One of my favorite parts of ALA is hearing about all the work that has been going on in other divisions, round-tables, and groups. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the great sessions that directly apply to children’s librarianship, there’s a lot of value in attending other sessions. We, as children’s librarians, are not an island unto ourselves. By remaining aware of issues in other aspects of the library world we can be better advocates for our families we serve, effective team players in serving our library’s overall mission, and better informed research-practitioners.
A good way to stick a toe in the water and branch out is by attending one of the many fantastic “News You Can Use” sessions at Annual. These sessions “offer the latest updates from experts on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, and projects” from across ALA’s divisions. This conference I attended two, and presented at one, and found something useful to bring back from all of them. Here’s a few highlights with links to more information!
- “Immigrants, Refugees, and Displaced Persons in Public Libraries: What We’ve Learned, Where We’re Heading” discussed best practices in working with these target populations and shared information on their recently released white paper. https://newamericans.ala.org/
- “Literacy for All: Resources for Serving Learners Across the Lifespan” had some great discussion on common problems in serve all ages of learners with low literacy. The newly released toolkit on serving adult literacy learners still brings up many considerations for younger age groups as well. http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/diversity/literacy
- “You Learned to Plan Programs Where?! Findings from NILPPA, ALA’s National Study of Library Public Programs” shared preliminary research findings on library programming and the nine core competencies programming librarians (that includes us!) need. I’m especially looking forward to reading more about this! http://www.ala.org/tools/programming/research/NILPPA