Blogger Abby Johnson

LGBT History Month at Your Library

Did you know that October is LGBT History Month? High school teacher Rodney Wilson, the first openly gay K-12 teacher in Missouri, started this annual observance in 1994. Why October? It’s a month schools are in session, the first national march for gay and lesbian rights was held in October 1979, and National Coming Out Day has been held on October 11 since 1988. (Source: ) Celebrate this significant month by displaying or featuring books about LGBT history. Not sure where to start? Read on for suggestions!

ALSC Board

We need YOUR input for the next ALSC Strategic Plan

The ALSC Board of Directors is beginning the process of updating our strategic plan, and we need your input! A strong strategic plan is rooted in the needs of the community it’s meant to serve. In the case of ALSC, that means we need the input of folks who serve children through libraries. That definitely includes people who work directly with kids through age 14 in public and school libraries; but it also includes many other types of work that are part of the ecosystem of children and libraries–publishing, state libraries and consultants, and more. As a reader of the ALSC Blog, you probably are part of that ecosystem–and so we want to hear from you, whether or not you are currently an ALSC member. As an association, we strive to engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. You can see that is our vision as part…

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

What Are You Waiting For?

Landing your first job as a librarian can take longer than expected. Many MLIS graduates find themselves working multiple part-time positions in and outside of libraries as they doggedly apply for professional level positions. Here’s some good news! If you’re working as a paraprofessional or you’re still in library school, you don’t have to wait to start building your professional experience and making a meaningful impact through librarianship. Professional associations like ALSC offer a myriad of opportunities to participate in meaningful library work while building a stronger resume, discovering opportunities, and growing your network.  Here are a few ways to engage in the library community and start your professional career on your own terms.

Guest Blogger

Yes, and you CAN do improv at #alsc22

So this was an unlikely session for me. I’m a bit of an introvert and I don’t think quickly on my feet. But at #alsc22, it’s a safe space, so I’m willing go outside my comfort zone. I know to learn, I need to spend more time exploring new and different things. And I’m so glad I did! Librarians Chelsea Condren and Jessica Espejel led “Applying Improvisational Skills in Public Librarianship,” sharing how and why the training developed.

Guest Blogger

Wide Open Spaces #alsc22

Just as folks turned to backyards and public parks during COVID lockdowns, libraries had to shift their focus outdoors during building closures and beyond. Michelle Willis from Scotch Plains Public Library (NJ) demonstrated in “Beyond Storytime: Library Programs the Snap, Crackle, and Pop” with Denise Lyons (SC) that moving programs outdoors can be more than a solution – it can enhance them. And in “Black Kids Camp Too, Don’t They?” Michelle Martin stressed the need for more representation of Black children and families (and BIPOC at large) in wild, outdoor spaces. 

Institute 2022

We Are All Musicians at #alsc22

The last education sessions just ended and what a way to wrap things up! Staff Sergeant Philip Espe’s “Wake Up Your Musicianship for More Inclusive Storytimes” was energizing and joyous. Philip had us all on our feet and singing in 3 languages (English, French, and Spanish). He noted that we can model positive musical practice for our community and that the opportunity to make music together is precious. He emphasized that every voice is beautiful (work against that negative American Idol effect) and music is better when it comes from a live person. Philip referenced the APALA rubric for evaluating AAPI literature (that I blogged about yesterday) and encouraged us to evaluate music in the same way that we evaluate literature. He shared criteria: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics and text. And he noted that cultural responsiveness is foundational: music is an expression of culture, and your communities deserve to hear…