Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Banned Books Week from a Grad Student’s Perspective

Occasionally, the ALSC staff has the pleasure of working with interns early in their careers. Sometimes they are future librarians, and sometimes they aspire to enter a different but related field. That was the case of one of our recent intern, Sania Zaffar. She is a student at Loyola University in Chicago studying to become a Special Education elementary teacher. When Sania began working with ALSC, she was not familiar with Banned Books Week, so she spent some time with Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) to learn all about it. One of the things that stood out during their conversation was that books targeted toward middle-age youth are more challenged or banned than those for younger children. Check out Sania’s article, Never Judge a [Children’s] Book by Its Cover to find out more about why. This does not mean picture books are never called into…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Social Justice Practice in Youth Librarianship – #ALSCForum Archive

alsc archived forum

On August 14th ALSC held a community forum on Social Justice Practice in Youth Librarianship. The forum was perfect in that it discussed a crucial topic in librarianship that touches on all of our objectives from our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. Diversity, Inclusion and Advocacy Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, an Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director at the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, talked about her courses and teachings on how to have “hard conversations” on race, diversity, and social justice. She explains that she helps prepare her students to be culturally competent and “be comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.” She presented us with, Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue, as a guide on how to have these conversations about race and that if we remain silent, we “allow the conversation to happen without…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Fall Mentoring Program: Become an ALSC Mentor

mentoring program

Last week, ALSC opened its applications for the Fall 2017 Mentoring Program. As expressed in my previous post regarding mentoring, we understand that this program, and more opportunities to help develop and empower librarians, are increasingly becoming more necessary and important with the times. This has already proven to be true because in just its few days of being open, we have received over 25 mentee applicants!  Change.  ALSC is hoping to implement some changes in the program this year, beginning with the application itself. We’ve added sections to both mentee and mentor applications: Gender, Geographic Region, and Race/Ethnicity. We are hoping that by the addition of these sections, we’re demonstrating our commitment to our strategic plan objectives, while demonstrating our commitment to smarten the way we match. These additions, along with other changes in support, will help us improve communication between matches, which will ultimately lead to a more…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Become an ALSC Mentor!

Call for Mentors! During alaac17, I was particularly surprised at how much the term “mentorship” came about in conversation. From Board meetings, to our Emerging Leaders discussions, there was a lot of importance stressed on the development and improvement of mentorship opportunities.  Throughout the past few rounds of our mentoring program, there has usually been a trend of getting more mentee applications than mentor applications. I am hoping that this changes once we open applications later this month for Fall 2017. We’re hoping to get as many matches as we can. Applications… Applications will open later this month, but if you are interested in becoming a mentor or have any suggestions, please contact me, eserrano@ala.org! There has been some great blog posts by mentors and mentees, and I would love to see more of them. As a new employee, I am very eager to flesh out this program and see…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Digital Media – Register for an Upcoming Webinar Series!

digital media webinar series

If you went to our Charlemae Rollins President’s Program during #alaac17, you learned a ton on digital media and it’s relationship to child development. If you couldn’t make it, check out this great post by Mary Voors! Following up with this, we are partnering with The Erikson Institute to have a two-part webinar series on digital media. Part 1 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | Topics for discussion: New Media, Media Literacy, and Media Mentorship in the Library The Right Media for the Job: Considering the How, When, Where and Why Inclusion & Diversity in New Media: KIDMAP Toolkit and Evaluation Checklist Part 2 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | Topics for discussion: What does high quality look like? Tips for Evaluating Story and Game Apps The Art of the Selection: Choosing Great Tech Tools for Making and Creating We are offering this webinar series for free! Both webinars take place in…

ALA Annual 2017

Pura Belprè Celebraciòn: Celebrating 21 Years of Latino Children’s Literature #alaac17

pura belpre awards program

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Pura Belprè’s 21st Anniversary. The Pura Belprè ceremony celebrates award-winning Latino writers and illustrators. Although I am Latina, I sometimes feel a bit distant from my Mexican and Puerto Rican roots because my family rarely shares stories and are fluent in English. Most times, my knowledge of my culture only revolves around the food.  SO. MUCH. CULTURE. The Pura Belpre Celebracion immersed me in the latino culture. I felt so grateful to be a part of this experience for the first time! I loved hearing the winners speeches and learning about their families and origins. Juana Medina, 2017 Pura Belprè Award recipient for Narrative, said, “We need to offer more to the Latino community when it comes to narrative,” and I really couldn’t agree more. First and foremost, I need to do my part in seeking out authors and other artists of the Latino community, but I…

ALA Annual 2017

As a First Time Attendee…so far so good. #alaac17

ALSC Membership Table

As a first time attendee of an ALA Annual Conference, I just have to say, WOW! Being a new staff member of ALSC, I’ve been doing a lot of prep for some of our meetings. With the help of staff, board members, and committee members, I have been learning so much, but now it’s all coming together because I’m getting to visualize it.  I think one of the parts that blew me away was the exhibit set-up. I had to set up the ALSC table, and I got the opportunity to walk around and see the work everyone else was doing to their spaces. Watching the transformation was amazing! My eyes went everywhere! The couches, the TV screens, the rows and rows of books. The amount of passion and work that has gone into this is overwhelming to feel. Workers were literally working in mid-air off elevated platforms drilling and putting exhibits together….

ALA Annual 2017

Membership Meeting and Leadership & ALSC at Annual

I’ve been employed with ALSC for just one month and Annual came so fast! Before I could even blink, hotel confirmations were in, material was printed, and trunks were packed. Prior to my employment with ALSC, I knew about ALA as an organization, but I truthfully did not have much knowledge regarding Annual Conference. It’s mind blowing the amount of work that gets put into this; from staff, to members, to volunteers.  A large portion of my professional background comes from the YMCA. I worked for both the YMCA of Greater New York and the YMCA of Metro Chicago. A common thread that I find between both YMCA associations and ALSC is this aspect of inclusivity. Both the YMCA and ALSC (also ALA as a whole) put diversity and advocacy as organizational objectives. I’m very excited that during two key ALSC meetings we will be discussing these topics. During the…