Category Archives: ALA

Aaron @ ALA Midwinter 2010, Boston

For anyone wanting to catch up with me, here is my ALA Midwinter schedule (it’s a work in progress, I’m missing several “must attend” events which haven’t been announced (or which I’ve overlooked) but which I will attend)

The quick way to catch me is @awd on twitter or email me (yay crackberry?)

ALA Governance Events at ALA Midwinter 2010, Boston

ALA Governance (Council, Executive Board, etc.) Events for ALA Midwinter 2010 in Boston:
(updated as I learn the details)

Apparently it’s been a year or so (see previous calendar post) since I did gCal posts for ALA Governance events? I thought I’d done one for Annuals and Midwinters every time since the first one, apparently I didn’t blog them all… anyway, here y’go & enjoy!

Juxtaposition: Mobile Devices, Libraries, Public Policy

Looking for input to share on a forthcoming report

The report aims to draw from rapid spread and eventual ubiquity of mobile devices, like smartphones, e-book readers, multimedia delivery tools, looking towards the future of mobile devices from a public policy perspective with regards to libraries

  • Examine briefly the social trends and changing norms in using mobile devices
  • Examine library environment in how libraries use mobile devices
  • Goal is to explore potential benefits
    (Broadly how can mobile technologies serve library users better and get them the information they need and want?)
  • Challenges:
    • Copyright considerations and content licensing for mobile devices
    • Privacy (digital technologies can track user activities, analog books can’t) and location awareness technologies (GPS and location broadcasting services)
    • Security and bandwidth considerations for library networks (increasing mobile delivery of content, and rich multimedia content—how does this affect bandwidth planning if I want to be able to download a ebook or audiobook or film from a library to my mobile device?)
    • Access and openness issues in platforms and information standards and compatibility, DRM
  • More

What sorts of trends and/or issues do you see at the intersection of mobile devices, libraries, and existing public policy (copyright, fair use, DRM, anti-circumvention, etc.)?  What pieces of current public policy (laws, interpretations, policy decrees, etc.) support or block or run counter to user trends and/or technological abilities should an educational / informative report cover to better educate / inform legislators and policy wonks?

ALA Connect – now in gamma

Word is getting out about ALA Connect which will officially launch April 6th.  Connect is in soft-launch (or gamma) right now, so if you’ve been wanting to take a peek…

Connect is for ALA collaborative work and library-land professional networking. If you’re an ALA member, you can log in with your ALA website username & password – your Connect experience will be tailored to your ALA memberships, you’ll already be subscribed to the discussion pages for the units of which you are a member and you’ll be able to join other existing groups or create your own.  If you’re not an ALA member, you can  register on the site to participate, but you’ll need to be an ALA member to access the full functionality.

Smart Investing @ Your Library

In the course of perusing my social feeds on a day off (today), I ran across a link to an NPR story titled: “What’s New At The Library? Financial Advice“.  Having somehow missed any info on this program, most likely due to my use of the “Mark all read” feature in Bloglines after Midwinter, I asked the Council list and got loads of information.

In case you, like me, managed to miss mention of this program; here are some details and some links to more information.

ALA has partnered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority‘s (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation to produce “Smart Investing @ your library®“.  The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (IEF) provides grants to “public libraries and library networks across the country, giving millions of library patrons and their families greater access to unbiased investing information and resources”.

Smart Investing @ your library®” is jointly administered by FINRA IEF and Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

In 2008, 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000 were awarded to some great sounding programs in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Florida, California, Minnesota, Washington, Kansas, and Ohio.  

In 2009, 12 grants totaling almost $882,000 were awarded to more great sounding programs in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and California.

Grant recipients will use the funds to implement a variety of programs and create resources designed to increase patrons’ access to and understanding of financial information. The programs target a diverse group of patrons—among them youth, adults, seniors, families, immigrants and low-income individuals.  The libraries will use a variety of technologies and outreach strategies, including traditional classroom formats and one-on-one education. The grantees will partner with community organizations including schools, universities, community centers and local governments to expand the impact of the services and resources enabled by the grants. Library patrons will be empowered to make smart financial decisions for both long-term investing and day-to-day money matters.

Program details for Smart Investing @ your library®

This sounds like a timely initiative, I’m glad someone in my Association made this happen & wish I’d heard of it sooner (so I could brag on their efforts sooner).  Yet another reason I didn’t know to explain why I am a proud ALA member.

ALA Council Interrogatives – featuring? Me :)

Yep, I’m running for a seat on the ALA Council again this Spring.

Why would I do such a thing? I answered a few similar questions in the video above; to sum up: I’m active, I enjoy the process (which is a little scary), I am given great ideas by you, my fellow ALA members, to bring up and discuss, and I really enjoy working to improve the Association for the membership and to recognize and support the work done by various member- and staff- groups within ALA furthering the mission of our Association which really is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Wanna present at ALA Annual 2009 in Chicago?

Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference: Do you have a great idea for an Annual Conference program but don’t belong to a committee or other group that can plan and produce a program? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives…  See: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/officers/grassroots/grassrootsproposal.cfm

People are invited/encouraged to submit program proposals for ~10 program slots with a Feb 2009 deadline for proposals (which is an insanely short planning period for ALA Annual programs, the ‘official’ deadline for programs is something like September the year before the Conference)

The kicker, to me, is people who are not already involved within ALA groups are specifically targeted this opportunity. 

My social feeds communities are already off & running with some ideas for presenting cool stuff… you & yours (& ours, if we’re already hooked up) have a great opportunity — grab it and shake it for all it’s worth1

Draft ALA Website Style Guide

Straight from ALA WAC, there is a 44 page draft style guide (doc or pdf)for the ALA website making the rounds.

If you’re Section 508 compliance-proficient or if you’d like to lend your eyes for a readthrough and comment upon, please feel free.  Comments here or over on WAC Chair, Michael Stephens’ Tame the Web post or via email to the Web Editorial Board would be much appreciated.  [add:]Please feel free to use the ALA ITTS WebPlanning Wiki as a more central commenting board. (You’ll need to register to comment on this wiki, tho)[end add]

I, Michael, and the WAC (along with all the ALA webcontent volunteers) thank you for your effort.

Cogitating about Conference Costs

So okay, I’m still working on several responses to the post on In the Library wth a Lead Pipe and I took a math detour while spinning my wheels on my regular day job stuff.

How much does it cost to go to a Library Conference?
(I’m using on-site registration $$)
CiL = $469 / 3 days of programs
IL = $449 / 3 days of programs
ALA MW = $300 non-member / $190 personal member / 5 days of working meetings and discussion groups
ALA Annual = $370 non-member / $260 personal member (no citation but I think this is acceptably close to accurate) / 5 days (with 300+ programs, plus committee meetings and other events)

But ALA Annual is *big* (freally big ~20K people) and ALA MW is about half that size (and still fvery large)

Are ALA conferences really that expensive?  Should presenters be givien a “bye” on registration?  Here’s where my (limited) math skills come in to play.

300 programs (some have only 1 presenter, some have 2, some are panels of up to 5 or occasionally 6) so I’ll use a multiplier here (pulling this out of my… ear) say average of 1.75 presenters / program.

300 programs * 1.75 presenters = ~525 “complimentary registrations”

525 comps * $260 for on site registration = wait for it… $136,000 or $68,250 if a special half-rate applies to presenters.

Is the potential draw for comp’d speakers going to at least come close to covering this amount?  I wouldn’t hazard a guess, but I would hope so.  Various sub-units of ALA have differing practices on this – I’d love to see BigALA go this route, but I doubt it would fly.

If you had the chance, how would you restructure ALA’s conference finances in a revenue-neutral way?  Feel free to blog it somewhere (Jason did a long while back) or post your thoughts to the Improve ALA wiki at: http://improveala.pbwiki.com/