ALSC Bloggers

ALSC Blog Manager

MRV - professional portraitMary R. Voors, the ALSC Blog Manager, is also the manager of the Children’s Services department of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana where she has the opportunity to work with one of the greatest groups of people in the world. She loves reading picture books, early chapter books, YA fiction & nonfiction, and the occasional book written for adults. Mary has served on a variety of ALSC committees including the Newbery committee, the ALSC International Relations committee, the Great Web Sites committee (chair), the BWI Summer Reading Program Grant committee, the Notable Children’s Books committee, the Intellectual Freedom committee and is currently serving on the ALSC Board of Directors. Mary loves offering an annual Mock Newbery discussion – check out titles being considered for the Mock discussion on her Library’s Mock Newbery Pinterest Board.

Staff Liaison

Dan Bostrom - ALSC StaffDan Bostrom
is the Staff Liaison to the ALSC Blog. As Marketing/Membership Manager at ALSC, he has the privilege to work with some of the best children’s librarians in the world on a day-to-day basis. He has an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has worked as both a librarian and a teacher. His interests outside of librarianship are reading (of course), biking, traveling, and stamp collecting. His chess game is improving, ask any of the 15-year olds who have defeated him recently.


alexa-newmanAlexa Newman is a Youth Services Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library in Illinois, where she focuses on community programming. Besides her regularly scheduled duties, Alexa created and runs the library’s annual drama camp, storytelling festival, and teaching garden. In her spare time she loves to read, dabble in the arts, and putter in as many gardens as possible. Alexa is currently serving on the School-Age Programs and Service Committee and on the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation.

Alyson Feldman-Piltch is a Children’s Librarian for the Boston Public Library. She received a MLS and a MIS from Indiana University in Bloomington. Although she has lived all over the country, the Deer Park Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library and the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca, NY will always have a special place in her heart. In addition to her work at the BPL, Alyson has served on the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee as well as the CSK Technology, and the Stonewall Book Awards Committee.

Andrew MedlarAndrew Medlar is the immediate past President of the Association for Library Service to Children. As Chicago Public Library’s Assistant Chief for Technology, Content and Innovation he oversees information in all formats for all ages across all of Chicago, for which he got great experience shelving books at Dayton Metro Library, doing reference at Brooklyn Public Library, and as Chicago’s Youth Materials Specialist. He has degrees from Miami University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and was the America Reads Spanish Librarian of the Year in 2009. Thanks to a librarian mother and elementary school principal father, he was the first kid signed up for the summer reading program every June (even the year he wasn’t born until July), and his favorite books growing up included One Monday Morning by Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz and the World Book Encyclopedia. He can be found on Twitter @ammlib.

areynolds picAngela Reynolds is Community Engagement Coordinator for Annapolis Valley Regional Library, a small, rural library system in beautiful Nova Scotia. She has been a librarian for over 15 years, in Kentucky, Oregon, and now, Canada. She still does the occasional storytime, works with youth services staff, develops storykits, manages the children’s and YA collection, does lots of outreach, reads obsessively (mostly picturebooks and YA) and still finds ways to play with glue and glitter on a regular basis. Follow her on Twitter @annavalley, or find her library at

Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla is the Collection Development Coordinator at Darien Library (CT). As a child she was fond of climbing dangerously high trees, reading, and acting out scenes from her favorite stories, often simultaneously. Now she leads storytimes for pre-walkers, teaches a Little Clickers technology class for 3-5 year olds, and restrains herself from purchasing every new fantasy series that’s published. She spends her days weeding books no one wants to read and writing reviews of books she thinks everyone should read for her library’s website. In her spare time you can usually find her at brunch or the movie theater. She is a strong subscriber to the belief that “the book is always better than the movie.” She can be found on twitter @LiswithanS.

betsyElizabeth “Betsy” Orsburn is the current ALSC President and former Children’s Librarian and Public Library Administrator, who now has her dream job – teaching Children’s Literature at her alma mater, Drexel University.   Two of her biggest accomplishments are successfully chairing the 2014 Newbery Committee and parenting a daughter into an amazing adult.


Emily Bayci is a Children’s Services Librarian at the Naperville Public Library.  She gets paid to sing, dance and do magic tricks “professionally,” as she puts on programming, manages a collection and works on desk and outreach for children ages 0-12 and their caregivers. She received her MLIS in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and loves finding ways to be a ridiculous, yet awesome librarian. She enjoys trying new ideas, checking out too many library books and making noise in the library. You can find her new blog at and follow her on Twitter @EmilyBayci.


Ericka Chilcoat received her M.A. in Library Science from the University of Arizona. She currently works at the Merced County Library System’s Main branch. Her favorite part of being a Children’s Librarian is Wednesday morning story time for babies and her passion is creating a welcoming environment for everyone at the library. She also loves the fact that she gets to meet new and intriguing people every day while at work.

Heather Acerro is  Head of Youth Services at Rochester Public Library (MN) where she is building a welcoming, dynamic, and interactive space for children and teens to learn, collaborate, and create. In her spare time she reads LGBTQIA-themed books for the Rainbow List Committee of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Round Table, watches birds, and embroiders. She lives with her family of humans, chickens, and cats in Rochester.

Jennifer Schultz is a youth services librarian with the Fauquier County Public Library in Warrenton, VA. As a senior studying Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences at Louisiana State University and planning to earn a master’s degree in social work, she accepted a part time job as a page/circulation assistant with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. After a year of full-time library work and putting off the dreaded GRE exam, she entered again the hallowed halls of LSU (Go Tigers!) to learn about storytelling, children’s services, and readers’ advisory. Despite some bumps along the way, she has discovered that youth services librarianship in public libraries is a nearly perfect blend of her family social services education/background and her love of storytelling and children’s literature. She enjoys dance, musical theatre, zoos and aquariums, playing her new chromaharp, and all things New Orleans and Cajun (not the same thing!). Her New Year’s resolution is to take up knitting.

Jonathan Dolce works for the Lake County Library System, and has been working in Central Florida libraries since 2000. He took two years out to be a mountaintop farmer in Puerto Rico, then returned to Central Florida libraries. He is now happily the Branch Supervisor at Astor County Library and is having a great time. Jonathan just returned from a five-workshop tour of Central Florida aiding fellow librarians in implementing the 2016 summer reading program. <Photo courtesy: Elise VanCise>

Katie Salo is the Early Literacy Librarian at Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien, IL. Previously she was the Youth Services Manager at the Melrose Park Library for six years. While she loves working with youth of all ages, her favorite groups are preschoolers and teenagers because they are constantly changing and always keep the library guessing. She has mad skills with felt and scissors and can also be found blogging regularly at Storytime Katie. Currently, Katie is serving on ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee.

DSC_006622Lisa Nowlain is the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Fellow at Darien Library in Darien, CT, which basically means she gets to learn how to be a Children’s Librarian while being one at an awesome library. She is a sworn West Coaster with her MLIS from San Jose State University and a Studio Art degree from Scripps College and has been working to combine those two degrees into a mix of library comics and open-ended art programs. You can see more of her artwork at

ALSC Blogger Lisa TaylorLisa Taylor is a Librarian II with the Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library, acting as an assistant manager in Youth Services. In addition to being a librarian, she is a wife, mother, and Phillies fan — not necessarily in that order, particularly during baseball season. She loves to work the service desk, with reader’s advisory topping her list of favorite tasks. You may also find her blogging at the popular Shelf-employed or on Twitter @shelfemployed. She reviews books for School Library Journal and AudioFile Magazine. She is a 2016 ALA ALSC Co-Chair of the Great Websites for Kids Committee. Lisa received her M.L.S. degree from Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies. Her opinions are her own.

Meg Smith is Branch Manager of the Hope Mills Branch of the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC. In addition to her work supervising a talented staff at a busy community library, Meg reviews children’s books for School Library Journal. Involved with the Youth Services Section Board of the North Carolina Library Association, Meg also works with librarians across her state as a Youth Services Mentor with the State Library of North Carolina. Besides the library, her favorite place to spend her time is Disney World (she was even married there with Mickey and Minnie Mouse as honored guests at her reception), and she and her husband now love to share that magical experience with their young daughter. You can read updates about her library system at

ALSC profile picNicole Lee Martin is a Children’s Librarian at the Rocky River Public Library (OH). She leads tween graphic novel book clubs, early elementary STEAM programs, preschool outreach storytimes and more. She received her MLIS from Kent State University in 2011 and adores being a public librarian. She is constantly reading or viewing something, and especially enjoys comic books, young adult novels, foreign film and anything a little spooky. Nicole is currently a member of the ALSC Children and Technology Committee and the ALSC Valuation and Advocacy Research Task Force.

nina_lindsayNina Lindsay is the current ALSC Vice-President / President Elect. Her favorite committee accomplishment was the revision of the ALSC Competencies, while co-chairing the Education Committee. Nina is the Children’s Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, where she’s worked for most of her career, starting as a children’s librarian at a small branch. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, but grew up in and lives today in Oakland CA, where she bikes to work. She can be found on Twitter at @OaklandNina

PAIGE PHOTOPaige Bentley-Flannery is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art, poetry and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information. Paige is currently serving on the ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee, 2015 – 2017. She is a former Chair of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force and member of the ALSC Great Websites Committee.

Sarah Thompson HeadshotSarah Bean Thompson is a Youth Services Manager for Springfield-Greene County (MO) Library. She leads toddler and preschool storytime, elementary school book clubs, as well as programs for tweens and teens. Sarah was born to be a librarian-her first word was “book!” She is passionate about reader’s advisory and loves sharing books with the readers, and turning non-readers into readers, at her library.  She served on the 2013 Printz Committee with YALSA and blogs regularly at


The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Cooperation is comprised of members from all three ALA youth divisions, with divisional oversight shifting each year. Working in conjunction with the AASL, ALSC, and YALSA presidents, the chairperson helps committee members design and deliver projects that facilitate effective collaborations between library staff members serving youth in both school and public libraries. Ultimately, the committee’s goal is to help collective youth division membership build positive relationships that improve outcomes for kids and teens.

The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee addresses advocacy issues central to the ALSC Strategic Plan. Our charge is to provide tools and information to empower members in support of grassroots efforts on behalf of libraries, children and families. We serve as a channel of communication on legislative and advocacy matters among the ALA Legislation Committee, Division Leadership and its members. Our goal is to inform, educate, motivate and empower!

The ALSC Digital Content Task Force assists the ALSC representative to the ALA Working Group on Libraries and Digital Contet by providing timely feedback on issues and resources to address questions as requested. The Task Force also compiles content for the Digital Media Resources page.

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee was established in 1974, and consists of five members each serving 2-year terms, led by committee co-chairs Laura Jenkins and Bruce Farrar. The committee’s charge is to advise ALSC on matters before the office for intellectual freedom and their implication for library service to children and to make recommendations to the ALA Intellectual Freedom committee for changes in policies involving library service to children and to promote in-service and continuing education programs in the area of intellectual freedom for those who select library materials for children.

The ALSC Public Awareness Committee was established in 2007 and consists of eight members each serving 2-year terms led by a committee chair.  The committee’s charge is to promote awareness of the value of excellent library service for all children. To that end, the committee seeks to make sure both library professionals and, most importantly, the public are aware of the excellent resources and services that libraries can provide children and their families. The committee strives to collaborate with other ALSC committees to help promote the work they do to the public.

The Children and Technology Committee was established in 1997. The committee consists of nine members, each serving 2-year terms, plus a committee chair. Its charge is to educate and encourage youth librarians to be leaders on technology issues in their institutions; and to identify technology issues impacting youth librarians and to disseminate information to the membership on these issues through programs, training opportunities, and publications both traditional and electronic.

The Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee was established in 1972. It is a nine member committee with eight committee members, each serving 2 year terms, led by a committee chair. Its charge is to identify and disseminate information on effective, cooperative, or innovative programs for young children to libraries serving young children (birth to 5). Recent projects include the Babies Need Words Every Day initiative, as well as developing training workshops on early childhood programs and presenting them at conferences and institutes.

Have you heard the phrase, “Two heads are better than one?” The Liaisons with National Organizations Committee believes that to be true. Many librarians have had positive partnering experiences and the mission of the committee is to make it easy for public libraries to partner with other institutions and organizations.  How do we do this? An entire list of potential collaborators can be found on ALSC’s webpage. Our hope is that this resource will help those looking for a partnership in order to get speakers, programming assistance, materials, volunteers, program participants, inspiration and more. Suggestions of new contacts and new organizations are welcome. Names of the contact organizations are maintained by ALSC; they are useful on a national as well as a regional level.

The Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers is charged to speak for special population children and their caregivers. To offer leadership in discovering, developing and disseminating information about library materials, programs and facilities for special population children and their caregivers; to develop and maintain guidelines for selection of useful and relevant materials; and to discuss, develop and suggest ways in which library education programs can prepare librarians to serve these children and their caregivers.

The School-Age Programs and Service Committee was established in 1999. It is a nine member committee with eight committee members, each serving 2 year terms, led by a committee chair. The committee is charged with identifying and disseminating information on effective, cooperative or innovative programming for school-age children to libraries, schools and community service agencies serving youth. Recent projects have included producing recommended reading lists for various age-groups of school age children, as well as disseminating information on the common core curriculum standards.


  1. Sarah Kostin

    I am the head of the Youth Services Department of a public library and am interested in starting a blog. I was doing some research about writing a blog when I stumbled onto your site — what a fantastic resource! I was wondering if I could write a blog on your site or if I need to start one on my own library’s website first. My writing interests would be mostly with reviewing great kids books and sharing great ideas for children’s programming. One article I’d really like to write is about a program I’ve done for two years in a row now where kids who read over 50 hours in the summer are rewarded with a sleepover inside the library. It’s been a great success and I think other librarians may be interested. Please let me know how I can get started.
    Thanks so much for your time.
    Sarah Kostin

  2. Mary Voors

    Sarah –

    I’m glad you found the ALSC Blog! We often have guest bloggers… if you are interested in writing a guest post, simply contact us at We’ll see what we can set up!

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  7. Arnelle

    I have a question for Amanda Ellington…in addition to your Master’s in Educational Leadership, did you also get your MLIS? If not, how were you able to transition into the Library field? Thank you in advance.

    1. Amanda Ellington

      Hello Arnelle– I do not have a MLIS. I work for a great Library Director who valued my background in education and took a chance on me when the Youth Services Supervisor position came available at my local library and boy am I sure glad she did! I have learned from some great mentors in my system and state since being hired in 2009. I have also graduated from Maryland’s Library Associate Training and Library Leadership Institute. Please feel free to email me if you have more questions!

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  11. Pat Gracey

    Your section on bloggers has an incorrect URL for Abby Johnson’s own blog in her blurb.
    It’s (Emphasis mine)

    1. Dan Bostrom

      Thanks Pat. I’ve corrected the URL. I appreciate you letting us know.

  12. Pat Gracey

    Thanks for fixing so fast!
    Also ALSC blog is an excellent resource!

  13. amanda yuan

    I am a ready from China, and I’m really astonished to find that you have such a program Babies Need Words Every Day initiative, I want to know the exact time that ALA initiated this program.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Dan Bostrom

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for your question. The Babies Need Words Every Day campaign began at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. Thanks for your interest in the program!


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