For immediate release | November 15, 2011

Conversations on transforming libraries are highlights of ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting

CHICAGO - Two afternoons of deep conversation about the evolving needs of our communities and how we can transform libraries and librarianship to meet their challenges will take place at the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting. Hosted by ALA President Molly Raphael, the conversations will be a highlight of the Meeting’s multiple themes of conversation, empowering voices and transforming libraries.

“Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities” features renowned Syracuse iSchool professor David Lankes leading small groups to address questions about transforming our communities and the profession. Facilitators from the graphic recording company, Sunni Brown, will help create visual images of the plenary conversations that conclude each afternoon. The Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, session focuses on “Understanding Your Communities.” The Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, session focuses on “Transforming Librarianship.” Both run from 1 -3 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center, Room DCC-A1. Sessions are open to all Midwinter Meeting attendees; watch for sign-up information. Attendees will also receive a coupon for 5 percent off the price of David Lankes’ galvanizing “Atlas of New Librarianship” (ACRL/MIT Press, 2011) at the ALA Conference Store.

Lankes’ current focus is on reconceptualizing the library field through the lens of "New Librarianship." He is a professor in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, director of the library science program for the school and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse.

Picking up and continuing the conversation as the featured speaker in President Raphael’s President's Program is Rich Harwood, described as “one of the great thinkers in American public life.” Harwood has become a leading national authority on improving America’s communities, raising standards of political conduct and re-engaging citizens on today’s most complex and controversial public issues. He is the president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. The President’s Program is 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the DCC Theater.

These Empowering Voices events are part of a range of programming under the Midwinter focus “The conversation starts here . . .” and begin with Friday’s Advocacy Institute Workshop, “Mobilizing Community Support for Your Library,” on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Omni Hotel Dallas. For more information please visit the Advocacy Events page on the ALA website.

“Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities” is sponsored by ALA President Molly Raphael and her presidential committee, as well as the ALA Public Programs Office and the ALA member initiative group Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement. Special thanks to the ALA Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), co-publisher, with MIT Press, of “The Atlas of New Librarianship” by R. David Lankes.

ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting is in Dallas, January 20-24. We encourage you to register now, so you don’t miss out on this chance to join the conversation as you enrich your career, your library, and your community. Early bird registration ends Dec. 2, 2011.