ALA Midwinter 2017

ALSC Valuation and Advocacy Research Task Force Recommendations at #alamw17

I’ve finally made it back to Ohio, and I am so energized by all of the wonderful work I saw happening over the last few days at #alamw17. My last afternoon in Atlanta, I listened to an ALSC Board of Directors meeting where the ALSC Valuation and Advocacy Research Task Force presented their report and recommendations. For those of you (like me) who are not / were not aware of the Task Force, they were charged two years ago to:

To continue the work of the 2014 ALA Emerging Leaders Team E (see: http://bit.ly/1sGOZAH) and create ongoing support for valuation research and advocacy work. This task force will work with partners such as: 

• future Emerging Leader teams 

• the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Member Content Editor

• the Advocacy & Legislation Committee 

The task force will help create a culture of measurement in youth library performance, through research, discussions, modeling, etc., to offer resources for youth service librarians. 

After listening to the Task Force Co-Chairs present their findings and recommendations to the ALSC Board of Directors at the meeting Monday afternoon and then listening to the Board of Directors discuss the recommendations, two things became very clear to me:

1. The Task Force did an incredible job navigating the complex ALA and ALSC network, examining valuation within our organization, and thoughtfully providing recommendations to improve ALSC.

2. Our Division Leadership is serious about the need for research and valuation within our profession. This discovery was truly the highlight of my conference. I was not aware that these conversations were taking place at a higher level, so hearing an hour discussion about the importance of a research agenda and the need for metrics was an incredibly pleasant surprise!

I’ve returned home from Midwinter with an incredibly hopeful attitude and a confidence that we as a profession will continue to do great work that will propel youth services forward between now and Annual. After a few days of thinking about the new ALSC strategic plan, talking with other librarians about outcomes and metrics, and an incredibly exciting and record-breaking Youth Media Awards, I’m ready to continue our important work.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Chicago,

JoAnna Schofield, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio)

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