What an exciting time to be on the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee! Censorship, privacy, equity of access, diversity and information literacy are all hot button issues across the country. It might be fair to say this is a challenging time as well. At the ALA Midwinter Conference, this Committee considered how we might safeguard and promote the intellectual freedom of children despite the advent of a more conservative political environment.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of ALSC, I was able to attend the recent ALSC Mini Institute in Atlanta. Having not previously been able to attend a national professional conference or workshop, it was extremely exciting and rewarding to be in the company of so many of my fellow youth librarians in a place of learning and engagement.
India is a land of contrasts. I often find myself straddling the gulf between two vastly different worlds. As a Teacher Librarian at an elite international school, I have the opportunity to work with some of the most privileged, promising children in the country. However, when I volunteer in the slum just a few blocks from my school there are 50 children crammed cheek-by-jowl into a tiny classroom.
At ALA Midwinter I had the honor of finishing my time on the Rainbow Booklist Committee with two days of interesting discussions about wonderful books. I am pleased to share with you our final list of the best LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) books for kids and teens that were published between July 2015 and December 2016. You can find the entire list on the Rainbow Booklist website; I am going to highlight the top books for kids through grades 6 here. The final list includes almost 50 titles and of these we selected a top 10. Top ten titles are indicated with an *.
I’ve finally made it back to Ohio, and I am so energized by all of the wonderful work I saw happening over the last few days at #alamw17. My last afternoon in Atlanta, I listened to an ALSC Board of Directors meeting where the ALSC Valuation and Advocacy Research Task Force presented their report and recommendations. For those of you (like me) who are not / were not aware of the Task Force, they were charged two years ago to:
On Sunday, January 22, John Lewis, Civil Rights hero and representative of Georgia’s 5th congressional district, spoke at the YALSA Morris & Nonfiction Award Program & Presentation in recognition of March: Book 3 winning the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He spoke passionately about the role that librarians and libraries have played in his life — his late wife was a librarian — and the importance of good trouble and being brave.
Today I enjoyed one of the highlights of the ALA Midwinter Meetings. Today were the announcements of the Youth Media Awards, otherwise known as the YMAs.
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