The 2014 American Library Association Annual Meeting
Library staff members Pauline Lemasson and Celeste Rhoads are reporting from the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, which officially kicked off on Friday 28 June at the Las Vegas Convention Center. So far, it’s been an intense schedule of attending sessions, meeting authors, and connecting with librarians, teachers, and students.
The first session we attended was “The Annual Unconference” that featured round-table discussions on issues such as how to get adults to library programs, managing staff, improving communications, and the always fun topic of assessment. Participants shared freely and openly. It becomes evident that it’s sometimes just as helpful to ask questions and discuss as it is to come up with “solutions” for every issue.
We attended other sessions such as “How to host an independent TEDx talk at your library” and “21st Century Teen: Literacy in the digital world.” The TEDxJuneauLibrary offered examples of how one public library successfully organized monthly events as informal talk viewing parties open to the general public, and designed to introduce the community to the ideas that come out of TED and TEDx.
At the opening general session, keynote speaker Jane McGonigal, an American gamer and author, describes how playing alternate reality games can create strong positive emotions and increase brain activity. McGonigal celebrated gamers as super-empowered hopeful individuals who could use the skills they learn from gaming to solving major real-life problems. She mentioned the much-cited article, “When Scientists Fail, it’s Time to Call in the Gamers,” on how gamers deciphered a complex protein structure in 10 days that had stumped scientists for 14 years.
Be sure to stay tuned as we bring you more updates from the 2014 ALA Annual Conference.