American Libraries launches AL Focus Video Site

Contact: Leonard Kniffel
Editor in Chief
American Libraries
312-280-4215
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2007

American Libraries launches AL Focus Video Site

CHICAGO - American Libraries, the membership magazine of the American Library Association, has launched American Libraries Focus, a video component of American Libraries Online, the magazine’s popular website. Created in conjunction with A.L.'s 100th anniversary this year, AL Focus is designed to add audiovisual coverage to American Libraries print and American Libraries Direct, the weekly membership e-newsletter.

First up on the site: Play “Wheel of Confusion,” a lighthearted look at those confounding ALA acronyms, with staff members Charles Wilt, Marci Merola, and Adam Burling. John Chrastka, director of membership development, is host extraordinaire, and Headquarters Librarian Karen Muller is the woman with the answers. AL Focus also offers a series of meet-the-ALA-staff interviews called “ALA in Focus.” Also available are short video news reports, including a look at Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. A satirical introduction to AL's editorial staff titled Magnum, A.L. also is posted.

AL Focus is the creation of A.L. Associate Editor Daniel Kraus and ALA Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine, Kraus is an accomplished filmmaker whose works include the documentaries “Sheriff” and the feature film “Ball of Wax.” He will be in charge of producing and editing video and audio for the new site.

“We want to help our readers stay informed about the profession and the Association and have fun doing it,” said American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel. “We have the technology and the staff talent to engage ALA members in new ways, and we’re planning to take a different approach to our coverage of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., using video and audio. Stay tuned!”

Check out the offerings directly at alfocus.ala.org. Visit www.ala.org/alonline for a look at the American Libraries general website, recently redesigned to reflect the magazine’s new look.