American Libraries celebrates its first 100 years

Contact: Mary Mackay
Publishing Services
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2006

American Libraries celebrates its first 100 years

CHICAGO - More than 29 million copies of American Libraries - the American Library Association’s (ALA) flagship news magazine and the chief perquisite of membership in the association - have been published since 1907, helping library workers do their jobs better for 100 years. Sharing best practices, offering updates and debates on the library profession’s hot issues of the day and bringing every member the latest news of the association’s work have all contributed to the magazine’s century-long popularity.

“At American Libraries, we’re having great fun looking back over the first 100 years' worth of issues of the magazine, and have been energized by the challenges of preserving the best of the past as we embark on the second 100 years,” said Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kniffel. “We're kicking off this second century with a new design, new columns, digital publishing initiatives and celebratory centennial events. It's an exciting time to be part of American Libraries, helping readers understand the changing world and this ever-evolving profession.”

A number of anniversary events and articles, including an official commemorative issue in June/July, will culminate in the new ALA pavilion in the exhibit hall at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in June. Innovations including the ‘Hectic Pace’ blog and a relaunch in January of the Web site at reflect a greater emphasis on technology, as requested by readers in a 2006 survey. Also coming in January is the CentenniAL Blog, providing a forum open to all to share memories, stories, questions and suggestions for American Libraries’ future, present and past.

Will Manley’s many fans may flip first to the back of each issue in 2007 to read “Will’s World,” in which he’ll be looking back in his inimitable way on whatever tickles his fancy about the past century of AL — highlighting sometimes that what goes around comes back around! Jennifer Burek Pierce begins a new column, Youth Matters, devoted to demonstrating how to turn children into lifelong learners. And Meredith Farkas debuts in January as an American Libraries technology writer with a cover story about what it means to be a library professional in 2007.

"In an age of rapid change, American Libraries remains the librarian's constant helper, keeping us informed and helping us do our jobs better,” said Leslie Burger, current president of the American Library Association. “The transformations that are occurring in our libraries and our association are reflected in the pages of every issue, and I applaud the editorial staff and all the library professionals who write for the magazine for taking us in new directions, since 2007 marks not only the 100th anniversary of American Libraries but the one-year anniversary of American Libraries Direct. And stay tuned; there's more to come!"