ALA Editions: Move over, print—and make room

ala editions logo ALA Editions’ new logo, launched in summer 2010, says it all—clear, communicative, contemporary, visually appealing, and as much at home in the electronic environment as on the printed page or cover. Fiscal 2010 was a year of great innovation and experimentation in new ways to deliver content. In addition to launching more new print books—37—in one year than ever before, the range of online publishing was stepped up with the incorporation of ALA TechSource and its staff into the unit.

As Editions continues to publish and sell books in print, it has also steadily increased its selection of eCourses, eEditions, subscriptions, and workshops. Customers can buy ALA Editions books and ALA TechSource’s Library Technology Reports in electronic format directly from the ALA Store through eEditions, with file formats readable using a variety of software and devices. Offered in a number of subject areas, including management, marketing and customer service, computing, and personal development, eCourses were introduced as a convenient and affordable option for training staff. A new bundle option allows customers to download ALA Editions books and begin reading immediately, while the print version is being shipped.

Online workshops introduced under the ALA TechSource banner give people the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning experiences that help them make good technology decisions for their libraries; through 90-minute sessions, participants can learn from and engage directly with industry leaders and experts, sharing through chat, voice, and a wide variety of interactive media. The first two topics were “Making Smart Library Software Decisions” with Marshall Breeding and “Building a Digital Branch” with David Lee King.

children's programming monthly A new subscription product, Children’s Programming Monthly, offers programs and ideas for preschool through grade 3 by popular ALA Editions authors such as Rob Reid, Kathy Macmillan, Saroj Ghoting, and others. Organized by themes such as animals or music and including book and music lists, fingerplays, flannel board, and video suggestions in addition to other programming resources, the monthly magazine is delivered online.

Innovations in delivery have been the name of the game, but the heart of ALA Editions work continues to be identifying and helping create the content librarians need, most of which is still packaged and distributed in printed books. Books published in FY10 covered the usual wide range of topics for a variety of types of library, from programming and management to e-books, readers’ advisory, and collection development; from children’s and teen programming to buildings and facilities; from technology in the library to cataloging; from marketing your library to gaming and gift books for librarians.

Download the most recent catalog and the view the newest products available from ALA Editions. Information about all ALA Editions titles is at; more news and information is available through Facebook and Twitter and by subscribing to the ALA Editions blog.

ALA TechSource publishes eight issues of LTR

ala techsource ALA TechSource published eight print issues of Library Technology Reports (LTR), which can now be purchased through the ALA Editions catalog and the ALA Store. Content (including an archive of issues) is also available on an ongoing basis via e-journal host MetaPress, along with the monthly Smart Libraries Newsletter. Among the year’s issues were two by Karen Coyle addressing metadata and RDA: Resource Description and Access— Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata and RDA Vocabularies for a Twenty-First Century Data Environment. More than 600 attendees signed up for Coyle’s related webinar, Directions in Metadata.

A number of other webinars rounded out ALA TechSource’s offerings. The imprint partnered with WebJunction, starting with a webinar that featured David Lee King on Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website. The second free webinar, Integrated Library Systems: Open Source and Customization, featured Marshall Breeding, and Jason Griffey gave an in-depth presentation on gadgets in a third. The imprint also cosponsored a presentation at WebJunction’s online conference and published a special electronic-only issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter. Cosponsored by Sirsi/Dynix Institute, American Libraries, and the Library and Information Technology Association, ALA TechSource’s “ TechTrends: Midwinter 2010” webinar attracted 800 viewers and an active Twitter backchannel.

You can keep up with ALA TechSource online on FriendFeed or Twitter or by subscribing to the ALA TechSource Blog.

ALA Graphics: The greatest heroes are readers

ala graphics Celebrities and character posters came thick and fast in FY10 with sought-after stars of movies, TV shows, and books joining ALA Graphics to promote libraries, literacy, and reading. As in the past, ALA Graphics partnered with several ALA divisions and units to develop and distribute posters and other items promoting library-related events such as National Library Week, Banned Books Week, and Teen Read and Teen Tech weeks. It was also a busy year for new partnerships, notably with the Office for Intellectual Freedom for Choose Privacy Week, with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations for National Friends of Libraries Week, and with the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services for Preservation Week.

Several improvements were made to the ALA Graphics catalog in 2010. To ensure that librarians could keep track of the many opportunities for displays and programs throughout the year, an opening spread featuring key themes and celebrations was introduced, showcasing suggested posters and coordinating items available to help celebrate the events. Customer testimonials and product stories were also added to the catalog’s opening letter, personalizing the products offered.

A customer experience survey conducted with ALA Editions was completed by almost 1,500 members and customers. The data and individual comments will be used to enhance customer service and the online and conference-store shopping experiences, as well as to develop new products.

taylor lautner read posterdakota fanning read poster Movie stars were the source of several widely appreciated new READ® campaign posters. Building on the success of the Twilight Poster of 2009 was Taylor Lautner holding New Moon in the fall and Dakota Fanning holding Eclipse in the summer. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were featured in a fast-selling Sherlock Holmes poster that tied in to the movie release.

Other celebrities included Academy Award–nominated actress Taraji P. Henson holding Green Eggs and Ham; ABC’s Castle star Nathan Fillion holding The Softwire: Awakening on Orbis 4; MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow with All the King’s Men; and Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers holding Catch-22. The READ campaign received a regal touch by Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan holding The Prophet on the first-ever English/Arabic READ poster.

New character posters and bookmarks featured Corduroy and characters from Lane Smith’s It’s a Book . Original art from Bone author and illustrator Jeff Smith communicated that reading is “music you hear with your eyes,” and original art by Tracy Dockray showcased Beverly Cleary’s most beloved characters in the Ramona and Friends poster. The popular young-adult series The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan inspired the Eragon and Percy Jackson posters and bookmarks, the latter released in conjunction with the movie The Lightning Thief. Martin Luther King Jr. was honored with a poster and bookmark in the History Lives series, while new Dewey posters and bookmarks were designed for young readers and adults. Updated Library of Congress reference posters and bookmarks, a new Welcome poster and cling featuring 27 different world languages, and new “READ” and “I Love My Library” pens rounded out new product offerings.

ala store Building on the enduring popularity of the best-selling READ CDs that allow users to create their own READ posters, bookmarks, signage, and other incentives, ALA Graphics added the READ DVD Genres & Subjects. This addition to the READ Design Studio offers all-new backgrounds featuring a wide range of popular genres and subjects such as fantasy, mystery, cooking, sci-fi, and romance.

In February, more than 700 people registered for ALA Graphics’ first free webinar, “READ Posters Made Easy: A How-to Demonstration with Adobe Photoshop Elements.” The webinar provided information on using the READ Design Studio templates to create professional-looking posters in Adobe Photoshop Elements. A link to the free webinar archive was made available on the READ Design Studio information page, along with links to the webinar slides and FAQs. In addition, all-new video tutorials and updated Getting Started Guides and Creative Ideas tip sheets were created and posted.

GRAD (Graphics Advisory), a new, open community, was created in ALA Connect to allow members, customers, and others to recap successful events, offer product suggestions, propose celebrities, and more.

The most recent ALA Graphics catalog can be downloaded at To keep up throughout the year with other items directly related to ALA Graphics, follow ALA Graphics on Twitter or Facebook.

ALA JobLIST: Jobs even in tight times

ala joblist ALA JobLIST, the Association’s one-stop library jobs site for both job seekers and employers, continued adding and improving features in fiscal 2010 in response to user feedback. Thanks to the increased ways to find JobLIST content—including through the site, RSS, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,,, search engine optimization, and e-newsletters—exposure to the site continues to grow. 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 Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment listed more than 1,200 open positions during FY10 and showed a slight increase in online advertising revenue.

Building on JobLIST’s home page redesign, completed the previous year, an updated appearance and navigation structure was carried through to other areas of the site, nearly doubling the number of pages viewed per visit since the updated site launched. In addition, advertising employers have more options to control how candidates respond to ads and contact them.

JobLIST also added new formatting options for ad content, more specific and advanced treatment of salary ranges in ads and searches, and improved banner advertising opportunities.

JobLIST continues its active presence on Facebook and Twitter, where new job listings and items of general interest to job seekers and hiring employers are posted frequently. With the help of the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, 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. HRDR started hosting webinars, cobranded with JobLIST.

The ALA Placement Center run by HRDR at both Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference was renamed the ALA JobLIST Placement Center to emphasize the centrality of JobLIST to ALA’s support of job seekers and employers. The Center provided one-on-one career counseling sessions with a professional counselor for job seekers at both Midwinter and Annual Conference, a résumé review service, and career-guidance workshops.

American Libraries: Welcome to

american libraries Representing a fundamental shift in how news and information are published, the biggest event of the year was the launch in January of the new American Libraries website, with content open to all. Columns, features, and news are posted regularly, with links appearing weekly in the e-newsletter AL Direct. Other benefits include expanded news content, web-only spotlights, HTML versions of most of the print magazine’s content, comment-enabled articles (easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, ALA Connect, and through other social media), an archive of every issue of American Libraries Direct, and RSS feeds for new issues. Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick developed in the open-source software Drupal, which makes it easier to keep the site dynamic. Traffic to the site tripled within a month, with some articles going viral, including “shares” on Twitter, Delicious bookmarks, and mentions in blogs.

Two blogs introduced with the new website have already gathered loyal readerships. In “Perpetual Beta,” Jason Griffey follows tech trends and their library applications, while in “Green Your Library,” Laura Bruzas shares practical tips for improving environmental friendliness and sustainability where you work. The Ask the ALA Librarian blog joined the roster early in the year, to deliver sought-after information based on the current crop of frequently asked questions. The Member Blog and the Student Member blog—formerly stand-alone blogs—also moved under the American Libraries masthead.

Because the new website allows American Libraries to deliver much more content faster than ever, the number of print issues will be reduced in FY11 to reflect both that and the preferences expressed by readers. Since March, each new issue of American Libraries has been accompanied by a digital edition, and readers can choose to receive print plus digital, or digital-only. (Digital issues are available to all members whether or not they choose to continue receiving print.)

A new professional development column was introduced in the double January/February issue. “Next Steps” by Brian Mathews, assistant university librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, spotlights professional leadership strategies for creating and sustaining inspirational libraries.

In addition, content in the print issues offered the usual eclectic range of library-related features and information, including online library degree programs and related opportunities, an evaluation of e-readers, notions of childhood that shape children’s programs and services, and drawing Spanish-speaking families into the library. Newsmakers in FY10 included Mohammad Abbas, head of the Library Department of the Iraqi Council of Representatives in Baghdad; David Weinberger, one of the authors of the influential Cluetrain Manifesto; and Els van der Plas, director of the Prince Klaus Fund, a “platform for intercultural exchange.”

The 2010 American Libraries’ Library Design Showcase extensively covered environmentally sensitive new and renovated library buildings both online and in the April print issue. The content was expanded on the website with 10 additional showcases, and in a digital supplement spotlighting more of the 85 projects submitted—with a special focus on green efforts.

American Libraries and the Public Information Office (PIO) moved the news release submission, vetting, publishing, and dissemination workflow onto This transition simplifies the back-end process by automating workflow; offers a clearer channel of communication to members by taking advantage of American Libraries’ established brand as flagship journal of the ALA; and refreshes the look and feel of the news releases by adding images, videos, comment-enabledness, and links to share on social networking sites. Collaboration between American Libraries and the PIO also increased when the @ your library public awareness website moved in-house following its creation by American Libraries and Imagination Publishing with a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the site content is continuously being enriched with original consumer-oriented information and resource lists designed to drive the public to the library.

AL also partnered in July with the Office for Research and Statistics and lead researchers to deliver a webinar offering highlights from the most current data, including answers to questions about how libraries are funding and sustaining vital technology resources; what effects are already emerging in this current cost-cutting environment; what trends are being tracked as many libraries began a new fiscal year; and how to use the data for effective advocacy. Prior to, and as useful background reading for the webinar, AL offered a digital supplement titled Libraries Connect: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2009-2010.

American Libraries has begun to roll out archives of old issues online. Eventually, the archives will date back to the very beginning of American Libraries in 1907, thanks to a partnership with JSTOR.

AL Focus published new photo and video reports throughout the year, from IFLA to Emma Thompson visiting a library in Philadelphia, from Library Advocacy Day to ALA conference coverage, from interviews with librarians to general library events. AL Focus videos can be downloaded or embedded for other use.

Booklist Publications: Yes, there’s an app for this

booklist Booklist Publications had another year marked by innovation in digital media—expansion of the existing blogs, e-newsletters, and social media, an iPhone app, and a new sponsored webinar program that helped the imprint overcome the notoriously challenging current magazine advertising environment—all while maintaining the quality and depth of the print publications. The whole suite of publications offered numerous features, posts, articles, top 10 lists, read-alikes, and listen-alikes, in addition to the growing number of 8,500-plus titles reviewed and recommended in adult, youth, media, and reference.

More than 26,000 registrants have been enticed since September 2009 by the practical and lively topics covered in the newly introduced sponsored webinar series. Each webinar includes a line-up of expert panelists, from the library and publishing worlds as well as Booklist editors. The series kicked off with The Scoop on Series Nonfiction and has since included Sweet Talk: Romance Fiction in the Library; Twenty-first Century Reference Collections; Now Hear This: Audiobooks A to Z; Youth Spring Announcements; Series Nonfiction for Youth; Let’s Get Graphic: Kids’ Comics in Classrooms and Libraries; Crime Fiction Past and Present; and Trends in Teen Lit: The Independent View. Access to archives and upcoming webinar information are available on the Booklist Online webinars page.

Booklist’s electronic newsletters continue to grow in popularity; thousands of readers have signed up for REaD Alert, Booklist Online Exclusives, and Booklist’s Quick Tips for School and Libraries. The entertaining Likely Stories blog is now written not only by Keir Graff but also by other Booklist staff covering particular beats, including Dan Kraus’s “Book Trailer Thursday,” featuring videos of  notable book trailers; Courtney Jones on book awards; and Donna Seaman’s “Green Report” on environmental literature. The latest posts to Booklist On line’s five blogs now appear on the home page, both promoting readership and keeping the home page dynamically updated.

Book and media enthusiasts can now join hundreds of friends keeping up with Booklist on Facebook as well as on Twitter, where @ALA_Booklist has close to 3,500 followers. To offer a mobile way to stay connected, Booklist introduced a free app featuring the Review of the Day for iPhone and iPod Touch. Users with other Web-enabled mobile devices can see the Review of the Day formatted for their screens by pointing their browser to

book linksBook Links magazine made a smooth transition in the fall to publication as a quarterly print supplement to Booklist , at no additional cost to subscribers, rather than as a stand-alone magazine. The editorial focus and original content continue to fulfill the mission of connecting children with books and related media. Bringing Book Links and Booklist together in one package apparently resonated with both readers and advertisers, who have supported the change. In early October, Book Links content also moved to its new online home——further enriching the site as a resource for school and youth librarians.

From ALA Editions, Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory by Adult Books Editor Brad Hooper shows readers how to use reviews as a tool to promote their library’s collection with ideas and tips for writing for their library’s website, book club, monthly handout, or even freelancing for a newspaper, magazine, or professional journal. “At Leisure” columnist and readers’ advisory guru Joyce Saricks contributed a chapter covering the how-tos of reviewing audiobooks.

RDA: Resource Description and Access and the RDA Toolkit

rda toolkit FY2010 was a big year for metadata and cataloging. The new cataloging standard RDA: Resource Description and Access went into beta testing, and in June, the RDA Toolkit was launched by ALA, the Canadian Library Association, and Facet Publishing (the publishing arm of CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), with a complimentary open-access period through August 31. More than 5,500 people (both institutions and solo users) signed up during this period and took advantage of a webinar on how to make the most of the toolkit.

Highlights of the RDA Toolkit include searchable and browsable RDA instructions; AACR2 Rule Number Search of RDA instructions; workflows, mappings, and examples as tools to customize the RDA instruction set to support organizational training and processes; and the full text of AACR2 with links to RDA.

Behind the scenes, ALA Digital Reference developed the informational website at, finalized subscription and pricing models for the Toolkit, created and updated an FAQ section, and offered “RDA Toolkit: A Guided Tour” webinars by ALA Digital Reference Publisher Troy Linker in February.

Testing of RDA is under way; the process is expected to be completed in June 2011, when the three U.S. national libraries will develop recommendations about the adoption of RDA based on their analysis of its testing. In collaboration with ALA Digital Reference, ALA Editions is set to publish the full-text print version of RDA that offers a snapshot serving as an offline access point for the single and partial cataloger institutions to evaluate RDA, as well as to support training and classroom use.

Guide to Reference

Guide to Reference, the online successor to the Guide to Reference Books (also long known by the editors’ names, including Balay, Sheehy, and Winchell), continues to add new records—blending traditional print reference tools with timely Internet resources—and new subscribers. Four video tours were added to the Guide to Reference site, highlighting the features that allow users to quickly find authoritative sources, take advantage of expert guidance, share annotated entries, and locate the sources described.

Several hundred attendees signed up for an “Introduction to Guide to Reference” webinar in March, hosted by editor Denise Beaubien Bennett and ALA Publishing staff. In December, hundreds registered for a free webinar, “Tips for Integrating Guide to Reference into Your Teaching,” which addressed how instructors use the online product to provide practical job preparation and what students need to prepare for reference work; how the Guide to Reference makes teaching sources easier; and what ALA Publishing makes available to help instructors.

Choice adds e-newsletter, iPhone app

choice For the fourth consecutive year, Choice—which provides reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education—published more than 7,000 reviews. The journal added another e-newsletter, Publisher’s Choice Online, as well as a Facebook page and an iPhone App, Today’s Top Review. Choice’s new Liberty Square building in Middletown, Connecticut, also received LEED certification for its use of green building principles, including prefabricated exterior wall systems that provide excellent insulation, a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, insulating windows, and a recycled steel building frame

Public Libraries expands to Web

pla logo In the spring of 2010, the Public Library Association’s bimonthly journal Public Libraries expanded to the Internet. A complement to the printed journal, offers three full articles from each issue of the printed edition as well as expanded content exclusive to the Web, including Advocacy and “Going Green @ Your Library” sections.

PLA introduces Training @ Your Library

Available as digital downloads, new Train the Trainer kits from the PLA include everything—agenda, PowerPoint, script, handouts—needed to host a training session at the library. An affordable and convenient option for library staff training, available kits include Libraries Prosper: A Guide to Using the PLA Advocacy Toolkit ; Customer Service: Balancing Rights and Responsibilities ; Stress Less: Taming the Tensions in Your Life; and Time Flies . . . But Where? Time Management Tips and Tools.

PLA offers new online subscription access to PLDS reports

The PLA’s 2010 Public Library Data Service Statistical Report includes data from 987 public libraries on finances, library resources, annual use figures, and technology, as well as a special section on children’s services in public libraries. In addition, the PLA now offers subscription access to the PLDS Online Database, allowing users to access all currently available data and reports from 2006 to 2010 and view PLDS tables with searchable data exportable into Excel/CSV file formats, access summary tables in interactive charts, and create customized data sets that can be saved and exported into Excel/CSV file formats. Published annually since 1988, the report is compiled from voluntary surveys submitted by public libraries across the United States and Canada to present timely and topical data to help public library administrators make informed management decisions.

ACRL publishing notes

acrl logo The Association of College and Research Libraries published nine new books in 2009–2010. In addition, two new standards and guidelines were published: “A Guideline for Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure of Academic Librarians” and “Psychology Information Literacy Standards.” The division’s podcast series continued to grow, with new releases including interviews with librarians profiled in the C&RL News “Job of a Lifetime” column, audio of Law and Political Science Section programs at the 2009 and 2010 annual conferences, and a conversation about the ACRL Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians report.

“Resources for College Libraries: Career Resources” is the most recent addition to the Resources for College Libraries family of products for the undergraduate curriculum. Jointly developed by Choice and R. R. Bowker, the new resource contains a core list of nearly 5,000 essential books and online resources for community, vocational, and technical college libraries in fields such as allied health, building and construction trades, engineering and technology, and graphic and apparel arts.

LITA’s Tech Set features leaders in information technology

lita logo The Library and Information Technology Association and Neal-Schuman co-published the Tech Set series by leaders in information technology in libraries today. Edited by educator and librarian Ellyssa Kroski, the set of 10 books includes Next Gen Library Catalogs by Marshall Breeding, Microblogging and Lifestreaming in Libraries by Robin Hastings , and Library Camps and Unconferences by Steve Lawson.

The LITA Publications Committee has selected a new Acquisitions Editor, Marta Deyrup, Associate Professor/Librarian II, Seton Hall University Libraries, who is actively soliciting writers for proposed manuscripts.

2010 Salary Survey reports 3% increase

Librarian salaries increased 3 percent in 2010, according to the 2010 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian, which also reported a mean librarian salary of $60,734 and median salary of $55,883. 

Decade of flat funding challenges public libraries

Issued in January 2010, The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends, 1999–2009 highlights U.S. economic trends and summarizes trends in public, school, and academic libraries across several library measures, including expenditures, staffing, and services. The report indicates that for public libraries, flat funding has been an obstacle—perhaps even a chronic problem—for many libraries the entire decade. School and academic libraries have also been challenged by funding cuts. The full report is available at

ALSC releases revisions of awards guide, competencies

alsc logo Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books features revised awards eligibility criteria, alongside a new essay, “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” by Diane Foote, former executive director of the Association for Library Service to Children. The annual guide serves as a valuable resource on the award-winning titles and includes author, title, and illustrator indexes as well as information about the media used in the Caldecott Medal and Honor Books.

The ALSC released a revised, free PDF download edition of its “ Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries.” The competencies seek to define the role of the librarian serving children and touches on nine knowledge and skill sets: knowledge of client group; administrative and management skills; communication skills; knowledge of materials; user and reference services; programming skills; advocacy, public relations, and networking skills; professionalism and professional development; and technology. The competencies can be used to develop job descriptions or as a training resource with youth services staff.

YALSA offers three new titles

The Young Adult Library Services Association published three titles: Cool Teen Programs for under $100, edited by Jenine Lillian; Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Teen Services by Linda Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart; and Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens, edited by Linda Alexander and Nahyun Kwon.

OIF updates reference guides on banned books, intellectual freedom

bbw resource guide The 2010 edition of Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, was revamped significantly, providing updated lists and indexes of books banned or challenged throughout history, a framework for understanding censorship and the First Amendment freedoms that guarantee our freedom to read, readings that highlight the uniquely American notion of freedom of expression, and ideas and resources for organizing public events and developing lesson plans about banned books and Banned Books Week.

ALA Editions and the Office for Intellectual Freedom published the newly revised and updated Intellectual Freedom Manual. A convenient reference guide for librarians and library trustees addressing intellectual freedom and privacy issues in their libraries, the eighth edition includes up-to-date legal information on censorship, minors’ rights, and the USA PATRIOT Act; three new Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights; revisions to 10 existing interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights; and major policy documents addressing privacy and professional ethics. A new feature is a website supplement available at