ALA Midwinter 2015

ALSC Work Underway @ #alamw15

While many folks are still packing up their hats, gloves, & coats and making their way to Chicago, your ALSC Executive Committee (EC) and the ALSC staff  have already been hard at work at McCormick Place, with the EC meeting this afternoon to look closely at what’s coming up at Midwinter and prepare for the busy next few days.

Afterwards, the Executive Committees of the three youth divisions (AASL, ALSC, & YALSA) all came together to share updates on what’s going on in each of our divisions as we all work for the benefit of youth in libraries. This great opportunity for news and networking happens at each Midwinter and Annual and this time was ALSC’s turn to lead the meeting, which President Ellen Riordan did masterfully.

We heard from Mary Davis Fournier from ALA’s Public Programs Office about their important work with the Institute for Museum and Library Services-supported development of a comprehensive research agenda and five-year implementation plan to help measure the impact, and prove the value of, public programming in libraries at a national level. The open comment period on the white paper they drafted wraps up very soon, so don’t miss your chance to check it out and follow the conversation with #libraryimpact.

Division Councilors Val Edwards (AASL), Lisa Von Drasek (ALSC), and Vicki Emery (YALSA) reported on what’s on tap for ALA Council at Midwinter and discussed how to broaden communication with all members of ALA Council interested in issues affecting work with young people. If that describes you, definitely reach out to Val, Lisa, or Vicki in Chicago!

Barbara Jones, Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, joined us and talked about the importance of the work being done to support diversity around ALA and shared the fact that many of the books challenged in libraries across the country are by authors of color and/or about communities of color.

Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of ALA’s Washington Office, discussed the changes to e-rate funding for public libraries. President Obama will be revealing his next proposed budget on Monday and Emily and her team will be keeping a close eye on it and actively working with legislators to encourage support for funding for libraries, which she noted is particularly important with so many legislators being new to Washington. (We learned all about Appropriations Letters!). National Library Legislative Days are May 5th & 6th, and the youth divisions are already planning on how to make our cases on the Hill this spring. And Emily reported some optimistic movement in D. C. on early education—stay tuned!

Jenna Nemec-Loise from Chicago Public Library is currently chairing the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Cooperation and she shared with the group some details of their incredible collaboration, just a hint of which can be seen here.

The AASL team talked about their work proving how “School Libraries Transform Learning,” YALSA shared info on their development of programming guidelines and badging, and we were proud to brag about how ALSC members are creating a better future for children through libraries with “Everyday Advocacy”.

It’s been an essential and educational Day One for your President, Vice President, Immediate Past President, Fiscal Officer, Division Councilor, Executive Director, and spectacular staff!

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