ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle tops 12,100


Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations Coordinator


For Immediate Release

January 24, 2007

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle tops 12,100

SEATTLE - More than 12,100 librarians and other library staff, publishers and guests filled the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle for the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, January 19-24.

The conference kicked off with several daylong programs devoted to how libraries are engaging technology to meet the changing needs of teens, scholars and families. A national panel discussed how and why teens interact online and discussed ways libraries can take advantage of free online tools to enhance services to young adults as part of "Building Teen Communities Online." Another program explored how podcasts translate in the educational sphere and shared opportunities for libraries to become more deeply engaged on campus through them. "Definitely Digital" investigated scholarship in the digital age, new communication models and digital collections.

Books took center stage, however, when more than 1,000 attendees packed the press conference to be the first to learn about the best books for children and young adults - including the Caldecott, King, Newbery and Printz Awards - on January 22. A live Webcast, which is archived and available at , drew more than 5,000 more viewers. A complete list of award winners is available online at .

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed the recent controversy over closed regional libraries and the agency’s move to digitization. There was no shortage of feedback from attendees, who voiced concerns about access to environmental, health and safety information. At the urging of Congress, the Government Accountability Office has begun an investigation into the EPA’s practices in reorganizing and recycling its materials and shutting down some of its libraries. More information is available at the ALA Web page . Sessions from the ALA Washington Office also forecast the 110th Congress - including telecommunications reform, reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and unfinished appropriations bills. Additional information on federal legislation can be found at .

Joe Klein, senior writer for Time magazine and author of several best-selling books, drew a standing-room-only crowd to the eighth annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture, where he discussed "Islam, Iraq and the War on Terror." Klein said he had used libraries extensively to educate himself about Islam, national security and related topics and encouraged audience members to increase displays and information available on Islam. "The library was the place where the world opened to me," he said.

ALA's news magazine
American Libraries launched a year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary during the Midwinter Meeting. Sharing best practices, offering updates and debates on the library profession’s hot issues of the day, and bringing every ALA member the latest news of the Association’s work have all contributed to the magazine’s century-long popularity. As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, American Libraries launched a “CentenniAL” blog. The blog will serve as a repository for reminiscences about where the magazine has been over the past century, and where it may be headed for the next. Please visit to join the conversation.

Three ALA divisions - the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and Library Administration and Management Association - kicked off their 50th anniversaries during the conference and plan a full year of events in 2007. More information is available on their Web sites,, and .

According to ALA Conference Services, the Seattle Midwinter Meeting marked a record breaking year for exhibitor participation. More than 539 exhibitors featured the latest in books, videos, computers and other materials available to today's libraries and their users. "Exhibitor participation exceeded our projections as did registration and advertising revenues," said Deidre Ross, director, ALA Conference Services. "We are looking forward to our next Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in 2008."

For more information regarding ALA Midwinter Meeting programs, please visit ALA will meet next at its Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21 to 27, and Philadelphia will host the 2008 Midwinter Meeting from January 11 - 16.