ALSC’s six Equity Fellows attended the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle in January. Thank you to members of the ALSC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force for their mentorship throughout the Midwinter conference and beyond to help the fellows feel welcomed in our organization.
We reached out to the fellows to learn more about their experience attending Midwinter and this is what some of them shared:
Some favorite highlights of ALA Midwinter as an ALSC Equity fellow included getting to know the other fellows and mentors on a more personal level, hearing about and seeing the soon-to-be published titles, and attending the ALA Youth Media Awards as well as VIP publisher events. One of the best things about attending conferences is the people you meet or reconnect with. Since I arrived to Seattle early, I took the initiative and went to the Joint Youth Executive Meeting on Thursday afternoon despite not knowing anyone else in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging and inspiring this meeting was. Additionally, I was able to meet and interact with others actively involved in ALSC, AASL, and YALSA before and after this meeting. Being introduced with my ALSC Equity fellows at the Board of Directors I meeting led to many Chicago area ALSC members introducing themselves to me over the course of the conference and making new networking contacts. At the ALSC/YALSA Joint Member Reception, I reconnected with one of the librarians I met briefly at a social at my first ALA conference. All of these connections helped me think about how I can become more involved in ALSC and start to pave the way to be more of an advocate as a librarian.
– Evelyn Keolian
It was nice to be around so many librarians from around the country. At first, I was nervous about getting out and meeting new people, but that changed after seeing how friendly everyone was. The members of ALSC and the EDI Task Force were so welcoming. It was fun meeting and getting to know the other fellows and it was nice to have a group of people that you can talk to and hang out with during the conference. We attended a few events together and had a great time! I think we all realized that we should have brought an extra piece of luggage for all the books we received. I had no idea that I would receive so many free books. Even though I received a ton of free books, I still ended up buying more! My advice to everyone that attends an ALA conference will be to bring an extra suitcase for books.
I was able to attend a few sessions. During the Community, Equity and Storytimes session, I learned more about supercharged story times and another program called Loud in the library! During the session, the instructor mentioned how she gets her parents involved by having them lead various children’s programs. For example, if a parent is a yoga instructor, they can lead Yoga class at the library for families. I plan to get the parents at my library engaged and participating in and leading some of our library programs.
Overall, I really enjoyed the conference. I’m excited about the upcoming conference in Washington D.C. and I’m looking forward to getting more involved with ALSC. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity!
– Jocelyn Moore
As a school librarian, one of my goals has been to bring more diversity into our collection to reflect the vibrant community of learners I work with. At ALA Midwinter I was able to attend sessions around anti-bias education through literacy, evaluation, and intersectional author events. I gleaned so much new knowledge that is directly applicable to my work, I’m full of new ideas and inspired to dig deeper into this work.
Connecting with the other Equity and Diversity Fellows and EDI Task Force members at Midwinter was an incredible experience. It felt so affirming to know that libraries across the country are resolved to look critically at library practices and collections through a lens of diversity and cultural responsiveness. I’ve formed new partnerships and made new friends and have brought this experience home with me to my community.
– Ayn Reyes Frazee
ALA Midwinter 2019 was the first conference I’ve attended, and there was certainly much to take in. The most exciting part for me would have to be finally getting to meet, in person, everyone on the EDI taskforce and the other ALSC equity fellows. It’s a really great group of people, and I’m looking forward to working with them over the next year. I also enjoyed attending the “BCALA Cultural Competence and Evaluating Multicultural Children’s Literature: Reviewing, Collection Development, and Book Awards” and it started me thinking about diversity audits for my library’s collections. The “Community, Equity, and Storytimes” session was also very engaging, and I really enjoyed learning about how CiKeithia incorporated the community into her programming. And, thanks to the various publisher events I went home with more galleys than I know what to do with! Overall, I’m glad that I was able to attend this year’s conference and I’m highly anticipating ALA Annual.
– Sierra McKenzie
“Our biggest hope is that there is an expanded sense of community, an understanding that ALSC is a community and it’s your community.”
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: Commitment to Client Group