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ALA Midwinter Meeting to Focus on the Future of Libraries
This year the annual midwinter meeting will be held in Philadelphia, PA, and will feature a symposium on the future of libraries. Many SC&I faculty, alumni, and students will attend in order to present, participate, network, and learn.

How libraries can adapt to changes in technology, social media, sustainability, and expand diversity, equality, and inclusion practices will be the focus of the American Library Association’s conference, “ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits.” Being held January 24 – 28, 2020 in Philadelphia, ALA plans many ways attendees can enjoy “exploring the many futures of academic, public, school, and special libraries for a ‘Symposium on the Future of Libraries.’”

Other highlights of the three-day event, according to the ALA website, include “Innovation-Spurring” pre-conferences and institutes, books, media, and over 400 exhibitors, new products, services, and titles.

Many SC&I faculty, students, and alumni will attend the meeting, in order to network, participate, learn new ideas, and be inspired. SC&I will host booth number 1663, and an Alumni Reception on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 6 – 8 PM at the Hard Rock Café, in the Philadelphia Room, on 1113 Market Street in Philadelphia (conveniently connected to the Philadelphia Convention Center).

Chair and of Library and Information Science Marie Radford said, "We are excited that ALA Midwinter has returned to Philadelphia this year, as the close proximity to NJ makes it possible for large numbers of our SC&I Alumni community to attend and enjoy the conference. In view of the Philly location we are sponsoring a rockin' RU Reception at the Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday night (RSVP and details are here!) All are warmly invited and we especially hope to see many MI/MLIS and Ph.D. alumni there.  The LIS Department is also sponsoring a full booth in the exhibits, and we hope that all attendees stop by to say hello and grab some RU giveaways."

As part of the midwinter meeting, the 2020 class of ALA Emerging Leaders will gather for the kick off of the Emerging Leaders program, which will consist of a day-long leadership session during the conference. Of the 50 emerging leaders ALA selected for 2020, two are SC&I alumna: Marie Colish and Erica Saito, who both graduated with Master of Information degrees from SC&I in 2019.

SC&I faculty and students will participate in two presentations.

Adjunct faculty member Doris Gebel is a member of the 2019 and 2020 Outstanding International Books List Committee that will present  an ALA- USBY (The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) co-sponsored session on Friday, January 24 at 8 p.m. titled “When Stars are Scattered: Refugees and Outstanding International Books: featuring Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed.”

Current SC&I Ph.D. student Diana Floegel will join SC&I alumnae Sarah Barriage, Ph.D. ‘18 and Vanessa Kitzie, MLIS ’12, Ph.D. ’17, and others, as speakers for the session titled  “News You Can Use Diversity Research Grant Update” being held on Saturday, January 25 from 3 -4 p.m. in room 122-B. The session will provide an “update on projects recently funded through ALA's Diversity Research Grant program. This session will also 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.”

Featured speakers at the Midwinter conference will include New York Times bestselling author and decorated U.S. Army combat veteran Wes Moore, who will deliver the lecture at the Opening Session.  Moore is CEO of New York City’s anti-poverty organization the Robin Hood Foundation, and is the author of “The Other Wes Moore,” “The Work, Discovering Wes Moore,” and “This Way Home.” His next book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City,” about Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, will be released this spring.

Auditorium speakers include Echo Brown, author of “Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard,” and two-time figure skating bronze medalists and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani who wrote “Kudo Kids: The Mystery of the Masked Medalist.”

The  Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture will be delivered by author and National Medal of Arts winner Julia Alvarez, the ALA’s President’s Program will be presented by celebrity chef and author Jeff Henderson, and the Closing Session will be a “Conversation with Chanel Miller.” Miller was assaulted by Brock Turner on the Stanford University campus, and her victim impact statement stunned and changed the world. She is the author of “Know My Name.” 

More information about the Master of Information degree and the Department of Library and Information Science is available on the Rutgers School of Communication and Information website.

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