ALA Annual 2016

Raise your ALSC voice

Leadership & ALSC at #ALAAC16 is technically a committee meeting, but it’s an open one. Not knowing any better, I attended (first-timer, you know, so a little clueless). I’m so glad I did. There were great discussions about the effect of technology on children’s services, diversity–both in collections and programming (and I would add the profession, but more on that later), and the desperate need for mentors. I was flat-out awed by the knowledge of the women at my table.
Listening to these discussions, it feels like ALSC is at a crossroads. Now more than ever, ALSC needs to hear from new children’s librarians and new members. The women at my table were eager to hear my perspective as someone who has been a librarian for 4 years and a ALSC member for a year. For ALSC to meet all the challenges of the future and create a intentional strategic plan, they need to hear from all of us. Going back to diversity, the vast majority of the people in that room, the ALSC leaders, were white women of a certain age. Their perspective is intensely valuable but that’s not the whole picture of children’s librarians, so speak up! They want to hear from you.
My profuse thanks to the women who graciously welcomed the interloper in their midst and validated my contributions; you are amazing.
Key points, especially for those #alscleftbehind:
1. Even if you’re not a member of ALSC (yet…), spend some time on the website. Did you know you don’t have to be a member to connect with an ALSC mentor?
2. Better yet, go straight to the “Get Involved” page and pick just one thing for the list and do it. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
3. If you’ve been in the industry longer than 5 years, please, please, please mentor! Even if you’re not directly practicing as a librarian, mentor. There’s not enough mentors to go around. The more dialogue we open up between new members and seasoned veterans, the better ALSC will be and the better our profession will be.

One comment

  1. Nina Lindsay

    Kristel, it was so nice to meet you at this meeting and your contributions were valuable. Leadership & ALSC is a meeting where committee chairs gather but it is *very* open to anyone and if people like you don’t show up, how else are we supposed to grow and develop our leadership? So thanks for coming, thanks for posting, and I hope that any of you reading this put this meeting on your schedule when you are able to attend conference.

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