Other Highlights

Banned Books Week includes virtual readout

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-OutThe 30th annual Banned Books Week—held September 24–October 1, 2011, with the theme “Free Your Mind: Read a Banned Book”—included for the first time a Virtual Readout on its redesigned website, www.bannedbooksweek.org. The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) event doubled its media coverage from the previous year, with 2,300 TV, radio, and newspaper media placements; drew millions of friends and fans on Facebook; and saw 800 videos posted on BBW’s YouTube channel.

Choose Privacy Week

Choose Privacy WeekThe OIF celebrated its second Choose Privacy Week, an initiative that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. This year’s events saw new sponsors such as the Society of American Archivists and Data Privacy Day, along with a webinar, “Hot Topics in Privacy,” with national experts on library privacy. OIF and the Open Society Foundation also sponsored a Privacy and Youth Conference in Chicago March 24–25, inviting 25 scholars, librarians, journalists, privacy activists, and government officials (including from Canada and Norway) to discuss the work they are doing to engage and educate young people in privacy protection.

Member satisfaction grows

A 2011 survey by Membership Development and the Office for Research and Statistics (ORS) showed a nine percent increase in member satisfaction when compared with data collected in a 2007 survey by the Allegheny Marketing Group and a 2008 survey by Harris Interactive.

ORS releases analysis of member demographic data

ORSIn March, ORS analyzed data collected from 39,874 (69 percent) of ALA members. Among its findings were that baby boomers—those born from 1946 to 1964—represent 46.2 percent of the ALA membership. Members already at retirement age (older than 65 and born in years before 1946) represent 6.2 percent (2,413) of those who provided a date of birth in their response, while 13 percent (about 5,030) would be considered of retirement age when that age is estimated as beginning at age 62.

Some aspects of the membership have remained largely unchanged since ALA began collecting this information in 2005. Not dissimilar from the library profession overall, ALA members are about 80 percent female and about 87 percent white, and most hold either an MLS or other master’s degree (about 64 percent and 26 percent, respectively).

The full report, ALA Demographic Studies (PDF), is available online.

ALA events, issues draw media interest

ALA saw an increase in media coverage surrounding such topics as library use during the economic recession, budget cuts, e-books, privatization/outsourcing, young adult literature, and book banning and challenges.

PIOOn September 11, 2010, the ALA and guests from Chicago Islamic organizations participated in a Quran Read-Out outside ALA headquarters in response to a Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event was covered by numerous local and national print, newswire, television, and radio organizations, including the Associated Press. More than 2,600 websites posted the Associated Press coverage, while social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter provided links to coverage as well. Event coverage garnered more than 36 million in circulation and reached more than 3.5 million households.

During the 13th anniversary of Teen Read Week, the Public Information Office (PIO) secured media coverage that promoted teen literacy and the role libraries and young adult librarians play in encouraging teens to read. Web, print, radio, and social media coverage reached a combined total of more than 269 million people. PIO also worked with Clear Channel Radio to place Teen Read Week public service announcement (PSA) scripts to make them available to more than 1,300 radio and television stations in the United States.

ALA Midwinter publicity kicked off with PIO responding to press queries about a new version of the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. ALA received interview requests from several high-profile media groups, which resulted in placements with various national media, including NBC Nightly News, USA Today, and AOL News.

The ALA Youth Media Awards—announced during ALA’s 2011 Midwinter Meeting—help parents, educators, librarians, and others select the best materials for youth. A flurry of national and local coverage was achieved, including an interview with Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) member leaders by The New York Times and an Associated Press article that was picked up by about more than newspapers. Other large-audience media such as the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, AOL News, NPR.org, and Salon.com also provided coverage.

Our Authors, Our AdvocatesAs part of Roberta Stevens’s “Our Authors, Our Advocates” presidential initiative, PIO helped develop a series of public service announcements on the value of library service. Best-selling authors participating in the initiative included Laurie Halse Anderson, M. T. Anderson, David Baldacci, Holly Black, Judy Blume, Harlan Coben, Carmen Agra Deedy, Sharon Draper, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Kinney, Sara Paretsky, Jerry Pinkney, Kathy Reichs, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Brandon Sanderson, Molly Shannon, Tony Di Terlizzi, Scott Turow, and Mo Willems. The PSAs were converted to Web PSAs that library advocates can download for free.

ALA also received support from national celebrities throughout the year, including Dwyane Wade, Olympic gold medalist and NBA star, who served as the 2010 Library Card Sign-up Month honorary chair; actor and author Ted Danson, who was keynote speaker at the Midwinter Meeting President’s Program; Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize–winning author who spoke at the 12th Annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture; best-selling author John Grisham, who lent his likeness to a print PSA campaign as the Honorary Chair for 2011 National Library Week; and Brad Meltzer, author and host of the History Channel’s "Decoded," who agreed to serve as honorary chair for 2012 National Library Week.

ALA-APA certification programs grow

ALA-APAThe ALA–Allied Professional Association’s Certified Public Library Administrator Program grew to 133 candidates and 48 graduates from libraries small and large, and the Library Support Staff Certification Program, which officially began in January 2010 through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), had 188 candidates and six graduates. The first grant for the LSSC program, which was primarily a planning grant, officially came to a close June 30, 2011; a second grant, also funded by the IMLS, intended to enhance the program, began in July 2010 and runs through June 2013. As part of this grant, once a month, a series of webinars are conducted to introduce the program widely as well as to provide an orientation to registered candidates. These efforts generated more than 241,806 page views to the LSSC program’s website.

Online scholarship application goes live

In October, the online scholarship application went live, offering more than $300,000 for students in library science or school librarianship at the master’s level. ALA’s Scholarship Clearinghouse received a total of 760 scholarship applications, from which 73 awards were given for a total of approximately $404,000. Scholarships typically ranged from $1,500 to $7,000 per student per year.

JobLIST Placement Center

ALA JobLISTMore than 188 people registered for the JobLIST Placement Center’s free webinar, “Take Your Job Search Campaign Up a Level: What to Do When You’re Still Not Getting That Job You Want (And Need!),” held October 20, 2010. Presented by Caitlin Williams, the webinar was designed for those who are one week, one month, three months, or longer into a job search and feeling frustrated, stuck, a bit down, and just not sure what to do to change things. Williams has partnered with ALA for nearly 10 years to offer ALA members, students, and professionals in the field the latest information on managing their careers. Participants had the opportunity to ask specific questions about their individual job search efforts and were encouraged to have a résumé and other marketing documents with them when attending the webinar. The goal was to get participants “unstuck” and moving forward toward a desired job offer.

2011 Emerging Leaders program

Emerging LeadersThe Emerging Leaders program began its fifth year with a day-long session at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting. Eighty-three individuals were selected through a competitive process for the program, which enables librarians and library staff from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.

Participants received two days of orientation and education with Maureen Sullivan, an organizational development consultant whose practice focuses on leadership development for the profession, and Peter Bromberg, assistant director of the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library.

Following the kickoff session, the program continued in an online learning and networking environment for six months, culminating with a poster session that showcased the results of their project-planning work at the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Nearly half the participants received sponsorships from ALA divisions, offices, round tables, state chapters, affiliate groups, and other organizations.

A March 22 webinar by Pat Wagner of Pattern Research, Inc., titled “Influence, When You Don’t Have Power or Authority,” discussed ways to build influence, avoid certain mistakes, and take action to become an effective leader. On April 21, the cohort participated in another webinar, “ALA Demystified: How to be Effective within ALA.” Leslie Burger, a past ALA president and creator of the Emerging Leaders program, shared her strategies on getting the most out of the ALA experience.

ALSC celebrates the 15th anniversary of Día

DiaALSC celebrated the 15th anniversary of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) April 30, and libraries nationwide hosted Día celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy-driven events. To help these libraries celebrate, the ALSC offered webinars, book lists, bookmarks, a registration site, and a media kit.

Public Libraries turns 50

In January 2011, the Public Library Association (PLA) released the 50th issue of Public Libraries, which featured a new design with a more contemporary look and feel.

Library Card Sign-up Month

As the Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, Dwyane Wade, Olympic gold medalist and 2008–2009 NBA top-scoring player, donated his time and image to print PSAs. In 2009, Wade donated $25,000 through his Wade’s World Foundation to help save the struggling William Leonard Public Library in Robbins, Illinois. Library Card Sign-up Month, held annually in September, is a time to remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. 


@yourlibraryALA’s public awareness website, Atyourlibrary.org, continued to enjoy dramatic growth, with the average number of visitors to the site increasing by 86 percent and with page views increasing 95 percent. Facebook and Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers have more than doubled.

The website was developed for the general public—library users and non-users—and encourages the use of libraries by people of all ages. Articles cover such topics as job hunting, finances, how to use the library as a resource for family outings, and arts and entertainment as well as interviews with authors. The site has also featured promotional tie-ins with National Library Week, Library Card Sign-up Month, and other ALA initiatives. The website also grew its “show us your library card” initiative to include photos of library lovers at New York Comic Con and the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) posing with an oversized library card.

ALSC, PLA release second edition of ECRR toolkit

Every Child Ready to ReadALSC and PLA released the second edition of the “Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) @ your library” toolkit and launched an updated and redesigned Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) website. The new edition of the toolkit reflects new research in the field of early reading development and what parents can do to ensure that their children are successful.

PLA expands online professional development programs

Among PLA’s professional development opportunities were a webinar series on the theme “Public Libraries at Work”; a sold-out, four-week online course titled “Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer”; and “New Lessons in Library Leadership,” a free webinar featuring three PLA Leadership Fellows. In March, the PLA held its first-ever Member Update Webinar, a free 45-minute session to inform and encourage member engagement within the organization and throughout the field of public libraries.

OIF gets into webinars

OIF aggressively entered the webinar market in the summer of 2011 with “Intellectual Freedom Summer School,” which featured several webinars targeting school, academic, and public libraries. Plans for the year include a series of webinars for international consumption, as well as a Lawyers for Libraries continuing education series.

PLA-ALA publication helps libraries address privatization

PLA President Audra Caplan and a group of PLA leaders, including Christine Hage, Carolyn Anthony, and Kathleen Hage joined the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy’s Task Force on Privatization to create “Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries (PDF).” This publication revised and improved a previous PLA resource, “Outsourcing: A Public Library Checklist.” The new publication is designed to help librarians, trustees, Friends, and other library supporters address the issue of privatization and prepare for any discussions about it that might arise in their communities.

PPO by the numbers

The Public Programs Office (PPO) was awarded more than $2.2 million in funding in fiscal 2011 to bring cultural programming grant opportunities and resources to libraries. On the other side of the ledger, school, public, academic, and special libraries nationwide benefited from PPO initiatives as more than 600 libraries and community centers received grant awards totaling $592,300. Recipients included 320 public, 155 academic, 25 special, and 57 school libraries, along with more than 50 community centers.


More than 40 writers contributed to PPO’s ProgrammingLibrarian.org in 2011, providing insight into such topics as promoting civic engagement, conducting surveys, developing film series, organizing community reads, setting up author events, marketing programs, reaching out to underserved populations, and programming on a budget. The PPO launched the online community and resource center in 2008. Some of the most popular articles on Programming Librarian in 2011 included: “Programming on a (Long, Colorful) Shoestring,” “A Crash Course in Program Marketing,” and “Film Programming That’s Off the Wall.” In addition, a powerful new search feature, the Brainstormer, allows programming librarians to conduct topical searches, resulting in curated lists of resources to support program development.

The ProgrammingLibrarian.org community grew in 2011, with more than 47,000 site visitors, and subscriptions to the Programming Librarian newsletter grew by 10 percent. Social media outreach resulted in an 83 percent growth in Twitter followers and 22 percent in Facebook fans. Development of ProgrammingLibrarian.org is funded by a grant from the IMLS and the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.

…And you can quote us on this

Library QuotesIn January 2011, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) and ilovelibraries.org launched Library Quotes, a resource that deals with libraries, reading, books, and literacy. This collection of quotes by authors, celebrities, politicians, historic figures, activists, philanthropists, and others helps library advocates make the case for libraries in their communities. Library Quotes was an initiative of ALA President Roberta Stevens, ALTAFF, and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy.

Audrey Niffenegger leads National Bookmobile Day

National Bookmobile Day 2011 festivities were led by Honorary Chair Audrey Niffenegger, library supporter and acclaimed author of "The Time Traveler’s Wife," "Her Fearful Symmetry," and the illustrated novel "The Night Bookmobile." A collaborative effort of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the April 13 event honored the nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who provide valuable and essential mobile library service every day.

Preservation Week celebrates second year

Libraries nationwide celebrated Preservation Week April 24–30, with more than 120 libraries contributing their programs to the Preservation Week website and nearly 2,000 people attending free webinars on selecting and preserving digital memories, protecting and saving family treasures, and protecting future access. A partnership of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library of Congress, and the IMLS, Preservation Week promotes the preservation of cultural heritage of families and individuals; its website hosts numerous resources and toolkits for libraries to use during the celebration and all year long.

OLOS publishes revised toolkit for supporting rural libraries

Big Support for Your Rural LibraryA newly updated version of the popular “Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library” toolkit was published by OLOS as a free print or digital edition. Developed by the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, and OLOS, the revision features strategies for advocating for and promoting library services to rural communities, tips for utilizing technology in advocacy efforts and examples of essential marketing and promotion tools.

AASL toolkit helps implement learning standards

The American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) new “Building Level Toolkit: Implementing AASL’s Learning Standards and Program Guidelines in Your School Library” was designed to help practitioners learn more about the key ideas of the learning standards and program guidelines and share those messages with others. The toolkit includes official AASL materials as well as online resources and additional materials created by L4L coordinators, practicing school librarians, library school faculty members, and experts in the field of education.

School librarians are valuable resource as digital content expands

AASLAccording to the 2010 School Libraries Count! longitudinal survey by the AASL, 61 percent of school library staff respondents provided professional development for teachers in the use of digital content. Of those providing training, 71 percent spent between one and six hours (and sometimes more) a week training teachers on digital resources. No significant shift from print to digital content was noted by survey participants; however, while 86 percent of elementary schools reported less than 5 percent of their collection moved to digital content, only 51 percent of high school libraries fell within that range. Middle school libraries fell almost squarely in the middle, with 69 percent reporting less than a 5 percent shift. Survey responses confirmed that the impact of increased digital content extends beyond the school library walls, with 58 percent noting that as digital resources continue to affect school library programs and student learning, the need for remote access to school library resources from within the school will increase.

AASL launches online tool to encourage collaborative lesson plans

AASL launched the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database, a public online database providing school librarians a fast and user-friendly way to create and share quality lesson plans with their peers. Building on the template provided in “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action,” the database is an interactive resource to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in AASL learning standards.

School librarian stories highlight School Library Month

SLMIn April, AASL marked School Library Month, which carried the theme "Create Your Own Story," highlighting school librarian stories to emphasize the essential role school librarians and strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career. To prepare for the celebration, the AASL offered a three-week webinar series by Nancy Dowd, “How to Create Strategic Stories to Gain Support for Your Library,” and through a collaboration with the ALA Washington Office, a webinar titled “Advocating for Federal School Library Legislation” with Stephanie Vance. The month began with the announcement of winners of the AASL’s “Learning4Life in My School Library Student Video Contest,” in which one student from elementary, middle, and high school grade levels were each awarded a flip camera from Cisco, and their school library received $500 in books from Mackin. Winning schools were Robert N. Wilentz School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Johnston Middle School, Houston; and Avon (Indiana) High School.

ACRL notes

ACRLACRL offered a variety of professional development activities, from face-to-face programming to publications and e-learning. Highlights included 18 webcasts and 17 multi-week courses, as well as the popular Online Information Literacy Seminar Series, cosponsored with TLT Group. More than 1,010 individuals and 128 groups participated in this year’s e-learning offerings. The ACRL OnPoint chat series continued with sessions on “The Value of Academic Libraries,” “Changing Roles of Subject Librarians,” and “New Ways to Ask: Poll Everywhere and the Next Generation of Student Response Systems.” The hour-long chat sessions, held in a Meebo chat room, were free and open to the public.

Task force looks at privatization of public libraries

In response to increasing concern about the privatization of public libraries, the Committee on Library Advocacy formed a year-long Task Force on Privatization. Among its duties, the task force created a new publication, “Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Libraries Considering Privatization of Public Libraries,” which launched at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. It is available online at www.ala.org/outsourcingandprivatization.

Amelia Bloomer List

The Amelia Bloomer Project, a product of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Taskforce, announced the 2011 Amelia Bloomer List featuring 68 well-written and illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers from birth to 18 years old. Named for Amelia Bloomer, a pioneering 19th-century newspaper editor, feminist thinker, public speaker, and suffragist, the list highlights books about girls and women that spur the imagination while confronting traditional female stereotypes.

Rainbow Books list

Rainbow Books listThe 2011 Rainbow Project book list, a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table, featured more than 33 quality fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers through age 18, noted for their significant and authentic GLBTQ content. In addition, the GLBTRT announced its Over the Rainbow Project list, which features 108 quality fiction and non-fiction books recognized for their authentic expression of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experiences.

Academic library statistics collected

ORS provided survey support to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for its 2010 biennial survey of all libraries of degree-granting colleges and universities. NCES produces national and state tabulations of the final data in a report and also releases the final data file online. More information about the survey is available on the Academic Library Survey home page.

LLAMA notes

LLAMAThe Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) moved forward with a number of initiatives to streamline the organization, launch new programs and services, and recruit and retain members. Steps included the creation of a New Leaders Discussion Group, the elimination of several division-level committees or revision of their charges, and the first joint meeting of section and division officers. LLAMA offered 10 fee-based webinars and four free webinars, including “Job Hunting for the Recent or Pending MLS Graduate,” a free webinar by Brian Keith of the Human Resources Section that drew more than 500 attendees.…Library Leadership & Management journal became a totally online, open-access journal licensed under Creative Commons in 2011.…LLAMA sponsored two Emerging Leaders for 2011: Melissa Barger-Brisbin, of Cape May County (N.J.) Public Library, and Melissa Cardenas-Dow, of University of Redlands (Calif.) Armacost Library.

YALSA’s journal wins fourth APEX Award

Young Adult Library Services, the quarterly journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), won its fourth APEX Award for Publication Excellence in a row, this time for issues from 2011, edited by Sarah Flowers.

ALA Library notes

ALA LibraryThe ALA Library uses a variety of social media tools to respond to inquiries and to get information out. In the past year, the library continued to build information into the Professional Tips Wiki, its Facebook fan base grew 50 percent, and some of its nearly 15,000 Twitter followers use that vehicle to send inquiries or comments on ALA activities. Inquiries received through these new channels were a small but growing portion of the more than 6,000 inquiries fielded each year; well over half of these are e-mailed, with about one-third coming from staff and members.

More traditionally, the ALA Library maintains extensive professional resources material arranged in an A–Z listing at http://www.ala.org/ala/professionalresources/atoz/index.cfm.

The ALA Library also publishes more than two dozen ALA Library Fact Sheets, which collectively receive well over 200,000 hits each year. Built around the most frequently asked questions, the fact sheets provide a useful starting point for those wishing to know more about the number of libraries, the largest libraries, disaster response, starting a library, donating materials to libraries, and selling to libraries. Both common and topical questions are also blogged for the American Libraries magazine website.

Under the leadership of half-time reference librarian Rebecca Gerber, the ALA Library launched a portal on ALA’s new strategic goal, transforming libraries. The portal was built using Drupal, the platform onto which the main ALA website is being migrated. Also developed for integration with the ALA website is a database of resources documenting the value of libraries.

ALA Librarian Karen Muller, an alumna of the University of Michigan, again coordinated weeklong internships by four students from the UM’s School of Information participating in the SI’s Alternative Spring Break program. ALA hosted the students in several units of the Association, and for the first time, one of the students selected a project for the ALA Library, cataloging a substantial portion of ALA’s Publishing Archive—a single copy of many of ALA’s publications through the year.

ALCTS webinars draw 5,000

ALCTSWith topics covering a range of such topics as institutional repositories, copyright, cataloging icky things, and preservation, 38 webinars from ALCTS drew more than 5,000 participants. The most sought-after webinars, on Resource Description and Access (RDA), drew more than 2,500 attendees.

Two ALCTS sections are renamed

Two ALCTS sections have been renamed to better reflect their missions. The Cataloging and Classification Section is now the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section, and the Collection Management and Development Section is now the Collection Management Section. Also, the Council of Regional Groups dissolved itself and became the Affiliate Relations Committee of ALCTS.

ALSC offers enhanced online courses and webinars

ALSCALSC set up a series of webinars and online courses that address youth services topics. Updated each month, the schedule includes one- to two-hour webinars taught by leading librarians and consultants. The multi-week online courses, including “Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children,” “Out of This World Youth Programming,” “Children with Disabilities in the Library,” and “Information Literacy—From Preschool to High School,” are offered via Moodle Web-based software. More information is available at http://www.ala.org/alsced.

Three states offer ALTAFF Trustee Academy to their libraries

Trustee AcademyIn the fall of 2010, ALTAFF launched the Trustee Academy, a series of online courses to help trustees gain proficiency 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. In addition, a board of trustees can sign up for further discounts, and ALTAFF developed pricing to be attractive to states or regions that want to purchase the series as a way to help fulfill their mission for trustee education. All courses are recorded as webcasts to allow trustees flexibility in completing the courses, which can be viewed on an individual basis or in a group setting. In 2010–2011, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas made the Trustee Academy available for their libraries through a multiple-use purchase.

YALSA notes: journals, blogs, and booklists

YALSAIn November, YALSA launched an open-access, peer-reviewed quarterly, Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, which debuted with papers presented at the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium.…In January, YALSA introduced The Hub, a teen literature blog aimed at all fans of YA literature, from librarians to teens themselves.…The first Best Fiction for Young Adults list, which evolved from the Best Books for Young Adults list, was introduced in 2010, with 99 titles drawn from 191 official nominations.…The division created Best of the Best, a new website to market its lists and awards, offering downloadable tools and quick links for librarians to connect YA readers with award-winning books.

A toolkit on attracting and keeping Baby Boomer volunteers

ALTAFFALTAFF has made available to its Friends and Foundation members a new toolkit, “Tapping Into the Biggest and Most Active Group of Volunteers in Town—The Baby Boomers.” This 13-page toolkit, by ALTAFF Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed, explains why Friends groups need new active members, how today’s volunteers are different, and how these differences will affect future Friends groups. By changing the leadership structure of the Friends group, says Reed, Friends will be able to attract and engage a new generation of volunteers. “The number one issue Friends face all across the country is the struggle to recruit new active members,” Reed said. “The good news is that the next generation of volunteers is just now retiring, and many more will be retiring over the next decade. If your Friends group understands and adapts to their new perspective, and choices, it can capture this great opportunity.”

Membership dips slightly

ALA’s official membership stood at 59,401 as of August 31, 2011, including all personal, organizational, and corporate members—a decrease of 2.94 percent from the previous year. Although the membership roster was down slightly, more than 7,500 new members joined, and more than 7,700 people re-joined ALA after a break. ALA has almost 10,000 student members, with about 2,800 of those participating in joint memberships with state chapters. This year, ALA recognized its 3,300th Continuing Member—an individual who has 25 or more unbroken years of membership and is now retired.

Personnel changes

Laura Clark
Leonard Kniffel
Lorelle Swader
  • Larra Clark was named director of the Program on Networks and associate director of the Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century; her responsibilities include overall management of the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) telecommunications portfolio and day-to-day management of projects in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • American Libraries Senior Editors George Eberhart and Beverly Goldberg shared the role of acting editor-in-chief during the search for a new editor-in-chief and publisher after Leonard Kniffel left American Libraries to focus on developing the “@ Your Library” website.
  • Booklist appointed Gillian Engberg in May as the new editorial director of Books for Youth. She is responsible for all children’s and YA content in Booklist and Book Links, on Booklist Online, and in Booklist’s e-newsletters and youth-themed webinars.
  • Katharine Fronk, previously ALA Graphics coordinator, moved to Booklist as marketing associate.
  • James Hennelly joined the ALA Digital Reference team as managing editor.
  • Effective July 5, 2011, Lorelle Swader, director of ALA’s Office for Human Resources Development & Recruitment, also became the director of the ALA–Allied Professional Association.
  • Marijke Visser became the new assistant director of the OITP in October. Her responsibilities include primary management of the OITP’s e-rate activities as well as projects focused at the intersection of children and youth and information technology policy.
  • In the Office of Government Relations, Ted Wegner became grassroots coordinator. He is responsible for coordinating the annual National Library Legislative Day, developing advocacy strategies and tools for members, and offering advocacy programs and training on effective grassroots outreach.