AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Book Clubs with Heart

Collaboration. In theory, an easy concept. As a school librarian, I understand the importance of collaborating with my public librarians, and I try my best. But if you are anything like me, sometimes knowing what you should do and actually being able to execute it are two totally different things. When it came time to think of a topic to write about for this collaboration-themed post, I immediately thought of the program that is run jointly by Mira Johnson, the HS librarian in my district and Penny Kelley, our YA librarian at the public library. I thought I’d interview them about the program, the work involved, and the benefits and challenges. Tell me about the book club: We run a book discussion program with students in grades 5 to 7 based on the Jane Addams Peace Association’s book awards. These are “given annually to the children’s books published the preceding year…

Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Collecting for Makers

Depending on who you speak to, “Maker” culture is either a revolutionary new idea that has revitalized library services or a clever re-branding of programs libraries were already providing. Whatever your viewpoint, Maker culture continues to grow and thrive. We’ve had a Makerspace since 2013 in our library, but the past six months have seen an unprecedented uptick of patrons exploring the options in our TEA Room – Technology, Engineering, and the Arts. As a new generation of children discover the art supplies, circuit boards, and the 3D printer, we are examining anew our “maker” collection and its greater purpose in the library. When we originally opened our Makerspace, we wanted to have a collection of books that lived in the room and was specifically for its use. We purchased about 25 books – duct tape craft ideas, origami books, Raspberry Pi guides, and many more. But we quickly ran into…


Be Ready to Make Your Case

Whatever kind of library you work in, you’ve probably been called on to make a case for the importance of youth services in libraries – whether it’s to a library director who doesn’t understand why story time is important, a local business owner who is considering making a donation to support summer reading, a principal who is more concerned with test scores than with information literacy, or just a casual acquaintance who hasn’t used a library in years. How do you keep yourself ready to advocate for the importance of serving children in libraries? What tools can prepare you for that unexpected conversation that might lead to a new funding opportunity, a newly supportive manager, or a newly-enthusiastic library user? Evaluation You can probably rattle off the number of families who come to your Toddler Time every week, or the number of classes who visit your school library daily. But…

Guest Blogger

How the ALSC Student Gift Membership Program Enlisted 100 New Members

Early one morning during ALA Annual 2015, some of the ALSC leadership including Andrew Medlar, Starr Latronica, and Aimee Strittmatter, were pondering the question of how they could grow membership in ALSC. They wondered, “If we offered gift memberships to students, would there be significant interest? What are the motivations for new graduates to join their professional organization?”

Blogger Liaison with National Organizations

Partnerships and Trust: A Perfect Pair

Working on the SPELL (Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries) project at the Denver Public Library, we had lots of partners and learned how to make partnerships effective.  Here’s a link to a list of the partners involved: My big takeaway? The most critical piece is Trust! Three Ways Trust Matters. Trust with your Team. Everyone that you work with needs to know and understand your work with partners. And support it. From directors to coordinators to library paraprofessionals and volunteers. When the whole team knows the value of your outreach and partnership, then you are supported and can move forward confidently. Often Friends of the Library organizations will offer support of your partnership when you make clear the goals and the value. So up and down the ladder, be a communicator of your work. Trust with your Partners. This means you know your partner and know that you…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy Interview with Paula S. W. Laurita, Athens-Limestone Public Library

Paula S. W. Laurita is the Executive Director of the Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, Alabama. She was a school librarian for ten years before making the switch to Public Services. Now, she is currently running for an open council seat for ALA! Throughout her career, Paula has constantly advocated for libraries and library services. Her work convincing her community that they needed a new public library epitomizes these efforts. Thanks to her incredible advocacy and use of best practices, the community of Athens, AL gained a beautiful 40,000 square foot library facility at the end of 2014! I was first influenced by Paula Laurita and her accomplishments when I attended her ALA webinar titled, “Marketing and Advocacy: Explaining Libraries to Elected Officials.” The three biggest takeaways I took from Paula, when working with elected officials, were these three rules: 1.Stay POSITIVE. 2. It’s not about you. It’s about the SERVICE to…

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Community Forum on Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenship for Children in Libraries

ALSC/AASL Collaborative Community Forum: Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenship for Children in Libraries

The ALSC Board of Directors and 2017 ALSC President Nina Lindsay will be co-hosting an ALSC/AASL Collaborative Community Forum live chat on the topic of Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenship for Children in Libraries. The forum will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at: 1 pm Eastern 12 pm Central 11 am Mountain 10 am Pacific With library and education funding and policy in question, who is teaching children information literacy–where and how? From “fake news” to new privacy concerns, from government “data rescue” to the threat to intellectual freedom with loss of data and access to broadband, what on-the-ground strategies can library staff in public and school libraries employ to prepare children to be digitally literate citizens? This ALSC Community Forum will be jointly hosted by ALSC’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Directors. We are delighted to open this forum to both divisions’ members. Helpful Resources…