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ALA President delivers Fortieth Anniversary Lecture

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ALA President, Loriene Roy, Ashinabe, Professor at the University of Texas Austin,
iSchool, delivered the first in the Smithsonian libraries 40th anniversary
lecture series on May 12, 2008. In covering the wide topic of America’€™s
Libraries: Expanding Collections, Services, and Facilities,"€ Dr. Roy began by
reminding her audience that 1968 was a very different place with the Beatles balanced
by social turmoil. However, for  libraries, the issues were similar and
included censorship, building public involvement, and preserving budgets.

 Based on her 320 days as ALA president, Dr. Roy used her media
experience to identify what issues matter most.  Reporters consistently
ask about the way libraries look now, the impact of the Web, gaming, and if we
are a dying profession. Loriene was able to say that more young students are
entering the profession, leveling the playing field and increasing the
challenges of how to make libraries inclusive as employers and as a service. ALA will offer a gaming
evening at Annual conference to recognize that people don’€™t divide their lives
neatly into work and home.

 Asked if she was concerned that "€œpeople would not find us,"€
Dr. Roy responded that "€œif we stay where we are, they won’t find us"€ and
went on to give examples of creative ways to be where the patrons live. For an
academic library this might include rethinking physical space, providing roving
reference staff, and offering services that promote collaboration among
researchers.   

 Perhaps the most amusing reminder was Loriene’s urging "€œNo
one should leave before the dance,"€ a reference to the many activities that SIL
will have during its anniversary year, culminating in the Ruby Gala in late
October.

 

 

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