ALA Midwinter 2016

5 Things You May Have Missed from #alamw16

Don’t you just love all of the conference liveblogging that happens here on the ALSC Blog? We at the Public Awareness Committee certainly do–it’s a great way to keep in the loop if you can’t be at a conference, or even if you’re attending but have to be choosey about where you spend your time. There are always so many interesting and important things happening at conferences, it can be hard to keep up with everything. So, to help everyone continue to be as informed as possible, here are…

5 Things You May Have Missed from #alamw16

1. ALSC is working with First Book for a Día initiative, and First Book is offering ways to make sure libraries with an e-rate of 90% and/or serving communities with 70%+ students eligible for free/reduced lunch have access to low cost or free books. That’s excellent, multicultural books in the library and in the hands of the children you serve. Find out more information here.

2. The toolkit for Library Services to Special Population Children and their Caregivers made its official debut. Does your library serve any of the following?: homeschoolers, LGBTQ families, children on the autism spectrum, children with incarcerated parents, Spanish-speaking families, children with print disabilities, and/or teens with children? My guess is that 100% of libraries are situated in communities with these populations, and that most of us could use some tips and refreshers on providing them with the best possible service. Take a look at the super resourceful toolkit here.

3. A four-part webinar series on Managing Children’s Services starts Tuesday, January 19. All of the webinars are free to register, and they’ll cover topics like communication; scheduling and time management; finances and budgeting; and supervising. Whether you’re currently a manager, have that goal for your career, or simply want to see things from a supervisor’s perspective, you’ll want to participate. More information and links to register here.

4. REFORMA, as part of their Children in Crisis project, has created a bilingual flier to invite Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees to the library. You should be aware of these fliers, in particular if you’re in a library in the American southwest where the bulk of this population influx is located. Check out the flier here.

5. The 2016 Youth Media Awards marked the first time EVER that the Stonewall Book Awards recognized BOTH children’s and young adult winners. This news is big, folks, because the appearance of two awards is a direct result of the fact that more excellent literature capturing the GLBT experience is being published than ever before. That’s a huge win for everyone. Check out the winners and honors of the Stonewall Book Award, as well as all the other Youth Media Awards winners, here.

What are some things that you learned or encountered at Midwinter 2016 that you think others should know about? Please chime in below in the comments so we can all stay as informed as possible.

Amy Koester is Youth & Family Program Coordinator at Skokie (IL) Public Library and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee, of which she is chair. You can reach her at

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