ALA JobLIST: Respected source for jobs and career advice

ALA JobLIST, the Association’s one-stop library jobs site and avenue for promoting and finding job openings, continues to support the profession as a source of job search and career advice curated from around the Web. Shared through its Facebook and Twitter presences, as well as a growing presence on Google+, ALA JobLIST is cited in the 25,000-strong ALA LinkedIn group as a valuable resource. Now in its second year of publication, the biweekly ALA JobLIST Direct e-newsletter has attracted more than 7,000 opt-in subscribers.

Reflecting a stabilized job market, this joint project of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) C&RL News magazine, American Libraries, and ALA’s Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) listed more than 1,800 open positions during FY12 and increased its online banner advertising significantly. Enhancements to make the site increasingly easy to use and effective for both employers and job seekers are planned and made on an ongoing basis, resources permitting.

With HRDR’s help, JobLIST continues to enrich its content, adding tips, suggested links and readings, podcasts, and activities for new librarians and support staff, those looking to change positions or develop their careers, and people who have been laid off or are having difficulty finding the right position. In addition to the face-to-face opportunities at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, HRDR hosted several webinars and online chats in 2011–2012, all cobranded with JobLIST under the umbrella of the ALA JobLIST Placement Center.

ACRL notes: Demonstrating the value of academic libraries

Value of Academic LibrariesAs part of its ongoing Value of Academic Libraries initiative, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) was awarded a National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grant Level II by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the project “Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries.” Grant funding supported ACRL, in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Council of Independent Colleges, in convening two national summits to address the library profession’s need to develop skills to document and communicate library value in alignment with the missions and goals of their colleges and universities.

The two summits were held in December 2011 in suburban Chicago. Teams from a broad spectrum of institutions gathered with representatives from accreditation commissions and higher education organizations for dialogue around the assessment of student learning and faculty research productivity. In the first summit, a wide range of participants from the higher education sector discussed the data campus administrators would like libraries to provide and what collaborative assistance is available through institutional research offices. In the second, librarian participants addressed strategies to prepare the library community to document and communicate the library’s value in advancing the missions and goals of their colleges and universities.

An update on the summits was presented at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. In addition, “Connect, Collaborate, and Communicate: A Report from the Value of Academic Libraries Summits,” a white paper of summit findings and recommendations authored by Karen Brown of Dominican University and Kara Malenfant, ACRL senior strategist for special initiatives, was published in June 2012. The report summarizes broad themes about the dynamic nature of higher education assessment that emerged from the summits and presents five recommendations for the library profession. A series of podcast interviews with summit participants is also available on the Value of Academic Libraries website.

Following the success of the 2011 summits, ACRL has already taken steps to continue this crucial work. In September 2012, ACRL and its partners AIR and APLU were awarded a second IMLS grant to design, implement, and evaluate a team-based professional development program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy.

Standards for Libraries in Higher Education

The ACRL Board of Directors approved a comprehensive revision of the association’s seminal Standards for Libraries in Higher Education in October 2011. Grounded in nine principles reflecting the core roles and contributions of academic libraries, the newly revised version of Standards provides a guide to libraries in advancing and sustaining their role as partners in educating students, achieving their institutions’ missions, and positioning libraries as leaders in assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. The full text of the revised Standards, along with a recording of an introductory webcast on the new standards, is available on the ACRL Standards and Guidelines website.

Champlain Library Staff
Staff of the Champlain College Library

ACRL endeavors to improve members’ ability to teach and assess lifelong learning skills. To help librarians and institutions develop and implement information literacy programs on their campuses, the ACRL Institute for Information Literacy’s Immersion Program offered three Immersion programs in FY12, including the first institution-specific program licensed to Cornell University. The Cornell Immersion curriculum was customized for this program and included parts of Teacher, Program, and Assessment track curriculum. Sixty-four individuals participated in the Assessment and Intentional Teaching tracks in Nashville in November 2011, and 90 attended the Teacher and Program tracks offered at Champlain College, in Burlington, Vt., in July 2012.

Eight e-learning seminars and webcasts provided opportunities to learn more about information literacy-related topics. Topics of the e-learning opportunities included “Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning,” “Learning Objects, Developing a Comprehensive Critical-Thinking Curriculum,” “Classroom Assessment for Information Literacy Instruction,” “Embedded Librarians,” “New Models for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses,” “So You Want to Create an Interactive Information Literacy Tutorial?” and “The Not-So-Distant Librarian: Online Library Instruction to Engage Students and Faculty.” The program “Preparing College-Ready 21st-Century Citizens with Integrated Information/Media Literacy Programs” at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference provided additional focus on information literacy issues.

ACRL continues to publish a variety of information literacy and learning titles. “Best Practices for Credit-bearing Information Literacy Courses,” by Christopher V. Hollister, and “Embedded Librarians: Moving Beyond One-Shot Instruction,” edited by Cassandra Kvenild and Kaijsa Calkins, were published in 2011–2012.

The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education continues to be widely cited as a benchmark in information literacy instruction. This year the standards were cited in numerous books, journal articles, and blogs along with ACRL’s own publications. The new Information Literacy Standards for Teacher Education were approved by the ACRL Board of Directors and published this year.

Research and the scholarly environment

Association of College and Research LibrariesACRL’s research and scholarly activities programs actively promote the transition to a more open system of scholarship. To this end, ACRL in October 2011 proudly joined the growing ranks of signatories to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities. The declaration builds on the significant progress of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, calling for open access to knowledge in the humanities as well as in the sciences. The move followed the association’s removal of price barriers to the association’s scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries in April 2011.

In January 2012, ACRL endorsed Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, issued by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Together with the Center for Social Media at American University and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property in American University’s Washington College of Law, ARL has been working since April 2010 to develop the code. The project is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is now entering its third phase: extensive outreach to promote broad adoption of the code by research and academic librarians throughout the United States.

The ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee selected five sites to host the “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement” workshop, including the first host site outside the United States. ACRL is underwriting the bulk of the costs of delivering this proven content by sending expert presenters on the road. The institutions selected to host the 2012 road shows were Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library; Colorado State University in Pueblo; James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.; the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.; and the University of Toronto. The workshop focuses on new methods of scholarly publishing and communication, open access and openness as a principle, copyright, and intellectual property and economics.

ACRL additionally offered “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement,”a full-day institute on scholarly communication in conjunction with the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The institute empowered attendees to help accelerate the transformation of the scholarly communication system and engage in a structured interactive program that explores scholarly publishing, author rights, and open access in practice. Four modules focused on new methods of scholarly publishing and communication, copyright and author rights, economics, and open access and openness in practice.

Member engagement

ACRL provides special connections for members, both virtual and personal. ACRL sections offer 17 vibrant and dynamic communities that nurture individual development and foster a deeper connection to the profession. As of August 2012, 4,905 individuals “like” the official ACRL Facebook page, 5,851 people follow the association on Twitter, and the ACRL LinkedIn community has grown to 6,781 members.

ACRL continues to sponsor participants in the ALA Emerging Leaders program. This year’s four ACRL-sponsored emerging leaders were Elizabeth Berman, reference and instruction librarian, University of Vermont; William Breitbach, librarian, California State University-Fullerton; Tabatha Farney, web services librarian, University of Colorado–Colorado Springs; and John J. Meier, science librarian, Pennsylvania State University.

As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, the association is supporting Charlotte King as its 2012–13 Spectrum Scholar. King will attend the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. Since 1999, ACRL has provided more than $70,000 in direct support to the Spectrum Scholarship Program and has offered complimentary ACRL membership to all Spectrum Scholars.

ACRL offered a variety of professional development activities during fiscal 2012. The ACRL e-Learning program offered 32 e-Learning events during the fiscal year consisting of 18 webcasts and 14 multi-week courses on topics such as statistics, budgeting, embedded librarianship, digital humanities, management, accreditation, and new technologies. More than 650 individuals and 100 groups participated in this year’s e-Learning offerings. ACRL preconference sessions at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim provided information on digital humanities and the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.

The 2012 ACRL Spring Virtual Institute, “Extending Reach, Proving Value: Collaborations Strengthen Communities,” was held April 18–19, 2012, uniting all types of librarians around the mutual cause of reaching out to constituencies. The institute examined how libraries are capitalizing on community collaborations and featured a keynote presentation from John Palfrey.

The ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section held its 53rd annual preconference June 19–22, 2012, in San Diego. Themed “FUTURES!” the preconference explored a multiplicity of futures for the rare book, manuscript, and special collections community. Preconference plenary sessions focused on three components of special collections and archives work—use, object, and discovery. Sessions explored the ways in which special collections materials are used in the digital humanities, the future of discovery, and access to collections made possible with linked open data and the potential future forms the book as object might take.

ACRL continued to partner with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to offer the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. Ninety individuals participated in this year’s program, held in Cambridge, Mass., August 5–10, 2012. The program is designed for academic librarians with significant administrative responsibility, such as library directors, their associates, and those who report directly to them.

ACRL also partnered with several higher education associations to offer the Women’s Leadership Institute. Institutes were held in November 2011 in Dana Point, Calif., and in December 2011 in Amelia Island, Fla. The institute brought together midlevel administrators from across campus functions to hone leadership skills for working in a rapidly changing environment and to develop a better understanding of the campus as a workplace and culture.

LLAMA notes: Successful initiatives

Library Leadership and Management AssociationForemost among the 2011–2012 activities of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) was the creation of a new three-year strategic plan to run through June 2015.

Another successful initiative was the formation of the LLAMA Library Leadership and Management Competencies Task Force, which developed a model for reviewing, validating, and presenting statements of competencies giving coherence to both the education and the practice of library leadership and management. The task force’s model has proposed a process for competency statement development emphasizing stakeholder participation.

In the last 12 months, LLAMA successfully produced several quality online webinars and is repurposing the high-quality content already developed for conference programs, preconferences, and institutes. Section members have presented a number of webinars on topics such as learning spaces, succession planning and leadership development, and the return on investment in a tough economy. One very successful repeat was “Job Hunting for Today’s Libraries in Today’s Job Market.”

Reference and User Services AssociationRUSA notes: Major changes at research journal

The research journal of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), Reference and User Services Quarterly, saw major changes, with the transition to an all-digital, online-only format. After overseeing this transition, Editor Diane Zabel passed the torch to RUSA Past President Barry Trott, the new editor.

RUSA assembled a team of member leaders representing all areas of the division—from public to academic libraries, from reference to readers advisory to resource sharing—to move ahead on the “Just Ask Campaign,” a national advocacy effort promoting the value and importance of reference and user services librarians.

ASCLA notes: April in Paris . . .

Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library AgenciesAlmost 40 travelers ventured to Paris with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) in April 2012. This inaugural trip toured the City of Lights with an itinerary that included some notable library destinations: the Bibliotheque Nationale and the American Library in Paris. Another group of travelers visited Ireland in October 2012, touring places such as the National Library and the Killarney Library, Trinity College, and the Book of Kells.

ASCLA launched its first online course in fall 2012: “Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities.” Under the guidance of instructor Katherine Todd, course participants evaluated their libraries’ current levels of service to people with disabilities, explored materials and sources that can provide additional support or new services, and planned future improvements for their own libraries. The course benefits all library staff, from managers and directors to support and frontline staff.

ASCLA’s Library Consultants Interest Group produced the downloadable Library Consultants Code of Ethics, a supplement to the ALA code of ethics. The code was developed to help library consultants maintain their professionalism and adhere to high ethical standards as they provide services to clients and in their dealings with their colleagues and in their commitment to the public and the library profession. The individual members must use their judgment to apply these principles, and compliance is voluntary.

ALSC notes: Long-serving members honored

Association for Library Service to Children In December 2011, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) began a program to recognize the hard work and dedication of members with 25 years or more cumulative membership. ALSC sent out more than 350 letters of commendation to acknowledge these members and created a special “long-serving” ribbon to be worn at conferences. A list of these individuals was printed in the December 2011 newsletter. Also, beginning with the December newsletter, we are featuring a profile of one of our long-term members in each issue.

In spring 2012, Friends of ALSC and the Membership Committee sponsored a Facebook contest for members to describe the value of membership with ALSC. The contest offered 10 tickets to the 2012 Newbery-Caldecott Banquet as a part of the reward. As an engagement tool, the Facebook competition was a success: In the four weeks of the contest, traffic to the Facebook page more than doubled the average weekly rates.

In March 2012, the ALSC Board of Directors approved the ALSC Twitter Guidelines. These guidelines are part of a larger effort to enable discussions in the social media realm. The guidelines delineate the role of the ALSC account (@alscblog), while also providing definitions for the actions/limits of the account. These guidelines have been reviewed and approved by the ALA Social Media Working Group and were adopted as a model for the association as a whole. Insight into these guidelines was provided by the ALSC Children and Technology Committee.

Via a communications survey conducted from December 2011 through February 2012, ALSC collected feedback from members about communications vehicles, including Children and Libraries, the ALSC website, newsletter, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, ALA Connect, and American Libraries/AL Direct. A total of 642 people started the survey; 595 (92.7 percent) completed it. Feedback garnered from the survey is being used to help shape and refine ALSC’s professional resources and communication tools to better meet the needs of our members.

To avoid recurrent confusion with ALA Connect—ALA’s virtual, collaborative workspace for groups and staff—the ALSC newsletter ALSConnect was changed effective with the March 2012 issue to ALSC Matters! The newsletter’s content and frequency remain the same, so volume and issue numbering continues where ALSConnect left off.

ALSC hosts quarterly Community Forums

In 2011–12, ALSC began hosting quarterly online meetings for members called Community Forums, held on ALSC’s division page on ALA Connect. During the forum, participants can chat live with the ALSC president and members of the ALSC board. Members who cannot participate in the live chat can post questions and comments on the ALA Connect discussion board. A transcript of the forum is provided after the chat is finished.

In August, ALSC held two Community Forums to discuss the ALSC dues structure proposal. These events were hosted by ALSC President Carolyn Brodie and the ALSC Board of Directors. Members provided ideas and feedback on the ALSC Budget Adjustment FAQ. These two Forums were held in ALA Connect. Members were encourage to attend at either or both. A transcript of these Forums is online, though a log-in is required.

For a sixth year, ALSC sponsored an Emerging Leader. This year’s Emerging Leader was Ingrid Abrams, children’s librarian at the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. Abrams has been active in Urban Librarians Unite, an advocacy group that supports libraries and library staff in metropolitan areas and that has used activities like a 24-hour story-thon and a zombie march to protest library budget cuts in the New York area.

ALSC was also chosen to have its project, an ALSC Mentoring Program, completed by a group of four Emerging Leaders, who researched examples of member mentoring programs and submitted a report that laid out recommendations for a future ALSC mentoring program.

In August 2012, the ALSC Blog partnered with the Friends of ALSC and the ALSC Membership Committee to host the ALSC e-badge contest. Krista Welz, children’s librarian at the North Bergen (N.J.) Free Public Library, won for her “ALSC Cloud” design, which will be featured for ALSC members to display on their blogs or email signature lines.

Association for Library Service to Children  Online EducationALSC offers 18 on-line courses

In 2011-12, ALSC offered 18 online courses through Moodle, ALA’s online learning platform. These courses—ranging from four to six weeks in length—were offered on such topics as the Sibert Medal, graphic novels, reading instruction and children’s books, and information literacy.

ALSC also offered more than 20 hour-long webinars on topics such as Día, Every Child Ready to Read, sensory storytime, mock Newbery-Caldecott elections, and easy readers. ALSC also continues to produce archived webinars that are available at a discounted price.

As an engagement tool for students, the division has restarted ALSC Student Sessions, hour-long workshops free to students and offered quarterly. The first session, “Getting Your First Library Job: Showcasing Skills and Packaging Passion,” was held June 13, 2012, and featured advice from ALSC members Thom Barthelmess and Alison O’Reilly. In August, ALSC held “"Emerging as a Leader: How ALSC Helped Us Become the Future,” which featured a discussion of mentoring and the Emerging Leaders program by Debbie Zimmerman, Kim Castle-Alberts, and Maria Pontillas of the 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders Team E, who developed recommendations for an ALSC mentoring program.

PPO by the numbers

The Public Programs Office (PPO) was awarded more than $2.12 million in funding in fiscal 2012 to bring cultural programming grant opportunities and resources to libraries. School, public, academic, and special libraries nationwide benefited from PPO initiatives, with more than 70 libraries receiving new grant awards in 2012. In addition, PPO reached more than 1.5 million library visitors and program participants through its traveling exhibitions and discussion programs.

In 2012, more than 50 writers contributed to, providing insight into such topics as intergenerational programming, multicultural programming, early literacy, programming in rural libraries, author programming, and civic engagement. Some of the most popular articles in 2012 included “Systemwide Training for Programming Librarians: Palm Beach County Library’s Approach,” “Growing Like a Read: Tailoring an Early Literacy Program for Your Community,” “Great (and Affordable) Programs STEM from Partnerships,” and “Meeting Needs and Making a Difference.”

The community grew in 2012, with more than 73,000 site visitors, and subscription to the Programming Librarian newsletter grew by six percent. Social media outreach in 2012 resulted in an 85 percent growth in Twitter followers and 27 percent growth in Facebook fans. Development of is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.

ALTAFF members change name to include “United for Libraries”

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and FoundationsAs part of the 2012 ALA election, the majority of voting members of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) voted to change the organization’s title to “United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations.” United for Libraries, official as of September 4, 2012, will continue to provide its members—including Friends of the library, trustees, foundations, and library advocates—with the specialized resources that will empower them to support and advocate for their libraries.

“We are so fortunate to have library advocates—trustees, Friends, and others—speaking out to support libraries of all types,” said 2011–2012 ALA President Molly Raphael. “My presidential advocacy initiative, ‘Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities,’ focuses on the transformative power of communities making the case for the value of libraries of all types. We are so appreciative of library advocates’ efforts on behalf of libraries to mobilize communities to make their libraries even better. ‘United for Libraries’ says it all—together, we can make a difference!”

“Those who support, govern, and raise money for libraries many times work independently, often reinventing the wheel in every city and town,” said 2011–2012 ALTAFF President Donna McDonald. “Our name change mirrors the work this important division of ALA does—that is, uniting the voices of library lovers everywhere to strengthen, support, share best practices, and to ensure that libraries of all types thrive.”

In the fall of 2010 ALTAFF launched the Trustee Academy, a series of online courses to help trustees become proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. Taught by professionals in the field, the courses are available for individual registration or as a full curriculum with discounted pricing per course. All courses are recorded webcasts to allow trustees flexibility in completing them and viewing them individually or in group settings. Seven states have made the Trustee Academy available to their Trustees and library staff: Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Virtual participants join Library Legislative Day

National Library Legislative DayVirtual Library Legislative Day was held as part of National Library Legislative Day April 24, 2012, when hundreds of library advocates descended on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. Library advocates who couldn’t make it to Washington for the event were still able to be a part of the effort by calling and/or emailing their elected officials April 24—or any time the week of April 23–27. ALTAFF, the ALA Washington Office, Chapter Relations, and the Office for Library Advocacy led Virtual Library Legislative Day, an opportunity for all library advocates to make their voices heard on a national level.

ALTAFF launched a new Authors for Libraries website featuring a ZIP code search of authors who have joined the initiative. Authors for Libraries is a unique partnership to connect authors with libraries, Friends of the Library groups, and library foundations as well as to keep authors informed about issues and concerns affecting libraries on a national level. Authors who join Authors for Libraries for $39 per year receive a subscription to The Voice for America’s Libraries, ALTAFF’s bimonthly newsletter. In addition, a link to the author’s website is added to the Authors for Libraries website. Authors can use the site to search for libraries along book tour routes and in their own geographic area.

AASL notes: School library petition garners White House response

American Association of School LibrariansA petition in support of school library programs created by Carl Harvey, Indiana school librarian and president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), drew the 25,000 signatures required to put the petition in the hands of President Obama. Through the “We the People” petition section of, Harvey called on the administration to ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program by using the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to provide dedicated funding to help support those programs. Through grassroots communication efforts, 25,000 signed the petition before its one-month deadline.

Many from outside the profession—including library vendors, large and small, and well-known children’s and young-adult authors—joined school librarians in the effort. Educational organizations and AASL collaborators also used Twitter and other electronic means to spread the word. ALA President Molly Raphael sent a personal request to all ALA members encouraging them to sign by stating, “School libraries are everyone’s issue. Cuts in staffing or elimination of school library programs in a specific community affect all libraries in that community and we must be willing to work together to support our broader library eco-system. Help us make this an issue that commands attention.”

Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for education policy, responded to the petition:

President Obama has stated that reading is the foundation upon which all other learning is built, and school libraries play a significant role in constructing and enriching that foundation. School libraries do much more than house books and store data; a school library can broaden the horizon of learning for students and link them with communities and experiences far beyond their own classroom and community. . . . The Obama Administration remains committed to supporting school libraries and the critical role they play in providing resources and support for all students in their learning, to ensure that all students—regardless of their circumstances—are able to graduate from school ready for success in college and career.

The full petition and response are available online.

AASL announced a new feature of AASL membership, eCOLLAB—Your eLearning Laboratory: Content Collaboration Community. This repository of AASL professional development provides members and subscribers with a central location to find and manage their e-learning as well as to connect with others in the learning community. eCOLLAB contains webcasts, podcasts, and resources from various AASL professional development events, as well as the latest issue of Knowledge Quest in an interactive PDF.

The repository hosts digital resources such as handouts and presentations on relevant topics such as 21st century standards, student achievement, collaboration, and assessment. Non-members can access eCOLLAB via paid subscription.

New crosswalk connects Common Core to AASL learning standards

AASL provided another tool to demonstrate the school library program’s connection to student learning with the publication of a new Common Core State Standards crosswalk. The crosswalk connects the AASL learning standards with the Mathematics Common Core State Standards and was made available on the AASL website and as added as a feature of the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database. The new crosswalk links the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner with the math standards developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers. With the publication of this crosswalk, AASL provides another tool for school librarians in states that have adopted the Common Core to utilize in demonstrating the school library program’s connection to these standards.

AASL releases statements on diversity, other key issues

In September 2011, AASL released a position statement on diversity in the organization, identifying diversity as an integral face of the American landscape that permeates all professions—including school librarianship—and recognizing the necessity of diversity within the organization. The statement affirmed AASL’s commitment to increasing diversity among its members in leadership positions.

Also in September and in response to pressure to label and arrange library collections according to reading levels, AASL released a position statement on how this type of labeling can restrict student access to materials. The statement reflected AASL’s belief that viewpoint-neutral directional labeling increases students’ access to information and supports their First Amendment right to read. The statement defined best practice as using a standard classification system that provides students with a consistent means of finding books and other resources not only in their school library but also in public libraries.

AASL released an updated position statement on flexible scheduling, stressing the role of the school library program. The statement emphasizes that the school library program must be a fully integrated part of the educational program so that students, teachers, and school librarians become partners in learning. The statement defined that to be fully integrated, classes need to be flexibly scheduled into the library on an as-needed basis to facilitate research, training, and utilization of technology with the guidance of the subject specialist, the teacher, and the process specialist, the librarian. The revision integrated the concepts set forth by AASL’s most recent learning standards and program guidelines.

In February, AASL released an updated position statement on the role of the school library program. The statement stressed the crucial role the school library program plays in preparing students to become active, contributing members of the 21st century. The statement not only examined the role of the library program, but the role of the school librarian as an instructional partner, thus integrating the concepts set forth by AASL’s learning standards and program guidelines.

Survey shows students and families have increased access to school library resources

School Libraries Count!According to trend data collected by AASL, technology acquisitions in school libraries across the nation appears to be leveling, while remote access to school library databases is rapidly increasing. Data was collected as part of AASL’s national longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count! (SLC), conducted yearly since 2007.

Sixty-five percent of respondents in the inaugural SLC survey in 2007 indicated that their students had access to their school library’s licensed databases remotely (i.e., from any computer with access to the Internet). A steady increase in remote access was noted each subsequent year, with the 2011 results reporting that 82 percent of libraries participating in the survey now make databases available to students outside the school.

More information on the background, methodology, and history of the survey—including past reports—is available on the AASL website.

According to supplemental questions asked as part of the 2011 SLC survey, an overwhelming majority of schools across America are including digital citizenship—appropriate and responsible technology use—as part of their curriculum. Survey findings also indicated the school librarian serves as one of the primary educators when it comes to digital citizenship.

Seventy-one percent of school librarians surveyed said that digital citizenship is included as part of their school or district curriculum, and 52 percent of indicated they were the primary teacher in their school or district. Collaborative efforts between school librarians and other educators within the school were also reported, including those between school librarians and classroom teachers (36 percent) and school librarians, classroom teachers, and technology instructors (33 percent). Eighty percent of respondents preferred this collaborative approach to teaching digital citizenship; however, 42 percent of respondents indicated a lack of a collaborative curriculum as the biggest barrier to instruction.

LITA highlights: ITAL becomes open-access, online-only journal

LITAOne of LITA’s biggest achievements this year was taking its journal ITAL to an open-access, online-only journal in March 2012. In addition, the publications committee has also been busy with a few new LITA Guides: “Getting Started with GIS” by Eva Dodsworth, “Writing a Winning Technology Plan for E-rate Compliance” by Jean V. Morrison, and “Writing Successful Technology Grant Proposals” by Pamela H. MacKellar. “Tech Set #11-20,” edited by Ellyssa Kroski, was also published this year.

The prestigious Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology award, co-sponsored by the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) and OCLC, was given to G. Sayeed Choudhury, a longtime proponent of open data. The award recognizes his leadership in the field of data curation through the National Science Foundation–supported Data Conservancy project.

Six LITA preconferences were held, while the division has offered several courses online, with more in the works. Selected online courses include “Using Scrum to Streamline Web Applications Development and Increase Staff Involvement,” “Creating Library Web Services: Mashups and APIs,” “Roadmap to JPEG2000,” and “Getting Started with GIS.”

LITA sponsored two members as part of the 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders cohort: Jodie Gambill and Tasha Keagan. Both were assigned to a team working on a LITA project that asked for a recommendation and plan for the implementation of a LITA Experts Profile System. The team was responsible for identifying the software to employ and creating an implementation plan with ontology recommendations.

The 2012 LITA Forum, New World of Data: Discover. Connect. Remix, was held in Columbus, Ohio, October 4–7. Speakers included Eric Hellman, Ben Schneiderman, and Sarah Houghton.

PLA notes: “Public Libraries at Work”

In 2011–2012, the Public Library Association (PLA) presented 12 webinars as part of its "Public Libraries at Work” Webinar Series." Additionally, PLA began reaching out to library professionals through PLA Facebook Forums to create interactive Q&A sessions on a variety of topics, such as e-readers, library safety, customer service, makerspaces in the library, and early childhood literacy. These are free, one-hour events hosted on the PLA Facebook page.

PLA also offered a popular online course, “The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer,” a four-week blended learning course designed for library professionals who have unexpectedly found themselves responsible for technology training at their library. Librarian, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding guided participants through a highly interactive combination of live webinars, independent assignments, and online discussions.

Throughout the year, PLA offered several free sessions of “Turning the Page 2.0.” In this six-week facilitated online course, library staff and supporters learn how to create and tell their library’s story, deliver effective presentations, develop a compelling case for support, and build and sustain partnerships along the way. Participants choose an advocacy goal for their library and are guided through the creation of an advocacy work plan.

PLA sponsored Heather Beverley, children’s librarian and technology/young adult consultant at Cook Memorial Public Library District in Illinois, as its representative for the 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders program. Beverley received $1,000 to attend the 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas and the 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., and participated in Emerging Leader activities at each event.

YALSA year in review: Board wins Innovation Prize

Young Adult Library Services AssociationThe Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Board of Directors won the Innovation Prize at the 2011 BoardSource Leadership Forum, which is funded through support from Prudential and the Prudential Foundation. The Innovation Prize is an onsite competition designed to inspire and support innovative approaches to strengthening and building organizational impact through effective board leadership. Executive Director Beth Yoke and President-Elect Jack Martin’s presentation focused on the approach that YALSA has taken toward increasing board effectiveness and impact, with an emphasis on recruitment, training, engagement and assessment. YALSA’s Board of Directors placed the $10,000 cash prize into YALSA’s Leadership Endowment.

YALSA was named one of 30 winners from a pool of 91 finalists in the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition March 1, 2012, at the Digital Media and Learning Conference. The competition links designers, entrepreneurs, technologists, and educators with leading business and industry organizations to build digital badge systems and explore the ways badges can be used to help people learn, demonstrate skills and knowledge, and unlock job, educational, and civic opportunities. The competition is held in collaboration with Mozilla and is part of the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and administered by the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory.

YALSA will use the $75,000 grant funding to create badges based on its Competencies for Serving Youth, national guidelines that outline what today’s librarians need to know to effectively serve teens. The competencies are divided into seven broad content areas. YALSA and Badgeville propose creating four badges for each area, the first three of which will demonstrate proficiency of a specific skill or topic. The fourth badge will demonstrate mastery of a skill or topic. Librarians and library workers who opt in to the program can participate at their own pace by engaging in a range of activities in order to master skills and earn badges.

YALSA and ALSC will receive funding to support Everyone Reads @ the Library, an ongoing youth literacy program, through a grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The $119,000 YALSA received went to support the development of materials to help libraries serve Spanish-speaking teens, to develop the Teen Book Finder mobile app, and to offer mini grants for Teen Read Week 2011 and summer reading 2012. The grant also supported distributing sets of the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten nominees to needy libraries.

Young Adult Library Services (YALS) won its fifth APEX Award for Excellence. YALS is a quarterly journal that highlights best practices in library services for and with teens.

PIO: An increase in media coverage in fiscal 2012

PIOALA saw an increase in media coverage in fiscal 2012 on such topics as e-books, e-lending and access, school libraries, young adult literature, censorship, and book-banning/challenges.

The popularity of e-books and their lending practices was much discussed as e-book use became more popular than ever. As e-book publishers continued to block access to a majority of their titles, many interviews focused on the issue of their availability and the ALA’s efforts to work with publishers on a solution. This issue attracted attention from a number of national news outlets in which the ALA leadership, including Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, have participated.

For the 29th anniversary of Banned Books Week (BBW), the Public Information Office (PIO) worked closely with the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) to secure media coverage with national and international news organizations. BBW coverage included USA Today, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, multiple National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates, and the Huffington Post. The Huffington Post published multiple articles, including an op-ed by ALA President Molly Raphael and a Web slideshow of banned children’s books. Hundreds of newspapers produced stories on BBW, local events, and OIF’s first-ever Virtual Read-Out.

During the 14th anniversary of Teen Read Week, PIO secured media coverage that promoted the importance of teen literacy, focusing on the popularity of graphic novels and other illustrated materials. Web, print, radio, and social media placements reached more than 282 million people. YALSA President Sarah Flowers participated in interviews with Common Sense Media and the Chicago Tribune and wrote an article for Parenting Magazine online, while a local spokesperson participated in a radio interview with the community affairs program “Twin Cities Insight,” which aired on six stations in the Minneapolis area. PIO also secured placements and mentions on teen and family blog sites such as I Heart Daily and Girls Life Magazine.

This year PIO also continued to work with AASL and the School Library Crisis Task Force to achieve national placements to generate public awareness of the deep budget cuts impacting the nation’s school libraries and to advocate for funding. AASL President Carl Harvey II participated in interviews with the Huffington Post and American Public Media on the value of school libraries. PIO also crafted an op-ed, “What You Can Do to Support School Libraries in Crisis,” which was published December 8 by the Huffington Post. The op-ed is now being used by school library supporters to advocate for funding for school libraries.

In mid-November, PIO worked with OIF, OLA, and Governance to craft a statement regarding the destruction of the “People’s Library,” a community library erected by Occupy Wall Street New York protestors. The People’s Library, which held a collection of more than 5,000 items and provided free access to books, magazines, newspapers and other materials, was seized by New York police during a raid to evict protesters from Zuccotti Park. Although city officials promised all items would be returned, most of the collection is still missing, and returned items were damaged. Several national and international news groups featured the ALA statement in coverage including the Guardian, Mediabistro, the Washington Post, International Business Journal, the New York Observer, and the Boston Globe. American Libraries and School Library Journal also included the statement in coverage.

The ALA Youth Media Awards—announced during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting—guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. PIO began ALA Midwinter publicity efforts with pre-announcement coverage that included an Associated Press article regarding the William C. Morris Award, which reached hundreds of publications in the United States and Canada, and an article in Publisher’s Weekly on the history of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals. Other interview coverage included NPR’s “All Things Considered,” CNN En Espanol’s Café,, Time, and the Associated Press. The AP article reached more than 1,000 news websites and blogs, along with such publications as USA Today and the Washington Post.

After months of planning, the PIO offered a live Webcast of the ALA Youth Awards. More than 18, 900 people logged on to view the award announcements.  The Webcast took months of preparation and coordination with ALA’s onsite audio/video vendors and our Web vendor Unikron, as well as participating ALA units.

This year more than 4,100 Twitter followers and 1,985 Facebook subscribers tracked ALA Youth Media Award results live. New to this year’s social media efforts is the ALA Youth Media Awards YouTube channel. The channel features videos posted by 2012 winning authors as well as videos from past winners.

This year also marked the announcement of the first-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction recognizing the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The announcement was made during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, and PIO worked closely with medal co-sponsors and Widmeyer Communications to generate publicity for the awards. Efforts resulted in more than 1,900 mentions/articles, a circulation rate of more than 1.1 billion, and a publicity value of more than $293,000. Placements were secured with mainstream media and trade publications including multiple placements with the AP, Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, the Huffington Post,, the Los Angeles Times, and many other top-tier publications.

PIO also produced a video featuring Andrew Carnegie Medals award chair Nancy Pearl, ALA President Molly Raphael, and Carnegie Corporation of New York President Vartan Gregorian. The video served as an anchor for the announcement and was posted to ALA’s YouTube Channel, on RUSA and Booklist pages, and in an award press kit. The video has received more than 1,000 views.

Also worth mentioning is the support that the ALA has received from national celebrities in 2011-2012 such as baseball legend and author Cal Ripken Jr., who served as the 2011 Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair; best-selling author Brad Meltzer, who authored an opinion piece for the Huffington Post to advocate for school libraries and lent his likeness in a print PSA campaign as the Honorary Chair for 2012 National Library Week; and best-selling author Caroline Kennedy, who agreed to be the Honorary Chair for 2013 National Library Week.


Two programs, one domestic, at East Carolina University, and one Canadian, at the University at Ottawa, have completed their precandidacy status to qualify for candidacy in 2012. They are scheduled for a visit in fall of 2013. The Committee on Accreditation will make the initial accreditation decisions at the ALA 2014 Midwinter Meeting.

School Library Task Force

In addition to her two major initiatives, Molly Raphael initiated a Presidential Task Force on School Libraries to lead a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, and the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement. Raphael entreated members from all types of libraries to be part of this unique task force with a clear message: all hands on deck to assist school libraries. The Task Force was integral in the success of Carl Harvey’s White House Petition, in passng a resolution on school libraries that was put forth at the ALA Annual Conference, and in raising the awareness among the profession about the crisis-level issues arising in school libraries. The work of the task force was continued by 2012-2013 ALA President Maureen Sullivan, who called for the launch of a public awareness campaign.