The ALA Editions Imprint has been expanding its publishing operation to tap into the growing importance of electronic access to its rich content in professional development.
In December of 2011, ALA acquired the Neal-Schuman Publishing Company, which is being incorporated into the unit as a separate imprint focused on MLS education. Its content base provides as-yet-unrealized potential for online and digital delivery. The acquisition also offers co-publishing opportunities by way of an exclusive US distribution agreement with Facet Publishing, the official imprint of UK’s CILIP. ALA Editions authors have played a growing role in online continuing education for the profession; Neal-Schuman’s rich content and author-experts allow ALA to expand the range, as well as enrich ALA Editions’ growing list of e‑books.
In the spring of 2012, the unit created a trade imprint named The Huron Street Press to cover library-related topics for the general public. Its first book, "Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers," by ALA editor Stephanie Zvirin, garnered excerpts and reviews in high-profile parenting and educational publications. "Build Your Own App for Fun and Profit" followed with comparable success. Huron Street Press titles are designed to appeal to a broad consumer and library market, harnessing the expertise of the association while encouraging library use among the public. Huron Street Press titles are distributed by the Independent Publishers Group (iPg) and are stocked in traditional retail outlets as well as being widely available as ebooks.
Standouts among the new publications included "College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know," which created unusual buzz in the general market before publication (including substantial articles in Inside Higher Education and USA Today), and the highly anticipated Tech Set 11-20, published in collaboration with LITA.
The emphasis on these new revenue sources supports ALA’s strategic goals in expanding high quality service to libraries and ALA members as well as in developing new markets and products.
ALA TechSource and ALA Editions workshops and online offerings grew significantly in FY12, with 34 distinct workshop events (50 sessions total) that attracted 6,000 attendees, and 21 eCourses with more than 1,300 registrations, many of which included groups. Workshops and eCourses have become an increasingly important source of revenue for ALA Editions, and cover a growing range of topics, some built on content from new or bestselling backlist books and Library Technology Reports topics such as electronic resource management, web-scale discovery services, and the mobile Web.
Workshops included the new iterations of popular topics such as Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library with Sue Polanka, Gadgets in the Library with Jason Griffey, and Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services with Rebecca Miller, Carolyn Meier and Heather Moorefield-Lang. Other well received workshops included: Taking Embedded Librarianship to the Next Level with Buffy Hamilton; Hiring, Training and Supervising Library Shelvers with Patricia Tunstall; Libraries and Linked Data: Looking to the Future with Karen Coyle; and many more.
ALA Editions eCourses included subjects such as the following: Rethinking Library Instruction: Libraries as Social Learning Centers with Paul Signorelli; Demystifying Copyright: Educating Your Staff and Community with Lesley Ellen Harris; Planning and Preparing for RDA with Paul Weiss; Understanding and Applying Dewey Decimal Classification with Cheryl Tarsala; Using WordPress to Build Library Websites with Polly-Alida Farrington and Amanda Goodman; and Using Drupal to Build Library Websites with Sean Fitzpatrick.
In January, ALA TechSource offered nearly 1,700 attendees a free 2012 ALA Midwinter Tech Wrapup webinar, featuring a panel discussion with Sue Polanka, Jason Griffey and Marshall Breeding. Other free webinars were Introducing the Book as iPad App with Nicole Hennig and Introducing Grassroots Library Advocacy with Lauren Comito, Aliqae Geraci and Christian Zabriskie.
In the midst of focusing on the Neal-Schuman acquisition and launching Huron Street Press, ALA Editions and ALA TechSource produced 137 new products. The catalog was redesigned to accommodate the developing range of types of content and formats. The emphasis continued to be on maximizing the content created by expert authors, in formats ranging from print books to print/online periodicals such as Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter, to combined print/e-book bundles, and to multi-part online workshops. American Libraries magazine also increased its use of content by ALA Editions and TechSource authors.
Two major events marked fiscal 2012 for Booklist Publications: the introduction of a new subscription model in January offering a combination of print and online access, and Booklist’s cosponsor role (with the Reference and User Services Association—RUSA) in the high-profile launch of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction (see Awards and Honors section).
FY12 was also no exception to the annual addition of new products and marked Booklist’s regaining ground and exceeding pre-recession revenue.
The new Booklist subscription model, with the tagline “Feel like print? Want online too? Get both with the new Booklist!” includes the added benefit of 24/7 password-access to Booklist Online. The combination offers libraries another way to streamline collection development and readers’ advisory workflows. Unlimited access multi-user subscriptions to Booklist Online still offer unlimited simultaneous use, patron/faculty/student access, and remote access and remain the most popular option for larger institutions.
The current multi-platform suite of 11 products (up from two in 2006) includes the print issues of Booklist and four of Book Links; Booklist Online (now serving 1.25 million pages per month); six revenue-generating e-newsletters (some with exclusive sponsorships, some selling advertising on an issue-by-issue basis); Booklist webinars (sponsor-supported online programs, free to registrants); and Booklist Delivers (an e-blast service delivering sponsors’ HTML promotions to the Booklist audience).
Booklist webinars have been the most successful of the new ventures, with 54,317 registrants (averaging 1,598 for each program) for the 34 programs moderated by Booklist editors and special guests. Registrants who couldn’t attend were offered access to archived recordings. In post-webinar surveys, 91 percent of attendees noted that they find the programs useful. The two most popular programs were “Struggling Readers” (3,000 registrants) and “Books for Boys” (2,812 registrants). The broad range of topics also included series nonfiction, reaching reluctant readers, what’s new in audio books, the new face of reference, graphic novels, young-adult romance, YA announcements, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative, book group–related topics, new cookbooks, Nancy Pearl presenting Book Lust Rediscoveries, and a brand new format pitting publishers against one another.
Throughout the year, Booklist and Book Links increased content and guidance for implementing CCSS, providing ongoing resources, strategies, and proven practices for seamless integration of the standards while extending the mission of getting the best books for children into the classroom and into the hands of students. The increased coverage includes in-depth, CCSS-focused feature articles by leading educators and more ideas for using informational texts in the classroom and across the curriculum, with CCSS-linked book lists and an expanded version of the Quick Tips e-newsletter column “Unpacking a Standard” in Booklist. Educators, publishers, and other experts have also appeared in free CCSS-related webinars. A convenient dedicated Common Core landing page on Booklist Online offers single-point access to new articles, archived materials, and useful links.
Booklist Online e-newsletters remain strong, and the newest addition, Corner Shelf, a collaboration between Booklist Online and Baker & Taylor, has attracted a wide readership. This free bimonthly newsletter, “Where Readers’ Advisory Meets Collection Development,” addresses trends, ideas, and issues in the two areas, helping librarians find the common ground between them. All Booklist’s free e-newsletters are available on the sign-up page.
At the Public Library Association (PLA) 2012 conference, Booklist was the toast of Philly when it hosted a mystery authors cocktail party, where 15 authors from seven different publishing houses mingled with fans and signed their books. A lively panel at the ALA Midwinter ERT/Booklist Author Forum was moderated again by Brad Hooper, and the Booklist Books for Youth Forum at Annual Conference provided both entertainment and serious ideas about what boys want to read.
Booklist was selected for the fifth year as a lead partner for the Women’s National Book Association’s National Reading Group Month in October 2012, with Book Group Buzz named the official NRGM blog. During the month, a dedicated webinar celebrated NRGM’s Great Group Reads, hosted by Kaite Mediatore Stover with selected authors and publishers.
Numbers of friends and followers grew on both Booklist on Facebook and Twitter, where Booklist covers, videos, news on awards, Review of the Day, and posts on a variety of topics by staff and others appear.
New staff in FY12 included Readers’-advisory expert Rebecca Vnuk, editor for reference and collection management (replacing the position of reference editor). Vnuk is responsible for all print and electronic reference reviews in Booklist, as well as the development of feature articles on readers’ advisory and collection development, and editorship of Corner Shelf. She is an award-winning public librarian, consultant, speaker, writer, and blogger, served as chair of the ALA RUSA CODES RA Committee, and is author of two readers’-advisory books. Ann Kelley also joined the team as associate editor for Books for Youth, bringing 10 years of editorial experience in children’s trade publishing, as well as a recent MLS and experience working as a youth librarian providing readers’ advisory and programming services to children and young adults.
American Libraries had an eventful year, adding key staff and continuing to offer more content in more channels than ever before and increasing its social media presence. It has evolved from being a monthly print magazine to now serving news and other information to readers daily through a robust suite of products that includes print and multiple digital options.
Laurie D. Borman joined American Libraries in December 2011 as editor and publisher, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in print and online publishing, including as editor-in-chief for two print magazines in the travel industry and editorial director for digital and social media initiatives at Rand McNally. Her proven success with social media; recognition and awards for her writing, photography, and product development; her activity in the library field at the Asher Library at the Spertus Institute in Chicago; and her degree in journalism from Indiana University all set the stage for a highly productive first year at American Libraries.
Sanhita SinhaRoy joined American Libraries in October as associate editor, bringing extensive news and editorial experience in both nonprofit and consumer media, ranging from the Progressive Media Project to In These Times and Playboy. She was promoted in April to managing editor, and her extensive responsibilities in this newly created role include developing story ideas; assigning and editing articles for online, social media, and the print magazine; assuring deadlines; and working closely with art/production, advertising, and marketing to create quality content.
In conjunction with ALA’s wider digital content initiative, the weekly e-newsletter AL Direct expanded its coverage of e-trends in librarianship by creating a regular “E-Content” section. A new American Libraries blog, “E-Content,” authored by Christopher Harris, launched in early October to complement and help communicate the work of the ALA Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries.
Special digital supplements were delivered throughout the year in a mobile-friendly format for iPads and smartphones, posted on Facebook and Twitter, and archived on AmericanLibrariesMagazine.org. Topics included online learning/digital content (created in conjunction with ALA Online Learning), the annual State of America’s Libraries Report in collaboration with PIO (timed for National Library Week in April), library design showcase, the American Dream Starts @ Your Library, e-books, and research. With Membership Development and International Relations, American Libraries followed a limited-edition print international supplement promoting the benefits of ALA membership and engagement with a digital version in early fall. (A similar print supplement was produced for IFLA in Helsinki, Finland, in August 2012.)
American Libraries continued to develop its social media presence with daily posts to various streams, including Twitter (14,688 followers), Facebook (3,528 fans), and Pinterest (15 boards, 1,862 pins), a new addition in FY12. Pinterest boards currently include Great Libraries of the World, Featured Digital Libraries, Top 10 Challenged Books, American Libraries issue covers, and others.
Delivering more than 100,000 pages, AmericanLibrariesMagazine.org now offers five blogs (E-Content, Global Reach, Ask the ALA Librarian, Inside Scoop, and Solutions and Services), and 51 issues of the award-winning weekly e-newsletter AL Direct kept readers consistently on top of news, information, and trends.
Editorial deadlines were revised so members now receive their magazine at the first of the month, resulting in more timely and reliable content delivery and a longer shelf life for advertisers, as well as ensuring optimal ALA conference-related coverage. A new collaboration with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) rotates the authorship of the “Youth Matters” column to cover issues pertinent to each constituency. More frequent excerpts from ALA Editions books offer well-researched, topical information from expert authors. American Libraries’ dining guide for Midwinter, “Dining in Dallas,” showed up on a Dallas Observer blog under the title “Be On the Lookout for Large Groups of Hungry Librarians Lurking in Dallas Restaurants.”
Digital sponsorship and online advertising continue to grow year over year, while the online AL Buyer’s Guide offers an important service to members with lists of library vendors and links direct to their websites. Special Delivery emails went to opt-in ALA members one to four times per month, plus monthly E-Product News emails; two Special Exhibitor Offers emails went to registered conference attendees. Katie Bane, formerly marketing coordinator, was promoted to advertising and marketing specialist, reflecting the expansion of her roles in managing American Libraries advertising and marketing and ALA JobLIST.
Celebrities, beloved book characters, tie-ins in with movies adapted from books, and event-related themes all continued to inspire ALA Graphics products in FY12, resulting in a strong year.
Collaborating with units across ALA to create new posters, bookmarks, digital files, and other products for library-related celebrations has continued to be a hallmark of Graphics’ success this year, including National Library Week and Library Card Sign-up Month with the Public Information Office (PIO) (April), Banned Books Week (September) and Choose Privacy Week (May) with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Teen Read Week (October) and Teen Tech Week (March) with YALSA, School Library Month (April) with AASL, Día (April) with ALSC, and National Friends of Libraries Week (October) with United for Libraries.
"Hugo," the movie based on Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Medal–winning book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," was highlighted on a poster and bookmark, as was the popular "The Hunger Games." Celebrity READ poster scores of the year included Jackson Rathbone holding "Breaking Dawn" to complete the Twilight series, Oprah Winfrey in a landmark third appearance, and rising star Lily Collins.
Picture book favorites appearing on posters and bookmarks included Mo Willems’ pals Elephant, Piggie, and Pigeon; Ladybug Girl; Ezra Jack Keats (in time for the 50th anniversary of "The Snowy Day"); and "Clifford the Big Red Dog." Young readers were drawn to posters and bookmarks featuring characters from popular book and cartoon series such as Captain Underpants, Frankie Pickle, Goosebumps, Origami Yoda, and "Avatar: The Last Airbender." A new style of poster featured YA sensation, bestselling author, and 2012 Teen Read Week spokesperson John Green (also a former ALA Publishing employee). Graphic novel and steampunk enthusiasts were not forgotten, with original art by "Return of the Dapper Men" illustrator Janet Lee.
New gift items included a Dewey-classified tea cup, a new sippy cup for little kids, the handy READ magnifier bookmark, and the Love My Library vinyl sticker, which builds on the popular Love My Library line.
A new ALA Graphics home page was introduced to bring product and event information together with recommendations specific to school and public libraries, links to the store, customer stories, and subscription management information, as well as opportunities for customer feedback. A new Tumblr blog will feature regular content about Graphics products as they intersect with popular culture and events.
The READ CD Box Set that allows purchasers to create their own READ posters and other items was repackaged on one DVD as the READ Design Studio Starter Pack. Demos at Annual Conference instructed users on poster-making from start to finish, and a poster session by the Idaho Commission for Libraries emphasized the benefits and possibilities of statewide implementation of the suite of READ Design Studio products. A crowd of virtual attendees learned new ideas for using their READ files and exploring the product further in a free (and now archived) webinar, “More Creative Uses for READ Design Studio,” available for viewing as a video or slides.
Stores at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas and the Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., included a selection of new items sold exclusively at conferences, including journals, games, and whimsical gifts for both bibliophiles and librarians. More than 1,800 people voted to select the colors of the conference T-shirts in polls promoted on the conference home pages and through social media channels, and T-shirt sales were brisk. Getting input from members and customers through short online surveys remains a vital ingredient of ALA Graphics’ product development and outreach.
ALA Guide to Reference continues to attract new subscribers and praise for its workflow benefits among academic, public, school, and special libraries, including international subscribers. Many LIS programs in the United States, Canada, and other countries continued to introduce Guide to Reference to their students with free classroom access. Regular free “Guide to Reference Essentials” webinars highlighted how to get the most from this authoritative resource, whose section editors continue to develop the depth and scope of its content.
The Library of Congress announced in late February that it would fully implement RDA: Resource Description and Access on March 31, 2013, citing the significant progress that has been made toward addressing the June 2011 recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee and the need for sufficient lead time to prepare staff for the switch to RDA cataloging. Other national libraries were targeting their own implementation in the first quarter of 2013. This announcement set the framework for ALA Digital Reference’s ongoing work on the product itself and in helping prepare catalogers and other users for implementation.
Virtual channels enabling staff and user communication grew and now include the RDA Toolkit cataloging blog; the development blog; regular live “RDA Essentials” webinars (archived on the website) to introduce users to RDA Toolkit and provide updates on enhancements; and a virtual user group that launched in October and has met periodically, serving as a kind of town hall meeting that helps prioritize development and other issues. The development blog provides a platform to communicate plans, goals, and development objectives, and a conduit for users to express their needs, wants, and opinions regarding RDA Toolkit development.
Training in RDA and related issues was offered from a number of sources, including regular free introductory “RDA Essentials” webinars. RDA workshops offered by ALA TechSource continue to sell out, and special outreach to LIS instructors and students continues to help them integrate RDA into their teaching/learning. Ten different forums and workshops addressed RDA training and implementation at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.
Regular releases offering improvements to RDA Toolkit functionality and content that allow users to better tailor their RDA Toolkit experience included the first substantive JSC (Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA) update of RDA content and an RDA Update History section, full and freely available MARC record examples of RDA cataloging, updates to Library of Congress Policy Statements (LCPS), and improvements to advanced search and user preferences. Chris Oliver of McGill University has served as copy editor, working on rewording of RDA itself scheduled to release in FY13.
Translation and distribution agreements were finalized with regional distributors rdatoolkit.org/distributors DeGruyter (for German-speaking markets in Europe) and Rojas Eberhard (for Spanish-speaking markets in Latin America). A Chinese translation agreement was finalized, with French to follow early in FY13.
ACRL published 10 new books during 2011–2012, including the second edition of "The Changing Academic Library," by John M. Budd, "Environments for Student Growth and Development: Libraries and Student Affairs in Collaboration," edited by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Melissa Autumn Wong, and "Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives," edited by Eleanor Mitchell, Peggy Seiden, and Suzy Taraba. "The Atlas of New Librarianship," by R. David Lankes, copublished by ACRL and MIT Press, was named the winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.
In June 2012, ACRL published the report “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Scenarios for the Future of the Book” to help librarians reexamine their assumptions, which may be grounded in the current e-book zeitgeist. Authored by David J. Staley, director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching in the History Department of Ohio State University, the report is a companion to the 2010 report Staley coauthored for ACRL, “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025.” This new report presents four scenarios for the future of the book, based in part on feedback from academic library directors.
Association members continue to receive College & Research Libraries News, ACRL’s news magazine and publication of record, and the scholarly journal College & Research Libraries as a perquisite of membership. Both serials are also available by subscription. ACRL also publishes RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage twice yearly. RBM is available through subscription. In fall 2011, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library launched a project to digitize the complete back contents of C&RL and make it available through the IDEALS institutional repository. The ACRL Board of Directors appointed Scott Walter, university librarian at DePaul University in Chicago, as the next editor of C&RL. Walter will serve as editor-designate until June 30, 2013, when he will assume full editorial responsibility. During its meetings at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, the ACRL Board approved the move of C&RL to an online-only publication beginning in 2014. The final print issue of C&RL will appear in November 2013.
The ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee published its biennial “Top Ten Trends in Academic Libraries” report in the June 2012 issue of C&RL News. 2012 trends include communicating value, data curation, digital preservation, changes in the higher education environment, information technology, mobile Web, patron-driven acquisitions, new scholarly publishing models, staffing, and user behavior and expectations.
ACRL continued to leverage social media and other new technologies to deliver content over the past year. The ACRL Insider blog provides daily updates of association activities, while ACRLog provides ideas, commentary, and reflection on the professional issues of the day. The Value of Academic Libraries blog features news on the association’s value of academic libraries initiative along with essays from members of the Value of Academic Libraries Committee. The ACRL TechConnect blog covers innovative technology projects in academic libraries, emerging tech tools, computer programming, usability, design, and more.
In FY12 Choice published 7,235 new reviews, marking the third consecutive year in which it has published more than 7,200 reviews and the sixth in which it has published more than 7,000. Of these 7,235 titles, 6,841 were books and 394 were electronic resources. Since 1997, when it began reviewing the Web, Choice has reviewed approximately 425 Internet resources annually, for a total of more than 7,000 such resources.
The January 2012 issue once again featured Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Titles” list. The January 2012 version, the 48th in the series, included 629 exceptional print and online publications across 54 different subject areas. With fewer than nine percent of the titles reviewed by Choice in 2011 and roughly three percent of the titles submitted by publishers, the OAT list, as it is popularly known, is often called “the best of the best.” New to the OAT family this year was an even more exclusive pair of lists, “Top 25 Books” and “Top 10 Web Sites,” both of which appeared exclusively on Choice Reviews Online.
In FY12, Choice continued to explore a variety of potential partnerships and initiatives. Among the continuing efforts in this area are the pilot projects with the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association, under which AHA and MLA are offering access to Choice reviews as a free member benefit.
The development of standards and guidelines for all areas of academic and research librarianship is a core service of ACRL. New standards and guidelines published this year include ACRL/RBMS [Rare Books and Manuscripts] Guidelines for Interlibrary and Exhibition Loan of Special Collections Materials, Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries, Guidelines for Media Resources in Academic Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Journalism Students and Professionals, and Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline, Guidelines for Academic Librarians without Faculty Status, Guidelines for Instruction Programs in Academic Libraries, Standards for Faculty Status for Academic Librarians, and Standards for Libraries in Higher Education were revised this year.
Association for Library Collections and Services Publishing released two new guides: "Sudden Selector’s Guide to Biology Resources," by Flora G. Shrode, and "Sudden Selector’s Guide to Chemistry Resources," by Elizabeth Brown. Available in both print and PDF e-book in the ALA Online Store, these guides offer resources for new or seasoned science selectors.
"Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2012," written by ALSC and published by ALA Editions, an annual guidebook, is a resource for quick reference, collection development, and readers’ advisory, and includes author/illustrator and title indices as well as information about visual elements and media in Caldecott Medal and Honor Books. The new edition also features an essay by Deborah Stevenson, director of the Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The Newbery in the Press: The First Fifty Years" traces the path of the Newbery Award through news coverage, providing a thought-provoking and delightful look at how the award has inscribed itself in history. In this look at the award’s first 50 years, we catch glimpses of Eleanor Roosevelt, the early mavens of journalism’s book beat crowd, and John Newbery himself.
In response to the exploding popularity of graphic novels, ALSC developed a “core” list of titles for public librarians serving elementary school-age children (K–8) to use when starting or maintaining a children’s graphic novel collection. “Children’s Graphic Novel Core Collection,” compiled by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, includes classics as well as newer titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed, and books that have popular appeal as well as those that have received critical acclaim.
In an effort to support members who serve tweens, ALSC created a list of books of special interest to kids age 10 to 14, compiled by the School-Age Programs and Services Committee from the 2012 award-winning titles and Notable Children’s Books list.
In December, ALSC released a revision of the popular bibliography “Great Early Elementary Reads,” which features recommended book titles for beginning readers. PDFs of the list are available online in full color and black and white and are free to download, copy, and distribute. The updated bibliography is organized into two categories: “Starting to Read” and “Reading on My Own” and includes books published between 2009 and 2011. The titles were selected, compiled, and annotated by members of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee.
ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee has worked on several projects and lists during the year, including a list of books to encourage nature-based literacy for the American Camp Association, an updated Born to Read brochure, a revised Día book list, the Money as You Grow book list, a book list for the 2012 ALSC/YALSA President’s Program on tweens/young teens and technology, and the updated ALA/Children’s Book Council (CBC) Building a Home Library book lists, a collection of four bibliographies (ages birth to 3, 4–7, 8–11, and 12–14) providing guidance to parents, grandparents, and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home.
In December, ALSC launched a completely redesigned Great Websites for Kids, its online website directory. The updated site boasts a fresh, colorful, and kid-friendly display and interactive social media enhancements. The new design features thumbnail images to provide a visual preview of each great site represented and special sections highlighting Sites of the Week and Month, Most Popular pages, and Top Rated sites. Visitors now can actively connect with the site and further their online experience by rating sites, sharing their favorites on social media sites such as Facebook, and emailing recommendations to friends.
YALSA published four books in FY2012: "The Complete Summer Reading Manual: From Planning to Evaluation," by Mark Flowers et al. (2012, YALSA); "Answering Teens’ Tough Questions," by mk Eagle (2012, Neal-Schuman); "Evaluating Teen Services and Programs," by Sarah Flowers (2012, Neal-Schuman); and "Being a Teen Library Services Advocate," by Linda W. Braun (2012, Neal-Schuman).
The “Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped” have been published and are available for purchase in the ALA Store. These standards and guidelines, which build upon previous editions, are intended to help Library of Congress/National Library Service network libraries serving the blind and physically handicapped maintain the best service levels for eligible individuals and organizations. The new edition includes the addition of a section on Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and changes to staffing guidelines, which are more in line with the current reality of staffing levels at the network libraries.
AASL released a new publication focused on increasing a school librarian’s ability to analyze and articulate data sets. "The Power of Data: An Introduction to Using Local, State, and National Data to Support School Library Programs," by Sandra Andrews, guides school librarians through the effective use of data in order to influence school library program stakeholders. The publication is available in both print and e-book formats, as well as in a print/e-book bundle, and can be purchased through the ALA Online Store. "The Power of Data" discusses the use of data sets to establish goals for school library programs. Highlighting data available at the local, state, and national levels, the book examines how school librarians can use available data to influence decisions at the local level. The book guides school librarians in the effective use of existing data and in articulating the analysis of that data to the people who need the information, including principals, superintendents, school boards, parents, teachers and students.
AASL also released a publication that provides school librarians an opportunity to engage in rigorous self-evaluation and shape school administrator evaluations. "A 21st-Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation," by Patricia Owen, is available in both print and e-book formats, as well as in a print/e-book bundle. The book uses the program guidelines established in AASL’s “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs” as the basis for a school librarian evaluation rubric—one that can be adapted or duplicated by school librarians and shared with school administrators. The publication includes workbook-style prompts that walk school librarians through suggested readings, action tips, and evidence collection to help gauge their current levels of achievement, set goals for progress, and form plans for future professional development. Librarians who proceed step-by-step through "A 21st-Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation" will emerge prepared for their annual performance evaluation.
AASL expanded its School Library Programs Improve Student Learning series of advocacy brochures with the addition of a Spanish translation of the parent brochure. Each brochure in the series is designed to speak to a specific stakeholder audience within the school library community, including administrators, policymakers, parents, and teachers. With a growing number of English language learners in school library populations nationwide, a need was expressed for tools to help school librarians communicate the value of the library program with parents and families who speak only Spanish. To meet this need, AASL produced a Spanish translation of its parent advocacy brochure, which was sponsored by Bound to Stay Bound Books. The brochure outlines goals and key questions specific and important to parents. This format guides school librarians in leading unique conversations, setting goals and expectations for the program and the stakeholders, and maximizing the potential of the school library program.
An exciting transition occurred for the longstanding annual Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report produced by PLA. After more than 20 years of publishing an annual PLDS Survey Statistical Report book, and following much consideration of member input, production costs, environmental factors, and more, PLA decided to make the transition to an all-digital PLDS tool. While a digital subscription has been available for some time, the latest version, PLAmetrics, is more robust and far-reaching than ever before. With PLAmetrics, subscribers can access PLDS data (2002–2011) and public-use Institute of Museum and Library Services data (1998–2009) and take advantage of customized sorting and reporting features. Data can be employed for peer comparisons, benchmarking, and/or trend analyses, as well as to meet local, custom needs.