ALA President’s report for August 2008

8:34 pm American Library Association

ALA President’s Informal Report for August 2008

In my role as ALA president I did the following during August :


August 10-14 I participated in IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The conference theme was “Libraries without borders: Navigating towards Global Understanding.” This was my first IFLA conference. It was good to experience an event whose conventions, schedule, and structure were new to me; it helped me imagine how first-timers to our massive Annual Conference must feel.

During the IFLA conference I signed an agreement between the association and the Berufsverband Information Bibliothek (BIB). The two organizations will work together to facilitate exchanges between librarians of the two countries. German librarians interested in an exchange in the United States can contact BIB which will work with ALA’s International Relations Office to connect to libraries in the United States. Although no funds are available at this time U.S. librarians interested in exchanges in Germany should contact the International Relations Office at


  • Interviews on the relationship between increased use of public libraries and the nation’s economic downturn with the following:
    • Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY
    • Sacramento Bee, Sacrament, CA
    • Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY
    • Associated Press, WV
    • Press Enterprise, Riverside, CA
    • Toledo Blade, Toledo, OH
    • Oak Leaves, Oak Park, IL
  • Interview on electronic media and services in libraries, Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA
  • Panelist in program on the future of libraries and librarians on KQED’s “Forum” call-in radio show; archived at

In interviews with the print media I observed two things. First, national and regional reporters ask more insightful questions and have prepared for the interviews. Second, it seems that few of them have visited a public library recently. Frequently they were surprised to learn about services that are common in our public libraries. Michael Krasny, KQED’s host, was briefed very well on current library issues.


  • Presided during the Executive Board’s Executive Commitee conference call on August 4
  • The Executive Board did not conduct a conference call in August

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