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Arizona Library Honored for Cutting-edge Services by American Library Association

Submitted by mhagedon on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 14:43
ALA Office for Information Technology Policy 21st Century Cutting-Edge Technology Service

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Today, the American Library Association (ALA) selected five libraries for offering cutting-edge technologies in library services, honoring libraries in Boston, New York City, Tucson, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Le Roy, N.Y. The ALA honored the University of Arizona (UA) Libraries for serving its community using novel and innovative methods. 

The recognition is presented by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the Library & Information Technology Association. Libraries or library service areas selected for the recognition will be highlighted through various ALA publications and featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27-July 2, 2013.

With the launch of Guide on the Side, the UA Libraries turned 12 years of lessons learned developing e-learning tools into an open-source software package that librarians worldwide can download and use to quickly and easily create online, interactive tutorials based on principles of authentic and active learning. The key: a WYSIWYG interface that reduces or eliminates the need for programming assistance and provides considerable time savings. 

The UA Libraries have developed more than 25 tutorials using the tool, and these tutorials received nearly 73,000 uses in one year. Other libraries have installed the software, begun creating tutorials and joined a discussion group to continue improving the software. 

“This year’s winners represent creative and cost-effective engagement with technology trends including BYOD (bring your own device), augmented reality, e-government, crowd-sourcing, and online learning,” said Marc Gartler, Branch Manager, Madison Public Library, who chaired the selection subcommittee. “We are excited to recognize these fantastic projects and believe they have the potential to be replicated by many libraries across the country.”

ALA will host a program about these five services during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and will make detailed descriptions of each available online in order to share successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways. Additional information is available at

About the Library & Information Technology Association

LITA, a division of the ALA, is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit

About the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy

The Office for Information Technology Policy advances ALA’s public policy activities by helping secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. It works to ensure a library voice in information policy debates and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public. For more information, visit