Some 16,597 librarians and exhibitors made the trek to hot and humid Orlando to attend ALA’s 2016 annual conference. Thankfully air-conditioning was everywhere and escaping the oppressive heat was fairly easy. And even more importantly, the program’s keynote speakers, product updates in the exhibit hall, and the numerous panel discussions offered plenty of options for attendees to learn and share.
Of course, it was impossible to forget the horrific events at the Pulse nightclub two weeks before and there were a number activities scheduled expressing ALA support. This outpouring of concern and sympathy served as a reminder to many of the supportive role libraries can and should play in their communities.
In any case, as is our practice, we thought that we would try to convey a sense of what went on by sharing a few conference related posts, articles, and reports that “caught our eye.”
- Annual Returns to Orlando is a conference summary from Greg Landgraf that recently appeared in American Libraries. Replete with links to ALA’s YouTube video channel, among others, this post offers a fascinating overview. Featured are keynote speakers like Michael Eric Dyson, Brad Melzer and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with sessions and panel discussions sponsored by a range of ALA Divisions from AASL to ALCTS and from YALSA to LLAMA. And for those interested in the ins-and-outs of ALA governance, there is a sidebar discussing a number of ALA Council actions.
- Annual First Look | ALA Annual 2016 is written by LJ’s Meredith Schwartz and offers her take on the Orlando conference with a focus on ALA activities. She starts by noting ALA’s “displays of solidarity both practical and symbolic” related to the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub. She then moves on to note that in spite of a drop in attendance “exhibitors were happy with the crowds on the show floor.” Evidently, the heat and humidity plus the travel distances from one venue to another kept attendees close to the convention center. The report also notes an increase of 3,500 in membership and other ALA news related to revenues and budget as well as ALA Council votes and the final report of ALA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
- #alaac16 collects all of American Libraries’ conference coverage into one handy link. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages it probably wasn’t covered by anyone. Browsing through this collection of posts gives one a real sense of the incredibly diverse number of interests and concerns that are shared by librarians and their supporters. Reports cover sessions that dealt with topics ranging from archives to acquisitions; privacy to preservation; sustainability to special collections; children’s services to collection development; readers’ advisory to reference and many others too numerous to mention.
- ALA 2016 in Photos is a Publishers Weekly photo essay that puts the spotlight on what it calls ” the summer celebration of books, authors, awards, and “Metadata Madness” (as one educational session was called).” As you might expect, most of the coverage in these full-color photos are of author related events and activities.
- 2016 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition—Libraries Transform, and We Stand With Orlando was posted on Library Technology Guides. It is a press release from ALA that offers an official overview of the conference highlighting keynote speakers, major themes, and division and council activities.
- Academic Librarians On Taking Their Seats at the Table is a report by LJ‘s Lisa Peet that covers a program sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries University Libraries Section. Library administrators from University of Texas at Arlington, University of South Florida, Stetson University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology “spoke up about how their institutions are looking ahead—both within and outside of the library.” New programs under discussion included developing an academic plaza within the library, assisting students with textbook affordability and the library’s involvement in an innovative 3-D printer curriculum.
- Academic Libraries and Open Educational Resources: Developing Partnerships is another LJ report by Lisa Peet on a program sponsored by ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries Community and Junior College Libraries Section (ACRL_CJCLS). The session began with a solid overview of OER including data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was followed by presentations that discussed specific library experiences with OER at Northern Virginia Community College, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Columbia Gorge Community College in Oregon.
- NISO Open Discovery Initiative Update: 2016 ALA Annual Conference reports on a presentation co-sponsored by ALCTS and NISO and made by Ken Varnum, Senior Program Manager, University of Michigan Library. The goals of the presentation were “to provide an update on recent activities of the Open Discovery Initiative (ODI), including: its work to promote conformance statements from discovery vendors and content providers, the impact of the ODI process on libraries, and the current state of interoperability among libraries, discovery platforms, and content providers.” Obviously, anyone interested in the Open Discovery Initiative will want to spend a few minutes reading this update.
- Security, Virtual Reality, and Smaller Maker Spaces Among Top Tech Trends | ALA Annual 2016 is LJ’s report on the discussion at this year’s Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel. Written by Matt Innis, the post notes that beside those trends mentioned in the title of the article others like technology instruction focusing on concepts rather than devices, the ability to offer real-time information about facilities and services, and “superfast, super-easy application development” also made the list.
- ATG Hot Topics 7/8/16 offers some of Against the Grain contributor Erin Gallagher’s takeaways from ALA 2016. Erin brings a unique perspective in that ALA was held in her backyard. She is the E-Resources and Serials Librarian at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL less than 20 miles from the Convention Center.
- Reflections on ALA 2016, Orlando is a blog post from an exhibitor’s point of view. Angie Schoeneck, Janet Nelson, and Liz Bowie, three managers from Demco, Inc., offer their impressions of a variety of sessions and programs.
- Susan’s ALA Annual 2016 – Orlando Report is a post filed by Susan Smith, Associate Dean at Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University. Much of her ALA conference was spent in LITA (Library Information and Technology Association) meetings and programs. Susan gives her specific take on the Top Tech Trends panel, one of LITA’s signature events, as well as on a LLAMA-BES panel session on Top Building Trends 2016.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.