ALA Midwinter 2016

Welcome to 2016 & See You at Midwinter!

Cheer, cheer, cheer the year,
A new one’s just begun.
Celebrate with all your friends,
Let’s go have some fun!
Clap, clap, clap your hands,
A brand new year is here.
Learning, laughing, singing, clapping,
Through another year.

–Anonymous (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Seeing out the old year, one of my final presidential activities of 2015 was also one of the most interesting. I was very happy to represent ALSC at the “Breakthroughs in Parent Engagement and Early Literacy” forum, presented by New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, sponsored by the Joyce Foundation, and held here in Chicago at Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center. It was led by Lisa Guernsey and Michael Levine, authors of the book Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens, which Lisa talked about when she presented the keynote at last summer’s Leadership & ALSC meeting at ALA Annual in San Francisco.

Andrew & Aimee at #TechEarlyLit. Photo credit: Tamara Kaldor @chiplaypro
Andrew & Aimee at #TechEarlyLit. Photo credit: Tamara Kaldor

I was joined that day by ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter, and other attendees included researchers, educators, parent-engagement specialists, and policymakers, all coming together to gain a clearer picture of the changing terrain of parenting and early learning programs in formal and informal settings, and exploring new initiatives in this area, particularly those involving evolving technology like apps. It was a chance for ALSC to spread the word about children’s librarians’ roles as Media Mentors and to collaborate with colleagues from such groups as the Institute for Educational Leadership, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Thirty Million Words Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.

Photo source:
Photo source:


For more perspectives on the forum, you can check out tweets from the day using #TechEarlyLit.



MW16_ImAttendingSeeing in the new, one of the first ALSC events of 2016 starts this week, as Midwinter is much earlier than usual this year. For those of you who will be in Boston, the list of ALSC activities is available here, and everybody at home can follow along here on the ALSC Blog and on Twitter with #alamw16 and #alaleftbehind. Especially useful will be the exploration of the many ways you can take advantage of our newly updated Core Competencies at Leadership & ALSC on Saturday morning (January 9) at 8:30 a.m. Eastern (in person: Convention Center Room 153A; at home: #leadALSC).


I can’t wait to be back in Boston, get to see so many friends, visit local libraries as part of my #ALSCtour, and of course learn the winners of the Youth Media Awards (YMA) on Monday morning (January 11) at 8:00 Eastern. (#ALAyma) I’ll be putting on a tie very early to emcee this year’s announcements, which is, IMO, the most exciting presidential duty, even for this non-morning person, and one which comes with a sneak peak at the winners (my lips & tweets are sealed!). If you’re planning to watch in a more casual outfit, you can check out the details on this year’s virtual pajama viewing party here. Best wishes to all of the award committees and thank you for your hard and fun work!

Midwinter is also very important for ALSC as one of the two times a year our entire Board comes together in person to work on our strategic future. (#ALSCboard) The Board’s agenda and accompanying documents are available to all here, and you will definitely be hearing from me afterwards with an account of our meetings. I’m particularly looking forward to our mega-issue discussion on ALSC’s role in the future of summer reading & learning, and if you have any thoughts or questions on any of these agenda items, please feel free to let me know at

Cheers to the years, old and new!


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