If you’re involved in ALSC, chances are you’ve heard about ALSC Institutes. Experts from around the country come together for one weekend every other year to deliver presentations on hot topics in youth services librarianship, while well-known authors grace meals. Attendees network to their hearts’ content, reveling in the fact that every person they encounter works with children. At the close of the Institute, participants leave with refreshed outlooks on their profession, new ideas about best practices, and energy to improve the services they provide.
I was very fortunate to receive a Friends of ALSC scholarship to attend the 2012 ALSC Institute in Indianapolis. Having known several people who have attended past Institutes, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. I wasn’t disappointed; the Institute lived up to its reputation and left me with more than I could have ever hoped for.
I attended sessions on using music in the library, incorporating technology into programming, best practices in youth services, reaching communities with Every Child Ready to Read, and the impact of early literacy training on youth services staff. Author appearances included Denise Fleming, Kevin Henkes, Eric Rohmann, Gary Paulsen and Bryan Collier. During breaks, a simple “What are your favorite programs at your library?” sparked conversations with other attendees. Every moment, I was scribbling down another fabulous program theme or book title. Needless to say, by the close of the weekend I had created quite the list of new ideas! Although the Institute was only two weeks ago, I have already begun putting my new knowledge and inspiration to work. I have scheduled music-based preschool storytimes beginning in December,and I’m working with our library director to work toward hosting an e-book club for ‘tweens. Most importantly, I’m re-energized, thanks to all of the presenters, attendees, and authors who helped make the weekend a smashing success.
Today’s post was submitted by Amanada Struckmeyer, one of the two winners of the 2012 ALSC National Institute Scholarship. This scholarship was made possible by donations to the Friends of ALSC. For more information on the Friends of ALSC, please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsc/donate