Blogger Public Awareness Committee

I’m-an-Expert Advice. Plus, a Contest!

Hey, librarians! Have you ever heard people say…

  • You’re a librarian? It must be nice to read all day.
  • Why do I need librarians when I’ve got Google?
  • Librarians have to go to grad school?!

Misconceptions and antiquated views of our institutions and our roles still abound. How do we change people’s perceptions? To start, we can take ownership of our expertise and tell people just how awesome we are. The Libraries Transform Campaign

Last year, ALA launched the Libraries Transform initiative, with the goal of convincing the general public that libraries are neither out of touch nor obsolete, but imperative and essential resources. As part of the Libraries Transform campaign, ALA has launched a new initiative focused specifically on librarians and library staff where we get to tell people, “We are the experts.” That’s right; give humility a little shove and start touting your expertise.

What are you an expert in? Early literacy? Online searching? Graphic novels? Gaming? STEM resources? Outreach? With the I’m-an-Expert campaign, we get to acknowledge our best assets. Just fill in the blank: I’m an expert in _____.

To encourage brainstorming and conversation, we’re running a contest for all of you experts out there, with one lucky winner receiving a bag full of I’m-an-Expert badges!

To participate, tell us in the comments below what you’re an expert in, and how your expertise reflects the ALSC Core Competencies.

For example:

I’m an expert in preschool education and can help kids be prepared for kindergarten. (ALSC Core Competency I.7: Understands theories of infant, child, and adolescent learning, literacy development and brain development, and their implications for library service.)

The contest deadline is October 28. The entry that best exemplifies the spirit of ALSC and ALSC’s Core Competencies will win. The winner will also have the opportunity to be highlighted in a future blog post! Good luck!

Marika Jeffery, a Children’s and Teen Collection Development Librarian at San Diego Public Library, is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee. She can be reached at


  1. Julie Crabb

    I’m an expert in helping caregivers use songs, rhymes, and play to promote baby brain development. (ALSC Core Competency I.4: Understands theories of infant, child, and adolescent learning, literacy development and brain development, and their implications for library service.)

    1. Christy Estrovitz

      Congrats, Julie! You win a bag of badges. Contact for more details.

  2. Jen Ryder

    I am an expert on outreach through partnership and collaboration (ALSC Core Competencies 5.6). In my community, I connect my library and other libraries in my district to early literacy hub groups in the county so that we can collaborate on joint efforts to bring literacy and other services to the many communities we serve.

    1. Christy Estrovitz

      Jen, you are a partnership expert and win a bag of badges! Contact for more details.

  3. Laura Simeon

    I’m an expert in building an inclusive library collection that offers young people both windows and mirrors, creating lesson plans that challenge stereotypes, training staff in developing their cultural competency, and leading new initiatives that make our school more welcoming to all, including ones that develop students’ own leadership skills. (ALSC Core Competency 1.1: Demonstrates respect for diversity and inclusion of cultural values, and continually develops cultural awareness and understanding of self and others.)

    1. Christy Estrovitz

      Yes, you are Laura! Congrats, you win a bag of badges. Contact for more details.

  4. Natalie Haspel

    I make sure to greet everyone with a smile. Although there are language barriers in our community, everyone likes a smile. There is never a good excuse for anything less than a happy face greeting every patron. Proceeding from the initial greeting, I move to offering of any/all services to ensure the patron has everything they need for a positive experience. [ALSC Core Competency 1.7.Cultivates an environment for enjoyable and convenient use of library resources, specifically removing barriers to access presented by socioeconomic circumstances, culture, privilege, language, gender, ability, and other diversities.]

    1. Christy Estrovitz

      Natalie, your winning smile earns you a bag of badges! Contact for more details.

  5. Carol Hopkins

    I am an expert at creating fun and engaging toddler storytimes, as well as an expert in helping children find books to fulfill their AR goals. Have a 3rd grader reading at a 7th grade level who claims they have read everything? Don’t worry, I can find a book that this child has not read yet and now wants to read. (This does not mean I endorse AR, just that I am good at helping the children in my community find books that meet their school’s AR parameters.)

  6. Christy Estrovitz

    Thanks, Carol, for sharing how you match readers and AR goals!

  7. Pingback: Winners’ Round Up - ALSC Blog

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