News You Can Use

New You Can Use sessions offer the latest updates from experts on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, and projects. 

Saturday January 26th 

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM 

School Library Research: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
Lucy Santos Green, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina; Melissa Johnston, Associate Professor, University of West Georgia; April Dawkins, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Angie Branyon, Assistant Professor, University of West Georgia; Ann Ewbank, Associate Professor, Montana State University
There has been much discussion about the state of research in the field of school librarianship. This session will provide a timely update on the research of the field, including a report that looks back at school library research from the past 10 years, what was learned from previous research to advance and identify pathways for the future, what newcomers in school library research have identified as areas of investigative need, and the unique ethical and methodological issues present when designing research for K-12 educational settings.

ConnectedLib: An Online Toolkit to Support Connected Learning in Libraries
Mega Subramaniam, Associate Professor, University of Maryland; Milly Romeijn-Stout, Doctoral Student, University of Washington 
Interests. Relationships. Opportunities. How do you design, develop, implement, and evaluate teen programs at your library designed for and with teens, using these connected learning principles? In this session, you will learn how to leverage these principles to engage teens and tweens through your library, develop partnerships with your community, and provide learning experiences that are interest-driven, peer-supported, and provides tangible opportunities for growth. Through input from public library staff nationwide, join the ConnectedLib team for the unveiling of a professional development toolkit that will help library staff create engaging youth programs using the connected learning framework. 

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Libraries & Public Policy After the Midterm Elections & the Midpoint of the Administration (ALA Washington Office)
Kevin Maher, Director, Government Relations, American Library Association; Alan Inouye, Director, Public Policy, American Library Association
Librarians have been politically energized and engaged throughout the first two years of the Trump Administration. As the Administration hits the midpoint, and the new 116th Congress begins, library issues will be on the table—including funding, copyright, privacy, education, telecom—what can the library community expect over the next two years? How can you prepare for the inevitable battles—and opportunities—that await your library? Hear from “inside the beltway” experts about what Congress and the Administration mean for your bottom line. 

PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative (PLA)
Since 2017, more than 100 high school students have participated in paid, mentored internships at public libraries across the nation through the Public Library Association’s (PLA) Inclusive Internship Initiative ( This program presents librarianship as a viable career option to students from underserved populations and seeks to diversify the future of the profession. Think your public library might be interested in taking part? We will share highlights from past participants, describe how libraries can work with high school interns to build more inclusive staffs and services, and provide information on how to apply to host an intern in 2019. 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Intellectual Freedom and the Law: Issues and Updates for Meeting Rooms, Drag Queen Storytimes, and Library Displays (ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom)
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom; Theresa Chmara, General Counsel, Freedom to Read Foundation
Controversies over library meeting room policies, drag queen story times, and library displays have all made headlines in recent months. What are the legal principles and precedents that apply to these issues? Does the First Amendment apply? What rights do library users – and library workers - possess? Panelists will discuss these issues and provide practical guidance on crafting library policies that comply with the law, protect intellectual freedom, and meet the needs of the library and its community. The program will provide ample time for audience questions and discussion.    

Responding to Needs and Trends: State and National Vantage Points (IMLS)
Teri DeVoe, Associate Deputy Director, Grants to States, Institute of Museum and Library Services; Holly Henley, State Librarian & Director of Library Services, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Jamie Markus, State Librarian, Wyoming State Library; Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services 
In recent years state libraries looked deeply at user needs and trends in library services, through Five-Year Evaluations and Plans submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Now that the 2018-22 plans for spending LSTA funds are underway, chief officers from the states will discuss the needs they anticipated, as well as emerging trends they might be seeing. IMLS will also share trends from its vantage point as a national funder. To help participants identify emerging trends, the session will cover tools to search across the more than 1,500 library projects that IMLS funds annually. 

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Diversity Research Update (ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services)
Join us for updates on projects currently funded through ALA's Diversity Research Grant program. This session will offer tips and advice for undertaking research on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion within library and information science as well as resources for applying for funding. 

ACRL/SPARC Scholarly Communications Forum (ACRL)
Through its standing Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, ACRL sponsors a regular forum at both the ALA midwinter meting and annual conference to broaden the base of librarians who are knowledgeable about and engaged in scholarly communication issues. The highly popular forum series is co-sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). The topic and speakers are chosen 60-90 days before the conference based on issues that are most relevant at that time. 

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Actionable Assessment: How Assessment Leads to Change (ACRL)
Co-sponsored by ACRL Assessment Discussion Group and ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board
Jackie Belanger, Director of Assessment & Planning, University of Washington Libraries; Emily Guhde, Director of Library Assessment, Georgetown University Library
This panel discussion will address how different types of academic libraries have implemented assessment in terms of method and strategy. Panelists will also discuss what follow-up actions their libraries have initiated as a result.

Sunday January 27th

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

And the Survey Says…: Preliminary Results From the 2018 Young Children, New Media, and Libraries survey of technology use in today’s libraries (ALSC)
Claudia Haines, Homer Public Library; Liz Mills, PhD Candidate, Beverly Cleary Research Assistant, University of Washington; Kathleen Campana, Assistant Professor, Kent State University; Marianne Martens
ALSC’s first national survey of libraries and new media, administered in 2014, demonstrated a strong commitment among libraries to providing a range of technology for families with young children. An updated and expanded 2018 survey offers exciting results that provide compelling, widespread insights into the changes to this still largely uncharted and disparate landscape. Join us to learn about our preliminary findings and to discuss how your library is using new media in your programming.    

Community Partnerships and Teen Workforce Development: Learning and Earning at the Library
Kate Aubin, Youth Educator, Providence Public Library; Mireille Sturmann, Youth Educator Librarian, Providence Public Library
Libraries are uniquely positioned to provide safe and supportive first work experiences for youth, particularly those who have barriers to employment. At the Providence Public Library (PPL) we partner with community organizations in an IMLS funded teen education and workforce development initiative. The focus of these partnerships is a summer learn and earn program centered on 21st Century Skills, job readiness, and connected learning. Session attendees will walk away with an understanding of how the PPL program works, the library’s role in preparing teens for life after high school, and how to build a similar program in their community. 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Update on Value of Academic Libraries Initiative (ACRL)
Join us to learn more about funding opportunities available to support librarians in their research and efforts to demonstrate the impact of their work to a broader audience. The Value of Academic Libraries (VAL) Travel Scholarships and Academic Library Impact Research Grants provide opportunities for academic librarians to conduct research that will demonstrate library contributions to student learning and success and to present findings to higher education or disciplinary stakeholders. Last year, ACRL committed up to $30,000 to assist academic librarians in demonstrating and communicating the positive impacts libraries have on student learning and success. 

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

LITA Top Technology Trends (LITA)
LITA's premier program on changes and advances in technology. Top Technology Trends features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts and thought leaders. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. More information about the program is available at the Top Tech Trends site.    

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Project Outcome: Public Library Trends, Results & Impacts (PLA)
Learn how public libraries are using Project Outcome to collect the outcomes of their programs and services, analyze their results, and take action using the data. With years of survey data collected from hundreds of libraries across the U.S. and Canada, the Public Library Association is able to help determine public library trends and impacts. Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of their programs and services by providing simple, standardized surveys and easy-to-use tools for measuring and analyzing outcomes.    

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

DPLA Update 
Join the Digital Public Library of America for an update on their current work and a look ahead to the organization’s plans for 2019. DPLA Executive Director John Bracken and the DPLA team look forward to an engaging discussion and interaction with attendees. 

Library Advocacy and Community Engagement in the 2020 Census (ALA Washington Office)
Gavin Baker, Assistant Director, Government Relations, American Library Association; Larra Clark, Deputy Director, Public Library Association and ALA Office for Information Technology Policy 
Communities across the United States are preparing for the upcoming 2020 Census, and libraries should have a seat at the table. Library staff and supporters can increase awareness of library services and strengthen community relationships by participating in a Complete Count Committee. Hear from librarians who have been involved with Complete Count efforts and learn about a new advocacy publication from ALA’s Washington Office.

Monday January 28th 

10:30 AM - 11:30AM

OCLC Research Update
The OCLC Research provides overviews of several active research projects. Following the briefings, audience members will be invited to offer comments and ask questions. 

Future Ready with the Library: Connecting with Middle Schoolers to Build Strong Communities (YALSA)
Middle school. Those words can put fear in the hearts of many library staff. However, middle school is a key time for young people to consider their passions and interests and learn about how those may connect to college and/or a career.  That’s why the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), with funding form IMLS, developed the Future Ready with the Library project.  In this participatory session you’ll learn how libraries can work with community partners and families to support the social emotional development needs of middle schoolers and, at the same time, support young people’s early steps in considering college and career opportunities.  It is through working with middle schoolers that families, communities, and libraries expand opportunities to thrive.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Libraries and Open Enrollment (PLA)
More than 97% of libraries assist patrons in using online government services such as filing taxes, enrolling in health insurance and more. Libraries are important partners in providing help in navigating the complex world of government information and social services. This session will discuss how a grant funded by Community Catalyst, allowed the Public Library Association to play a role in increasing awareness and educating library staff on how to maximize enrollment in health insurance Marketplace plans for 2019.