Category Archives: ALA

ALA denounces recent FCC Lifeline revocations, report retractions

From the ALA Washington Office…

On February 3, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoked all of the designations of Lifeline Broadband Providers and ordered the retraction of multiple reports, including the “E-rate Modernization Progress Report” and “Improving the Nation’s Digital Infrastructure.”

ALA is dismayed by these actions to reduce digital opportunity and revise the public record. ALA President Julie Todaro released the following statement.

“The American Library Association (ALA) strenuously objects to recent actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). First, the ALA is alarmed by the sudden revocation of the nine Lifeline Broadband Provider designations. Reducing options for Lifeline broadband services is a step back in efforts to close the homework gap and digital divide, and is at odds with Chairman Pai’s stated desire to advance digital empowerment. The 2016 Lifeline modernization order represented a critical milestone in our national commitment to connect low-income Americans to the broadband that powers educational and economic opportunity. ALA and our nation’s 120,000 libraries are committed to advancing digital opportunity for all, and we urge the FCC to increase the number of broadband options available for Lifeline customers.

“The ALA also calls for the FCC to maintain an accurate and complete historical record. While new FCC leadership may have new policy directions, the public record should not be permanently altered. Governmental agencies must be accountable in this regard. We urge the reversal of the retraction decisions and an agreement that the FCC will not order the removal of any other documents from the public record. Such actions undermine the credibility of the FCC and Chairman Pai’s recent move to increase transparency of the Commission’s rulemaking.

“Full and public debate with the accompanying historical record preserved on these foundational internet issues that affect every person in this country should be the standard we expect and demand.”

Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women on Saturday, January 21

The ACRL Board of Directors encourages ACRL members attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting to participate in the upcoming Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women from 1 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

According to the website for the event, the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women was planned as a “peaceful demonstration of solidarity bringing together members of underrepresented communities, women, and their allies in Georgia and nationally.”

During a time when many colleges and universities are working to highlight the importance of protecting diverse learning environments and reaffirming their support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students on their campuses, the march is an opportunity for academic libraries to showcase their role in promoting the free exchange of different viewpoints, as well as privacy and confidentiality in the library. Additionally, this event an opportunity to highlight ACRL’s commitment to addressing issues of diversity, inclusion, justice, and gender equality in our communities.

ALA has made arrangements for members to participate in this historic event, including a poster-making session on the morning of the march from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm in Hall A3 of the Georgia World Congress Center.

The march will begin at the Center for Civil and Human Rights and end at the Georgia State Capitol. People who wish to travel together to the march are encouraged to gather at the poster-making session by 12:15 pm. Maps of the march route and directions to the Center for Civil and Human Rights will be available.

For more information see the Facebook groups for the event below:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1846100042303729/

https://www.facebook.com/atlantamarchwomen/

ALA Conference Remodel Proposal for Association-Wide Input

The ALA Conference Committee is seeking your feedback as we work to remodel the ALA Annual Conference. Mary Ghikas, ALA’s Senior Associate Executive Director, in consultation with the Conference Committee/Conference Program Coordinating Team and with input from ALA conferences services, division staff, and roundtable/ALA committee staff liaisons, has developed a remodel proposal for our upcoming 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

As we worked on its development, we had the following objectives in mind:

  • Create a more manageable and more easily navigable Annual Conference
  • Provide high-quality continuing education in content streams relevant to individuals from different types of libraries and in different specializations
  • Eliminate to the extent possible conflict between programs in the same content stream or during the same time periods
  • Provide peer-to-peer learning and networking aligned with contract streams through discussion/interest groups
  • Continue to provide an exceptional exhibition of products and services for the library community, as well as an opportunity for authors and librarians to interact
  • Provide integrated content information—including programs and discussion groups, as well as interactions with authors and exhibitors
  • Support the governance of the Association by providing a venue for both essential governance meetings and collaborative work
  • Address attendee dissatisfaction with the spread-out campus by reducing campus size by approximately 50%
  • Control costs by reducing campus spread, eliminating or reducing room turns and increasing consistency in practice
  • Increase sustainability, both financial and environmental

The Conference Committee values your input. We particularly encourage all units of the Association and affiliates who produce programming, hold discussion/interest groups, and/or hold meetings at Annual Conference to review the remodel proposal. You may post your comments on the Conference Committee’s ALA Connect space.

The Conference Committee feels this remodel provides a better conference experience for all participants, as well as long-term sustainability for our association.

Clara Bohrer, Chair

ALA Conference Committee

ALA Rethinking Annual Conference

Editor’s note: The following is a message from ALA Conference Committee Chair Clara N. Bohrer.

The ALA Conference Committee is seeking your assistance as we rethink the ALA Annual Conference, looking at member experience, conference-based collaboration and networking, learning and sustainability.

As an ALA Committee, we appreciate that the ALA Conference offers significant benefit to members:

  • It brings together librarians and library staff (across types of libraries and specializations), authors, editors, library trustees and friends, and library suppliers to share their best thinking, explore common issues from their distinctive perspectives, discuss emerging trends, and challenge assumptions that might otherwise stifle innovation.
  • The Conference provides an opportunity to showcase for new audiences the best work of ALA’s divisions, round tables, committees and partners: the latest research, the results of outstanding projects, successful models, innovative practices.
  • It offers a powerful platform to speak to the communities that our libraries serve, through conference-based advocacy work.
  • While ALA’s work goes on year-round, Annual Conference offers the face-to-face engagement that is often essential to addressing critical issues or resolving problems.
  • Regardless of type of library or specialization, the Conference offers an opportunity to develop and nourish each member’s unique national network.

Right now, the ALA Annual Conference offers 2,400-2,700 programs, discussion groups, meetings, and events in 350-370 concurrent meeting spaces. While this shows the vitality and amazing span of this field, we believe that it is necessary to do this in a more structured and efficient way. We know from post-conference surveys that attendees do not like the expansive, spread-out campus which requires running back and forth between multiple venues, consuming both time and personal energy. We know that attendees have a difficult time finding the most relevant content for their current needs because it gets buried in the volume and complexity of the Conference. We also know that using 350-370 rooms across a large campus is ultimately not a financially sustainable practice for our Association.

Our focus is the best possible conference experience for all participants, forward-focused innovation, and long-term sustainability for our association. So, we are seeking your collaboration with the ALA Conference Committee as we examine what we are currently doing, think about possible new opportunities, and explore new ways to collaborate. We will end up doing less of some things. We may end up doing some things we don’t currently do  — but would like to do.

The Committee has asked Mary Ghikas, ALA’s Senior Associate Executive Director, to develop a couple of different models, looking at three inventories:

  • The things we do at conferences – programs, discussion groups, meetings, special events.
  • The places we use at conferences – meeting rooms at both the convention center and hotels.
  • The conference schedule – the designated time periods for programs and other conference activities.

We are looking at reducing the “places” inventory from 350-370 to 200, which would have a significant and positive impact on the time that participants spend going from place to place. It will also require collaboration, imagination and open communication with each other. How can we more effectively coordinate and collaborate in conference content development? How might we coordinate discussion group schedules and improve access to these vital venues for peer-to-peer sharing and learning?  How can we reduce the schedule conflicts between meetings and programs and between programs and discussion groups within a related content stream?

It will be the task of the ALA Conference Committee to examine and discuss the models presented, to share and obtain input from across the Association on the models, and to select or modify a model for implementation at the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans and future annual conferences. The Committee’s structure is an asset in this process. The ALA Conference Committee has a representative composition, bringing together various stakeholders – from the broad ALA membership, from ALA Council and Executive Board, from Divisions, from Round Tables. The annually-appointed Conference Program Coordinating Team (CPCT), a subcommittee, is also representative, including someone from every division, as well as the Round Tables Coordinating Assembly. The CPCT will participate in rethinking the Annual Conference with the ALA Conference Committee and assist in obtaining feedback across the Association. Work will be done through space on ALA Connect, where proposed models will be posted, as well as at our face-to-face meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

In the future, we will be asking for your feedback on models. We value your input. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Clara N. Bohrer, Chair

ALA Conference Committee

2016 I Love My Librarian Award

I Love My Librarian logoNominations are open through September 19, 2016, for the 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 in public, school and college, community college and university libraries will be selected to win $5,000 and will be honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award-winner’s library.

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

The award is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Public Library, and The New York Times.

1 2 3 9