Guest Blogger

Late Summer Library Reflection

Light Reflection on Lake Ontario
Light Reflection on Lake Ontario Photo by Bobby Mikul (CC0 public domain)

Libraries, and writing, and stories. Safe buildings with books full of words and kind adults who pay attention. I’m not sure which of these are the blood, bone and muscle; sinew, skin, and fragile fascia; but they are fibrously integrated. All were essential for my survival into adulthood. All are part of what I, a librarian, have the pleasure and privilege of paying forward.

As I child reader I needed comfort, something to depend on. My local public library fit the bill. A short walk from a difficult home; the library, librarians, and books provided physical and emotional shelter and sustenance. I wasn’t quite the feral child raised by librarians (as Neil Gaiman considers himself) but I needed the same sanctuary.

Late August is the public library season when we recover from frenetic and fabulous summer program festivities, and prepare for the beginning of the school year and fall programming. All summer we’ve seen flashes of how important our library work is to children and families. All summer we’ve witnessed how the creative endeavors of authors, illustrators, editors and publishers (both living and passed) become a part of children’s lives. We’ve joyfully peddled fiction and nonfiction, the visual and the textual storytelling that connect humans to each other and our shared world. We will continue to do so throughout the coming seasons.

For me, September marks the beginning of a new year, more so than January. This may be true for many of us who work with children. In recognition of the seasonal transition, I’m taking a few moments to reflect and reconnect with what drives me both professionally and personally:

  • the power of the printed and spoken word,
  • picture book art,
  • stories told in multiple formats,
  • librarians as allies,
  • libraries as safe spaces ,

and the children who need this combined body of all the above.


Picture of Alison Adams Ernst
Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Today’s guest blogger is Alison A. Ernst. Alison currently works as a Youth Services Librarian at the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan. She served on the 2015 Caldecott Committee and has an MFA in Writing for Children. She can be reached at Check out her website at

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


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