ALA Annual 2019

Looking Ahead – to Summer: ALA Annual, Leadership Development, and EDI Work

Spring is here in full bloom and summer is just around the corner. When many of you think of summer, I’m sure you begin to get excited about all the wonderful programs, outreach activities, and events that you’ve planned as part of your library’s summer reading or summer learning programs. The opportunity to engage with diverse children and their families during these events is indeed something to look forward to! Another exciting event this summer is the ALA Annual Conference and the potential for networking, professional development, and celebrating award-winning children’s media.

2019 ALA Annual in Washington DC – Happenings and General Information

Annual Conference will be held June 20-25th 2019 in Washington, DC, are you attending?  There will be a variety of opportunities for attendees to attend educational programs, free awards ceremonies (such as the 2019 Pura Belpré Award Celebración and the 2019 ALSC Awards Presentation of the Batchelder, Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media, Geisel, and Sibert awards), the joint-sponsored USBBY program, and more! The ALA Annual 2019 Scheduler is now available and lists the room locations for all meetings. One meeting you should be sure to put on your calendar is the ALSC Membership Meeting where you will hear updates on ALSC initiatives, honor our Distinguished Service awardee Maria B. Salvadore, and join a facilitated discussion about the importance of bystander intervention and EDI advocates within children’s library services and our Association.  I look forward to seeing you there and at my Charlemae Rollins’ President’s Program: Subversive Activism: Creating Social Change Through Libraries, Children’s Literature, and Art.

If you are going to ALA Annual in DC, you might also consider attending the exciting ALSC Preconference program “With Gratitude: Honoring Stories.”  Attendees will have an opportunity to meet authors, illustrators, and publishers as we celebrate and explore the 2019 Batchelder, Caldecott, Geisel, Newbery, Pura Belpré, and Sibert Honor Books. Additional information is available here. Another event to consider attending is the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. ALSC advocates for children’s  freedom and right to read, and is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this reception.

Welcoming our ALSC Fellows at Annual

You may recall in October that our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Taskforce selected ALSC’s inaugural class of Equity Fellows as part of our fellowship program. Recipients of the EDI Fellowships  –  Eiyana Favers, Ayn Frazee, Evelyn Keolian, Shahrazad “Star” Khan, Sierra McKenzie, and Jocelyn Moore – attended numerous activities at ALA Midwinter in Seattle and will be at ALA Annual in June.   If you see any of our fellows, please take a moment to give each of them a warm ALSC welcome!

Stay Tuned in June to Learn about ALSC Board Work at Annual

In my June blog post, I will share more information about topics that the ALSC board will be discussing at our multiple board meetings during ALA Annual. As a reminder, these meetings are open and a great opportunity to learn more about the bigger picture of all that ALSC’s committees and taskforces are doing, as well as some of the important and pressing concerns facing the Association.

More to Do in DC Beyond Annual

The 2019 NAMLE Conference will be in Washington, D.C. this summer immediately following ALA Annual. For those of you interested in the topic of children’s media literacy engagement and media mentorship, you may be interested in joining NAMLE. Membership in the association is free for individuals and you receive their electronic Journal of Media Literacy Education. More information of the NAMLE conference is available on their conference website.

Want more information about getting around DC? Looking for things to do in DC beyond ALA Annual? You will definitely want to check out recent posts from ALSC Bloggers to help your get ready.

Kudos to ALSC Staff

Did you know that nothing and I do mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g could happen at ALSC events at ALA Annual without the hard work, long hours, enthusiastic spirit, and tireless energy of our ALSC staff. I would like to take this opportunity to express my extreme gratitude for all that they do in getting things ready in advance of ALA annual, but also handling all the last minute changes and unexpected unknowns at the various ALSC events at conference. We literally could not do what we do at conference or in our daily committee work within ALSC without our dedicated staff! And, speaking of staff, you’ll notice that we have new faces who have joined the fun. Anne Michaud joined as Program Coordinator early this year and Katie Connelly is the new Awards Coordinator who joined in April. A big welcome to them and thank you to the other ALSC staff for doing double-duty as we filled our open staff positions!

Other ALSC News

ALSC EDI Statement

ALSC is firmly committed to creating a safe, welcoming environment for all our members. As such, the ALSC Board is finalizing an ALSC Statement of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which will affirm and convey the Association’s pledge to EDI work within our profession. Once it is finished and approved, the statement will be posted on the ALSC website. We’ll also have a landing page to capture some of ALSC’s EDI work. Stay tuned!

New Discussion Group

The ALSC Board recently approved the formation of the ALSC BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color) Discussion Group.  This group will foster connections and help build networks among underrepresented groups within ALSC. The BIPOC Discussion Group will convene face-to-face at each conference and will not include any virtual meetings. The purpose of the BIPOC Discussion Group is to provide a safe, welcome, and open space for ALSC members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color to discuss specific experiences in the profession and the Association. Additional information about joining the discussion group will be forthcoming.

2019 ALSC Summer Reading Lists

Our 2019 Summer Reading Lists are here! The lists, curated by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, are available to download for free and provide a plethora of awesome reading suggestions for toddlers to tweens. Download ALSC’s 2019 Summer Reading Lists here.

Upcoming Community Forum

The next ALSC Community Forum will be May 14th, 2019 from 12-1 PM Central Time via Zoom. The forum will be led by the ALSC Nominating and Leadership Development Committee and will cover opportunities for leadership development within ALSC. A link to sign up is available here. Note: Registration access is limited to ALSC members using their ALA username and password. Even if you aren’t interested in an ALSC leadership position, the community forum is a wonderful way to learn more about how ALSC operates.

If you’d like to get more involved in ALSC, I strongly encourage you to complete a volunteer form if you haven’t already. Vice President Cecilia McGowan is in the midst of making process committee appointments. Information on the appointment process and timeline, as well as a link to the volunteer form is available here.

I look forward to engaging with each and every one of you through our volunteer work within ALSC and hope to see many of you at the Community Forum this month and ALA Annual in June.



Jamie Campbell Naidoo

2018-2019 ALSC President

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