ALSC Board Member Profile

Meet Your ALSC Board: Chris Caputo

Late this past summer, we began a feature in which we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet ALSC Board member, Christine Caputo.

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Why did you join ALSC? How long have you been a member? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

Head shot of ALSC Board member, Chris Caputo
“Photo courtesy of Christine Caputo

I went to college to become a school librarian and in my junior year, one of my professors talked to my class about professional organizations, including ALA, ALSC, and AASL.  Feeling flush with money from my part-time job, I gleefully joined all three as a way to connect to other librarians across the country. I’ve been a member of ALSC for almost 30 years (minus a couple years when I was heavy in debt from college and grad school), and have really enjoyed meeting and working with so many great people who are passionate about libraries and children.  As I have worked in public libraries for most of my career, I also belong to the Public Library Association (PLA), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), and the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). I also belong to the Pennsylvania Library Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children and really appreciate all the wonderful resources I get from each association.

What strengths do you bring to the ALSC Board of Directors? What have you learned while serving on the Board?

I was fortunate to be able to serve on the ALSC Budget Committee (and the ALSC Budget Manual Task Force) prior to being elected to the ALSC Board, and so I bring a knowledge of how the ALA and ALSC budgeting process works.  I am also heavily involved in program planning and implementation in my library system, and can bring that perspective to discussions about existing and new ALSC projects and initiatives. I am always willing to help out, whenever I can (as are all the ALSC Board Members!).  I can be really detailed oriented at times, which means I always want to know more.  This can be helpful in some contexts and not so helpful in others, but during the course of my service on the Board, I have learned the difference (I hope!).  I have met lots of dedicated and knowledgeable ALSC Members and truly appreciate not only the work everyone does on behalf of ALSC, but also the incredible work you all do in your communities. I have also learned a tremendous amount about the ALSC Staff and all the great work they do to not only keep the day to day operations of the organization functioning, but how hard they work to move the organization forward.  A big shout out to the truly wonderful ALSC Staff (Marsha, Kristen, Angela, Courtney, Alena, Laura, Elizabeth) and our amazing Executive Director, Aimee Strittmatter!

What do you wish ALSC members knew about ALSC or about the ALSC Board of directors?

ALSC is a wonderful organization! I wish that more members knew how welcome everyone is all throughout ALSC’s work.  Way back in the dark ages (before the Internet!) when I joined ALSC, Information wasn’t as readily available as it is now, and I didn’t really understand how to become more involved in the association.  For new members especially, I know that it can seem really confusing, but if you want to know more?  Check out the ALSC Website (www.ala.org/alsc). Interested in a committee? Find out more here: (http://www.ala.org/alsc/aboutalsc/coms).  Check out the committee’s work on ALA Connect or stop by the All Committee Meeting at ALA Conferences. I try to stand near the door and welcome members in to the meetings (so if you see someone standing near the door, come say hello!).  The ALSC Leadership and the ALSC Board always welcome Members’ questions and feedback, so please do reach out.

It has been an honor to serve on the ALSC Board, and as my last year begins to draw to a close, I am happy to talk with anyone who wants to know more about the Board or Board service, as well as to listen to any feedback or suggestions.

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Christine Caputo is a member of the ALSC Board of Directors through the ALA Annual Conference 2018.  She is the Chief of Youth Services and Programs at The Free Library of Philadelphia. You can reach her at caputoc@freelibrary.org or on Twitter @TheCaputo.

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