Caught My Eye: Accounts from ALA San Francisco June 25-30, 2015

By Tom Gilson

San Francisco turned out to be an inspired choice for the 2015 ALA Annual conference.  Great weather, a rich program plus two halls filled with relevant exhibits combined with a historic Supreme Court decision on Gay marriage to make the “City by the Bay” the place to be for the 22,696 librarians and exhibitors in attendance.  The overall turnout was up some 13% from the 19,889 that attended last year in Las Vegas. In addition, some 845 companies with 6,813 exhibitors were on hand to promote their products and services. (Attendance figures for the last three years can be found here.)

Despite the uptick in attendance,  we know that a number of you couldn’t break away from your duties at home to be there, so once again, we thought we would try and convey a sense of what went on by sharing a few conference related posts and articles that “caught our eye.”


  • ALA 2015: All Our Coverage is a collection of posts from Publishers Weekly that offers their “complete coverage of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference, including a survey of the main events; the speakers; the readings, discussions, and presentations; the panels, and more.”
  • The San Francisco Deets | ALA 2015 provides conference details and combined observations from Library Journal reporters on the scene.  Coverage ranges from the opening keynote by Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for the Supreme Court case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act; to the announcement of the Knight Foundation’s second News Challenge for Librariesto the standing room only: “Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Directions for Higher Education and Academic Libraries” panel.
  • Academic Libraries Look Toward the Future is the full blow-by-blow description of the above mentioned “Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Directions for Higher Education and Academic Libraries” panel. As LJ’s  Lisa Peet notes “the panelists—Chris Bourg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology director of libraries; Janice Jaguszewski, director and associate university librarian of health sciences at University of Minnesota (U of M) libraries; Deanna Marcum, managing director at Ithaka S+R; and Mitchell Stevens, associate professor of education and sociology at Stanford University—represented a variety of institutions. And while they all agreed that academic libraries were in a time of flux and needed to keep their eyes on the horizon, each had a different take as to how…”
  • Exhibitor News Roundup | ALA Annual 2015 is Library Journal’s annual roundup of what their reporters learned as they scouted the exhibits.  Top developments include a new EBSCO and Ex Libris partnership; ProQuest debuting the functionality of Intota v2 as well as a new University Press Ebook Subscription; Gale’s partnership with Skillsoft to deliver online workforce training courses; SirsiDynix and Zepheira partnering to develop the Visible Library Beta Program that will convert MARC records to linked data; Innovative announcing a new service to simplify the publication of Linked Data records; and Elsevier launching Library Learning Trends, a professional development program for librarians and information resource managers…

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 Individual session reports include:

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