One of my favorite parts of Ala Midwinter 2018 was the Leadership and ALSC program. It started with an opening message from ALSC President Nina Lindsay, an update from the ALA Washington office and then a part where everybody in the room introduced themselves and said where they worked and their affiliation with ALSC. This part was super awesome because you were able to put faces to names and make new connections with people.
I would highly recommend individuals to go to this program at future conferences.
The second half of the program was a presentation- “Toxic Stress in the Library: The Upstream Impact of Life Adversity on Children,” presented by Dr. Janina Fariñas and Johanna Ulloa Girón MSW.
The dynamic and brilliant duo tackled important and relevant issues about toxic stress and how it influences the way public libraries provide services to children. They provided real-life examples and solutions which they made sure to stress might not work for everyone.
A huge highlight I took away was that different groups of people have different impressions of specific situations and that it is important to constantly gauge patrons reactions. Then you can make sure they are comfortable and feel welcome in the library.
Every individual has something going on in their lives and libraries can help these people, making life a little less difficult for them. It’s our responsibility to do our best to make sure individuals are not stressed out at libraries- a place where we have control and we can be leaders.