ALA Midwinter Report 2022


Hello from your local Chapter Councilor to the American Library Association. This past week I attended Council Forums and Council meetings virtually and this is my report.

Want to be a Councilor?

Brief note that my Chapter Councilor term is up in May. While I am more than happy to serve a second three-year term, I would also be happy to pass the privilege and responsibility on to someone else. Feel free to contact me directly and I can discuss what is involved. I was lucky to follow in the footsteps of Marti Fiske (with some gap coverage also by Virgil Fuller, thanks Virgil and Happy Birthday!) who did a terrific job for us.

ALA Conferences Overview

The January professional development conference (with speakers and activities and vendors) is becoming known as LibLearnX, and all the committee meetings which happen at ALA in January are… still kind of called Midwinter. It’s a little confusing and I asked specifically if this lack of clarity was intentional and was told by the Conference Committee that they are really trying to spin up LibLearnX as a “whole new thing” and so they don’t use any of the Midwinter verbiage which, to my mind, leaves people to figure it out on their own. LibLearnX does look pretty interesting and now all of the speakers and activities are at “no conflict” times, in case you were thinking about attending in the future. Next LibLearnX is in New Orleans, always a great conference location.
Next big conference for ALA is in Washington DC June 23-28. It is still somewhat up in the air whether this will be in person, virtual or hybrid. I have been advocating for a hybrid conference as I think it allows for better accessibility as well as access for Councilors from far-flung states as well as some serious cost savings for people from smaller chapters but there has been some push back on this, so stay tuned. Report follows….
Continue reading “ALA Midwinter Report 2022”

Ask A Librarian: Sharing links behind a soft paywall?

screenshot from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine indicating that the page is available live on the web.

From a friend in my trivia community: I’ll post a link to an article or something on FB and/or Twitter, and I hear from Euro folk about how they’re blocked from reading it. I’d like to have a go-to answer for them that would be broadly applicable. Can you give me a generalized technique for this problem when it arises?

Sure! This is also how I get around soft-paywalls like “You have read all your free articles this month” (won’t work with “You have to pay to see this at all”) for news sites like the New York Times and other places I may not have full access too. Here are steps. Continue reading “Ask A Librarian: Sharing links behind a soft paywall?”

2021 in Libraries

a dim afternoon-into-evening shot of an empty library circ desk with a book drop slot and a small shelf next to it with books on CD

Only my regulars this past year. I picked up shifts at my local library and did a few months at Chelsea Public Library while they searched for a full-time librarian. While I taught some classes virtually for Rochester I only went inside the building once, really just to say hello. Forty-four visits, but only three libraries.

  • Kimball (20) – The library was open to the public for a while. I stopped in an occasionally worked a sub shift or met people here.
  • Chelsea (23) – I was the W/Th librarian for a few months
  • Rochester (1) – stopped by to say hello before teaching some online classes

Previous years: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and some reviews from 2003.

2021 reading list and commentary

picture of me in big glasses opening a large book and inside it is paper towels and pressed leaves

Here was the twitter thread of what I read last year but I should note, it has two 46es on it. I read about the same this year. I started and finished 115 books. Not bad. One more book got added to my best in show category: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson, though I felt like I read a lot of good books this year.

Here are stats for the books that I finished. Continue reading “2021 reading list and commentary”

A CRT statement from VLA

A stamp from a US military location which has an eagle in the center and the text "A E F PASSED AS CENSORED"

I’m on a team of people who help keep the town’s volunteer-run laundromat open. We’ve had a “mask suggested for vaccinated people” sign up since maybe summertime. I make the signs. I also do my laundry there. Yesterday no one was wearing masks. I don’t know their vaccination status but I do know about omicron and it’s concerning. So I suggested we replace the sign with one that says Masks Required. And everyone agreed. But no one suggested it until I did. And maybe the person to get your groups CRT statement going is… you? Continue reading “A CRT statement from VLA”