From the ALA Director 4/4: Highlights

Over the next week or so for a couple of times a day, I’m going to be posting excerpts of EBD # 12.20 2013-2014 Report to Council and Executive Board April 4, 2014 from Keith Michael Fiels Executive Director. This is a quarterly report we get from Mr. Fiels about the workings of the various units of the American Library Association (ALA)  and I find it a summary worth sharing.

Because even a quarterly summary of ALA activities runs to 28 pages, I’m going to be posting it in pieces by section. In this way I hope to have a better chance of keeping your attention and perhaps even generating some conversation. Some of the information may be outdated but still useful as a description of what ALA does with the dues of its members.

Future posts will have a note that it was an excerpt from Mr. Fiels report, but otherwise have little to no commentary.

We begin with the highlights, a section I’m particularly grateful for:

National Library Week

Judy Blume has been named the 2014 Honorary Chair of National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014).This year, National Library Week will be celebrated with the theme Lives change @ your library. As Honorary Chair, Blume will appear in print  and digital public service announcements (PSAs) promoting National Library Week which will be placed in magazines and online throughout the spring.. The Campaign for America’s Libraries has also developed a social media promotion that encourages librarians, library staff and library supporters to to snap a selfie with the Lives change @ your library word balloon and share their story of how the library has changed their life. Photos can then be uploaded to Flickr to the Lives change @ your library group, or tweeted or posted to Facebook using the hashtags #liveschange and #nlw14. Additional promotional materials include a sample op-ed, proclamation, press release and scripts for use in radio ads.  To learn how  to customize your PSAs and  see available tools  for your use, go to

State of America’s Library Report

The annual State of America’s Library Report will be released Monday, April 14, as part of National Library Week.  The report outlines the latest trends and developments in the library world.

Celebrate Preservation Week with ALCTS, April 27-May 3

ALCTS will present the fifth annual Preservation Week ®.  “Pass It On,” a week of celebrating the importance of preserving personal and community cultural heritage, bringing workshops, webinars, information resources and more to libraries across the nation.  Visit the Preservation Week ® web site at the “@your library” site at

Choose Privacy Week 2014

Choose Privacy Week 2014 will feature a webinar and guest bloggers discussing privacy topics ranging from surveillance to the art of developing library privacy policies.  The webinar will take place on Monday, May 5, 2014 and will introduce the revised Privacy Toolkit and feature North Dakota State Library staff librarian Eric Stroshane discussing “Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts,” an introduction to key online privacy concepts for librarians that will recommend various strategies to help librarians act as better stewards of patrons’ privacy as well as their own.


2014 Virtual Membership Meeting

The 2014 Virtual Membership Meeting (VMM14) will take place on June 5 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. (CDT).  Watch for detailed information in late April.


ALA Editions Titles Win Awards

Two ALA Editions books on RDA: Resource Description and Access were honored with awards in recent weeks. Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA: Resource Description and Access, by Robert L. Maxwell, was awarded the 2014 ABCCLIO Library Publishing Award, and RDA: Strategies for

Implementation, by Magda El-Sherbini, was awarded the 2014 ALCTS Outstanding PublicationAward


Libraries Transforming Communities: Cohort, PLA Sessions

In the coming weeks, ALA will announce 10 public libraries chosen to participate in an 18-month professional development opportunity through the Libraries Transforming Communities(LTC) community engagement initiative.  This ALA initiative is being managed by the Public Programs Office (PPO).  Interest in the program was high, with more than 80 libraries applying for the LTC Public Innovators Cohort.  Participants will receive in-person training, webinars and coaching from the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, whose “turning outward” practiceserves as the programmatic basis for the program.  Last month, ALA and the Harwood Institute led four

“turning outward” sessions at the PLA 2014 Conference.  Turnout was higher than anticipated, ranging between 100 and 225 attendees per session.


Video Contest Asks Students How School Libraries Change Lives

AASL in collaboration withProQuest,Abrams, andSchoolTube, announced the launch of the School Library Month 2014 student video contest “Lives Change @ your library.”  Contestants are urged to let loose their creativity and use humor, drama, music and/or special effects to illustrate how the school library program changes a student’s life.  Submissions for the video contest will be accepted through April 15, and winners will be announced during School Library Month on April 29.  Contest rules and eligibility can be found


AASL and OLA Want to Hear School Library Stories

AASL and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) seek stories about parents and students who advocate for their school libraries.  Stories shared will help AASL and OLA spread examples of parent and/or student advocacy to stakeholders nationally.  Stories may be submitted on the AASL website  The deadline for submission is April 11.  AASL/OLA staff may follow-up for further information.


CHOICE Celebrates 50th Anniversary

In March 2014, Choice magazine marked a milestone of true significance: 50 years of publication.  The premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media and Internet resources in higher education, Choice is a publication of ACRL.  Launched in 1964 out of office space at Wesleyan University’s Olin Library under the leadership of founding editor Richard K. Gardner, Choice originated as “a monthly current book selection guide to aid colleges and junior colleges in strengthening their library collections with the best of academic materials.”  Over the years, Choice has remained committed to this vital collection development service, expanding coverage to accommodate new subjects and formats of interest to the academic community, most notably a vast array of new digital and Internet resources.  With Choice and Choice Reviews Online, the contribution to the academic library community has grown in recent years beyond reviews, with highlights including bibliographic essays, the Outstanding Academic Titles list, forthcoming titles lists, and other notable features.  More information on the anniversary is available on the ACRL Insider blog.


Every Child Ready to Read® @ your Library® Toolkit for Spanish –Speaking Communities

ALSC and PLA have announced the release of a new Every Child Ready to Read® product. TheEvery Child Ready to Read® @ your Library® Toolkit for SpanishSpeaking

Communitiesis now available as a digital download from the ALA Store.  The Every Child Ready to Read @ your library Toolkit for Spanish-Speaking Communities contains everything  needed to offer Every Child Ready to Read programming for Spanish-Speaking patrons.  This digital download is a turnkey product that includes Spanish-language activities and booklists.


PLA 2014 Conference

The PLA 2014 Conference wrapped up on March 15 in Indianapolis after five days of thoughtprovoking speakers and professional development sessions, as well as unique opportunities for networking.  Nearly 8,000 public library professionals, presenters, exhibitors, and guests were a part of this year’s successful conference.  New this year was the BIG IDEAS series, which featured speakers like Simon Sinek and Amy Cuddy.  The three-morning series was a big hit and created lots of buzz around the convention center.  Read the full wrap release online.

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