Night View of Atlanta

Atlanta at Night – view from my hotel room

As reported capably by Thomas, much of my ALA Midwinter weekend was filled with meeting and event obligations that I have as a LITA board member. These always include 2 multi-hour board meetings, a joint chairs gathering, LITA Happy Hour (a networking event, it is legit!),  and a town hall meeting. So I’d like to share information about a few of the other programs I managed to fit into my schedule.

In response to the kerfuffle that emerged following a post-Trump-election press release by ALA, a town hall conversation (Library Advocacy and Core Values in Uncertain Times) took place where members were invited to “share your feedback, concerns, ideas and aspirations for ALA.” The session was professionally facilitated and each speaker was allotted up to 3 minutes to make their statement.  Speaker remarks spanned from presenting the ALA Code of Ethics (Item VII), to heartfelt views about weighing the need to be at the table in its advocacy role against standing by the organization’s values in spite of  a fear it might hurt funding. I’ve linked to a video of the session below. Although it’s long, it can give you a fascinating view into the  the issues ALA is currently dealing with as the new administration starts.

ALA Town Hall: Library Advocacy and Core Values in Uncertain T…

The ALA Executive Board invites ALA Council and ALA membership to join a town hall style conversation following the Council meeting I agenda. Many members have expressed their concerns about the effects of the recent election on the positions and advocacy efforts of the Association. This forum is intended for all interested conference attendees to share feedback, concerns, ideas, and aspirations for ALA. We want to hear from you!Thank you for viewing the ALA Town Hall meeting. We welcome your comments and your questions, which we will share with the ALA Executive Board and leadership. Lively commentary, opinion, and reaction to posts are welcome but may be moderated by AL staff. AL reserves the right to remove, or not to post, comments unrelated to the Town Hall meeting, Comments that are spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted.

Posted by American Libraries Magazine on Sunday, January 22, 2017

In Top Tech Trends, the topics this time around included augmented reality, virtual reality, fostering technology-loving students, and gamification. The panel was made up of 3 women and one guy, a result of the committee’s ongoing effort to add diversify to the event. This time around there was also more of a public library/K12 emphasis. It was interesting but maybe not as applicable to those of us in higher education, although looking to K12 can be beneficial.

Running parallel to the conference there was a symposium on the future of libraries. I was able to attend one session on Sunday afternoon, Building Community, Leading Change: Libraries Transforming Communities. Nancy Kranich from Rutgers University was the academic library panelist. Her presentation was about the work the library did with the Harwood Institute to change from collection-centered to engagement-centered. She explained their process to increase their relevance and impact while achieving shared goals with a focus on the undergraduate, graduate and international experience. It appears that ALA has been doing work with Harwood on other things, since the town hall’s facilitator was from Harwood. Many of her “take-aways” from the process sound similar to things we have accomplished here at ZSR/WFU over the past few years.

View on the Exhibit Hall

It’s always good to take a spin or two through the exhibit hall. The photo above shows my favorite sight.

Scenes from the March for Social Justice

I was fortunate that my meeting schedule permitted me to tag along at the end of Saturday’s March for Social Justice. It was very energizing to be even an incidental part of the event.

Georgia Aquarium

My other “off-hours” highlight was the Elsevier reception that was held at the Georgia Aquarium. Free drinks and food compliments of Elsevier PLUS an aquarium experience made for an excellent evening.

I’ll end with a link to Atlanta photos I took along the way!