News, Info and Highlights from ALA Annual | News Bites

A few things to note from ALA Annual in New Orleans.
The Association for Children's Library Service (ALCS) decision to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award may have been the most discussed news at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. But it wasn't the only news that happened in New Orleans. Here just a few things to note:

Resolution to Reunite Migrant Children with Parents

The executive committee for REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, released a Statement on the Separation of Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Immigrants at the U.S Border Searching for the American Dream. The statement included the following non-profit organizations for information and to support:  Immigrant Defenders Law NetworkKIND (Kids in Need of Legal Defense), The Young Center of Children's Immigrant RightsThe Florence Project and Refugee Rights ProjectAsylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)Pueblo Sin FronterasTogether RisingAl Otro LadoBorder Angels, and REFORMA Children in Crisis Project. ALA Council voted to pass a Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents. This resolution, which was spearheaded by REFORMA's legislative committee, included:
  • calls on federal agencies to ensure that documentation of children and families is sufficient for the seamless reunification of families or their legal guardians
  • requests that the U.S. government honor the UN General Assembly resolution 429(V) of December 14, 1950, regarding the legal status of refugees
  • urging its members to contact their elected officials at all levels to express their continuing concern regarding the criminalization and separation of refugee families at the border

Best Websites and Apps

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) released its list of the year's best websites and apps for teaching and learning. Each list offered 25 suggestions for educators. The 2018 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning "foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. Sites recognized are free web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover." Included on the website list were Allsides for Schools, a program for promoting media literacy, critical thinking, and civil discourse; NewseumED, from the Newseum, which contains primary sources, historical videos, and resources on media literacy and civics; Pencil Code, introducing coding concepts and allowing users create art, music, or other imaginative projects; and Time.Graphics, a guide to incorporating text, video, and graphics to create an online timeline. The 2018 Best Apps for Teaching & Learning "are of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning. Apps recognized foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration and are user friendly to encourage a community of learners to explore and discover." AASL's selections include Clips, a video production studio for the iPhone; Engaging Congress, an interactive game that uses primary source documents to explore the basic tenets of representative government and its challenges; Metaverse, which creates games and augmented reality experiences; and SDG in Action, which gives information on the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change"–including news, updates and facts and figures and student engagement and action.

moments from Keynote ADDRESSES

The Opening and Closing Session keynote speakers were Michelle Obama and Viola Davis, respectively. Both spoke about the impact of going to the library as young children, their love of books, and the importance of stories. Here are a few highlights from their time on stage:

"That was my first major big-girl thing I could do, was get my library card and stand, like counter-high, watching them put me into the official files. I felt really important. I didn’t know what to do with my library card, because I didn’t have a wallet or a purse, but I felt special just to have it." 

Michelle Obama

"It was almost like stepping into the land of Oz, the colorful beanbags and smell of books, and I would just take book after book after book off the shelf and disappear into my imagination into the world of Dr. Seuss and Corduroy."

Viola Davis on going to the library as a young child.

"It’s like people think I’m a unicorn, that people like me don’t exist. … We are all just people, you know, with stories to tell. ... We need to know everyone’s stories so we don’t forget the humanity in each other. ... If we understand each other’s stories and we share those stories, maybe we can be more empathetic, we can be more inclusive, maybe we can be more forgiving and be more open.”

Obama, on her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, and the conversation she hopes it starts.


Tech Trends To Watch

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) hosted a panel discussing the top technology trends that will impact the profession, including:

Embedded Digital Libraries: Libraries can use the wider availability of digital content to further their mission and outreach to vulnerable populations. Embedding digital libraries within public housing was one idea that could use this technological ability to greatest impact. Death of Transparency: Marydee Ojala, editor-in-chief of Online Searcher: Information Discovery, Technology, Strategies, used this term to describe the unknown of search engine algorithms and therefore the uncertainty of why particular results are given. This death of transparency needs to be considered when looking at the search answers, and a shift in thinking is necessary to adjust to that. Next Generation Learning Management Systems: The next generations of learning management systems will move away from structured design, giving students free space to build their own sites and blogs as they progress through the learning process, according to Reina Williams, reference librarian and education coordinator at Library of Rush University Medical Center. Instructors must make sure they have the tools they need to organize content in a way students can learn from it. Other trends discussed were: quantum computing, digital gaslighting, blockchain technology, digital libraries interfacing with public via wi-fi on public transit, fragmentation and fluidity, and library databases in the age of Alexa and Siri.

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