Other Highlights

Ethnic affiliates funded through Family Literacy Focus

ala family literacy focus Through ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus, ALA’s five ethnic affiliates received funding to develop innovative, culturally focused family literacy programs emphasizing oral and written traditions and exploring new literacies. The American Indian Library Association and Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association combined their resources and created Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture; the Black Caucus of ALA held an author-centered intergenerational literacy program for Grand Families @ your library; the Chinese American Librarians Association brought generations together through literacy and cultural activities with Bridging Generations, a Bag at a Time; and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking created Noche de Cuentos to preserve cultures and support storytelling and oral traditions. By June, 16 public libraries in diverse communities had held 21 family literacy events attended by 1,117 children, adults, and elders. For more information, visit www.ala.org/familyliteracyfocus.

Banned Books Week urges independent thinking

banned books week readout The 29th celebration of Banned Books Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)’s campaign about challenges to library materials, promoted the campaign “Think for Yourself and Let Others Do the Same,” featuring an illustration of a robot who has unplugged from the Internet and is reading a book. To kick off the week, the Public Information Office worked with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Tribune McCormick Freedom Museum, and the Newberry Library to host a Banned Books Week Read-Out! on September 25, 2010. The event was emceed by acclaimed young adult writer Chris Crutcher and featured the authors of the top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2009, including Lauren Myracle. The 2010 Banned Books Week also saw the first awards from the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Fund, which gave grants to seven libraries and organizations. Banned Books Week coverage included PBS NOW, the Huffington Post, the Seattle Post, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and more than 600 other mentions in the media.

Quran Read-Out protests pastor’s threat

To protest a Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, the OIF and American Libraries ( AL) joined with representatives from local Chicago Islamic organizations on September 11 to read from the Quran. More than 50 people attended the reading outside ALA headquarters, where OIF Director Barbara Jones and AL Editor Leonard Kniffel joined Gerald Hankerson of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Kiran Ansari of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago to read verses from the Quran. The Quran Read-Out received coverage from Chicago print, newswire, television and radio organizations, which was then picked up by national and international media outlets.

Choose Privacy Week highlights privacy rights in a digital age

choose privacy week poster The OIF’s two-year National Conversation on Privacy initiative, which invited library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age, culminated with the first-ever Choose Privacy Week , celebrated during the first week of May 2010. Events took place in Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia; more than 160 people attended an online Choose Privacy Week event sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries, and 44 librarians participated in an online workshop on learning how to host community forums on privacy. In addition, a video featuring Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Geoffrey Stone, and ALA President Camila Alire discussing some of today’s most interesting and complex privacy issues provided a cornerstone for Choose Privacy Week; in the year following its May 2 online debut, the video has been viewed more than 18,000 times.

Public access study receives record response

Continuing the largest and longest-running national study of Internet connectivity and services in public libraries, the 2009–2010 survey—conducted by ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics and the Center for Library and Information Innovation at the University of Maryland—received a record 82.4 percent response from public libraries in every state. Preliminary findings were detailed in the January report “ A Perfect Storm Brewing: Budget Cuts Threaten Public Library Services at Time of Increased Demand,” and the full report was released as a digital supplement to American Libraries in June. Findings from the study were also cited in the National Broadband Plan and in media reports ranging from National Public Radio to the Wall Street Journal.

Poll shows Americans use and support public libraries

In a January 2010 Harris Poll of a nationwide cross-section of 1,025 adults (ages 18 and over), Americans detailed their continued usage and support of libraries. Two-thirds (65 percent) indicated they used their public library either in person, by telephone, or via computer in the past year, representing 151.4 million Americans. When asked what they most used the public library for in the last year, 41 percent of library visitors cited educational purposes (homework or to take a class) as the number-one reason; close to 26 million (17 percent) visited their public library to use a computer, and nearly 17 million said they used it to conduct a job search or write a résumé (11 percent).

First National Bookmobile Day

celebrate national bookmobile day The first-ever celebration of National Bookmobile Day—a collaborative effort of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries—was held April 14, 2010. The event received notable media coverage, including almost 100 placements in national and local newspapers and magazines.

AASL adopts professional title of “school librarian”

aasl logo At the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the American Association of School Librarians Board of Directors officially adopted for the profession the title “school librarian” after an AASL survey indicated confusion, misperceptions, and inconsistencies about various job titles in the school librarian profession. The board voted to adopt the title to reflect the roles of the 21st-century school library professional as a leader, instructional partner, information specialist, teacher, and program administrator.

ALA events, issues draw media coverage

ALA saw an increase in media coverage in 2009–2010 on such topics as library use during the economic recession, budget cuts, literacy, gaming and new technologies, young adult literature, and book-banning and challenges (see Banned Books Week item, above).

pio logo During the 12th anniversary of Teen Read Week, the Public Information Office (PIO) secured media coverage that promoted the importance of teen literacy and the key role libraries and young-adult librarians play in encouraging teens to read. Through Web, print, radio, and social media placements, coverage reached more than 21.2 million people. In addition, prerecorded audio public service announcements featuring celebrity voice actress Nancy Cartwright from The Simpsons aired on some 200 stations.

The ALA Youth Media Awards—announced during the 2009 Midwinter Meeting—help parents, educators, librarians, and others choose the best materials for youth. A flurry of national and local coverage resulted, including an interview with Association of Library Service to Children member leaders by  The New York Times, an Associated Press article that was picked up by more than 750 newspapers nationwide, and an appearance on the Today Show by ALA President Camila Alire, Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead, and Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney.

During the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the PIO publicized two reports from ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics. The findings, which detailed usage trends and national funding-cut data, were covered by the AP in an article titled “Libraries More Wired, Financially Stressed.” More than 165 publications, including The New York Times and USA Today, ran the article, which also received multiple television mentions.

Gaming and the use of e-books in libraries brought a focus on libraries nationwide as reporters pursued stories on the impact upon library service and usage. Coverage on the popularity of e-books in libraries garnered a significant amount of media attention from news outlets such as Newsweek, Bloomberg News, the NBC News Channel, and The Wall Street Journal, as did the second annual National Gaming Day @ your library, an initiative to reconnect communities to their libraries by emphasizing the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.

School Library Month marks 25th anniversary

school library month logo In April, the AASL observed the 25th anniversary of School Library Month (SLM), providing numerous tools to help school librarians celebrate the month, including public service announcements created by SLM spokesperson Laurie Halse Anderson. In conjunction with SLM, the AASL offered a Learning4Life (L4L) webinar series designed to help school librarians focus on implementing and integrating the AASL’s Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs into their school.

ALCTS launches Preservation Week

alcts logo More than 1,200 people attended free webinars in conjunction with the first Preservation Week, held May 9–15 by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, the Library of Congress, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Aimed primarily at advocating for the preservation of cultural heritage, Preservation Week also includes a website ( http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alcts/confevents/preswk/index.cfm) with resources and toolkits for libraries to use during the celebration and all year long.

2010 declared the Year of Cataloging Research

The ALA Council approved a resolution brought by the ALCTS declaring 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research. The ALCTS held several programs promoting the year, and the University of Washington established the website  2010 Year of Cataloging Reserach to encourage the pursuit of cataloging research initiatives.

atyourlibrary.org expands audience, content

@your library logo ALA’s public awareness website, atyourlibrary.org, continued to expand in 2010, with an 11.5 percent increase in the number of unique visitors to the site as well as a growing number of Facebook and Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers. Designed for the general public—including library users and nonusers—the website aims to increase and improve the use of libraries by all kinds of people of all ages. The message implicit and often overt in every Web page: visit your library often, in person and on line.

The site includes articles about culture, job hunting, and finances, as well as interviews with authors. New additions included long format audio interviews with authors by Booklist staff member Donna Seaman and video interviews with authors. The site has also featured promotional tie-ins with existing ALA initiatives; for Library Card Sign-up Month, people were asked to post photos of themselves with their library cards to a common Flickr group.

ALA supports online advocacy at state level

ALA continued its provision of Capwiz advocacy software to ALA chapters, which used the online tool to send nearly 200,000 messages on the value of libraries to their legislators and governors. These online campaigns helped reinstate $20 million in state aid for libraries in Florida and millions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

PPO by the numbers

In 2010, the ALA Public Programs Office was awarded $765,247 in new grants to bring cultural programming grant opportunities and resources to libraries. More than 4,300 libraries received cash awards totaling $202,000 and collection materials valued at nearly $1.2 million. Recipients included 1,226 public, 12 academic, and 3,088 school libraries. Since 1992, the office has received more than $25 million in grants to support library programs.

ProgrammingLibrarian.org grows 30 percent

In 2010, traffic to the PPO’s ProgrammingLibrarian.org website topped 50,000 visits, up 30 percent from 2009. Launched in 2008, the online community and resource center for librarians who plan and present cultural and community programs has since added a monthly e-newsletter, including upcoming grant opportunities, current job listings, and new programming resources; a Programming Librarian forum to share ideas; and a PR Generator, which creates customized, print-quality PDFs for flyers, bookmarks, and postcards to be used for program promotion.

Growth of the site is made possible by contributions from programming librarians across the country who share their experiences through feature articles and blog posts. In 2010, 23 experts from the library community contributed to the site, providing insight into topics such as community partnerships, copyright law, outreach programs, marketing, fundraising, and more. Development of the site is funded by a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

AASL honors top 25 websites

The AASL again named the Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning, honoring free, user-friendly sites that foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration and that are linked to one or more of the four strands of AASL’s learning standards. The Top 25 for 2010 are Creative Commons, debategraph, Edsitement, Evernote, Exploratree, Glogster, International Children’s Digital Library, The Jason Project, Jing, jogtheweb, Learn Central, Live Binders, Masher, MuseumBox, the National Archives’ Digital Classroom, National Science Digital Library, Pageflakes, Prezi, Professor Garfield, SchoolTube, Scratch, Storybird, TED, WatchKnow.org, and Weblist.

Survey reveals findings on expenditures, English Language Learners

The 2009 School Libraries Count! survey gathered data from 5,824 public and independent school librarians in a number of areas, including library staff, collections, technology, class visits, and budgets. Results showed that many schools decreased expenditures, including for information resources, compared to the previous year. The study also found that 14 percent of the responding schools indicated that English Language Learners made up more than 25 percent of the student population; more than half of these respondents indicated that their collections held no or less than one percent of non-English publications. For the first time, the AASL offered personalized online reports for those who responded to the survey, comparing participant information with other school libraries of the same type and enrollment size within their state and nationwide.

ALA-APA wins $590,000 IMLS grant

ala-apa logo The Institute of Museum and Library Services has given the ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) $590,110 to expand and evaluate the Library Support Staff Certification Program, which has drawn applications from more than 100 public and academic library staff since it began accepting candidate applications January 25. Presentations and webinars about the program continue to draw interest at national and state conferences.

national library workers day logo Hundreds of libraries celebrated National Library Workers Day (NLWD) April 13, and 686 people were nominated as NLWD stars for their exceptional work.

The Certified Public Library Administrator Program graduated its 32nd candidate in fiscal 2010. Graduates demonstrate competence in seven areas of management and have capitalized on opportunities ranging from board membership to publishing to receiving promotions and directorships. One candidate said, “This program reaffirmed much of what I learned in my MBA program, but its specificity to running a library made it extraordinarily practical and worthwhile.” Another summarized what many have reported: “Most of my coursework through CPLA has had immediate payback for my library.”

ALA-APA ends year with net gain

For fiscal 2010, the ALA-APA reported revenues of $155,170 compared with similar figures in fiscal year 2009. Total expenses were $106,057, down more than 37 percent from $169,947 in 2009. The year ended with a net gain of $49,113, compared to a loss of $15,244 in FY09, and the ALA-APA was able to pay ALA interest and principal on its original loan.

Two new AASL toolkits support school library advocacy

In September 2009, the AASL launched the Parent Outreach Toolkit to help school librarians educate and garner support from parents in the school community by helping them understand that equipping every school with a full-time certified school librarian is essential to student success. The toolkit also helps organize parents to become advocates for school library programs within the school and local community. Additionally, the School Librarian’s Role in Reading toolkit was introduced during the division’s national conference, offering a variety of PowerPoint presentations to help school librarians when collaborating with other educators, as well as elevator speeches, self-assessment tools, and other resources.

toolkit Toolkit helps libraries engage older adults

Nearly 600 copies of a popular new Office for Literature and Outreach Services(OLOS) toolkit, “Keys to Engaging Older Adults @ your library,” have been distributed. The toolkit, which responds to concerns of librarians across the country who provide services for the ever-growing older-adult population in their communities, is available in a print version and as a free download in both regular and large-print formats.

Candace Parker lends image to Library Card Sign-up Month

As the honorary chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, Candace Parker, Olympic gold medalist and 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year, donated her time and image to the creation of print and radio public service announcements on behalf of libraries. Print PSAs were placed by ALA in national publications in September 2009.

Neil Gaiman chairs National Library Week

nlw psa Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal–winning author for The Graveyard Book, served as honorary chair of National Library Week April 11–17, 2010. Gaiman lent his image to a public service announcement that ALA placed in national publications; he also kicked off National Library Week with “An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” a live Internet event viewed by 700 individuals and patrons at 120 libraries.

HRDR by the numbers

The Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment reported that a total of 34 organizations sponsored 99 participants working on 21 projects through the Emerging Leaders program. The Scholarship Clearinghouse received 822 applications and awarded about $413,000 to 69 scholarship recipients.

ALA chooses new content management system

Information Technology and Telecommunications Services began the search for a new Web content management system in December 2009. From an initial pool of 47 bids, OJC Technologies was chosen to implement a Drupal solution. Content migration is scheduled to begin in March 2011, with completion projected for September 2011.

ALA Connect gets upgrades

ITTS continued to upgrade and improve ALA Connect, the Association’s professional network. Enhancements included the Opportunities Exchange, which allows members to post grant, intern, scholarship, volunteer, and other opportunities; the ability to reply and comment via email; implementation of the “diff” module to show comparative revisions for online documents; and the addition of rotating announcements on the home page. Other plans include a redesign of the main page and the group home page to make it easier to find and do things, as well as the addition of services such as the conference scheduler, member matching, and expanded member profiles. See the full 18-month report at http://itts.ala.org/news/category/alaconnect.

ITTS updates disaster recovery plan

itts pod The Association’s disaster recovery plan was refreshed in preparation for implementation at an offsite location. Newly consolidated/virtualized servers and applications will be used to restore operations in a disaster scenario. The disaster recovery implementation will provide restoration services for the association management system, its financial system, employee contact list information, remote office workers support, shared files, domain naming services, and a minimal Web presence.

RUSA issues new guidelines

The Reference and User Services Association created new or updated guidelines for “Resource-Sharing Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters,” “Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services,” and “Liaison Work in Managing Collections and Services.” All RUSA guidelines are available at http://ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/resources/guidelines/index.cfm.

LLAMA reinvents itself

llama logo Volunteers and staff worked to reinvent the Library Leadership and Management Association, with a focus on building membership and developing content for continuing education. Two strategic brainstorming sessions resulted in a new goal: to make LLAMA the go-to division for leadership education, training, discussion, and best practices. Changes included new bylaws, the introduction of webinar sessions for education and work, and a shift by the board to focus on strategy and growth.

Continuing education through ALCTS

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services offered a number of vehicles for discussion and learning, including its electronic discussion forum ( alcts-eforum@ala.org), which by the end of 2010 had held nearly 20 discussions involving more than 2,100 list subscribers. The division also offers four Web-based courses for the library community as well as more than 20 webinars on a wide range of topics such as institutional repositories, copyright, cataloging “icky” things, and preservation.

PLA offers CPLA courses

pla logo The Public Library Association again offered two-day workshops that can be used as credit toward the Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) program. Developed and led by nationally known trainers and offered in every region of the country, the courses cover such topics as Budget and Finance, Fundraising, Marketing, Serving Diverse Populations, and Planning and Management of Buildings.

PLA hosts Results Boot Camp 5

The PLA’s Results Boot Camp 5: Intensive Library Management Training was held in Seattle October 12–16, 2009. During this five-day immersion program, attendees learned about strategic planning, data-based decision-making, effective resource allocation, and other topics related to management training. By the end of the workshop, participants should have developed the skills needed to develop and implement a strategic plan in their library.

OIF webinars give overview of IF principles

In conjunction with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, the Office for Intellectual Freedom conducted three webinars for library trustees, to give an overview of the principles of intellectual freedom and to provide suggestions and resources for developing and defending strong intellectual freedom policies. OIF Assistant Director Angela Maycock was the instructor for the sessions, which drew more than 50 registrants.

ALA Library notes

ala library logo Through Ask the ALA Librarian, ALA Library staff in January began blogging about particularly interesting or recurring questions. The ALA Library continues to use a variety of social media tools to respond to inquiries—from librarians as well as the general public—and to get information out. The library has added to its Professional Tips Wiki, and its Facebook page now has more than 3,800 fans and its Twitter feed nearly nearly 10,000 followers. More traditionally, the library maintains extensive professional resources material in an A–Z listing at http://www.ala.org/ala/professionalresources/atoz/index.cfm. Just before Midwinter, the library launched Awards & Grants, a database of information on ALA awards, grants, and scholarships, both current and past, in a systematic and searchable format and including extensive historical information. Collectively receiving more than 200,000 hits each year, the ALA Library Fact Sheets are built around the library’s most frequently asked questions, provide a starting point for those wanting to know more about the number of libraries, the largest libraries, disaster response, starting a library, donating materials to libraries, and selling to libraries. ALA librarian Karen Muller, an alumna of the University of Michigan, again coordinated weeklong internships at ALA by four students from UM’s School of Information.

YALSA notes: Fundraising, new guidelines, social media

In January 2010, the Young Adult Library Services Association launched the Give $10 in ’10 initiative, raising funds from more than 90 donors online and in person at the Public Library Association and ALA Annual Conferences. In March, the division published an updated and revised version of Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth, its national guidelines for working with teens in libraries. YALSA’s Twitter and Facebook presence grew, with more than 5,000 followers on Twitter and more than 2,500 Facebook fans. YALSA expanded its continuing education portfolio, adding monthly webinars to cover new trends in teen services.

ACRL looks to the future

acrl logo In “ Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025,” the Association of College and Research Libraries presents 26 possible scenarios—with themes relating to academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning and technology—that may affect academic libraries over the next 15 years. The report by David J. Staley, director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching at Ohio State University, and Kara J. Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications and government relations specialist, aims to help academic librarians understand trends in higher education so they can take strategic action now.

Sites picked for promoting scholarly communication

As part of the ACRL’s continuing efforts to promote scholarly communication, five sites were chosen as locations for the “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop in the spring and summer of 2010. The division’s popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit now offers 12 sample cases of naturally occurring openings for academic librarians to discuss scholarly communication issues with faculty; the cases integrate information from the toolkit to help librarians navigate these opportunities. The Association of Research Libraries–ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication offered an eight-part monthly webinar series that identified how libraries’ local successes and activities could grow into a comprehensive program plan and strengthen local planning.

Professional development from ACRL

From face-to-face programming to publications and e-learning, the ACRL offered a variety of professional development activities. The third annual ACRL Springboard Event—a free, live, interactive webcast for ACRL members—was held May 5 in conjunction with the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s inaugural “Choose Privacy Week.” Nearly 400 attendees gathered for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section’s 51st preconference, “Join or Die: Collaboration in Special Collections,” June 22–25 in Philadelphia. The preconference explored collaborative relationships as broadly as possible—with coworkers and colleagues, with scholars and students, and with donors, funders, and vendors—emphasizing creative but practical solutions to current challenges. More than 1,015 participants took part in ACRL e-Learning activities, including 20 Moodle-based online seminars, 19 webcasts, and the popular Online Information Literacy Seminar Series cosponsored by the TLT Group. In addition, the OnPoint chat series—free hour-long sessions held in a Meebo chat room—continued with such offerings as PhDs in Academic Libraries, H1N1 and the Library Response, and Job Seeking in a Tough Economy.

ACRL incorporates sustainability

The ACRL continues to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the association, greatly reducing the materials printed and distributed at conferences, increasing the use of ALA Connect and other online meeting options, and making section newsletters available only online. In May, the ACRL held its first-ever virtual orientations for new member leaders using ALA’s new meeting software, iLinc.

In September, Choice received notification of the approval of its Commercial Interior Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) application for its new Liberty Square office condominium in Middletown, Connecticut.

ACRL launches TechConnect

In addition to its online presence through ALA Connect, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Second Life, the ACRL launched a new Web resource, ACRL TechConnect, to provide easy access to association resources dealing with technology issues. The new resource identifies all the ACRL technology-related events, professional development opportunities, publications, articles, podcasts, and communities and links them from one location.

Personnel changes: New director for OIF

barbara m. logo Barbara M. Jones was named director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation in December 2009. A former chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and former member of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, Jones also served as secretary of FAIFE (Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), an International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) standing committee, from 2007 to 2009. At the Washington Office’s Office for Information Technology Policy, Larra Clark was named the new director of the Program on Networks and associate director of the Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century.  Denise M. Davis, director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics since 2004, left October 1 to become deputy director of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library.  Jeff Kratz joined the Washington Office staff as assistant director for the Office of Government Relations. In November 2009, Barbara A. Macikas assumed duties as executive director of the Public Library Association. PLA’s deputy executive director from 2000 to 2007 and conference manager from 1997 to 2000, Macikas also served as executive director of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies and the Reference and User Services Association from May 2007 to May 2009. Marijke Visser was named the new assistant director of the Office for Information Technology Policy.

Conference room named to honor memory of Mark A. Bard

The ALA Washington Office held a dedication ceremony in June 25, 2010, to commemorate the naming of the Mark A. Bard Conference Room. Bard, information technology specialist in ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, died Sept. 11, 2009, from injuries sustained when he was struck by a car on Oct. 1, 2007, in Alexandria, Virginia.

Membership dips slightly, but personal membership holds strong

ALA’s official membership stood at 61,198 as of August 31, 2010, including all personal, organizational, and corporate members—a decrease of 0.88 percent from the previous year; personal membership, which constitutes the vast majority members, was off by less than one-half of one percent. The Association saw 6.6 percent fewer personal members drop, meaning more people stayed on as members in the face of adverse economic conditions. More than 8,600 new members joined, and more than 7,000 people re-joined ALA after a break. ALA has more than 10,400 student members, with more than 2,800 of these participating in joint memberships with state chapters. This year, ALA recognized its 3,000th Continuing Member—an individual who has 25 or more unbroken years of membership and is now retired.

9,000 members participate in 2009 survey

In preparation for the drafting of the 2015 strategic plan, ALA members were invited to share their thoughts on Association priorities and performance. Nearly 9,000 members participated in the survey, which evaluated the importance and the performance of 37 statements of ALA activities. The top 10 in terms of importance were legislative advocacy, accreditation, continuing education, intellectual freedom, public awareness, standards for library services, the ALA website, networking opportunities, ALA divisions, and media relations.