Category Archives: ALA

ALA Delegation to Finland

Editor’s note: The following message is from ALA President Courtney Young.

As the ALA President, I am honored to serve as the leader of the upcoming ALA Delegation to Finland. I invite you to join me and other ALA members to participate in this important international exchange in Helsinki, Finland in October 11-16, 2015.

As you know, Finland is noted for having some of the most innovative library communities in the world. It will be a great to learn and share experiences with our Finnish colleagues.  I believe you would contribute valued expertise to the team while gaining both personally and professionally from the experience.

In addition to visiting cutting edge libraries, we’ll have the opportunity to meet with leadership of the Finnish Library Association to discuss issues such as:

  • Sources of funding and government commitment to library development
  • The role of libraries as an educational resource
  • Use of technology at all levels
  • Education and training for librarians

Each delegate will be asked to complete a profile identifying their background and areas of interest, to ensure the final schedule of activities reflects the professional goals and specific topics of discussion of the enrolled delegates. The itinerary is available at

The estimated cost per delegation member is $4,150. This cost includes: group ground transportation within Finland, meetings, accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, entry fees for cultural visits, the service of a national guide, and most meals.  The program convenes on October 11, 2015 in Helsinki and ends on October 16, 2015.  In most cases, this means a departure from the U.S. on October 11th, with a return on the 16th.

Travel arrangements will be arranged through Professionals Abroad, a division of Academic Travel Abroad.  The 60-year-old organization handles the logistical arrangements for prestigious organizations, such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, The New York Times – Times Journeys and many top professional associations and universities.

A parallel program of unique cultural activities will be arranged for non-professionals and accompanying guests. If you are interested in bringing a guest to experience the rich culture of Finland, please contact Professionals Abroad for program specifics.

For U.S. citizens, expenses associated with this program may be tax deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. You should consult with a tax advisor to determine if the tax deduction is applicable to you.

As the team will be limited and due to the extensive planning and communication involved in coordinating a program of this nature, please respond with your intentions regarding this invitation as soon as possible. Please RSVP to Professionals Abroad at 1-877-298-9677 or via the web at  A $500 deposit is required to reserve your place on the team.  In the event that you are unable to accept this invitation, an alternate delegate candidate will be invited. You may also recommend a colleague as your alternate for the program. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation.

If you have questions regarding the delegation, contact our Program Representative at Professionals Abroad, at 1-877-298-9677.

I am pleased to be involved in this exciting opportunity and hope that you will strongly consider participating in the delegation to Finland.


Courtney Young

ALA President


Information Policy: Some Perspectives from the ALA Washington Office

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Alan Inouye from the ALA Washington Office.

Hello ACRLers. I’m Alan Inouye, the director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) in ALA’s Washington Office. I’m delighted that ACRL has agreed to let me post occasionally about developments in information policy and the Washington Office that may be of interest to ACRL members.

I know that one of the most important information policy areas for academic and research libraries is copyright. Not accidentally then, copyright advocacy is perhaps the most intensive shared initiative between ACRL and the Washington Office. Much of our joint work takes place under the rubric of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes ACRL, ALA (Washington Office), and the Association of Research Libraries. Over the years, we have engaged in the highest-profile cases through LCA, such as Google Books, Georgia State, and HathiTrust.

Currently, the triennial review of section 1201 (anti-circumvention) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is taking place, and LCA is submitting comments, working through our copyright counsel Jonathan Band; Kara Malenfant and Mary Ellen Davis for ACRL; and Washington Office staffers Carrie Russell and Adam Eisgrau. The U.S. House Judiciary committee completed its initial review of the copyright law. LCA submitted an additional summary of comments to date, and will continue to advocate on topics expected to be addressed in legislation including orphan works, Section 108, and mass digitization.

You may have heard about the recent announcement that the Re:Create copyright coalition launched, with ALA as a founding member. This coalition will greatly help to push out our messages about the utility of fair use and the importance of balanced copyright law—for everyone, whether entrepreneur, educator, or et al. Most important is the composition of the coalition as it includes influential industry groups such as the Consumers Electronics Association and groups with diverse viewpoints on the ideological spectrum. We’re optimistic that this new coalition will greatly bolster the ability to get the library perspective communicated to more national decision makers and influencers.

Also on the copyright front, Carrie Russell was able to present the L. Ray Patterson award to Georgia K. Harper, recently retired as scholarly communications advisor for the University of Texas, Austin. The award was presented in conjunction with the recent Texas Library Association conference in Austin.

Finally, I would like to say a belated thank you to the ACRL community for the opportunity to speak at the ACRL Leadership Council at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. I talked about the Policy Revolution! Initiative, an effort led by OITP to re-engineer how the library community engages in national public policy, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The premise of the initiative is that since libraries are in the midst of a revolution, how we pursue public policy also needs to be reconsidered fundamentally, and moved towards a more proactive stance.

The first major phase is to develop a national public policy agenda, which the various entities within the library community may use as guidance for their own policy goals. In communicating with national decision makers and influencers, the various advocates within the library community need to be consistent in messaging—else we’ll have a rather difficult time in making headway with them. Many thanks to the academic and research librarians who provided comments. The final version of the agenda will be released by this summer.

I look forward to making future posts—next time, likely on the Policy Revolution! Initiative—and talking with some ACRLers at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.


ALA Virtual Membership Meeting

ALA members can make their voices heard regarding the organization’s strategic direction and budget priorities by sharing their ideas and experiences and offering their suggestions during the annual Virtual Membership Meeting (VMM). This interactive online forum provides real-time access to ALA leaders and opportunities to connect with colleagues about critical areas of ALA’s policy and advocacy work. During registration, participants identify and rank topics of interest that are discussed during an open forum. Members also discuss and vote on resolutions they have proposed.

VMM15 will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, June 4. Live captioning will be provided so all registrants can participate. Resolutions must be submitted by 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on May 28.

“We want to hear what our members have to say,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “VMM15 is a terrific opportunity for members to share their vision and to affect ALA’s future. We want to know the issues about which they care and their professional goals—and how ALA can be of service.”

See the ALA VMM15 webpage or the ALA Connect Member Group for information about the upcoming VMM15 and to exchange perspectives, ideas, and opinions with colleagues in advance. Register for VMM15 now.

2014 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award

ilml-logo-270-2014Nominations are open through September 12, 2014,  for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award encourages library users — professors, administrators, students — to submit nominations about how their librarian makes a difference on campus or in the community.

Up to 10 librarians will be selected. Each librarian will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by The New York Times.

Nominate your favorite College, Community College, or University librarian today!

IFLA Committee Applications Due May 7

Would you like to represent ALA on an International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) section standing committee? The biennial appointment process to represent ALA on relevant IFLA standing committees is currently underway for terms running from 2015 through 2019.

The ACRL Board of Directors endorses candidates for election to a number of IFLA standing committees, with the ACRL Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee (LRNC) acting in an advisory capacity to the Board in recommending approval for appointment.  The deadline for nominations is May 7, 2014.  Complete details on the application process are available in ALA Connect and more information on IFLA is available on the association website. Contact Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee Chair, Mary Carr, at, with questions.

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