Commitment to Client Group

The ALSC Equity Fellowship

ALSC Equity Fellowship

This month I wanted to share a new and amazing opportunity for potential ALSC members of color. This post was written by members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within ALSC Implementation Task Force.

The current ALSC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force was charged with implementing a number of recommendations from the first EDI Task Force. One those recommendations was a scholarship for ALSC members of color. We debated quite a long time about making this broad or deep, meaning, should we take this earmarked money and spread it widely to ensure lots of people get their memberships paid for, or should we select a smaller number of recipients and give them a deeper mentorship experience and pay for conference attendance. We looked at a number of factors including; long term culture change, why people aren’t getting involved in the committee process, and the historically white nature of the profession. In the end, we decided that in order to build a more open and welcoming environment that has a potential lasting impact, it was better to give away more money to fewer recipients. Our goal is to sustain, meaning engagement.

This project will immediately work toward directly making ALSC more diverse and inclusive by encouraging active, equitable engagement in the association. It removes barriers (financial and perceived closed doors), and expands opportunities for members from underrepresented groups. It also creates a clear pathway from ALSC entry to service and leadership through ongoing mentorship and conference attendance. We hope the participants will see themselves as ALSC, as opposed to not ALSC – with power over who ALSC is and what ALSC does (as opposed to historically being excluded). We hope these participants feel comfortable coming forward and volunteering for committees.

Our biggest hope is that there is an expanded sense of community, an understanding that ALSC is a community and it’s your community.

The fellowship connects to ALSC’s Strategic Priorities in a couple of ways:

Goal Area:  Diversity and Inclusion

ALSC will become more diverse and inclusive, acting to promote these values in all aspects of library service to children.

Objective 1: Increase diversity in ALSC membership and reduce barriers to participation as measured against the Diversity in ALSC baseline survey by September 2019. Transforming ALSC

Objective 2: Expand opportunities for existing members from underrepresented experiences to serve in ALSC activities, as measured by longitudinal studies and/or focus groups, by September 2020. Transforming ALSC.

Goal Area:  Professional and Leadership Development

ALSC will actively develop new generations of leaders.

Objective 1: Build a discernible pathway, along with opportunities for training and mentorship, to develop ALSC members as leaders in their libraries, the profession, and/or the association by September 2020. Transforming ALSC

This cohort will provide essential feedback for ALSC to shift institutional culture toward Diversity and Inclusion. EDI Task Force members will connect with Equity Fellows at least once monthly to encourage participation and feedback (discussion, email, surveys) based on their experiences as new members and their participation in ALSC activities for ALSC to make informed decisions. The goal of the ALSC Equity Fellowship program is to create more equitable representation among ALSC’s membership and leadership.  For those not selected, they are encouraged to reach out to the Task Force, apply for the ALSC mentorship program, and apply for other scholarship opportunities. This is currently a pilot, but the Task Force also hopes that the Fellowship will be offered every other year to cultivate ongoing cohorts of diverse ALSC leadership.

If you would like to learn more and apply for this opportunity, please visit the ALSC Equity Fellowship landing page. Applications close on September 14, 2018.


This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, V. Outreach and Advocacy, and VII. Professionalism and
Professional Development.


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