ALA Council Orientation Session – YouTube

If you’re looking for insight as to how ALA Council works, consider setting aside a few hours for this detailed orientation. It provides a good overview of the American Library Association, its finances and how our Council meetings are run.

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Library Displays: Word Cloud Quiz

Source: Library Displays: Word Cloud Quiz

This looks like a very fun idea. If you’ve tried at your library, leave a comment.

I ran across this because of a friend’s Pinterest page. Library ideas are everywhere.

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Adult Coloring Explosion (WebJunction)

Libraries are hosting adult coloring programs weekly, monthly, as a series, or as a one-time event. Libraries are scheduling events over the lunch hour, in the afternoon, in the evening, or making coloring available at drop-in times.For more passive programming, some libraries are setting up a display, perhaps near the public computers, with colored pencils and markers. One library is hosting a Coloring Contest for adults, with the coloring done at home, and a public viewing and awards ceremony at the library. And we learned of one library district who has purchased adult coloring books to put in circulation, encouraging people to color in them and then turn them back in. When the books are filled with color, the library will put them on display.

Source: Adult Coloring Explosion (WebJunction)

Before this WebJunction article came out, I had not realized that adult coloring was a thing. While I’m not aware of any Alaskan libraries doing this, that doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.

Seeing it explained like this, I think I would attend such a program, especially if it came with Hubble coloring books. I’m sure some are out there.


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Shutdown could threaten library funding – District Dispatch

Some information from ALA about likely funding scenarios starting in October.

I’m grateful for the ALA Washington Office. I think they do a good job of tracking and sharing information about legislation and federal funding levels.

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Comments on Library Card Spokesdog | American Libraries Magazine

We know that libraries need to create affinity for the “library brand.” The library card, used in all types of libraries, remains a symbol of our brand. It’s a daily reminder that the library is an open, trusted source that belongs to the cardholder; it’s the physical proxy that links the library’s core values of privacy, equity, intellectual freedom, and democracy to the individual library patron. This is perhaps why President Obama recently issued the ConnectED Library Challenge, which calls for library cards for all children to ensure access to a library. A library card is their key to the education, employment, entrepreneurship, engagement, and empowerment opportunities that libraries provide.

Source: Library Card Spokesdog | American Libraries Magazine

A spot on column from American Library Association President Sari Feldman. I like her imagery of the library card as the physical manifestation of all the library has to offer. The whole column is well worth reading. I agree with her comments on libraries needing to do more marketing/promotion. This is an area where libraries will need to tread carefully, and where Friends groups will need to lead the way. This is because nearly all public libraries are local government agencies and there is tremendous, nationwide hostility to government agencies advertising their services on the part of government funders. Some of the (misguided, in my view) reasons offered for this hostility include:

  • Having money for marketing clearly means you have fat to cut, starting with your marketing budget.
  • We should take no chances whatsoever on competing with the private sector – even where the private sector sees no market.
  • Advertising by government agencies “artificially inflates demand for government services.”
  • If you have to advertise, it means no one wants your services anyway. So we can eliminate your agency entirely.

Because these reasons do get bandied about in city councils and state legislatures, I think libraries dramatically ramping up their advertising budgets nationwide is a non starter. But getting Friends of the Libraries groups to spend more on marketing their local library might be a winner. It depends on what a Friends group is already doing for their library.

Overall, kudos to President Feldman for giving libraries concrete ideas to work with.

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American Library Association – Libraries Transform Campaign on Vimeo

An update video with a high level view of how libraries are transforming to meet the needs of their communities. Decent as is and I encourage you to share. Two things would improve it:

  1. Put an action call at the end. I’ve watched this video, I’m intrigued by the transformation of libraries. What do I do next? Visit my library? Start a new program? Go to a discussion board? Don’t peak my interest and give me nothing but an ALA logo. You could at least offer the URL of the Libraries Transform campaign page (
  2. Enable comments on this video, at least on the ALA site. Seems odd to produce a video as a conversation starter and then not listen.
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Why the New York Times’s Amazon story is so controversial, explained by Ezra Klein- Vox

I don’t think you need to read very far between the lines to see Ciubotariu has worked a lot of weekends and a lot of nights. But he’s worked them, in part, because he wants to work them.

via Why the New York Times’s Amazon story is so controversial, explained – Vox.

Another take on the NYT story on Amazon. One that credits some of Amazon’s criticisms of the story while showing that even some of Amazon’s defenders accept some of the claims of a work place with low work/life balance.

The final piece of this article argues that the real scandal is how Amazon’s blue collar workers are treated. And it’s hard to argue with that.

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