The 2013 ALA Annual in Chicago was a lot livelier than last year’s Anaheim edition. An impressive jump in turnout combined with more efficient scheduling to ensure a busy and eventful conference as approximately 26,000 people attended sessions, checked out the exhibits and met with their various committees. And although not always the case in Chicago, the weather cooperated making evening walks in Millennium Park an absolute pleasure after a busy day of meetings while the vast array of quality restaurants made dining a real experience.
Of course, we realize that a number of you were unable to make it. So in hopes of giving you a better sense of what went on, we thought we’d share a few informative reports and blog accounts that have “caught our eye” in the last few days.
- ALA Annual Features High Traffic, Energy | ALA Annual 2013 Library Journal’s Meredith Schwartz offers a brief overview of the conference noting “trending themes” like the service integration from cooperating vendors, the increasing emergence of video streaming as a library resource, growing concerns over privacy due to national events, and new fundraising methods along with updated grant news. Meredith also highlights a major concern that ALA Council is wrestling with; “a projected deficit of $1.9 million.” Evidently shortfalls in revenues from ALA publishing and flagging membership are two of the main culprits.
- Dispatch from ALA 2013 If you’re looking for a different slant on ALA checkout this article by writer David Dalka that appeared in GalleyCat. David recounts his adventures as he goes in search of “potential strategic opportunities for growth of publishing distribution and sales of books in the library channel.” Aside from David witnessing that print is far from dead, at least among librarians, it is comforting to hear him say that “in a world of declining retail outlets, the library channel serves a more important role than ever before.”
- DCWG Shifts Focus as Ebook Landscape Evolves | ALA 2013 This account on the Digital Shift website covers a program that drew a lot of interest. “ALA, Ebooks, and Digital Content: What’s Next?” focused on the work of ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group and featured six members of the DCWG. While the panel observed that all of the Big Six publishers are finally working with libraries on ebook lending, the situation is far from ideal. Interestingly, a number of the panelist also observed that in this new climate of ebooks and self-publishing, the library is emerging as more than a consumer of published books. They are becoming a “producer, creator, and disseminator” of digital content.
- NSR’s eBook vendor updates from the ALA annual conference In this post Sue Polanka provides ” updates on eBook vendor offerings, initiatives, and activities” including those from mainstays like EBSCO, Ingram, and Baker and Taylor to newer kids on the block like Bibliolabs and OdiloTID. According to Sue, this information “was also presented at the ALA TechSource conference wrap-up webinar, held July 8th. The recording of that session is available at http://www.alatechsource.org/blog/2013/07/archive-of-the-2013-ala-annual-tech-wrapup.html.”
- ALA 2013 Annual Conference Presentation: OCLC’s Lorcan Dempsey Shares “4 Things About Discovery This presentation by Lorcan Dempsey, VP, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist, is the subject of this post in InfoDOCKET by Gary Price. Lorcan’s presentation was given during the Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries IG (Big Heads) session on Friday, June 28, 2013. According Gary, “the presentation is based on Dempsey’s December, 2013 EDUCAUSE article, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Libraries, Discovery, and the Catalog: Scale, Workflow, Attention.””
Other articles and reports you might find interesting: