ALA Editions: Diversifying content channels, reaching out to new markets

ALA TechsourceALA TechsourceALA Editions and ALA TechSource produced and disseminated a record number of books (46), serial publications, and online learning opportunities (27) in fiscal 2011. The emphasis was on maximizing the content created by expert authors, in formats ranging from traditional print books to print/online periodicals such as Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter, from combined print/e-book bundles to multi-part online workshops, and from articles in American Libraries to partnerships with other publishers.

Repurposing content so it can be delivered in different formats, organized to meet the different needs expressed by readers and learners and for different markets or uses, underpins new directions and sources of revenue for all publishers in this digital environment. Examples of ways ALA Editions and ALA TechSource did this include Children’s Programming Monthly, the PDF subscription magazine filled with ready-to-use programs, story-times, and planning resources by Editions authors; workshops and eCourses by Editions/TechSource authors that often build on content from books and issues of Library Technology Reports; a collaboration with ALA Digital Reference to repackage Guide to Reference online content into print “slices”; and the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference Tech Wrapups, free webinars hosted by ALA TechSource with nearly 1,700 attendees in which expert panelists such as Jason Griffey, Marshall Breeding, Kate Sheehan, and Sue Polanka discussed the meetings’ technology-related content and issues and the implications they saw for the future of librarianship. Since revisions and new editions of bestsellers and classics are an ongoing part of the ALA Editions publishing program, popular Library Technology Reports topics like electronic resource management, web-scale discovery services, and the mobile Web led to online workshops presented by the authors.

While eEditions e-books—produced for multiple platforms for all titles that don’t depend heavily on graphic elements—are sold separately, the print/e-book bundle option has consistently grown as customers see the benefits of being able to download ALA Editions books while the print version is being shipped. Two new ALA Editions websites launched early in the fiscal year: ALA Editions eLearning and ALA Editions eLearning is the home of Editions eCourses, representing a dramatic improvement in the ability to host and deliver these courses.

Workshops, eCourses continue to develop

ALA TechSource and ALA Editions Workshops continued to develop, attracting nearly 5,000 learners during the year and covering topics from early literacy to the mobile Web. Jason Griffey led the two-part “Gadgets in the Library: A Practical Guide to Personal Electronics for Librarians,” which generated significant discussion on Twitter and the ALA TechSource blog. Sue Polanka helped attendees understand what they need to know about e-readers and e-books in the library, as well as the changes they can anticipate in the near future, in two iterations of “Integrating E-Books and E-Readers Into Your Library.” “RDA: Moving into the Metadata Future,” a three-part session featuring Diane Hillmann, Karen Coyle, and Chris Oliver that provided an introduction to the semantic Web and basic concepts of RDA, was repeated by popular demand.

One of the first facilitated eCourses was “Cutting the Red Tape: Finding and Using e-Government Resources on the Web,” by librarian and consultant Diane Kovacs. The course taught participants how to navigate the changing world of government resources, an area of librarianship that has gone from overwhelmingly print to primarily electronic.

Book cover: How To Pay For CollegeALA Editions books generally receive many positive reviews, and a Fox Business News review of "How to Pay for College" was a standout in terms of impact. "College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know," edited by Lynda Duke and Andrew Asher, consists of essays that summarize findings from a 2009–10 research project, Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries. The book and the project were discussed at length in an article at Inside Higher Education,which was then picked up in its entirety by USA Today.

Exploring new markets, ALA Editions partnered with trade publisher Skyhorse to create books for the general public that help patrons get the most out of their library’s resources: "How to Get a Great Job" and "How to Pay for College." Skyhorse also co-published "Reading with the Stars" (edited by Leonard Kniffel, former American Libraries editor-in-chief), deemed to have wide appeal to a general audience.

A digital experiment on the marketing side was adding QR (Quick Response) codes at the beginning of each subject area in the Spring/Summer 2011 print catalog, and also on the back cover of new books. When readers scan the code, they are taken to the ALA online store for further information.

Daniel Radcliff READ posterALA Graphics: Celebrities, characters, and collaboration

Celebrity READ and character posters always put many faces to ALA Graphics, and fiscal 2011 was no exception. Among the top celebrity scores of the year were the Harry Potter movie stars (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson) and the cast of "Glee"—each launching in fall 2010 with social media/viral marketing campaigns, including daily trivia questions on Facebook. New Orleans Saints Super Bowl–winning quarterback Drew Brees joined the READ campaign in plenty of time for the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Popular children’s characters featured on posters included Judy Moody, Phineas and Ferb, Five Little Monkeys, Bad Kitty, and Scaredy Squirrel. For tweens and teens, the selection included mini posters for Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid, exclusive art by John Rocco for the Lost Hero Poster, as well as Witch and Wizard products based on the manga adaptation of James Patterson’s popular series.

Promoting awareness of the vital role of libraries in communities, the Endangered Libraries T-shirt made its debut in the spring. Based on New Jersey librarian Andy Woodworth’s concept, this subtle message was seen on T-shirts all over Annual Conference.

Author Advocates posterNotable authors get with the program

Collaboration and partnership characterize much of ALA Graphics’ product development. Building on ALA President Roberta Stevens’s initiative, the Author Advocates poster featured photos and quotes from 12 notable authors in support of libraries. In partnership with the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and showcasing original art by Latina artist Maya Christina Gonzalez, a poster and bookmark commemorated the 15th anniversary of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día, for short). “Create your own story” materials, developed with the Public Information Office for National Library Week, invited patrons to use libraries to explore, create, and share their own stories. The Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teen Tech Week encouraged creative expression using technology at the library with “Mix & Mash.” Teen Read Week campaign items touted the theme “Picture It @ your library” and featured original art by renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds.

Free your mind, read a banned book,Banned Books Week posterThe Office for Intellectual Freedom brought back the popular robot from 2010 on the Banned Books Week products for 2011 and also created new Choose Privacy Week materials for 2012 using the “Freedom from Surveillance” theme. Friend Your Library buttons and digital downloads were developed in partnership with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations to celebrate the annual National Friends of Libraries Week, while a set of four Knowledge Is Power posters and bookmarks were designed to help libraries, schools, and other educational institutions support National Information Literacy Awareness Month. Expanding on the American Association of School Librarians’ popular 21st-Century Learner products, Graphics launched the 21st-Century Skills Set, comprised of four mini posters.

A PDF version of the catalog now includes links from each product’s image to its corresponding page on the ALA online store, making shopping easier for digital catalog users. ALA Graphics experimented with stand-alone digital catalogs that highlighted products related and complementary to National Library Week, School Library Month, and summer reading programs. Flash technology was used to illustrate how to customize flyers and digital products, and an embedded video tutorial for the READ Design Studio offered an interactive experience for the reader.

Two consecutive READ Design Studio webinars offered more than 500 attendees an introduction and then more advanced ideas for creating their own READ posters.

Another first in FY11 was a poll on the ALA Graphics Facebook page that asked friends and conference attendees to help choose the color of the ALA Annual Conference T-shirt. The winning aubergine-colored T-shirt sold out in record time. Getting input from members and customers through short online surveys has become a vital ingredient of ALA Graphics’ product development and outreach.

An eventful year for RDA: Resource Description and Access

RDA logoFiscal 2011 was an eventful year for the new unified cataloging standard RDA: Resource Description and Access. The first official subscribers to the RDA Toolkit came on board in September 2010, after an initial 90-day open-access period ended. More than 5,500 institutions and solo users tried out the RDA Toolkit during open access. Under the direction of the three U.S. national libraries—the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine—a select group of libraries tested RDA through December 2010.

Based on analysis of the testing results, the three U.S. national libraries recommended implementation of RDA with certain conditions after January 2013. ALA Digital Reference worked to help catalogers and other users prepare for implementation and on the product itself to ensure the conditions are met in a timely way.

Training in RDA and related issues was offered from a number of sources, including introductory webinars archived on the RDA Toolkit site. A three-part RDA Workshop by ALA TechSource in the fall drew many subscribers and was repeated in the spring. Special outreach to LIS instructors and students continues to help them integrate RDA into their teaching/learning.

Two new RDA Toolkit blogs were launched to facilitate communication between staff and users. The RDA Toolkit blog features RDA news, tips for users, and a series of vendor interviews. The development blog serves as a platform to communicate plans, goals, and development objectives relating to the RDA Toolkit, and to provide a conduit for users to express their needs, wants, and opinions regarding RDA Toolkit development.

Translation and distribution agreements were initiated, with German, French, and Spanish leading the way. ALA Digital Reference Publisher Troy Linker attended the Frankfurt Book Fair to work with international colleagues in both publishing and the library fields.

ALA Editions published the full-text print version of RDA to serve as an offline access point to help solo and part-time catalogers evaluate RDA, as well as to support training and classroom use.

ALA JobLIST: Jobs even in tight times

ALA JobLIST, the Association’s one-stop library jobs site and a top source for both job seekers and employers, has continued to embrace new opportunities. With JobLIST content syndicated through numerous avenues—including RSS, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,,, search engine optimization, and e-newsletters—the number of impressions shows continuous growth. Despite the reduced number of jobs available during the ongoing economic crisis, this joint project of the Association of College and Research Libraries, American Libraries, and Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) listed more than 1,400 open positions during fiscal 2011 and showed a significant increase in online advertising revenue.

JobLIST DirectBuilding on its active and growing presence on Facebook and Twitter, JobLIST has also established a “Librarianship Job Search and Careers” subgroup of ALA’s LinkedIn group. ALA JobLIST Direct, a free biweekly e-newsletter, also launched this year and has attracted thousands of subscribers. Each issue features about a half-dozen stories of interest to job seekers, hiring managers, and anyone interested in managing their career, as well as a selection of recent jobs posted to the site.

With the 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 position, 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, the HRDR also now hosts webinars, all co-branded with JobLIST under the umbrella of the ALA JobLIST Placement Center.

American Libraries cover, renewing our mission in New OrleansAmerican Libraries: more content, more channels

American Libraries offered more content in more channels than ever before by the end of fiscal 2011, with an increasingly robust suite of electronic products to complement the print magazine.

Offerings now include six print issues of American Libraries plus five digital supplements during the year;, the comment-enabled website that averages more than 85,000 visitors per month; American Libraries Direct, the award-winning weekly e-newsletter, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in January; video archives at AL Focus, with coverage of conferences and events, interviews, profiles, and more; occasional webinars in partnership with ALA offices covering major trends such as new technologies and privacy; and a growing family of blogs, including “Inside Scoop” and “Ask the ALA Librarian.”

A new collaborative blog called “Censorship Watch” reports on attempts to restrict the freedom to read, listen, and/or view materials in U.S. libraries, classrooms, and public venues and in the media. Authored by Christopher Harris, “E-Content” launched in September, covering the library-related implications of what’s going on with (among other things) e-books, e-readers, e-journals, databases, digital libraries, digital repositories, and other e-content issues.

An online American Libraries readership survey in April 2011 garnered responses from more than 3,700 readers, with some clear patterns emerging. More than half of respondents gave print American Libraries high marks for relevance, reliability, variety, and depth. More than 75 percent said that print American Libraries and e-newsletter American Libraries Direct (which maintains a solid weekly click-through rate of at least 33 percent per issue) are essential professional reading. Requests for additional coverage included more articles on academic libraries, school librarianship, youth services, cataloging, and international librarianship, as well as more about the needs of job-seekers, those new to the profession, and retired librarians. As for delivery mechanism, requests for e-reader and tablet formats tied at 49 percent, with apps for mobile devices at 43 percent.

Publishing a digital version of “The State of America’s Libraries” in April was American Libraries’ first-ever joint initiative with the Public Information Office. In one month, nearly 8,000 visitors viewed more than 92,000 pages of the report. In another collaborative outreach with Membership Development and International Relations, American Libraries printed a limited-edition international supplement promoting the benefits of ALA membership to the attendees of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The supplement was later expanded with an IFLA conference report and international news coverage and issued in a digital version.

AL Focus produced the first four parts of a multi-installment series titled “ALA Civics,” about the Association’s mission and governance. The series is hosted by ALA Internet Strategist Jenny Levine and stars Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels and Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas.

QR codes were also introduced in the print magazine for articles with additional online content. When readers download the app and scan the code for a given article, they will be taken to enhanced or additional material on

“Youth Matters” columnist Jennifer Burek Pierce left the column after a10-year collaboration with American Libraries. To ensure that the column continues to address the interests of all youth services specialists, American Libraries is collaborating with the AASL, the ALSC, and YALSA, each of which has selected a guest columnist.

Booklist cover, spotlight on biographyBooklist Publications: digital and print innovations

Fiscal 2011 was another year of creativity and innovation for Booklist Publications, which introduced several new electronic publications and further developed its sponsored-webinar program while still publishing 22 print issues of Booklist and four print Book Links supplements.

The webinar program grew to 26 free webinars in FY11, moderated by Booklist editors and special guests and including presentations from numerous publishing experts. More than 50,000 people registered and either attended live or accessed the recordings after the event. The webinars covered a broad range of topics including reluctant readers, graphic novels, resources on bullying, multimedia in your library, high-demand mysteries, fresh voices for teen readers, authority in reference, book groups, crafts and gardening, and math and science. One special event was the no-vacant-seats “Defending the Right to Read: Celebrating Banned Books Week,” a collaboration with the Office for Intellectual Freedom and featuring author Judy Blume.

Booklist Online Video Review, Bookmakers, and Corner Shelf joined the line-up of Booklist Online e-newsletters, which also include REaD Alert, Booklist Online Exclusives, and Booklist’s Quick Tips for Schools and Libraries. Response to the new newsletters was enthusiastic from both readers and advertisers. Booklist Online and Baker & Taylor teamed up for the August 2011 launch of Corner Shelf. With the tagline “Where Readers’ Advisory Meets Collection Development,” the free bimonthly newsletter addresses trends, ideas, and issues in the two areas, helping librarians find the common ground between them. The newsletter draws on the expertise of both Booklist and Baker & Taylor, with original writing by respected experts and in-the-trenches looks at new products and what’s coming up. The periodic Bookmakers focuses on the story behind the story of a single publishing house. The sign-up page for all the free e-newsletters is at

The January 2011 issue of the e-newsletter Booklist Online Exclusives was the debut of a new business model for Booklist: the single-sponsor newsletter, with Amazon Publishing (the book-publishing arm of the online megastore) signing on to sponsor the monthly issues throughout the year. (Booklist Online Exclusives offers free access to all content published directly to Booklist Online.)

Screenshot: Booklist online websiteAt the end of FY11, Booklist Online—the collection-development and readers’ advisory website and database with unique search and browse capabilities—rolled out a new look and added features. Updates included links to related editor-selected recommended reading, book awards, and feature articles now placed alongside reviews for easiest access; Facebook, Twitter, and Google buttons, as well as a general Share widget, for easy sharing of favorite content; more prominent young-adult recommendations; new icons for awards and e-book editions; “Great Reads” recommended by Booklist editors; and user-created subject heading searches on the main review page.

In January 2011, Booklist became a co-sponsor of the popular ALA Midwinter Meeting Author Forum, now named the ALA/ERT Booklist Author Forum, with Brad Hooper as ongoing moderator and advisor.

Booklist was selected for the third year as a lead partner for the Women’s National Book Association’s National Reading Group Month in October 2010, with Book Group Buzz named the official NRGM blog.

Readers were quick to respond to several short surveys that offered insights into what kind of coverage they look for in reference books, database, and other areas, and on how the general workflow in collection development and readers’ advisory has changed and is changing, including the balance of print and online reviews. In the print magazine, coverage of high-demand books was expanded, as were audio reviews which moved from stand-alone to the appropriate audience section.

Numbers of friends and followers grew on both Booklist on Facebook and on Twitter, where Booklist covers, videos, news on awards, Review of the Day, and posts on a variety of topics by staff and others appear.

Gide to ReferenceGuide to Reference

ALA Guide to Reference continued to attract new subscribers from among academic, public, school, and special libraries, with an increase in international subscribers. Many LIS programs in the United States and Canada, along with a number of foreign library science programs, continued to introduce Guide to Reference to their students. Renewal rates remained strong, and individual and institutional trials held steady. Webinars highlighted how to get the most from this authoritative resource.

PLA releases three titles

The Public Library Association released three titles in 2010–2011. The downloadable training program "Time Flies . . . But Where? Time Management Tips and Tools" by Sandra Nelson helps library staff evaluate the balance between their work and personal lives and understand their time management choices and challenges. It includes all the materials needed to present a day-long training program, such as formal learning objectives, a detailed agenda, a PowerPoint presentation and companion script, guidelines for leading discussion, an implementation plan for attendees, and a final evaluation form.

Published annually since 1988, the PLA’s "Public Library Data Service Statistical Report" presents data from public libraries across the United States and Canada on finances, library resources, annual use figures, technology, and more. The 2010 edition of the report—available in both print and digital format—includes data from 987 libraries and also features a special section on children’s services, detailing populations, materials holdings, material expenditures and fines, annual counts, literacy programming, borrowing policy, and technology in children’s departments throughout North America.

Every Child Ready to ReadThe eagerly anticipated second edition of Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library was released in June 2011. The updated and expanded toolkit provides resources—including early literacy research, customizable PowerPoint presentations, handouts, reading lists, brochures, posters, and bookmarks—for public libraries and other early-literacy centers to present workshops that help prepare parents/caregivers for their critical role as their child's first teacher. For details and to view a sneak peek webinar held in May, visit

ASCLA revises standards for libraries serving blind and physically handicapped

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) finished its revisions of the "Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped." The new edition includes a section on BARD—the Braille and Audio Reading Download tool offered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Updates were also made to the recommended staffing guidelines to bring them more in line with current staffing realities at the network libraries.

ACRL publishing notes

Associaiton of College and Reseach LibrariesThe Association of College and Research Libraries published 12 new books in 2010–2011, along with three new standards and guidelines: Information Literacy Standards for Teacher Education, Statement on the Certification and Licensing of Academic Librarians, and Statement on the Terminal Professional Degree for Academic Librarians.

To demonstrate its commitment to open scholarship and access to research, the ACRL’s scholarly research journal, College & Research Libraries (C&RL), became an open-access publication April 1. The ACRL also received a $3,000 grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to complete the digitization of the back files of Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship. The archive of 24 back issues went live to the public in April 2011.

In January, the ACRL launched ACRLMetrics (, a new online service to support evidence-based decision-making. Developed by Counting Opinions, it provides unprecedented access to the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends & Statistics Survey data as well as the biennial National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Academic Library Survey data.

Choice: Current reviews for Academic LibrariesChoice published 7,268 new reviews in FY 2011, the second consecutive year in which it has published more than 7,200 reviews and the fifth consecutive year in which it has published more than 7,000 new reviews. Choice continues to share information and reviews with readers through six free e-newsletters along with the Choice Facebook page, Twitter feed, and review of the day iPhone app.

Resources for College Libraries (RCL), the premier list of core print and electronic resources for academic libraries, now includes nearly 80,000 titles. In 2011, the RCL and RCL: Career Resources (CR) editors added 3,680 new titles across the 117 RCL and CR subject areas. This year Choice and production partner R.R. Bowker relaunched the RCLweb online database in version 2.0, featuring a fresh design and improved functionality.

ALSC rolls out four new publications

The Association for Library Service to Children released four titles in 2011: an updated Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Tool Kit, with revisions by Steven Engelfried; "In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals, 2001–2010," with the Horn Book; "El día de los niños/El día de los libros: Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community Through Día," by Jeanette Larson; and "The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2011 Edition."

A Strong Future for Public Library Use and EmploymentNew title in ALA Research Series published

Authors José-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King examine public library trends in "A Strong Future for Public Library Use and Employment." They discuss the strong upward trend in the use of public libraries, how public libraries are being used, the value of public libraries and taxpayer return on investment, trends in public library operations, the status of public MLS librarians, evidence of career paths of public MLS librarians, a 10-year forecast of the number of public MLS librarians in the workforce, and librarian employment and library experience during the past three recessions (1978–2004).

YALSA publishing news

The Young Adult Library Services Association published four books in FY2011: "Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action" by Sarah Flowers ( ALA Editions); "Annotated Book Lists for Every Teen Reader: The Best of YALSA-BK" by Julie Bartel and Pam Spencer Holley (Neal-Schuman); "Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™: Tips and Resources for YALSA’s Initiatives," edited by Megan Fink (YALSA); and "Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Programs and Titles for a New Generation," edited by Angela Carstensen (ALA Editions).

LITA issues two new titles

The Library and Information Technology Association released two publications through Neal-Schuman: "Getting Started with Cloud Computing," edited by Edward M. Corrado and Heather Lea Moulaison, and "Writing a Winning Technology Plan for E-Rate Compliance" by Jean V. Morrison.