American Library Association

First Sharjah International Book Fair/ALA Library Conference draws more than 600 participants from 20 countries

CHICAGO -- The ALA’s largest ever international professional development event wrapped up November 13 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where more than 600 librarians gathered on-site at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) for the first two-day SIBF/ALA Library Conference. Librarians representing UAE, Syria, Afghanistan, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Malaysia, Bahrain, India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria and others joined together for networking and knowledge-sharing.

Hackforge’s Mita Williams on new spaces at Masters Session, 2015 Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO – Some of our oldest public libraries were born out of mechanics institutes, and many of our newest public libraries feature makerspaces. A lengthy continuum of organizations now seems to share many similarities with today’s libraries. In her ALA Masters Session, “Mechanic Institutes, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces, TechShops, Incubators, Accelerators, and Centers of Social Enterprise. Where do libraries fit in?” at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, Mita Williams will offer a field guide to these new spaces and point out the differences that make a difference.

Trombone Shorty and Bryan Collier wrap up Midwinter Meeting with Music and Discussion

CHICAGO -- Internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated trombone and trumpet player Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews will get attendees on their feet to Wrap Up 2015 Midwinter Meeting in Chicago and Rev Up for Annual Conference in San Francisco. His energetic music at the Wrap Up/Rev Up performance, 2 - 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 will be followed by a conversation with award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier.

LeVar Burton, Auditorium Speaker at 2015 Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO -- Passionate and lifelong children’s literacy advocate, actor, producer, director and educator LeVar Burton will offer an unmissable treat for Midwinter Meeting attendees when he appears as an Auditorium Speaker from 10-11 a.m.on Sunday, Feb. 1. For three decades, Burton has been capturing the admiring attention of both audiences and his industry peers.

Daniel Kraus named new Booklist Books for Youth Editor

CHICAGO -- Daniel Kraus has been named new Books for Youth Editor at Booklist Publications, following the resignation of current director Gillian Engberg. Kraus joined Booklist in 2008 after two years as an associate editor at American Libraries magazine, where he created over 100 popular “AL Focus” videos.

Ben Bizzle on Award-Winning Marketing, Masters Session, 2015 Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO – Ben Bizzle will encourage attendees to “Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library” in an ALA Masters Series session at 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting from 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31. Compelled to change the perception of the library as an antiquated institution, Bizzle and the team at Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Arkansas developed an aggressive technology and marketing strategy in order to better serve their community and increase public awareness of the library.

Loleta D. Fyan Grant now accepting proposals

CHICAGO – The American Library Association’s Office for Research and Statistics is now accepting applications for the Loleta D. Fyan Grant. Loleta D. Fyan, ALA President 1951-1952, believed that every individual, regardless of residence, is equally entitled to high quality library service and that librarians must be adept in using the political process to acquire this "right of citizenship".

The grant, up to $5,000, is to be used for the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide. The project(s) criteria:

Human Rights Activist, Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 2015 Arthur Curley Memorial Lecturer, 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO -- What happened to Islamic reform? Why have al Qaeda and Boko Haram become the faces of contemporary Islam? Why has the Arab Spring devolved into a battle over sharia law? Award-winning human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali believes that ordinary Muslims throughout the world want wholesale change--contrary to conventional wisdom in the West. As 2015 Arthur Curley Memorial lecturer at ALA Midwinter Meeting, she will speak about these and other ideas from 4 - 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 in McCormick Place, Chicago. 

Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant now accepting proposals

CHICAGO – The American Library Association’s Office for Research and Statistics is now accepting applications for the Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant. The grant is given to one or more librarians or library educators who will conduct innovative research that could lead to an improvement in services to any specified group of people.

The grant, up to $3,000, will be given to a proposed project that aims to answer a question of vital importance to the library community that is national in scope. Among the review panel criteria are:

Cece Bell, Françoise Mouly, Jeff Smith and Gene Luen Yang in ERT/Booklist Author Forum, 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO  Four acclaimed graphic novel authors and artists—Cece Bell, Françoise Mouly, Jeff Smith and Gene Luen Yang—join Booklist Associate Editor Sarah Hunter and Eva Volin, supervising children's librarian for the Alameda Free Library, to dig into graphic novels at the ERT/Booklist Author Forum at 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The popular Forum takes place 4 - 5:15 p.m., Friday, Jan.

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