Contact Your Senator – SKILLS Act

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides federal funding for K-12 education programs. Reauthorization of legislation of this nature will determine federal education policy for the coming decade and it is imperative that dedicated funding for school library programs be included.

On January 29, 2015, Senators Reed (D-RI), Cochran (R-MI), and Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 312, the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act (SKILLS Act), that would improve students’ literacy skills and readiness for higher education and careers through effective school library programs. ALA is currently working with Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) on an amendment for the HELP Committee markup that would add provisions from the SKILLS Act to ESEA to provide dedicated funding for effective school library programs.

We need you to contact both Senators from your state at their DC office and let them know how critical school libraries are in improving our education system. Ask them to support dedicated funding for effective school library programs under ESEA by co-sponsoring S.312.
Here is the link to ALA’s Engage system that will provide you more information, talking points, direct information on your senators. You just need to put in some basic information.

Or you can call the United States Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

Please take a few minutes to make a call. They need to hear from you! Help make an impact for kids and libraries!

Michael Dowling
International and Chapter Relations Offices
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL, USA
p +1 800-545-2433 ext 3200
f +1 312-280-4392


azla          2015 AzLA Conference: MAKING CONNECTIONS

The 2015 Annual Conference will be held at the High Country Conference Center in beautiful Flagstaff Arizona, November 18– 20, 2015.

Conference Theme
The 2015 conference theme, MAKING CONNECTIONS, is focused on embracing the networking, collaboration, and partnerships that librarianship entails. Library professionals enrich their knowledge base and enhance services by networking with fellow librarians. Libraries create new opportunities by collaborating with organizations within their communities. There are the new connections which are enabled by technology. Finally, there are the daily connections made between staff and patrons, between instructional specialists and students, which form the basis of library service. What would you like to see and hear about during your time at the conference?   How is your library building strong networks?  How have your library benefited from your network?

Program tracks will include:

  • Leadership & Staff Development
  • Children and Young Adults
  • Information Literacy & Teaching
  • User Services
  • Technology & Tech Services
  • Library Outreaching, Marketing, and Advocacy.

For more information, check out: FacebookTwitter, and Google+.


Hacking the University

Retention, Retention, Retention …There is not an academic institutions out there that is not focused on retention at every possible level, including the academic library. In his December blog post, David discuses ways Librarians can provide very personal services to help improve retention. Lankes’ mentions that unlike departmental retention programs the University Library can reach students across the entire university.  He introduces a great idea or class he calls on “Hacking the University.”  This class would have “Students work in small teams or one-on-one with librarians to understand ALL the information systems they are likely to encounter.” The librarian works at the individual and personal level assisting with all information needs.  Lankes’ continue to suggest this personal interaction could forge a relationship with the librarian and ingrain the librarian as a dependable support system for the student. Once this relationship has been built, librarians become dependable resources for students throughout matriculation.


Better yet read David Lankes larger blog, Reinventing the Academic Library: Conclusion here:

Librarian Stereotypes: Do they hurt our image as instructors?

Interesting post over at In the Library with a Lead Pipe:

Ice Ice Baby: Are Librarian Stereotypes Freezing Us out of Instruction?

In Brief: Why do librarians struggle so much with instruction? Part of the problem is that we have so many facets to consider: pedagogy, campus culture, relationships with faculty, and effectiveness with students. Research on student and faculty perceptions of librarians combined with sociological and psychological research on the magnitude of impression effects prompted us to more thoroughly examine how perceptions of instruction librarians impact successful teaching and learning. In this article, we look at theories of impression formation, the historical feminization of librarianship, and suggestions for next steps that we should take in order to take charge of our image and our instruction.

Read the rest of the article over at the blog.

One week left to submit roundtables, posters, blitz proposals

There’s only one week left to submit roundtable, poster, and blitz session proposals for the joint AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference!

You can go big with a full program or workshop, dip your toes in with a poster, or present in a 15-minute blitz session.

Need guidance? No problem! Here’s a great guide to creating winning conference proposals for library professionals.

Hesitant because you’re a library school student? Here’s a blog post on the whys and hows of submitting a conference proposal!

If you need some topic ideas, take a look at last year’s presentations!

Deadlines for AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference:

  • Preconferences, Programs, and Workshops: April 28, 2014.
  • Posters, Roundtables and Blitz Sessions: May 26, 2014.

Submit your proposal now on the AzLA website!

The Library eBook Situation is Appalling

Publishers have been heavily resistant about selling their catalog of eBooks to libraries in the US and Canada. It took years of lobbying from the American Library Association and companies such as 3M and Overdrive to finally sway them over…Major publishers and publishing associations seem to fear that libraries could circulate ebooks to thousands of readers, decimating their profits. 

Read the whole article here. Also see the ALA State of America’s Libraries report.

What has your experience been with ebooks, whether at your institution or your favorite public library?



AzLA-MPLA Call for Proposals – Deadline Extension

2014 AzLA-MPLA Joint Conference: Libraries: Best of the West!

Extended Deadline for Program Proposals

In response to member feedback, the 2014 AzLA/MPLA Annual Conference is granting an extra week for program submissions.  Proposals for preconferences, conference programs, and workshops will now be due Monday, May 5, to allow a little more time to work around busy Spring schedules.

The 2014 AzLA/MPLA Annual Conference will be held at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Conference Center in Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, November 12 – 14, 2014.  This year’s joint conference will include attendees from Arizona and from throughout the 12-state Mountain Plains Region.  Together, our two associations will highlight the best our libraries have to offer: Creative approaches, new ideas and services, unique collections, and more!

Conference Theme

 The 2014 conference theme is “Libraries: Best of the West!”  Out here on the great frontier, what are your libraries doing not only to stay relevant, but to push the boundaries of library services?  How are your libraries building strong communities?  How do you balance serving your library against connecting with libraries with very different needs and populations?  In the constant duel for limited resources, how do your libraries promote themselves as “the good guys”?  Show off your frontier spirit by sharing the plans and strategies that have made your libraries among “The Best of the West!”

Submission Deadlines:

  • Preconferences, Programs, and Workshops: May 5, 2014 (extended).
  • Posters, Roundtables and Blitz Sessions: May 26, 2014.

Preconference Presenters must be available: 

  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 

All other presenters must be available to present on either day of the conference: 

  • Thursday, November 13, 2014, and
  • Friday, November 14, 2014

Program Tracks:

  • Leadership & Staff Development – Explore leadership, management, and organizational/career development issues, trends, and best practices.
  • Children & Young Adults – Share exciting, practical, and theoretical ideas and information about serving children and young adults.
  • Information Literacy & Teaching – Focus on instruction techniques, theory, information literacy, and classroom trends and topics.
  • User Services – Explore collection development topics, new trends in designing user spaces, and improving public services.
  • Technology & Tech Services – Explore ideas and information about digital library issues, metadata standards, and hot new technology trends.
  • Library Outreach, Marketing and Advocacy – Teach others how to create partnerships, be aware of legislative issues, advocate for libraries, and utilize new marketing techniques and ideas.

For more information, or to submit your proposal online, visit the conference page at  You can also follow AZLA’s blog at, “like” us on Facebook, or follow our Twitter feed (hashtag #azlampla).

Online registration opens on August 26, 2014. Contact the AzLA Association Management Office for questions about registering for the conference or if you need assistance with your username and password. They can be reached at (480) 609-3999 or