trustees, and Friends Build the Future

January 24, 2017

Schmidt kicked off her 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits session, “Building the Future: Public Libraries and Their Trustees Making Future Policy Decisions Together,” in Atlanta on Sunday by painting a picture of the challenges directors, trustees, and Friends groups are up against. Panelists then presented tactics for ways these groups can leverage their relationships, to … Continue reading Directors, Trustees, and Friends Build the Future



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