Special Post-Annual Conference Issue
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 17,

ALA Publishing
Chicago Sidetrips
Division Sessions
Other Events
Tech Events
Seen Online

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Conference Highlights

Annual Conference attendees take to the floor as the Exhibits open. Photo by Curtis ComptonALA Annual Conference brings crowds to the Windy City
Nearly 29,000 librarians, library supporters, and exhibitors attended the ALA Annual Conference July 9–15, held at McCormick Place in Chicago. Librarians paid tribute to the memories of former ALA President E. J. Josey and Judith F. Krug, held workshops devoted to the plight of libraries during hard economic times, tackled the issue of privacy and access to government information, and paid special attention to the areas of intellectual freedom and public awareness....

Christie Hefner. Photo by Curtis ComptonHefner on change and the First Amendment
Opening General Session speaker Christie Hefner drew a clear parallel between businesses and libraries in terms of what they need to do to survive. She noted how, as Playboy Enterprises CEO, she came to the conclusion that the company “didn’t want to be a magazine company—we wanted to be a company that represented a style of content.” That led Playboy to expand to television in the 1980s, the internet in the 1990s, and mobile devices today....
AL Inside Scoop, July 11

Chatting with Christie Hefner
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Keynote speaker Christie Hefner took a few minutes to chat with me before her Opening General Session speech Saturday. Hefner is the director of the Center for American Progress and longtime CEO of Playboy Enterprises, the company founded by her father, Hugh Hefner. Asked what her major message to librarians would be, she said it in two words: ‘Thank you.’ ‘I actually love librarians,’ she added.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 11

A single yellow rose is placed next to a portrait of Judith Krug during a remembrance of her life Friday. Photo by Curtis ComptonFreedom to Read Foundation memorializes Judith Krug
Some 525 librarians and library supporters—a virtual who’s who of librarianship—spent Sunday evening in the new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, enthralled by its splendor and by the speakers who gathered to help the Freedom to Read Foundation celebrate its 40th anniversary and pay tribute to its founder, Judith Krug, who died April 11. Author Judy Blume presented the Founder’s Award to Krug, saying that she had planned to present it to her in person....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

Cokie Roberts. Photo by Curtis ComptonCokie Roberts on the roles of women
Journalist and author Cokie Roberts discussed the writing and updating of her book We Are Our Mother’s Daughters, as well as her research into the roles of women throughout American history, before a crowd of about 700 at the PLA President’s Program on Monday. “I, of course, use libraries all the time in doing research on these history books,” Roberts said....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

Wanda Urbanska. Photo by Jennifer HendersonUrbanska’s green library initiatives
During her Sunday Auditorium Speaker Series speech, Simple Living host Wanda Urbanska argued that libraries are inherently green because of their role in helping to reduce consumption. Nevertheless, she urged the crowd to make green choices in their libraries and their lives. “Reclaim your role as eco-role models and exemplars in your community,” she said. “Change is happening rapidly. Let libraries continue to be at the center of it.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 12

Melba Pattillo BealsCivil rights hero on stage
Rick Roche writes: “Monday began with song and dance. Before Melba Pattillo Beals spoke about her books Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock High School and White Is a State of Mind, the St. Ailbe Children’s Choir of Chicago and its dance troupe sang rousing gospel songs on the stage. Pat Scales of ALSC then profiled the pioneering African-American librarian Charlemae Rollins, for whom her division’s lecture series is dedicated. With some difficulty, due to her new titanium hip, Beals then took the stage.”...
PLA Blog, July 16

Tom Blanton. Photo by Curtis ComptonSecrets expert tells all
Sunday, the same day that National Security Archive Director Tom Blanton keynoted the ALA President’s Program, a front-page article in the New York Times revealed that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the CIA to withhold information from Congress about a secret counterterrorism program. Blanton noted that as President Gerald Ford’s chief of staff, Cheney had convinced him to veto amendments strengthening the Freedom of Information Act. Congress overrode Ford’s veto, allowing Blanton 35 years later to show his audience declassified government documents obtained by the NSA through FOIA requests....
AL Inside Scoop, July 12

Jackie Robinson Life cover, May 8, 1950, as part of the ALA exhibit on the Negro Leagues. Photo by George EberhartPride and Passion: The African-American baseball experience
Rick Roche writes: “On Saturday morning, my love of baseball (and my sweetheart) drew me to ‘Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience.’ It was a wonderful program that I would not want to have missed. Not only did I hear Negro Leagues historian Lawrence Hogan recount his friendships with the old players, I heard Sharon Robinson tell about her new children’s book about her father, Jackie Robinson, and I heard Kadir Nelson explain how he wrote and illustrated his award-winning We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.”...
ricklibrarian, July 11; WLS-TV, July 10

President-Elect Camila Alire at Annual Conference. Photo by Curtis ComptonCamila Alire inaugurated 2009–2010 president
Camila Alire, dean emerita at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, began her term July 14 as 2009–2010 ALA president. Alire is currently professor of practice (adjunct) for Simmons College’s Ph.D. program in managerial leadership and part-time professor for the San Jose State University Library and Information Science executive MLIS managerial leadership program....

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James Ellroy. Photo by Gordon FlaggJames Ellroy boosts books, blasts bits
Author James Ellroy is an arrogantly proud Luddite who exults in his disengagement with contemporary culture. “I live in a vacuum,” he told a rapt crowd who attended his Saturday-morning Auditorium Speaker Series appearance. “I ignore pop culture, I don’t read a newspaper.” Ellroy, known for L.A. Confidential and other unrelentingly gritty crime novels, saved his highest disdain for technology....
AL Inside Scoop, July 11

Tracy Kidder. Photo by Jennifer HendersonChatting with Tracy Kidder
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Before Tracy Kidder’s Monday afternoon speech, I had an opportunity to chat with him about his new book, Strength in What Remains, the true story of Deogratias, a young man from Burundi in central Africa. In 1993 he was forced onto a terrifying journey, beginning with a six-months-long escape on foot from ethnic violence in Burundi and genocide in Rwanda. He winds up in New York City, where it sometimes seemed his troubles had only just begun.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 14

James van Praagh signs a book for Michigan Library Association Director of Professional Development Denise Cook. Photo by George EberhartThe medium has a message
Despite murmurs of controversy surrounding his Annual Conference appearance Saturday afternoon, survival evidence medium James van Praagh had the undivided attention of several hundred truth seekers curious to hear about “what the dead can teach us,” which serves as the subtitle of his latest book, Unfinished Business (HarperCollins). Even as a toddler, van Praagh said, he could see spirits and otherworldly lights around people....
AL Inside Scoop, July 11

Gregory Maguire. Photo by Curtis ComptonAn hour with Gregory Maguire
Rick Roche writes: “Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and Mirror, Mirror, opened the ALA Auditorium Speaker Series Saturday with a very personal talk, ‘Playing with Stolen Property.’ Readers of his books know that he reuses characters from old children’s literature in writing new stories. Maguire’s life began with a tragedy, the death of his mother in childbirth, and later he nearly let his infant brother die under the porch when the gang gave the baby the role of the Wicked Witch of the East.”...
PLA Blog, July 11

Lisa Scottoline. Photo by Curtis ComptonConfessions of Lisa Scottoline
“I am a library slut,” admitted mystery author Lisa Scottoline. “That means I will go to any library that will have me,” to give thanks to librarians, who changed the direction of her life. Edgar Award-winner Scottoline ebulliently told her Monday-morning audience that she grew up in a household that only had one book—TV Guide. It wasn’t until she went to her school library that she found out that not only did some books have hard covers, she joked, but “they didn’t all have Lucille Ball on them.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 14

Jill Bolte Taylor. Photo by Jennifer HendersonHer stroke of insight
Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor captivated the audience Monday as she described the massive, debilitating stroke she suffered in 1996 at age 37 and her “journey into and back out of the silent abyss of the wounded brain.” On the morning it happened, she “could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of my life. I essentially became an infant in a woman’s body.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

Steve Lopez. Photo by Curtis ComptonThe story behind The Soloist
Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of The Soloist, told the Closing Session crowd Tuesday how he met Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, and how their relationship grew and the story developed into the book. “The deal with writing a column is, it’s like having a pet monster that’s always hungry,” Lopez said. “You have to keep finding more stories.” He met Ayers, a homeless musician with schizophrenia, while in downtown Los Angeles checking on another story lead. Ayers was playing a violin that was missing two strings....
AL Inside Scoop, July 14

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ALA Publishing

Booklist Books for Youth Forum: Celebrating Lincoln
Cheryl Becker writes: “This event on Friday evening was a fun and nice way to begin the ALA conference. Three authors and one editor talked about the creation of their books about Lincoln. How fitting for a conference of librarians, in Illinois, in 2009, the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. Russell Freedman, author of Lincoln: A Photobiography, focused on the role of research and how he learned more about Lincoln, a man of ‘intellect and melancholy,’ and his fascination with details.”...
PLA Blog, July 12

Blogs and books
Rick Roche writes: “At Booklist’s ‘Books and Blogs: Made for Each Other?’ on Saturday, Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff and a panel of bloggers discussed the relationship of blogs with books and its prospects for the near future. Graff listed some qualities that make blogs useful to book professionals. None of the panelists thought that writing blogs hurt their print-writing style, and Mary Burkey of Audiobooker thought that bloggers who are free of institutional ties are franker in their blogs.”...
ricklibrarian, July 12

American Libraries cover, 2010 and beyondAmerican Libraries looks to the future
Leonard Kniffel writes: “The central concerns expressed by the American Libraries Advisory Committee, which held one of its two annual face-to-face meetings Saturday, related to the magazine’s ever-changing role as a communications vehicle, a membership perk, and a revenue generator. I talked with the committee about our decision to combine the forthcoming August-September issue of print AL, which was partly a one-time response to the financial crunch and staff reductions ALA recently experienced. But it also means that in 2009 there will only be nine print issues.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 17

Chicago Sidetrips

Yes and no
mk Eagle writes: “I have a feeling that my first stop in Chicago wasn’t one that many other librarians visited. I didn’t pick up my conference materials or check into my hotel. I didn’t wander through the new modern wing at the art museum or indulge in my first hot dog. I didn’t go anywhere near McCormick Place. Instead, I went to a tattoo parlor.”...
YALSA Blog, July 13

Chinese provincial library directors. Photo by Gordon FlaggFrom China to Chicago
A delegation of directors of provincial-level libraries in China attended Annual Conference after spending 10 days at a training program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Mortenson Center. They were taking part in a continuing professional education program covering library management, public services, and digital library development. Following the conference, they traveled in groups of two to various libraries around the U.S. for one-week visits....
AL Inside Scoop, July 14

Attendees mingle in the courtyard garden of the Art Institute of Chicago during the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash Saturday evening. Photo by Curtis ComptonDoes Chicago work as a conference site?
Rick Roche writes: “Nearly every librarian I know enjoys coming to Chicago. The city is especially beautiful this time of year, filled with flowers. There are more than ever since Mayor Daley has put planters everywhere and the parks have installed more gardens. The city is also full of museums (above), zoos, and great architecture. Having ALA Annual Conference in the city is a popular idea. But I see one big, big problem—the distance between McCormick Place (the convention center) and the city center where all the visiting librarians stay.”...
ricklibrarian, July 14

Division Sessions

Steven Rosengard works the YALSA fashion show for applause. Photo by George EberhartYALSA meets Project Runway
The crowd of 400 teen-services librarians cheered wildly as their colleagues strutted and posed along the catwalk in the Westin River North Hotel Friday night for YALSA’s happy hour and fashion show. The event was hosted by New York Public Library Young Adult Librarian Jack Martin, but the big draw was Chicago fashion designer Steven Rosengard (above), who emceed the fashion show....
AL Inside Scoop, July 10

Fencing duel between James Kennedy and "Neil Gaiman," from Part 3 of Betsy Bird's video of the YALSA preconferenceYALSA Preconference: How to win a Newbery in a fair fight
Betsy Bird writes: “My job? To sneak into the YALSA ‘Genre Galaxy’ preconference on Friday so as to tape author James Kennedy. Lest you think I am a person accustomed to sneaking, though, I got two feet into the Hilton and then broke down to confess the whole thing to the organizers.” (To watch the entire Kennedy vs. “Gaiman” fight for the Newbery Medal sequence, begin with Part 2 and continue with Part 3, or read a partial transcript on Kennedy’s blog.)...
A Fuse #8 Production, July 11–12; James Kennedy Blog, July 13

Readers advisory in a digital world
Barb Macikas writes: “I thought a good place for me to start at Conference was PLA’s Saturday program, ‘What Do I Watch, Listen to, Play, or Download Next?’ Presenter Helen Stewart from Schaumburg (Ill.) Public Library started the session off with lots of great information about readers advisory for movies. Stewart reminded the group of challenges facing librarians who work with multimedia. She highlighted the importance of design display—think retail when displaying DVDs, and change displays often to increase interest and excitement.”...
PLA Blog, July 11

Digitizing the humanities
Karen Munro writes: “The ACRL Literatures in English Section program on ‘Open Access Digital Initiatives in the Humanities’ on Saturday was one of the highlights of the conference. Some truly fascinating and robust digital initatives are taking hold (and gaining ground) in the humanities. One of the most interesting (to me) is NINES, which has been around for a very long time, but which now seems to be really taking off in new directions.”...
Re:Generations, July 14

Making information literacy seamless across K–16
Ellie Collier writes: “When I arrived at AASL’s Saturday-morning ‘Closing the Gap’ session, Jane Prestebak of Robbinsdale Area Schools in New Hope, Minnesota, was sharing her project—a Research Project Calculator—based on student standards for Minnesota. She felt it was important to start with a question, then ask the student to make a value judgment. Asking students to write about cats invited copying; whereas ‘Cats make better pets than dogs’ invites debate.”...
Ellie <3 Libraries, July 11

Sharing real life with real kids
“God bless the [school] librarians who let me lay on my belly in the stacks and read and read and read,” acclaimed YA author Laurie Halse Anderson told an electrified capacity crowd at the Saturday AASL President’s Program, “Literacy Leadership and Librarian Flair.” Asserting that kids need school librarians more than ever, Anderson recounted the story of a 15-year-old boy who burst into tears in his school library one Friday after the media specialist said hello to him. “You do the work of angels,” she concluded....
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

James Cuno. Photo by George EberhartWho owns antiquity?
Do antiquities still belong in museums located far in time and space from the makers of the artifacts they house? Or do they belong to the government that happens to be in control of the land where the culture once flourished? At the ALCTS President’s Program on Monday, James Cuno, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, made a strong case for the argument that “we all own antiquity,” and that museums and libraries exist to “keep the past in the public domain for the sake of those who succeed us.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

Screencasting a wide net
The RUSA Machine-Assisted Reference Section’s Hot Topics Discussion Group presented a panel discussion Saturday on screencasting: “Casting a Wide Net: Using Screencasts to Reach and Teach Library Users.” Eric Frierson of the University of Texas at Arlington demonstrated how his library’s online catalog used embedded screencasts, with links to videos appearing when users are likely to need them....
AL Inside Scoop, July 11

Who doesn’t care about privacy?
“Who Cares About Privacy?” was the title of a thoughtful program Sunday sponsored by RUSA’s Machine-Assisted Reference Section. It answered its own rhetorical question with a subtitle: “Boundaries, Millennials, and the MySpace Mindset.” Presenters Frances Jacobson Harris, author of I Found It on the Internet, and cultural historian Siva Vaidhyanathan were in full agreement, emphasizing that just because young people see privacy differently doesn’t mean that they don’t value it....
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

LITA on science fiction and fantasy
Steve McCann writes: “This 20th-anniversary meeting of the Imaginary Interest Group on Saturday was a well-run affair featuring free books, entertaining stories, and good-humored pandering towards librarians. The packed house thoroughly enjoyed themselves listening to TOR authors speak about metaphor, imagination, the state of the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, and the power of libraries.”...
LITA Blog, July 13

Panelists Paula Poundstone, Adam Felber, and Julia Sweeney. Photo by Sean FitzpatrickWait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! taping
Greg Landgraf writes: “Thursday’s taping of NPR’s Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! was a sell-out success. ALTAFF bought out the taping as a fundraiser, and drew a sell-out crowd of more than 500 librarians. Host Peter Sagal said it was the show’s first buyout of any kind, and certainly its first time playing to such a biblioaudience. Paula Poundstone is the ALTAFF spokesperson, and before the taping, she took some time to speak with AL Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick and me.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 10

Other Events

Volunteer at the Academy for Global Citizenship schoolLibrary volunteers build communities
The Chapter Relations Office once again organized a Libraries Build Communities program where ALA volunteers were given the opportunity to visit local school libraries and help out with projects. At the Academy for Global Citizenship school on West 47th Street in Chicago on Friday, volunteers painted shelves, pulled weeds, planted flowers, polished door handles, and performed other chores to make the school shine, as you can see in this video (1:39)....
CLTV, July 10

When challenges coalesce
Chicago’s proximity to southern Wisconsin gave embattled officials of the West Bend Community Memorial Library, located some 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee, a platform on Monday morning to offer their hard-earned insights at “Intellectual Freedom on the Front Lines: West Bend Library Supporters Share Their Story.” Librarians and trustees told the complicated story of West Bend’s oft-stymied attempts since February to address a reconsideration request by area residents....
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

Council supports universal healthcare
With healthcare costs eating up chunks of shrinking library budgets across the country, the ALA Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting affordable, universal healthcare, including the option of a single-payer healthcare program. This is essentially a reaffirmation of a resolution adopted by ALA in June 2006. More Council actions are reported here....
AL Inside Scoop, July 15

Gamers play "10 Days in the USA" during Open Gaming Night. Photo by George EberhartOpen Gaming Night
Daniel A. Freeman writes: “On Friday at one of Chicago’s swankier hotels I took part in a distinctly non-swanky event: Open Gaming Night. In an elegant ballroom at the Chicago Hilton, a group of professionals from around the country gathered to kick back, socialize, and have some fun. Librarians from many different types of facilities, from big cities and small towns, wore bright smiles as they played games together. Some old friends caught up, and a lot of people made new ones.”...
ALA TechSource blog, July 10

Neil Gaiman, Charles Brownstein, Terry Moore, and Craig ThompsonWhen graphic novels get too graphic
Comic books have finally won their long battle for legitimacy, affirmed Charles Brownstein, opening a Monday program on censorship and graphic novels sponsored by ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Noting that every library that matters now collects graphic novels and material that was once condemned is now lauded, Brownstein (executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund) said, “We are now at the moment where we’ve overcome the stigma” and the time has come to turn to other concerns, such as legal challenges to the material....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

A tale of four panelists
Because of its unwavering commitment to intellectual freedom and inclusion, ALA prides itself on representing diverse viewpoints at its conference programs. Annual Conference is no exception, as evinced by Sunday morning’s 11th-hour cancellation of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table’s intriguingly titled “Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping” because three out of four panelists withdrew their participation. What happened? It all depends on who you talk to....

AL Inside Scoop, July 11

I Geek Worms imageFrom awareness to geekdom
Three weeks into a pilot campaign aimed at moving OCLC’s 2008 study From Awareness to Funding from theory to practice, OCLC hosted a session Saturday to talk about where the study has taken them since its publication one year ago and to discuss their new campaign: Geek the Library. Its purpose is to show what Awareness calls “Probable Supporters,” or regular voters who are likely to vote in favor of library funding....
AL Inside Scoop, July 12

Graph showing Credentialed Librarians by Age, 2005Librarian demographics
Heidi Dolamore writes: “On Monday, I observed the ALA Executive Board. They had an interesting agenda, including a report on librarian demographics (PDF file). It was fascinating and merits discussion among a wider audience. I’ll walk you through the slides, but keep in mind: While the numbers aren’t completely raw, you might consider them still medium rare. As such I defer to the ALA Office for Research and Statistics when it comes to explaining all the charts and graphs. Keep in mind that this data represents particular snapshots and projections; it can be difficult to predict trends.”...
YALSA Blog, July 14

George Eberhart, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Tom McNamee, Dave BaumHow libraries can work with the media
Sunday morning’s PR Forum featured a panel of five experts who offered tips and tactics that will help libraries get their stories told through both new and traditional media. First up was longtime Chicago broadcaster and media trainer Dave Baum (far right), who gave a quick tutorial on how to be relevant on the radio. He warned that you must have a convincing pitch ready for radio producers: “Give them an issue they can present both sides on, like banned books, or tell a story about how your library works. People go to sleep without stories.” Tools and handouts from the PR Forum are available online....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

The award-winning Warren-Newport Public Library bookmobile. Photo by Jennifer HendersonA stationary Parade of Bookmobiles
Bookmobiles were again on view Sunday, parked outside McCormick Place, at ALA’s third annual Parade of Bookmobiles event. The brand-new Warren-Newport Public Library bookmobile received a LLAMA Best of Show Award for its wrap design. The old WNPL bookmobile was acquired by author and musician Tom Corwin, who plans to give the mobile library a workout in 2010, driving it in a “Behind the Wheel of the Bookmobile” tour....
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

This image of the planet Saturn shows the banded structure of its deep gaseous atmosphere. Saturn’s ring system shows only its basic features from Earth, including a few main rings and some empty gaps. Photo by NASA Hubble Space TelescopeSpace is the place
Ericka Dow writes: “‘Exciting NASA Materials for Libraries’ was a fantastic program on Sunday! I love to hear scientists talk because they are so enthusiastic about what they do and as a result many of them are great at outreach. ALA’s Public Programs Office is sponsoring a traveling exhibit in conjunction with the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Smithsonian, and NASA called ‘Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery.’ Frank Summers, besides being a really lively guy, is astrophysicist at STSI and curator of the traveling exhibit.”...
PLA Blog, July 12

Carnegie libraries in Illinois, part of the Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries exhibit. Photo by Larry NixArt and architecture in Illinois libraries
Larry Nix writes: “One of my conference highlights was an opportunity to see the exhibit ‘Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries.’ The exhibit was put together by Allen Lanham and his staff at the Eastern Illinois University Library with funding from an LSTA grant awarded by the Illinois State Library. The travelling exhibit is being displayed by libraries across Illinois.”...
Library History Buff Blog, July 15

Poets and Poetry @ your library
Colleen Barbus writes: “Sunday morning we joined representatives from the ALA Public Programs Office, the Academy of American Poets, the Greensboro (N.C.) Public Library, and award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield for a discussion of best practices in poetry programming for public audiences. Mary Davis Fournier highlighted an opportunity for talented librarians to submit their original poetry to a program sponsored by Consortium Books, titled Voices from the Stacks, to be published as an e-book in time for next year’s Annual Conference.”...
Programming Librarian, July 13

Nate Martin of Stop Smiling magazine shows his publication to attendees. Photo by Sean FitzpatrickSRRT turns 40
The Social Responsibilities Round Table celebrated its 40th anniversary Monday night at the Alternative Media Reception co-organized with the Alternative Press Center. The party, held at Hyde Park’s funky Experimental Station, included a Mediterranean food buffet, impromptu speeches, jazz from the three-piece combo Brian Sandstrom and Friends, three kinds of vegan cake, and some far left publisher types....
AL Inside Scoop, July 15

Libraries and Mobile Devices panelWashington Office videos
The ALA Washington Office was able to videorecord some of its programs at Annual Conference. Included are the broadband stimulus presentation at the Washington Office Update on Saturday; and the “Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations” panel on Sunday (above, in two parts), featuring Timothy Vollmer, Jason Griffey, Bonnie Tijerina, Tom Peters, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, and Eli Neiberger....
District Dispatch, July 16


The Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library Warrior Librarians perform for the crowd. Photo by Curtis ComptonValkyries ride to drill team victory
Dressed in Viking armor and braids and performing to “Ride of the Valkyries,” the Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library Warrior Librarians took first place Sunday in the fifth annual Library Book Cart Drill Team Championship, winning a gold book cart from sponsor Demco before a standing-room-only crowd. For the first time, two teams tied for first place in the judges’ scoring. Oak Park was selected over the Cart Wheels from Des Plaines (Ill.) Public Library (watch them in a 1:35 video) in an audience vote....
AL Inside Scoop, July 12; YouTube, July 12

The provocative Printz
Lisa Goldstein writes: “The Michael L. Printz Award is given to a book that ‘exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature,’ and I heard some terrific speeches at the Printz Awards ceremony on Monday night. M. T. Anderson noted how often he and others ‘underestimate teens.’ Teens are not jaded, ‘bland, and blank.’ They are ‘eccentric’ and curious about the world. He observed that there is ‘only one taboo left in young adult literature: intelligence.’”...
PLA Blog, July 15

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Read graphicCSK Awards celebrate 40th year
Chicago native and Black Entertainment Television’s Sunday Best finalist Shari Addison led a capacity crowd in “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Read” to begin the 40th Annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Tuesday morning. Despite the early hour, attendees were greeted to a star-studded array of inspiring thank-you speeches....
AL Inside Scoop, July 16

Beth Krommes. Illustration from The House in the Night, 2008. Written by Susan Marie Swanson. Houghton Mifflin CompanyCaldecott artwork on exhibit
An exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, “Picture Perfect: Art from Caldecott Award Books, 2006–2009,” puts award-winning children’s book illustrations on display. Up close, this is seriously impressive stuff. Originals of many recent Caldecott medal and honor books were on show, alongside tables displaying the books represented....
ALSC Blog, July 10

Still from Randolph Caldecott: The music videoRandolph Caldecott: The music video
Betsy Bird put together this musical meditation on the Caldecott Medal, with music by the Effin’ Gs and a special appearance throughout of Susan Marie Swanson’s The House in the Night....
YouTube, July 13

Slide from audiobook PowerPointEvaluating audiobooks
Mary Burkey writes: “Sunday’s panel was a happy reunion of nearly all the members of the 2008 Odyssey Award committee, while those missing lent their support from afar. After our hundreds and hundreds of hours under the headphone, we all developed ‘Odyssey Ears’—and listening habits so arcane that we would blurt out phases like ‘Stop woofing the mic!’ while listening on the treadmill at the gym. Here are the PowerPoint, links to handouts, and session notes from the panel.”...
Audiobooker, July 12

Best Books for Young Adults discussion
Linda Braun writes: “At conference there was a discussion of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults list, including how the list is selected and how it is used. Following these discussions, the YALSA board decided that it needs to consider all of the feedback provided by members. Using feedback from board and members, the Executive Committee of YALSA will work to develop a new strategy for BBYA that will be ready for consideration at Midwinter 2010.”...
YALSA Blog, July 15

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Tech Events

Jason Griffey at the Unconference. Photo by Rick RocheALA’s unconference
Rick Roche writes: “What was ‘un’ about the Unconference on Friday? It was certainly not unfriendly, for 75 librarians spent the day together laughing and telling stories about their work. Uncontrolled is not applicable, as Michelle Boule, Meredith Farkas, and their volunteers kept speakers like Jason Griffey (right) to their assigned times all day, something many program organizers fail to do. It wasn’t unappreciated; participants left with new contacts and ideas.”...
PLA Blog, July 11

Top Tech Trends panelLITA’s top tech trends
LITA’s 10th year of Top Tech Trends on Sunday was likely its best-attended ever—thanks to free Wi-Fi in the room, live streaming video from Shanachies, and a live blog to aggregate tweets from attendees (real and virtual) using hashtags #toptech and #ttt09 or giving comments or questions directly on the blog. While ALA is working hard to increase virtual participation, Top Tech Trends was more focused on being online than getting online. Watch the video (34:33)....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

Lib 1.0 Committee still out on Lib 2.0 promise
A packed meeting room awaited a panel of techie librarians to address the question of whether Library 2.0 has lived up to its promise at the LITA Internet Resources and Services Interest Group’s Tuesday session, “The Ultimate Debate.” The panel couldn’t exactly agree on what Library 2.0 was, let alone whether it has fulfilled its promise, but traditional ways of thinking may not even be sufficient to judge Lib 2.0 effectiveness. For the panel’s starter questions (and his “starter answers”), see David Lee King’s blog....
AL Inside Scoop, July 14; David Lee King, July 15

Low-cost computer (the XO) developed by One Laptop Per Child for children in developing countries. Photo by Gordon FlaggBringing technology to the developing world
To anyone attending an ALA conference, viewing the many attendees toting laptops or sporting smartphones and the exhibit hall dominated by high-tech vendors, it’s inescapable how pervasive technology has become in our society; in developing countries, it’s obviously another story. “Technology and the Developing World,” a Saturday-morning program presented by LITA, illustrated various approaches to rectifying that situation....
AL Inside Scoop, July 12

Google Wave logoThe BIGWIG Showcase and Google’s new Wave
Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “At the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase Monday, eight presenters gave brief talks on trends in social software in a ‘speed-dating’ format, where each presenter had 10 minutes to talk to a roving audience. I was most interested in hearing Jason Griffey’s talk on Google Wave, a product that, I admit, I hadn’t paid much attention to until his presentation.”...
AL Inside Scoop, July 15

Data power through data linking
“From Legacy Data to Linked Data: Preparing Libraries for Web 3.0” drew enough of an audience on Monday that some had to listen from the hallway. Data objects and agents already have identifiers, explained Diane Hillmann of the Information Institute of Syracuse and Metadata Management Associates. In linked data, however, relationships between data also have identifiers. That way, “The relationships can be identified and explained and given context,” she said....
AL Inside Scoop, July 13

Carrie Lowe, Gregory Jackson, and Clifford LynchChoosing sides on net neutrality
The knotty issue of net neutrality—the principle that network providers should not discriminate on the sites or applications they provide access to—and its implications for libraries was deftly explicated by a panel of experts assembled Sunday morning by LITA. Clifford Lynch (far right), director of the Coalition for Networked Information, opened by framing the issue in a historical context....
AL Inside Scoop, July 12

Seen Online

Jim Rettig in the WGN studio. Photo by Steve ZaluskyRettig on the radio
On July 9, ALA President Jim Rettig appeared on The Noon Show on WGN radio with news anchor Steve Bertrand. Beginning by noting that 25,000 librarians were descending on Chicago, Bertrand asked Rettig what constituted a typical librarian. Rettig replied that the typical librarian has earned a master’s degree and has “an incredible commitment” to connecting people with information they can use in their lives. Among other media coverage, WGN’s Nick DiGilio had ALA President-Elect Camila Alire on his July 11 show....
Visibility @ your library, July 9, 14

Twitterers confront hashtagging
Eric Hellman writes: “It’s interesting to see what happens when librarians, all of whom should have at least a bit of training in the application of subject headings, are presented with the task of hashtagging their tweets. That’s exactly what happened this past weekend when more than 28,000 people attended the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Over 1,500 tweets were hashtagged to indicate they were related to the meeting.”...
Go to Hellman, July 14

People taking photos of Neil Gaiman in the Exhibit HallA visit to the Exhibit Hall
Director Gerard Saylor of the L. D. Fargo Public Library in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, writes: “I went down to walk the exhibits (8:12) at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on Saturday. I found Neil Gaiman, Mike Bowan, the creators of the Unshelved comic strip, coffee, Pirate Girl, Libby Hellmann, Neil Gaiman look-a-like Marcus Sakey, smoothies, and a Spyderco J. D. Smith sprint run knife.”...
YouTube, July 12

Oakland Community College ad

Indiana University-Purdue ad

Annual Conference 2009 logo

A grand total of 28,941 librarians and library staff, exhibitors, and library supporters attended ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, July 9–14. Attendance was well above the 22,047 who went to last year’s conference in Anaheim, California, as well as the 28,499 who attended the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The number also surpassed the previous Chicago Annual Conference figure in 2005 of 27,962.

The Bean in Millennium Park. Photo by David Lee King

Sara Thompson's collection of badges and swag. Photo by Sara Thompson

Visit Flickr to see the thousands of photos uploaded by ALA Annual Conference attendees (tagged ala2009). See also Heather Devine’s photo and tweet tracker.

Find more conference coverage in the online version of Cognotes.

D & B ad

Public Perception
Heard and overheard at Annual

“For me it was more fun doing banned book readings than to go to the Playboy Super Bowl Party.”

—Former Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner, at the Opening General Session, July 11.

“I love it when librarians dress up.”

—Tweet from Kristin Fontichiaro, Michigan, July 12.

“If a team is caught in drug testing—and those will be multiple choice—the second-place team will have to take those same drugs.”

—Author/Illustrator Mo Willems, laying down the strict steroid policy of the Book Cart Drill Team World Championships, July 12.

“Didn’t get a single freebie from exhibits. Does this happen to all ALA newbies? Srsly, how do I explain this to family / coworkers?”

—Tweet from Bohyun Kim, Miami, July 13.

“Librarians can get pretty gangsta when they need to.”

—Tweet from themba, July 13.

“I’d like to see a picture of a chair right now.”

—Attendee at a full-past-capacity session, after the presenter offered a photo of cupcakes as the last slide in her presentation.

You could not have picked a more appropriate speaker today. Because guess what? Can you believe I was married in a library?”

The Soloist author Steve Lopez, during his Closing Session speech, July 14.

“Am home from #ala2009 and in need of a new bookshelf. Gah, what an incredible weekend.”

—Tweet from orangerooibos, July 13.

“Five signs you’ve spent the last five days entirely in the company of other librarians [drum roll]. 1) gratuitous drinking and swearing, 2) reading manga and graphic novels, 3) assigning acronyms to family members and household objects, 4) making lists for no apparent reason, and 5) tweeting too hard.”

—Tweet from Dave Wilson, San Antonio, July 14.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Man writing an Annual Conference report

Q. I’ve just come back from the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and am trying to pull together my trip report. With efforts at “going green” there seemed to be fewer handouts—or at least fewer copies available. Can you tell me where I can find the speakers' presentations and handouts? The presenters said they would be “on the web.” But where?

A. Good question! How handouts and other output from the Annual Conference are disseminated varies considerably from division to division, or from one program planner or speaker to another. A couple of years ago, ALA instituted the Conference Materials Archive in order provide a central place to collect the handouts or other conference content—or at least links to that content. But there is great inconsistency as to whether materials are there. The ALA Library will seek out handouts when possible, but here are some of our tricks for when they are not on the wiki.
   1. We use the 2009 Annual Conference Program Book (big PDF file—almost 9MB) to identify the sponsor of the program and exact title.
   2. Then, we do a search of the ALA website, to see if the unit has posted the content.
   3. The next step is a general web search or a check the division’s blogs and podcasts.
   4. Finally, we try a search for the specific speaker to see if the material has been posted on the speaker’s personal or institutional webpage or blog.
   To complicate matters even more, with the exception of the very few contemporaneous blog posts, there is a time lag between the program presentation and the posting or publication of the content. Also, there is always the possibility that a presentation is not recorded or written and may only be captured when the presenter uses the content in a substantially revised form in a publication a year or more later.
   We are looking into ways for using ALA Connect for these materials and would welcome comments.
   From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

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