Magazine article American Libraries

Northwest to Seattle: Emerging Leaders, a Forum on Library Education, and the Year's Best Youth Media Highlight the Conference Agenda

Magazine article American Libraries

Northwest to Seattle: Emerging Leaders, a Forum on Library Education, and the Year's Best Youth Media Highlight the Conference Agenda

Article excerpt

The more than 10,000 attendees, exhibitors, authors, and guests expected for the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting January 19-24 will enjoy a new location for the annual event, the city of Seattle.

Located in the northernmost latitude of any major city in the United States outside of Alaska, Seattle is called the Emerald City because of its picturesque views of lush evergreen trees, snowcapped mountains, and sparkling blue waters. Arthur A. Denny and his crew of mostly family members are credited with founding the city on November 13, 1851. First named New York, then Duwamps, the city was finally renamed Seattle, an anglicized rendition of the last name of Noah Sealth, chief of the two Indian tribes living in the area.

Often regarded as the birthplace of grunge music, Seattle is home to corporate giants Microsoft and Amazon, as well as Starbucks, the world's largest multinational chain of coffee shops. It also features the award-winning 11-floor, 362,987-square-foot public library designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas that opened in 2004.

Described as an "avant-garde symphony of glass and form," the Seattle Public Library's central facility includes several unique features, including a "Books Spiral" that displays the entire nonfiction collection in a continuous run and a towering 50-foot-high living room. In 2005, the Central Library and its 24 branches served more than 10 million visitors, answered nearly 1.2 million reference questions, and provided remote online catalog service to 9.5 million.

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Other Seattle attractions include Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously operated farmer's markets in the United States, home to several hundred businesses ranging from fish markets to arts and crafts shops, bookstores, and street musicians.

Described as the city's crowning landmark, the Space Needle offers a 360-degree view from the indoor and outdoor observation decks and a revolving restaurant. The Space Needle is part of the 74-acre Seattle Center urban park which also includes the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Seattle Children's Museum, and the Experience Music Project--the brainchild of Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen which is dedicated to American popular music.

The historic attraction of Seattle aside, there is much on the agenda for the various committees that will meet during the Association's annual business meeting. Conferees will gather at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center (WCC) and several downtown hotels, including the headquarters facility at the Sheraton Seattle and co-headquarters hotels the Grand Hyatt and Westin Seattle.

Presidential agenda

ALA President Leslie Burger will host the first of two "Emerging Leaders 2007" daylong sessions designed to train 100 librarians for leadership roles within ALA and the profession. The Midwinter session will take place January 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue. A reception will be held from 4 to 5 p.m.

After the Midwinter session, the program will continue online for six months and will culminate at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. As a prerequisite to selection, participants had to commit to serving on an ALA, division, chapter, or round table committee, task force, or working group upon completion of the program.

Training will be provided by consultant Maureen Sullivan and Connie Paul, executive director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative. Participants will also join in problem-solving work groups, network with their peers, and receive an inside look into ALA structure. For more information and a complete list of selected participants and sponsoring organizations, visit lb.princetonlibrary.org/emerging_leaders.html.

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Burger has also submitted a paper titled "Who 'We' Are in Library Education" for the Forum on Library Education to be held January 19 from 1:30 to 3:30 p. …

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