ALSC Board

Andrew in Asia

Andrew Medlar getting ready for his trip to the Philippines
Andrew is reading Pedro and the Monkey by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Michael Hays (Morrow Junior Books, 1996) at the Dr. José Rizal sculpture in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Dr. Rizal (1861-1896) “is the Philippine national hero, the ‘father of his country,’ the founder of its modern literature, the inspirer of its educational system” (Reines, Bernard. A People’s Hero: Rizal of the Philippines. New York, Praeger Publishers, 1971.).

The National Library of the Philippines is sponsoring an International Conference of Children’s Librarianship in Tagaytay City next month and I’m very excited to be attending to represent ALSC! The theme of the conference is “Connecting and Linking of Information through Transformed Children’s Libraries to the Digital Era,” and I’ll be giving a presentation on the first evening, October 13,  on the topic of “Envisioning a 21st Century Children’s Library.”

This topic is right up ALSC’s alley as our core purpose is creating a better future for children through libraries, and I’m looking forward to reaching out and sharing how we’re moving together into our association’s envisioned future in which “libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them.”

I would love your help in telling this story! What is your vision of a 21st Century Children’s Library for your community? We’re talking collections, technology, programming, spaces–and anything else you can think of. What innovations in library service to children can you imagine developing in the 85 years still to come in this century, and what traditions and proven tactics will we be carrying forward?

Please share your ideas you’d like me to spread around the world by September 16 in the comments section below or by clicking and submitting them here. If you have a picture of something special you’re doing now that you feel represents the future and you’d be willing for me to include it in the conference presentation, please e-mail them to me at You can also tweet pictures and any other thoughts using #21stkidlib.

And please follow me on Twitter (@ammlib) where I’ll be gearing up for the trip by exploring Filipino folklore (find my reading list here), practicing ordering coffee in Filipino (Higit kape mangyaring), and warming up my taste buds at some of Chicago’s delicious Filipino restaurants. And throughout the trip (October 10-16) I’ll be sharing my experiences and the amazing ideas of our colleagues across the globe using #andrewinasia.



Andrew Medlar is the 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President-Elect and the Assistant Chief, Technology, Content, & Innovation, at Chicago Public Library.



  1. Angela Reynolds

    Oh, my dream for libraries of the future is something like this:

    Politicians and those who hold the money suddenly realize that there’s a place in nearly every community that already exists for baby-child-tween-teen learning and gathering. Oh! The library! And then….. loads of money that is being spent on jails, fancy sports stadiums (don’t hate me), and the like is funneled into libraries. Now, sparky young people all over the globe become librarians, working with children and teens. There are Early Literacy specialists doing amazing storytimes and programs, there are New Media Specialists offering technology programs and advice to parents, there are Tween librarians and Teen librarians at every site, channeling energies into amazing events and collections. And there’s enough of a budget to spend some time and money on advertising, so that EVERY family in every community knows that the library is THE place. And they come. They come in droves. And they are happy.

    A girl can dream, right?

    1. Andrew

      Thanks so much, Angela! I really appreciate your wonderful thoughts on this, which are going in the presentation, duly cited. Cheers!

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