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Jazz it up – Save the date !

Jazzing it up: hit the high notes with new tools and skills
46th APLIC Annual Conference
April 8-10
New Orleans, Louisiana
At its Fall meeting, hosted by Allison Burns and FHI 360 in Durham, North Carolina, the APLIC board explored potential topics for our 46th annual conference. Based on feedback from the 2012 event in San Francisco, it was clear that sessions focusing on what peers are doing and what tools peers find useful are very meaningful, and they will be continued this year.
Numerous other ideas were examined, and we’ll keep you informed as the program develops. If you have any suggestions about a topic or issue that is highly relevant to our work as information professionals in the population studies arena, please communicate with Allison Burns.
I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.

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Conference keynoter Kahle thinks big

Lori Delaney points us to a New York Times article featuring the titanic vision of Brewster Kahle. One interesting quote : “A lot of libraries are doing some pretty drastic weeding. . . .”

You’ll have the opportunity to hear Mr. Kahle and ask questions pertinent to your own operations at the APLIC 45th Annual Conference.

See you in SF !

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Twitter citations ? MLA’s got your back

Alexis Madrigal over at The Atlantic reports that MLA has come up with a standard form for citing tweets. Maybe not mission-central, but nice to know. . . .

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2012 Conference Registration

The conference registration form is now up and available for download.

Early-bird rate for registration ends on March 30. That may seem like a long way off, but remember that hotel and air rates may change as the date gets closer.

We’ll post some profiles about our speakers as well as updates in the weeks to come . . . stay tuned.

Haystack Italian restaurant in SF

Photo: Franco Folini

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San Francisco – here I come !

Changing of the guardThe APLIC conference is always a great time to catch up with old friends and learn what colleagues are up to, and the sessions help to keep perspective on substantive issues as well as questions about our craft as information specialists.
Ok – you know the drill.
This year, however, we also get to have all of this in one of the world’s most beautiful cities : San Francisco, California.
View of San Francisco from Kite HillPersonally, I’ll take a couple extra days to enjoy the SF night life in Chinatown, say hello to Coit Tower, revisit memories in Golden Gate Park, and just enjoy a city that never stops posing for a perfect photo.
As we get closer to April 30, May 1-2, we’ll post items about interesting activities, sightseeing, and entertainment opportunities in and around this great town.
What would you like to do or see while you’re visiting San Francisco ? – let us know in the comments.

Beach near SF with bird

These images come from a superb Flickr stream of California images by Franco Folini, who shows himself to have a wonderful, sensitive eye.

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2011 Conference Notes

Jean Sack, portrait

By Jean Sack

The 44th Annual Conference included 13 speakers in 8 sessions. Jean Sack offers notes about some of the speakers. -Ed.


Kristen Purcell of the Pew Internet and American Life ProjectKristen Purcell’s Keynote “Information 2.0 and Beyond” ( began with a description of the Pew Internet Project as a “fact tank” in collecting communications information about American Adults 18+ and USA teens 12-17, using cell phone surveys. Her presentation was extraordinarily fluent and fun! The 2011 Pew surveys revealed that 85 percent of American own cell phones with 25 percent of their homes functioning without landlines.  Some 74 percent of adults use Internet and 93 percent of teens with 65 percent using the web via broadband.  Only half of people with disabilities use the web, however, but African-American adults are the most active mobile Internet users with 40 percent of Hispanics using the web now. Because on-line access via mobile phones has sharply declined in price, low income populations use phones for web. About 61 percent of online adults use social networks with elders (above 50 years) rising in use of Facebook and other networks. Only 8 percent of on-line adults use Twitter (especially 14-17 year old girls) but many more use apps as a form of information highway bypass to pull in information, including getting geo-locations, games, social networks, news / weather, and games. Who is evaluating information when 70 percent of adults feel overwhelmed by free news vs. broad information overload? Who is teaching digital literacy and judging depth of user satisfaction with Google searches? Kristen ended her review of the past Pew Internet Surveys with a salute to the essential role of librarians as human information filters because they are trusted experts and good storytellers who can explain and customize how information relates and is relevant to the seekers.

  1. Curators who use portals to aggregate links and recommend sources for “deep dives”
  2. Become a living node in a network to make information open and available
  3. Community builders in connecting people and forming free focus groups around facts
  4. Lifesavers in providing timely information
  5. Tour guides into worlds of knowledge (like museums) and data (Census and beyond)

International Datasets

Peter D. Johnson of the US Census Bureau used a screen capture PowerPoint slide show to review the International Database (IDB) and International Data Resources available on line, including some survey follow-ups such as Mozambique’s sample of deaths with verbal autopsies. Although there were no IDB handouts, Census Bureau folders with US 2010 timetables were brought in later, by Louisa Miller, on Wednesday afternoon.

Ivana Bjelic’s ( careful review of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) generated by UNICEF was quite stimulating. Three MICS survey sets with 200 surveys taken in 100 countries have followed the original 1990s household surveys done for the World Summit for Children in 1995. The MICS4 given from 2009-2011 is in 43 countries whose governments select the menu modules that they desire in order to fill in gaps in their health and economic data for policy decisions. Each county implements the survey packages with funding from UNFPA, UNDP, USAID, Global Fund and UNICEF supplying technical and training help. Eighty-five percent of funding flows through the UNICEF local country offices although several countries have self-funded with average past costs of $300,000 per country. Governments form MICS teams who are trained in regional workshops in data processing & analysis as well as administration of the surveys and dissemination of results. Reviews of all questionnaires and standard methods result in each country customizing their MICS surveys and contracting with local country survey agencies for capacity building. UNICEF technical advisors return to the country at critical times during the surveys. DHS added household income survey questions from MICS to determine child well-being. Each survey takes a household sample, face to face interviews with individuals, women, children and men (new module for males). Only female interviewers can survey women and they also survey men. Follow up health checkups are given.

The MICS4 pilot was done in Mombasa, Kenya in Feb. 2009. The Early Childhood Development Index is targeted for PreS literacy, numeracy, physical / social / emotional and learning within the household. Medical screening follows for children in sample and a disability survey. Attitude questions are being added to MICS, including standard questions about child discipline and domestic violence.  It is possible to compare certain modules of MICS between rounds and countries. A module on Child Health contains questions about immunization coverage, ORT, and care-seeking for pneumonia. The Household questions are given to women 15-49, mothers of children under 5, and men 15-59 collecting demographics, identifying orphans, education, water / sanitation, dwelling information places family in wealth quintiles, malaria queries include collecting statistics on use of ITN bed nets or spraying, and includes questions about child labor, hand washing, and food (salt iodization test is made). The women’s module includes questions on literacy, fertility, age at marriage, access to mass media, birth histories (child mortality), illnesses in children, contraceptive use, postnatal checks, female genital cutting, life satisfaction, maternal mortality, use of tobacco / alcohol. The newest module for men is similar to that for women but includes male circumcision, contraceptive usage and sex behaviors as well as questions about HIV / stigma and shame. The median number of household visits per country is 7,000 but can be up to 62,000.

Collected MICS data are disseminated in-country in preliminary reports, a final report is issued and a country action plan developed. Most data is mounted on the MICS website for public use. The State of the World’s Children utilizes data from MICS as do the UNICEF Countdown reports, Millennium Development reports, and the Global Poverty Index. Datasets are downloadable and free from and via with tables, graphs, maps. Only a few countries have participated in each MICS round (Serbia and Gambia), since many governments rotate between with DHS (Ghana & Sierra Leone). Mali is participating for the first time in MICS4 while many of the African countries are now nearly finished with MICS4 data collections.

Ivana handled many questions very adroitly during her PowerPoint presentation. MICS information was distributed on UNICEF CDs to APLIC members in addition to spiral notebooks, fact-sheets, postcards, opaque rulers and mouse pads.

Note : Jean sent these notes to us in a very timely fashion in April; the editorial team will try in future to be more responsive.

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Reflections on a year as ALA president – at LOC 6 Dec 2011

Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Office of Scholarly Programs (202) 707-3302
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6382 (voice/tty) or

Photo of Roberta Stevens


Roberta Stevens, who has managed the Library of Congress Bicentennial and the National Book Festival in her 26 years at the Library of Congress, will discuss her year as the 2010-2011 president of the American Library Association (ALA).
The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture, sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Stevens will describe how she used the visibility of ALA’s presidency to build support for libraries during a time of economic uncertainty and the re-examination of the value of public and private institutions. She will discuss how the year’s major controversies reflected fundamental shifts in America’s economy and society, how it affected libraries and how to work with the media in times of change.
A particular focus of her talk will be experiences from her national and international travels as president and perspectives on the evolution of libraries in response to political transformations throughout the world.
Stevens is the sixth person in the history of the Library of Congress to be elected to the presidency of ALA, a 61,000-member organization dating back to 1878 and dedicated to providing leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship.
Stevens has worked in libraries for 37 years. She began as the coordinator of a school media resource center, was chairperson of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and directed technical operations for the Fairfax County Public Library system before joining the Library of Congress as the customer services officer in the Cataloging Distribution Service.
Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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Special Population issue of Science

Yan Fu points out that the 19 July issue of the AAAS online magazine carries a series of articles and media exploring the challenges and opportunities created by demographic changes around the world.

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2011 Annual Conference – yes, there were cherry blossoms. . . .

Cherry blossoms

APLIC members gathered in Washington DC in late March for three eventful days of presentations, special events, and catching up with old friends. The nation’s capital provided some wonderful moments outside the session rooms.

Enjoy a brief slide show . . . .

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APLIC Communicator Summer issue is up !

The latest APLIC Communicator has just been posted. Check it out at : Communicator Summer 2010

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