ALA Midwinter 2016

A Magnificent Midwinter #alamw16

MW Pic 1
From the moment I touched down at Logan airport it was a great Midwinter!

I’m excited to share some of my adventures from Midwinter a couple of weeks ago and update you on the ALSC Board’s work together in Boston.

Kicking things off on Thursday, I attended an Information Policy Workshop with our veep, Betsy Orsburn, and our Executive Director, Aimee Strittmatter. As one of the key elements of ALA’s Strategic Directions, learning more about this important area was very insightful and you can learn more about the day here.

Tips for advocating for Information Policy
Tips for advocating for Information Policy
Quick selfie with Betsy during a break at the Information Policy Workshop at Midwinter.
Quick selfie with Betsy during a break at the Information Policy Workshop at Midwinter.

Friday began with the happy task of welcoming attendees to the 2016 Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training, which is held every other year thanks to the generosity of the William C. Morris Endowment. The Morris Seminar provides mentoring in children’s media evaluation techniques, and I couldn’t be more grateful to this year’s spectacular co-chairs Deborah Taylor and Sylvia Vardell and to all of those who shared their experiences and wisdom with attendees, one of whom, Lisa Nowlain, shared her visual impressions in an earlier blog post.

With Ashley in East Boston. (Note the Babies Need Words Every Day poster and great interactive elements in the children's room!) Photo by Branch Librarian Margaret Kelly
With Ashley in East Boston. (Note the Babies Need Words Every Day poster and great interactive elements in the children’s room!) Photo by Branch Librarian Margaret Kelly

 

 

That afternoon I took the opportunity to visit some libraries in the area which I’d never been to before as part of my #ALSCtour. I really appreciate the expertise of my excellent tour guide, Ashley Waring from the Reading Public Library, as we visited the East Boston branch of Boston Public Library and the Watertown Free Public Library.

 

 

 

Fabulous mural in the Watertown children's room by Craig Bostick (http://www.aquaboy.net/).
Fabulous mural in the Watertown children’s room by Craig Bostick (http://www.aquaboy.net/).

 

Photo credit: Aimee Strittmatter
Photo credit: Aimee Strittmatter

Of course a major highlight was the Youth Media Awards, and I can assure you that it’s as fun to reveal the winners to the world as I always imagined it would be when I would practice in front of my mirror! And now that we all know which books and media were honored and you’re busy celebrating them with your kids, we look forward to also celebrating their creators and selection committees at Annual in Orlando in less than 5 months.

Photo credit: ALA
Photo credit: ALA

The ALSC Board held two meetings during Midwinter (#ALSCboard).

The 2015-216 ALSC Board (Photo credit: ALSC office)
The 2015-216 ALSC Board (Photo credit: ALSC)

We discussed Summer Reading & Learning as a strategic mega-issue for our association, and are looking at how ALSC can help members even more with their important summer work. We established a task force to continue this exploration and I’m delighted that Board member Christine Caputo will lead this eager group’s work as chair. Our next Community Forum, to be held later this month, will an important opportunity to hear your thoughts on this issue.

We talked about how ALSC can more thoroughly integrate the concepts of Día into all of our work throughout the year, rather than limiting its focus to one specific day, and heard from Past President KT Horning about her request to enact a statute of limitations on the confidentiality of ALSC award committees. (A Board subcommittee will explore this further over the next couple of months.) We signed on to collaborate with the Black Caucus of ALA for their forthcoming Walter Dean Myers First Annual Memorial Lecture, and began discussions (continued here) on how ALSC can support REFORMA‘s Children in Crisis project, a true example of how library services can create better futures for kids.

We got a chance to meet our Emerging Leaders, heard from the Media Mentorship Award Task Force on their proposal for recognizing those using digital media with kids in innovative ways, and also looked closely again at the current landscape for app evaluation and recognition. I believe we are moving the needle forward in these areas–please stay tuned!

Our budget is healthy, with strong award seal sales and a greater attention to policing unauthorized use of our seals on editions of award winning titles published abroad; and the work of the Diversity Within ALSC Task Force continues. Finally, in the future, all of this work will happen using Roberts Rules of Order if an item to be placed on the spring ballot to bring ALSC’s parliamentary procedure bylaw into accordance with ALA’s is approved by members.

If you have any thoughts and/or questions on any of the above, please feel free to e-mail me at andrewalsc@outlook.com, and tweets from the meeting can be founding using #alscboard.

And I would like to give a special congratulatory shout-out to our fantastic Executive Director, Aimee Strittmatter, on achieving the extremely prestigious designation of Certified Association Executive. Aimee is the first ALSC Executive Director to earn this highest ranking for association professionals and we couldn’t be prouder of her and more grateful for all she does. (Her Twitter handle isn’t @LibraryCrusader for nothing!)

 

One comment

  1. Lisa Nowlain

    Thanks for the shoutout! I experienced your enthusiasm at the Morris seminar, the ALSC Leadership meeting, and the YMAs and it was contagious!

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