For those of you interested in “under the hood” kinds of things, we’re going to offer a regular blog post from one of the ALSC office staffers about once a month. Last month, new Marketing Specialist Jenny Najduch introduced herself. This month, it’s my turn!
–Diane Foote, Executive Director
Q: How did you learn about ALSC?
A: As soon as I began working as a children’s books publicity assistant in 1991 , I quickly learned how important ALSC and ALA are in connecting good books with young readers.
Q: What are your job responsibilities?
A: Working with the ALSC Board to advance ALSC’s mission and strategic plan, interpreting ALSC policies and developing effective procedures, administering the ALSC budget, and supervising our hardworking staff.
Q: What questions do you answer most frequently?
A: It’s an impressive sign of ALSC’s standing that we are approached several times a month by other groups or companies wishing to “partner” with us. I put “partner” in quotes because often what’s wanted isn’t a true partnership, but rather a way to market the other group’s products or services to librarians. We work hard to make sure our efforts benefit OUR members first and foremost, so we try to be careful about the partnerships we pursue. The Candlewick Light the Way project, in which Candlewick Press raised money through a series of teas with Kate DiCamillo to benefit ALA member libraries conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations, is an example of a recent exciting and successful partnership.
Q: How long have you been part of the ALSC team?
A: Officially, in this seat, since Midwinter 2006. But I was a member prior to that, and even before joining, I’ve always thought ALSC was cool. But what children’s books marketing director doesn’t?
Q: What are some of your favorite ALSC activities and/or initiatives?
A: That’s like asking a parent to pick a favorite child! Since my background is in children’s books, I confess I am very partial to our awards programs. I get as giddy as anyone waiting to hear the winners each year.
Q: Please share a childhood memory of a librarian and/or library.
A: I remember always wanting to check out too many books, and my mom finally said I could take out as many as my age. I think I was about 7 at the time. What joy when I turned 10! (and no, I don’t check out 40 at any one time these days…)
Q: What are some of your favorite children’s books/media?
A: Naturally, I think all of our selection committees’ choices are the best!
Q: What do you think is ALSC’s biggest challenge?
A: We as an association are very ambitious, which is good, except I think we are spread too thin across too many projects. ALSC staff and members have creative ideas for how to move many of our current initiatives forward, but too often time constraints prevent us from doing everything we’d like to do. We want to innovate and keep up with what our members need and expect from us, and sometimes that means making difficult choices about programs and services that may have been in place for a long time.
Q: When should ALSC members contact you?
A: Any time at all; especially, any time you cannot find an answer to a question you have by looking on the Web site, or, for those involved in ALSC committee work, by checking with your committee chair or priority group consultant. I work for YOU! Also, I encourage everyone to get involved by filling out a committee volunteer form on the ALSC Web site at http://www.ala.org/alsc and sending it to me. ALSC Vice President/President-Elect Pat Scales will begin the next round of appointments, which take effect at the close of Annual Conference 2008, in March.