This January, New England Librarians were very fortunate to have the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference in Boston. Highly motivating and energizing, this conference offered 11,700 attendees from across the country hundreds of venues for engaging in a conversation centered around ALA’s new public awareness campaign, Libraries Transform ™ . Workshops, programs, discussion groups and speakers focused on the many ways that libraries transform lives in the communities they serve with an emphasis on what libraries do for and with people. Sessions included topics on diversity and inclusion, digital content and ebooks, innovation, leadership, trends, changes in facilities and services, library advocacy, and community engagement. In the exhibit hall, more than 450 exhibitors demonstrated the latest technologies, products, and services for providing innovation in our libraries.
The Speakers and Lecture series was a conference highlight. The Authors Forum featured documentarian Ken Burns and authors Mark Kurlansky and Terry Tempest Williams. The Speaker Series offered impassioned talks from Senator Cory Booker, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, designer Isaac Mizrahi, bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez, civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry, and Chelsea Clinton.