Blogger Starr LaTronica

Looking Forward

Summer has always been my favorite time of year.  I begin looking forward to it at the first snowfall and I savor every moment once it finally arrives.  Fortunately, the days are longer to fit in the full flurry of fun–including extra time for reading.  Unfortunately, all that activity makes the days fly by, and here we are, already in August!

For me, summer means ALA Annual Conference–a time to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old friends.  This year’s experience in Chicago was especially rewarding and inspiring.  In addition to the wonderful array of ALSC programs and events, including ALSC 101 and the celebration of 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, I was gratified by the consistent level of commitment my fellow members exhibited through their willingness to serve ALSC via committee work.  At every turn, there were volunteers eager to offer their time and expertise to advance ALSC’s efforts to create a better future for children through libraries.

This year I look forward working with the ALSC membership as we explore the “Power of Partnerships”.  Indeed, it is the partnership that ALSC forms through member involvement that drives the organization.

One way of becoming involved in the ALSC community is service on a committee.  If you would like to volunteer, begin by checking out ALSC Committees: A Guide to Participation at to peruse the committees that would most benefit from your contribution.   There are opportunities to serve virtually as well as those that require attendance at midwinter and annual conference.  Then, please fill out and submit a volunteer form, available at  Any information you can provide, including relevant experience and specific committee preference will facilitate finding a good match for your interests and talent.  And please consider the opportunity to expand your horizons by checking the “I will serve wherever needed!” option at the bottom of the first page.

Most appointments are made in two cycles: I will begin selecting members to fill out the award committees and media evaluation committees later this month; and Ellen Riordan, Vice-President/ President-Elect will be appointing members to the process committees early next spring.  However, volunteer forms may be submitted at any time of year.  There are unexpected vacancies and opportunities to serve on task forces throughout the year.  If time passes and you do not receive an appointment, please submit another form and feel free to follow up with an email to me at to emphasize your interest.

Many members aspire to evaluation and award committees.  Filling the small number of open positions is a daunting task in assessing the overwhelming number of passionate and qualified applicants.  Many considerations come into play.  I will look for candidates that provide a well-rounded balance to the committee and that have experience with ALSC process committees as I make my final decisions.

Another opportunity to contribute to the ALSC community is through participation in the online Community Forums. Continuing the work of Mary Fellows and Carolyn Brodie, the ALSC Board will host quarterly occasions for members to come together in live chats over timely topics.  The first Community Forum will be co-hosted by the Children and Technology Committee with a special emphasis on new media in libraries: what it is, how we use it and how to develop best practices in this rapidly evolving information environment. The group discussion will build on the 2013 ALA Annual Conference Conversation Starter: “Building A to Zoo for Apps: Time-tested librarian skills meet cutting edge technology for kids.” In addition to the 45 minutes of discussion, these forums will include quick announcements from the ALSC Board of Directors at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and a time for questions at the end.

Your two opportunities to join in the discussion are:

  • Tuesday, August 20 at 11am CT
  • Wednesday, August 21 at 2pm CT

I look forward to meeting up with you online, to seeing you at Midwinter, and to working with you throughout the coming year.

And now, I am looking forward to finishing my favorite, (so far), summer read, Binny, for Short, by Hilary McKay, (Margaret K. McElderry Books: 2013).  I have reveled in every moment spent with Binny and her family and friends during their summer as they adjust to life in a small seaside town.  What are you reading?

One comment

  1. Kevin Delecki

    I STRONGLY encourage anyone who is interested in the profession to volunteer to serve on a committee – and don’t relegate yourself to only wanting to serve on award committees. I have had the opportunity to serve on a number of ALSC committees, and have gained personally and professionally so much from that service, and was able to contribute in tangible ways to the organization at the same time. There are SO MANY awesome things happening in ALSC, and you have the opportunity to be a part of them!


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