Report from ALA annual

I am delighted to continue to serve as your representative on the ALA Council. Here is a report on my first day at this year’s conference in Anaheim, California.


After the councilor’s orientation on Saturday morning my first business meeting was the Chapter Relations meeting Saturday afternoon. This is a meeting of the Chapter Relations Committee and the staff of the chapter office in Chicago. The office is in charge of all dealings with chapters. This is the office you might call if you needed some advice from ALA about library issues. During this meeting I listened to reports from various divisions of ALA and caught up with chapter news. Some important highlights were the extension of the Capwiz advocacy website to all states and reports from officers of various ALA divisions.

 Immediately following the chapter relations meeting was our first membership meeting.  The primary agenda item was the report of Janet Swan Hill of the Task Force on Electronic Member Participation.  It was not only received well, but seconded by practically every remark uttered.  The urging was for full fledged electronic member participation to begin ASAP. The Membership Meeting also approved unanimously a “Resolution on Improving the Federal Depository Library Program and Public Access to Government Information”.

I’ll post more shortly.

Nancy Wilson


Proposals for ACRL 14th National Conference

Contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, and workshops are due May 12, 2008. The ACRL 14th National Conference, to be held in Seattle, March 12-15, 2009, will offer a forum for an exciting and energizing exchange of ideas on research, practices, developments, and visions in the field of academic and research librarianship. The conference theme, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend,” reflects the promise and the challenge of the Northwest. The ACRL National Conference Executive Committee invites submitters to send their edgiest, most “out-there” proposals, to help make ACRL 2009 a truly groundbreaking conference.

Proposals are sought for a variety of formats including contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, workshops, poster sessions, and roundtable discussions. Deadlines for proposal submissions are as follows:

May 12, 2008 – Contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, and workshops

  • October 20, 2008 – Poster sessions
  • November 23, 2008 – Roundtable discussions

Full text of the Call for Participation is available online at (Click “Proposals”). Proposals must be submitted via the online proposal form, available at Complete details about the conference are online at Questions about the call for presentation and the 14th ACRL National Conference should be directed to Margot Conahan at, or by phone at 312-280-2522.

ACRL/LAMA Joint Spring Virtual Institute

Registration is now open for the ACRL/LAMA Joint Spring Virtual Institute, “Leading from the Middle: Managing in All Directions.” The Institute, offered by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA), will be held April 29-30, 2008.

The ACRL/LAMA Joint Spring Virtual Institute will feature live, interactive webcasts and asynchronous online poster sessions, allowing for convenient scheduling and flexibility. Programs will be archived for viewing on-demand after the institute. Programs will address issues of management and leadership, including developing library professionals, inspiring change, interim appointments, library 2.0 transformation, innovation and more. Complete descriptions of the institute programs and learning outcomes are online at

Author T.A. Barron's Prize for Young Heroes

Author T.A. Barron¹s Prize for Young Heroes is happy to share the following information:
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes seeks nominations for its 2008 awards. The Barron Prize honors young people ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Each year, ten winners across the U.S. and Canada each receive $2,000 to support their service work or higher education. Nomination deadline is April 30. For more information and to nominate, visit Additionally, the Barron Prize is excited to offer librarians a comprehensive set of heroes materials, including a brand new documentary film, Dream Big, and a corresponding Young Heroes Activity Guide. For more information, visit

ALA Applauds Support of Libraries in FY2009 Presidential Budget

From the NELA listserv:

Contact: Andy Bridges

ALA Washington Office


For Immediate Release

Libraries nationwide to benefit from President Bush’s proposed budget

WASHINGTON — The American Library Association (ALA) applauds the funding increases for libraries proposed in President Bush’s fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget, released this morning. The increases in library funding proposed by the President will mean that many of America’s libraries can continue to provide key programs and services to their communities, like bookmobiles and public access to the Internet.

Read more

2008 Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies Directory

CHICAGO – Need additional financial assistance? The 2008 Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies Directory is an annual directory of awards from state library agencies, national and state library associations, local libraries, academic institutions and foundations that give some form of financial assistance for undergraduate and/or graduate education programs in library and information studies. The directory is available online at

For information on Scholarships available through ALA, visit or call the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4279.

Public Library Funding and Technology

Update: Feb. 7, 2008 memo

The full report, “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006-2007 Report” has been published. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA), the Study is part of a sustained effort to provide current information that describes access to computers and the Internet in U.S. public libraries. It’s also available from the ALA Store

Read more

Midwinter wrap-up

I was very pleased to be appointed to the Human Resources Development and Recruitment (HRDR) Committee which is an advisory committee and meets once at each conference to advise the HRDR Office in the Chicago offices of ALA. Lorelle Swader is the director of the office which oversees the ALA Joblist and the Emerging Leaders program at ALA among many other things. We met on Monday afternoon and heard Lorelle speak about the programs in her office. I was particularly pleased to be attending as a state representative during the discussion of the emerging leaders program. This is an ALA program which trains young librarians to be leaders in the library field. Thus far the two groups of graduates in the program have been absorbed into the ALA organization. It is my intention to urge the HRDR office to send some of the ALA emerging leaders back  to work at the state level. Lorelle was happy to have me on board as a representative of the chapters and said that they want people in the program to become leaders at the state level as well. I look forward to continuing the work on this committee for the next two years. If you are interested in the program you may get more information from me anytime.

Nancy Wilson



Second Day at ALA

I am writing on the train home from Philadelphia and am happy to share news of the ALA conference with you all. Before conference began we were told of a resolution to open nearly all ALA listserves for read only access to all members. The general principles of open access were strongly supported but the resolution was referred back to committee for more study during our first council meeting. The entire issue of electronic access and online meetings was hot at this year’s conference. There is a task force on electronic communications which continues to study the issue. At our first day of council meetings we were introduced to a resolution requesting that computer access at the conference be handicapped accessible. The resolution passed easily at our final council meeting today. During our second day at council we were introduced to a change in the ALA code of ethics. The changes were in language dealing with fair use and balancing the rights of users and producers of materials. We also voted to accept some changes to Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library Science and Information Studies.

I’ll post once more about this conference in the next day or so and, as always, please let me know if there are any issues you would like to discuss.

Your voice at the American Library Association,

Nancy Wilson

Greetings from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia!

I had the good fortune yesterday to attend a presentation at which Bassem Youssef , FBI whistleblower, spoke.  Mr. Youssef is the highest ranking Arab American at the FBI and oversees the department that monitors National Security Letters. He is a decorated agent who was  a trusted and respected expert in the politics and culture of the Middle East.  Shortly after the implementation of the Patriot Act Mr. Youssef noticed a dramatic change in his work environment. He believes that he has been discriminated against by the FBI because he has questioned their counter terrorism recruiting process, particularly the lack of Arabic speaking agents, and the unfettered use of National Security Letters by untrained FBI officers in the field. Before the Patriot Act National Security Letters had to be approved at the very top level of the FBI, following the passage of the Patriot Act they may be generated and served for nearly any reason. Read more