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Chicago: American Library Association – Midwinter Meeting – ALA

Winter is for curling up by the fire with a good book, and the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting was all for that, we found.  The ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference are the premier global library events each year, they told us, bringing together newsmakers, innovators, thought leaders, and influencers in the library field from all over the world. Important announcements were made, updates were shared, relevant legislation and policy were addressed, and discussions took place with a major impact on libraries, their role, and their ongoing transformation.  The show provided a dedicated area (the Networking Uncommons space) where delegates could gather in small groups to have a quick meeting, hold impromptu sessions, polish up a presentation, or just recharge batteries. There was even a “Fun With Dick and Jane” session, looking at the works of …wait for it …Jane Austen and Bladerunner’s futuristic creator, Philip K. Dick.  (Dick and Jane, geddit?)   #alamw15

Las Vegas: American Library Association Annual Conference

Las Vegas: American Library Association Annual Conference

ALA is the American Library Association, and its annual conference in Vegas covered key issues such as innovation and transformation, ebook lending and usability, digital content, community engagement, leadership, the impact and potential of new technologies, books and awards, copyright, outreach, privacy, services for makers, library advocacy, core values, career development, teaching and learning, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns.  Phew!  That’s already pretty much a library-full of topics right there.  Actor, producer and country songster Jeff Bridges shared a slot with twice-over Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry at the ALA President’s Program, and stand-up comic, writer and TV star B.J. Novak had something to say at the Closing General Session.  Oh, you wanted ACTIVITIES?  They we would have seen you at the Think-Fit “Power Flow” yoga class.  Okay, everyone, lotus position….


Chicago: American Library Association – ALA

June 29 – July 2, 2013. ALA is the American Library Association, and the show was all about “transforming our libraries, transforming ourselves”.  This turned out to involve ALA conference programs, updates, conversations and other events covering key issues, such as digital content and e-books, technology in libraries, innovation, books, leadership, library advocacy, community engagement, and library marketing.  Janis Ian was there to say that “Libraries and librarians saved my life, and I would not be the person, or writer, I am without them.”  Ian, who started playing the piano at age two and is now in her fifth decade of writing songs, poetry and prose and performing, recently beat out President Bill Clinton, Rachel  Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres for the 2013 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for her audiobook “Society’s Child.” She thinks artists are “the last Alchemists, pulling your dreams, your hopes, your deepest desires out of thin air, and turning them into something you can hear, and play, and sing.”   Maybe ALA really means Artistic Lady Alchemists…

New York City: BEA 2013

May 31 – June 2,  2013. BEA stands for Book Expo America.  It’s there to embrace literary and book activity, and expands the awareness of authors, books and publishing.  There were 1,300+ exhibitors displaying their upcoming titles—in all formats and every genre, from across the country and around the world.  BEA is touted as the #1 event in North American publishing and the ideal place for content creators and consumers to discover new books and titles, meet favorite and new authors, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those have a passion for books and reading.  New York Book & Media Week included public “main stage” author programs as well as smaller events at libraries in the NYPL system and chain and independent bookstores throughout New York City and its boroughs.  The Digital Discovery Zone gave visitors a closer look at content, devices, applications and technology, an exhibit area filled with leading digital service providers.  The event “kindled” a lot of interest…

Philadelphia: ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries)

ACRL is the Association of College and Research Libraries, and it claims to be “peer-revered”, whatever that turns out to mean. Actually “peers” seem to be a big thing with this group, as in “ACRL 2011 features more than 300 thought-provoking sessions hand-selected by your peers. In today’s fast-paced and changing world, keeping current is more essential than ever”. You needed to be there to “access cutting-edge information, discover new ideas, and engage in conversations with academic and research librarians from around the world”. Not to mention finding new ways of getting people to return the damn books when they’re finished with them. You never imagined, did you, that people running libraries, of all things, would be making so much sheer noise about themselves…? Okay, all together now: Shhhhh!!!!