2001 has certainly begun with a bang in the Libraries as we prepare for the evaluation visit of the Association of Research Libraries and try to keep pace with constantly changing technology.
We are beginning to lend laptops to students at Ekstrom and at Kornhauser. Kornhauser staff also had to begin to address issues related to Palm Pilot use for access to electronic information by their constituencies. Our information literacy classes are being taught in a completely electronic classroom environment and we continue to learn, learn, learn….
The American Association of University Professors has endorsed the Association of College and Research Libraries' “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.”
January 12-17, 2001 five librarians from the University of Louisville were among the 13,291 attendees at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, D.C. ALA President Nancy Kranich's theme for the conference was “The Digital Divide and Information Equity: Challenges and Opportunities for Libraries in the 21st Century” and several speakers addressed this theme.
ALA's new public relation campaign “@your library™” is aimed at communicating the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. Much information was provided for conference participants to help them with their public relations campaign.
Author Richard Peck won the Newbery Medal for his children's book A Year Down Yonder, David Small won the Caldecott Award for his picture book So You Want To Be President and Jacqueline Woodson and Bryan Collier won Coretta Scott King Awards for Miracle Boys and Uptown. Many other awards were announced and information about them can be found on the ALA web site (http://www.ala.org).
Several major issues were discussed throughout the conference, among them competencies for the profession.
As a member of ALA's Task Force on Core Competencies I participated in a hearing on such competencies and a major discussion of the group to finalize the competencies at the ALA 2001 summer conference. The Association of Southeast Research Libraries (ASERL) is also working on competencies for academic libraries.
I participated in a focus group for the University of Michigan to discuss curriculum needs for information professionals.
The ALA Council dealt with various issues such as:
Several hundred conference exhibits were most educational and helpful in preparing for changing electronic information and changing technological environments.
It was exciting to be in Washington a few days before the Presidential Inauguration and to enjoy the many political and cultural riches of that city.
--Hannelore Rader, University Librarian