This past month, I finished my first full term as Wisconsin’s Chapter Councilor on the ALA Council. It has been a great adventure and I can hardly wait for the next two years of services as I continue my term. I have spent decades as an ALSC leader – serving on committees and as committee chair on process committees and even a time or two on an award committee. I have also spent decades as a leader in my own state association. Combining these two streams of process junkie-hood and leadership makes for a perfect preparation for Council.
When I first talked to my library colleagues both in state and nationally about my new Council service, the biggest surprise I had was how many sympathized for me and thanked me for serving in such a difficult assignment. What?!?! Were they nuts? I was looking forward to a new level of service and leadership. Was I missing something?
Happily, no. The Council of the past and the monster nightmare of people’s imaginations is not the ALA Council I serve on. There is certainly debate but the rancor is missing. People have been welcoming, have provided support and insight for me and I can say that after one year I am feeling like I am home. I am getting to know some smart, savvy caring people from all types of libraries and all library positions. I am making contacts across divisions as well and talking about the issues I care about and becoming more knowledgable about issues that matter to others. I am becoming stronger and smarter (I think!).
Just one little teeny tiny thing is missing for me. Youth colleagues and leaders from ALSC are very few and far between. I have plenty of youth peeps from YALSA and AASL but ALSC is sadly underrepresented. Where are you, my friends?
I know in the past we have had many more folks representing ALSC as at-large members. Would you like to consider joining our small but merry (and meaningful) band? It’s easy. You can submit your name to the nominations committee. You can petition for a spot on the ballot with a mere 25 signatures of ALA members which you can garner online.
It is amazing feeling to effect change on a divisional level and to work on behalf of youth librarianship and kids on that stage. It is an extraordinary feeling to do the same thing on the ALA Council level. Won’t you consider joining me there? I promise you, the water is fine….and fun!
Our guest blogger today is Marge Loch-Wouters, the Youth Services Coordinator at La Crosse (WI) Public Library. Marge is active in ALSC and blogs regularly about youth library services issues at Tiny Tips for Library Fun
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.