What do you consider the most important role of the ALSC President?
The ALSC President is a spokesperson and an ambassador to other ALA divisions, to those in the field of children’s literature and librarianship (including members, publishers, library schools, etc.), and to some extent, to the general public.
What skills & strengths would you bring to the office?
The strongest skill that I would bring to the office is the ability to see how things connect, interrelate — and the desire to make connections work for the benefit of the membership and the services libraries provide to children and families. The ability to listen and hear all sides of an issue is another important skill that I would bring.
What area of library service to children is your favorite?
Bringing books, information and library resources to life for children of all ages as well as for their significant adults is something that never gets old. That libraries and their resources are great equalizers for all children and families is so critical — and introducing others to that is equally important.
Why should someone choose to join ALSC? What services do you feel ALSC provides that are valuable to new members? To long term members? What are your ideas for reaching members? What are your ideas to recruit new members?
I was encouraged by my supervisors and library school professors to become involved professionally — and I’ve never regretted it. I came to know other seasoned and brand new people in the field, learned how other libraries and librarians approached issues and challenges, and more, much more. ALSC membership continues to do that for both new and longtime members.
People provide an entry into new ventures. The skills and interests of veteran ALSC members should be put to use to recruit new members — in the field, at conferences, and in professional schools.
How has ALSC membership impacted your life?
I’ve had the chance to rethink what I thought I knew and grow professionally and personally through my work with and for ALSC and its committees. I’ve met some of the brightest and most creative people I know; involvement with ALSC has had a positive impact. It’s been altogether a broadening experience.
How has your membership in ALSC impacted library service to children?
I like to think that as an ALSC member I’ve been able to represent not only my thoughts, opinions, and perspectives on issues in libraries, literature, and literacy but also those of the profession; that in some measure I’ve been able to contribute to the broader conversation that the development and recognition that library service to children is critical and changes lives.
Changes in the economy and advances in technology are dramatically impacting libraries. What are your thoughts on how ALSC can best continue to be a positive force?
ALSC can continue to be a positive force in our rapidly changing world by supporting working librarians though the dissemination of information about the rationale of why the work is critical, harnessing the energy of the membership to examine and share information about the best in services and materials (regardless of format), to continue online opportunities to learn about these things, and provide timely information and support for those working in the field.
What else would you like the voting ALSC membership to know about you before they vote?
I have seen libraries and their resources — human and material — change lives for the better; that this can continue if libraries and librarians are recognized as change agents in communities; together we can make a difference.
Thanks so much to Maria Salvadore for answering these questions for the ALSC Blog! Tomorrow, Starr LaTronica will answer the same series of questions.
Voting will begin on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 9 AM CT. The polls close on Friday, April 27 at 11:59 PM CT. Voting is an important part of ALSC membership. Please be aware that ALSC has additional information on their website regarding the 2012 candidates.
If you are an ALSC member… don’t forget to vote!
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