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Posted by Rob Christopher

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Natalie Cole and Virginia A. Walter share insights into transforming summer library programs

Posted by Rob Christopher

Summer 2018 might be winding down, but children's and YA librarians are already beginning to think ahead to next year's programming. In their recent book Transforming Summer Programs at Your Library: Outreach and Outcomes in Action, Natalie Cole and Virginia A. Walter detail case studies of several California libraries that have successfully reimagined their summer initiatives. These include Summer Matters, which works to provide equitable summer learning opportunities, and Lunch at the Library, a public library summer meal project. In this interview we discuss their collaborative approach, the biggest challenges to summer outreach and participation, and the inspiring lessons librarians can draw from the summer programs the book covers.

Was this your first writing collaboration?...


Storytimes creator Rob Reid discusses his new "greatest hits" collection

Posted by Rob Christopher

Original and adapted fingerplays, poems, activities involving movement and music, participation stories, felt stories, imagination exercises, spoonerism stories, and library raps: Rob Reid's book 200+ Original and Adapted Story Program Activities is packed from cover to cover with fun ideas for storytimes. And it happens to be his thirteenth book for ALA Editions—surely a lucky number in a writing career that spans more than two decades! We were thrilled to talk with him recently about his time with ALA Editions, how he chooses picture books for storytimes, and his tips for being a great storytime leader. 

You’ve described this book as a kind of “greatest hits” collection. How was working on this book different from your previous ones?



Rebekkah Smith Aldrich discusses resilience, subject of ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries' book

Posted by Rob Christopher

Formally launched in 2014, ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries works to identify emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve, promote futuring and innovation techniques to help librarians and library professionals shape their future, and build connections with experts and innovative thinkers to help libraries address emerging issues.

Resilience by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich has just been published in the new Library Futures series, presented by ALA Neal-Schuman in partnership with the Center. At the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver, Miguel A. Figueroa, the Center's director, interviewed Aldrich about her work and the new book. What follows is a transcript of their conversation, edited for clarity.

Miguel A. Figueroa, Director, Center for the Future of...


Interview: Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath update their benchmark reference text

Posted by Rob Christopher

An integral resource for students and working professionals alike, Reference and Information Services: An Introduction has served a generation of reference librarians. But authors Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath aren't resting on their laurels. We spoke to them about the brand new fourth edition which has just been published, discussing their collaboration and why reference librarianship is more important than ever.

How would you describe your collaborative process?

Harmonic! When we are beginning a new edition, we talk about the whole book and the changes that we want to make and then we each work on specific chapters. With Kay as an academic and Uma as a practitioner, we have mutually exclusive areas of expertise that makes it easy to segment the research.

Were there any surprises working together...


Fighting fake news: a frank conversation with Nicole A. Cooke

Posted by Rob Christopher

Nicole A. Cooke, a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, believes that the current flood of fake news and dubious information represents a golden opportunity for libraries. Her new ALA Editions Special Report Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era shows how librarians can make a difference. In this interview she talks about why information literacy is a key skill for all news consumers.

Information literacy seems to be one of those perpetually timeless topics, and there are dozens of books about it out there already. What motivated you to write this book, and how did you take a fresh approach to the topic?  

I was an academic instruction librarian before becoming faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, so I have worked with information literacy...


How can libraries transform and thrive? Dorothy Stoltz and James Kelly on successful collaboration

Posted by Rob Christopher

How does a library amplify the skills and enthusiasm of its staff while also identifying what the community wants? In their new book Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, Dorothy Stoltz and her coauthors Gail Griffith, James Kelly, Muffie Smith, and Lynn Wheeler argue that adhering to a handful of straightforward principles will point the way forward. We spoke with Stoltz, director for community engagement at the Carroll County (MD) Public Library, and Kelly, library director of Frederick Public Libraries (MD), about their prescriptions for library success.

How did the book come together?  What was your starting point?

Dorothy Stoltz: People inside and outside the profession ponder whether libraries are on the verge of becoming extinct.  My experiences...


George Stachokas on ERM issues and trends

Posted by Rob Christopher

"Electronic resources are now the predominant component of academic library collections," says George Stachokas, editor of the new ALCTS monograph Reengineering the Library: Issues in Electronic Resources Management. "Special collections, archives, and other physical collections are still important, but libraries spend most of their money and much of their technology acquiring and managing electronic resources." It's more crucial than ever to look at electronic resources management (ERM) using a variety of perspectives. His new collection does exactly that, discussing how ERM can best fulfill the mission of today’s academic libraries. In this interview we asked him about putting the book together, some key cost containment strategies, and where he thinks technology is heading.

As you mention in your introduction,...


Merrilee Proffitt on collaboration between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions

Posted by Rob Christopher

A senior program officer at OCLC Research, Merrilee Proffitt first started exploring how to develop better relationships between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions about seven years ago. Since then she created OCLC’s Wikipedian in Residence program, has helped run several edit-a-thons, and contributed to Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons. In her new book she and her contributors explore how to connect these various communities of knowledge, which she expands upon in this interview.

What was the genesis of this book project?

A while back, Grace Agnew from Rutgers University told me that librarians would naturally expect a collection of case studies about how librarians are engaging with Wikipedia to be in a book. There are case studies published “on Wiki” and individual...


Celebrating Preservation Week 2018: an interview with Janet Delve and David Anderson

Posted by Rob Christopher

ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. In collaboration with Facet Publishing, UK, we spoke with some of the field's leading figures to discuss the importance of preservation. Janet Delve and David Anderson are co-editors of Preserving Complex Digital Objects.

Why is preservation awareness so important?

So many institutions today are pushing for a paperless society: for example, banks frequently suggest getting online statements...

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