With a title like “Go Vols!” You might think I’m rooting for a favorite college football team. While I’m not enthusiastically sharing my team spirit, I am fervently hoping to see an ALSC volunteer form from each and every one of you!
ALSC has greatly benefited from the hard work of all our volunteers who offer to serve the association in various capacities. I began my career in children’s librarianship several years before I became involved in ALSC. But, once I made the right connections at the urging of my mentor, I stumbled upon the amazing work of previous generations of ALSC members and decided to join in the goodness. I started small – with a volunteer form, of course – on the ALSC Intellectual Freedom committee from there I served on an award committee, the Nominating committee, and several taskforces and working groups, mainly related to collaborative work with REFORMA. Eventually I ended up on the ALSC Board where I had the eye-opening experience of learning how all the various committees work together to create our complex, but ever generous, association.
At all levels in my service experience in ALSC, I have been impressed by the dedication and passion that each of you bring to help us be the best association for serving the literacy and informational needs of our young patrons. From dedicated priority group consultants to enthusiastic committee chairs to hardworking committee and taskforce members, you all give of your talents and time. Some of you even do this at your own expense!
The great thing about our association is that we all work together to share our expertise. Some of you have been a member of the association and working in the field for a long time. Others of you are just starting out. Whether you are renewing your membership for the 30th time or the first time, ALSC needs you and the skills that you have to offer!
One of the exciting things that I get to do as vice president/president-elect is begin making committee appointments in early Spring 2018. And – wow – we have so many committees (almost 60)! Some of these committees meet in person and others only meet virtually. But, each is equally important and can only function if our members volunteer. Recently, we updated the online ALSC volunteer form (available here with your ALA login) to allow each of you to provide information that I can use to assist in the appointment process. If you’ve filled out a form in the past (prior to November 1), then I encourage you to complete a new volunteer form [Actually, I beg you to complete a new form since the online system has cleared out any volunteer forms prior to this date]. We’ve added new questions to better understand the unique skills that you have to offer so we can find the best fit for you within ALSC.
My goal is to spread the ALSC goodness as much as possible by appointing a diverse group of members that will continue to strengthen the work of our association. I also want to appoint as many volunteers as I can to give everyone an opportunity to shine. While I will try to assign members to the committee they want, I ask that you all keep an open mind and embrace specially assigned committee work even if you don’t get your top choice. There are only so many positions on the [insert the name of your absolutely-must-have-or-I’ll-burst-into-flames committee], but you can also bring your talents to other areas within the association.
How the Appointment Process Works
Starting in mid-January I will begin process committee appointments. These are all the committees besides the book and media award committees. These extremely important committees help the association to function and allow us to spread ALSC goodness into the larger world. Later in fall 2018, I will begin book and media award committee appointments. At the same times next year, the ALSC Nominating and Leadership Development Committee will be looking for ALSC members to stand on the 2019 ballot for leadership positions and as members of specific award committees.
Invariably, there will be new opportunities that arise on an ongoing basis as new task forces are formed or committee positions become vacant. More about the appointment and volunteer process is available here along with links to information about what specific committees actually do. I also hosted a webinar in November, sharing information about the process and numerous volunteer opportunities within ALSC.
Want to become involved in ALSC but can’t serve on a committee? There are numerous other avenues for you to share your talents. Check out some of the ways you can engage with ALSC, including writing for the ALSC blog!
I look forward to working alongside all of you over the course of the year as you share your time and talents. And, I eagerly anticipate reading through your volunteer forms. Go ALSC Volunteers!