From the Desk of ALA: Highlights from the 5/13/2014 Executive Director’s Report

As Alaska’s Chapter Councilor, I just received the 5/13/2014 Report to Executive Board and Council from ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fields. Last time I broke up his reports into smaller bits for you to read. That was very time consuming and feedback was minimal. So this time, I’m simply giving you the items I consider to be highlights from this 20 page report. Any comments or info that I add to the items below will be in brackets and start with [Daniel: ].

The whole report has been posted to Other documents related to the ALA Executive Board can be found at

And now, those highlights:

Report to Council and Executive Board,  May 13, 2014, Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director

2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Shortlist Announced

Six books comprising the shortlist for the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in

Fiction and Nonfiction were announced on April 7 via press release, the Booklist Online Exclusivesenewsletter, social media, and other channels reaching hundreds of thousands of readers.  The titles were selected from a long list based on the most recent Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books List.  The two winners will be announced at a celebratory event at ALA Annual Conferenceon Saturday, June 28 in Las Vegas.  Information about the shortlisted titles and the awards (started in 2012 and garnering 405,000 web mentions in 2013) are available on the awards’ website.



Membership Development

March ALA Membership is 57,765

As of March 30, 2014, the total ALA membership count was 57,765, 67 fewer members than last year.  March 2014 personal membership was 55,095, which is 49 better than last year.    In March, three divisions had membership increases, and one had flat membership, compared to March 2013. Six round tables had increases and one had flat membership.


Office for Government Relations (OGR)

Libraries Matter: Use Videos to Advocate for Libraries

Weeks before the start of National Library Legislative Day, the American Library Association’s Washington Office launched “Libraries Matter,” a series of videos showcasing the ways libraries use federal funding to support early literacy, high-speed internet access, small business owners and new citizens.  Library supporters can use the videos to demonstrate the value of federal funding programs, such as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), to legislators, decision makers and community leaders.  The videos can be used to educate policymakers about the countless ways that libraries impact their communities.  Library champions are encouraged to send the videos to policymakers before or after their scheduled advocacy meetings.  Access the full video playlist:


Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP)

ALA Calls for FCC to Use $2 billion for e-rate Demonstration Projects, Funding InternalConnections

In April, the American Library Association called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy newly identified E-rate program funding to boost library broadband access and alleviate historic shortfalls in funding for internal connections.  In response to the FCC’s March Public Notice, the ALA seeks to leverage existing high-speed, scalable networks to increase library broadband speeds, improve area networks and further explore cost efficiencies that could be enabled through new consortium approaches.  The ALA also favors using much of the short-term funding to support internal connections—particularly for applicants that have not received these funds in recent years.


Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture

The 2014 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture will be given by Virginia (Ginny) Bradley

Moore on Monday, June 30 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. during the Annual Conference in Room

N231/233 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Titled “Equality…Equity…Diversity: Libraries, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Mission,” this talk will look at how the library profession has respected and promoted the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., through the Midwinter Sunrise Celebration, and beyond.  The MLK Jr. Multicultural Idea Exchange will be examined in detail, including its practical applicability to promote Dr. King’s ideals during the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well as throughout the year.  Ms. Moore’s talk will discuss reports of participants of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) MLK Task Force King Holiday Multicultural Idea Exchange (2000-2012), and the promotion of equity of access through their activities, programs, reading lists, etc.  She will also address the Office of Literacy and Outreach

Services’ history of recognizing MLK, Jr., as well as the incorporation of the National Library Involvement Committee into ALA via SRRT.  In looking to the future, a forum for dialogue about the ways libraries observe the event must continue in order to empower individuals and communities through literacy, life-long learning, and conserving valuable connections to the past and future, so that libraries lead in this observance as an American celebration.

Public Programs Office (PPO) Back Online

After a brief hiatus, ProgrammingLibrarian.orgis back online.  The website, which offers programming ideas and grant information to the field, underwent a series of back-end changes this winter, converting to a more accessible content management system.  Plans for a second phase redesign are now in the works.




American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


AASL Announced 2014 Award Recipients

AASL announced the recipients of its 2014 awards.  AASL awards and grants recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include collaboration, leadership and innovation.  Recipients of this prestigious program are celebrated for their outstanding talent and dedication to the profession.


National IMLS Research Summit Focused on School Librarians and Student Achievement

Fifty research scholars from across the nation gathered in Chicago to participate in AASL’s Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) research summit.  Focused on setting an agenda for future school library research, the “Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS)” summit took place April 11-12, 2014.  CLASS assembled together school library and educational researchers to create a national focus and agenda on causal research and provide empirical evidence that school libraries make positive contributions to student achievement.  The summit will result in a white paper to be published in May 2014.  Additionally, the white paper and research findings will be presented at a session during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.  The session will take place from 3 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 29.



Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)


2014 Preservation Week Attracts Great Participation

Preservation Week sponsored by ALCTS and the Campaign for America’s Libraries was celebrated April 27-May 3.  Reports indicate a rousing success with many libraries from around the country offering special events during the week.  Over 1,500 individuals and libraries viewed the two webinars presented April 29 on “low cost personal archiving” and May 1 on “preserving scrapbooks.”  Over 100 posted their events on the Preservation Week Google Map.  Many more participated via Twitter and Facebook.  Preservation Week for 2015 will be held April 26-May 2.  Partners for this year included the Library of Congress, Society of American Archivists, American Institute for Conservation, and Heritage Preservation.  



Association for Library Service to Children   (ALSC)

Friends of ALSC Institute Scholarship

The Friends of ALSC are giving away two scholarships to attend the ALSC National Institute in September.  Scholarship recipients must be ALSC members who work directly with children in a library setting.  The scholarships will include Institute registration (at the early bird rate) and a $1,000 travel stipend to cover airfare and hotel lodging.  The scholarship application is available on the ALSC website; applications are due May 30.


Summer Online Courses

Summer courses begin July 14.  ALSC will be offering three courses this summer:

Children’s Graphic Novels 101: Selection, Evaluation and Programming for Children, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy, and Storytime Tools.

Both the Storytime Tools and STEM courses are being offered for continuing education (CEU) credit.  Course descriptions and registration are available on the ALSC website.


Webinar: C is for Common Core and Collection Development

This fall, ALSC will offer C is for Common Core and Collection Development webinar.  Kristen Remenar, a children’s librarian, writer, teacher and national speaker on literacy for the Bureau of Education and Research, will be instructing the course, and offering practical application in public libraries, big or small.  The webinar will break down the Common Core Standards in Reading and Writing to understand expectations for elementary students and how librarians can support and enrich their learning.  The webinar will be offered over several weeks in September and October.  Registrationis now open.


Local Arrangements Las Vegas Travel Information

ALSC’s Local Arrangements Committee has put together valuable information for attendees of the 2014 Annual Conference, including tips for local travel and transportation, restaurant recommendations, and must-see sights on and off The Strip.  More information is available on ALSC’s website.


Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)

Kimberly Bryant Presents the LITA President’s Program

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, will be presenting the LITA President’s Program on Sunday, June 29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room LVCC-S233.  Black Girls Code introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails.  Black Girls Code seeks to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.



Web Therapy

Practical problem solving, addressing real problems identified by participants, the likely topics will include management, content, platform, and statistics.  In this workshop through networking and problem solving with expert advisors and each other, participants will address specific topics and find the cure to all the ills plaguing their sites.


Public Library Association   (PLA)


PLA Board Decision


At the Spring PLA board meeting, the board approved a policy to prohibit canvassing of attendees at PLA Conferences.  View the full policy.


United for Libraries: the Association for Library Trustees & Advocates (UNITED)


Skype Consulting Service

United for Libraries recently instituted a Skype consulting service.  Libraries needing support for their boards and/or Friends groups can arrange for a one hour interactive session via Skype with experts on the staff and board.  To date, Sally Reed has provided three Skype sessions for Trustees.  The Trustee Association of West Virginia has requested two Skype sessions for an upcoming conference.  United board member Jeff Smith is a registered and experienced lobbyist.  He will provide a session for Trustees on how to lobby at the state level.  Sally Reed will provide a session on how Trustees can work effectively with their Directors.

[Daniel: For more on their Skype Consulting Service, see]


Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


Come Hang Out with Dozens of YA Authors!

The 2014 YA Literature Symposium will be held this year on November 14-16 in Austin, TX.  Check out the preliminary program, apply for a travel stipend grant and/or register at


[Daniel – The list of participating authors is at If Sarah Rees Brennan were attending, I would totally go to this symposium even though it is not in my core duties.]



  “Strategic Initiatives” Header will Aggregate Content

In support of ALA’s three strategic initiatives—advocacy, professional and leadership development, and information policy—and to help keep members fully informed about related ALA activities, the American Libraries website will be providing a “Strategic Initiatives” header. Each of the three components will aggregate any appropriately tagged content as a subpage, allowing readers to find all articles related to the topics individually.

[Daniel – As of 5/15/2014, this has not been implemented. Looking forward to it though.]


Booklist Webinars

Five of April’s six webinars focused on children’s and/or YA topics:

 Have No Fear, Poetry is Here (Again!): Getting Children and Young Adults Excited aboutPoetry;

Making Their Debut: Four FirstTime Authors Talk about Terrific New Books;

Literacy Solutions for Struggling Readers: HighInterest Fiction and the Common Core;

The Scoop on Series Nonfiction: What’s New for Spring 2014; How to Connect eBooks and Students: A Starter Kit for Educators. 


The last program of April, however, focused solely on adult titles and kicked off May is Mystery Month at Booklist.  Mysteries and Thrillers: PulsePounding Picks for Your Patrons featured representatives from five top Mystery publishers (Five Star, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Random House, and Severn House) and had 500+ live attendees and more than 1,630 registrants. Booklist closes out Mystery Month with a second crime fiction webinar on May 20, focusing on small and indie presses.




Release of Fifth Edition of Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit

The American Library Association Allied Professional Association(ALA-APA) has released the fifth edition of its Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit.  Initially created in 2002, the revised Toolkit is designed to help library workers advocate and negotiate for better salaries and address pay equity issues in a post-Recession, more-with-less environment.  Since the release of the fourth edition in 2007, the Toolkit has been updated to reflect the economic concerns of today’s library workers, with sections on incorporating pay issues into library advocacy campaigns, negotiating in a saturated labor market, and the continued importance of recruiting, rewarding, and retaining a quality library workforce.  Thanks to the members of the ALAAPA Standing Committee on the Status and Salaries of Library Workers (SSLW) participating in the revision, specifically authors Jennifer Dorning, Tara Dunderdale, Shannon L. Farrell, Aliqae Geraci, Rachel Rubin, and Jessica Storrs.

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