The theme for our 2012 ALSC Institute was “Libraries Leading the Race.” I am certain that everyone who attended felt like they personally not only led the race but also won it!
ALSC Blogger Eva Mitnick’s summed up the experience of the 2012 Institute with the following final note “The ALSC Institute not only supplied practical tips and great ideas aplenty, but it also created an opportunity for attendees to ponder and plan. For a few days, we let our imaginations go wild, playing with all the ways we can make our libraries better than ever.” And, at the airport on her way home ALSC Guest Blogger Jill Hutchison said in her concluding post that “It’s been an energizing, inspiring, idea-sharing fabulous time!”
Highlights from the 2012 Institute (of which there were many) are detailed in a series of posts on the ALSC Blog that some of you may have read as they were posted live, if not, just scroll down and click on the “Institute 2012” category on the right-side of this message. There you’ll find the posts of our enthusiastic “Institute 2012” live bloggers. And blog they did! More than fifty blog posts were recorded that initiate with a blog from Amy Koester titled “And We’re Off!” If you haven’t yet read the posts, then begin with Amy’s blog and read through sequentially. You will certainly have a virtual picture of what was happening and you’ll also gather hints, tips and information that bloggers gleaned from the many workshops and presentations they attended. So, have paper and pen handy for notes! And, thanks to our group of live bloggers for capturing the event in real time and providing us with this resource for future use!
And, special thanks again to all the individuals who helped to make the 2012 ALSC Institute possible…
–the workshop presenters who helped us in strengthening our skills and knowledge on a variety of relevant topics and current trends that are connected to our competencies and strategic plan.
–the authors and illustrators who shared both their personal stories and their creative stories for children. We laughed and we cried and we’ll take their stories back across the country and share them with children in our communities.
–the members of the 2012 ALSC Institute Task Force and the ALSC Program Coordinating Committee for working hard to provide a high quality and meaningful program line-up for all participants. The Institute Planning Committee led by Joyce Welkie had us all feeling at home in Indianapolis. They certainly provided lots of extras such as all door prizes, special touches and warm hospitality.
–the ALSC Staff was front and center with providing support and attention to all the unseen details. Special thanks to Jenny Najduch, our ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education. And, for assistance during the conference were Dan Rude, Laura Schulte-Cooper and Aimee Strittmatter, our Executive Director.
–and, of course the participants who were a dedicated, energetic and busy group of networking professionals all about relationship building through the educational experiences that were well planned and informative and through light-hearted interactions that were fun and informal.
Thanks one and all!
I have reflected countless times on this memorable learning experience of joining more than 260 colleagues from across the nation to focus on what is central to all of our missions—creating a better future for children through libraries. I had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know youth librarians from coast to coast including the states of Alaska, California, Montana, Arkansas, Maine, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio…and more. It was certainly a happening place to be to connect with our ALSC community. If you didn’t attend get the chance the 2012 ALSC Institute, the next one is in the early stages of development for September 2014. Mark your calendar when the site announcement is made sometime next year, 2014 will be here before you know it!
***In the meantime, ALSC offers a host of other opportunities to enhance your skills and network with collegues. Check out our professional development page at http://www.ala.org/alsc/onlineeducation for ongoing experiences including webinars, online courses, pre-recorded webcasts and student sessions. There is also a link to submit an online course proposal so that YOU might share your expertise with the ALSC community. Other ways to connect include ALA conference attendance, ALSC committee work, and our own ALSC Forums that are conducted quarterly (next one in November, watch ALSC-L for more information). For more information go to http://www.ala.org/alsc/confevents. You can also check out our publications page at http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs with links that include our journal—Children & Libraries, our newsletter—ALSC Matters. And, at the ALSC 2.0 Community page http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/alsc20 there are links to this blog, wiki, electronic discussion lists, Facebook, Twitter and ALA Connect!