Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) conference in Atlanta. It was a great reminder that Summer Reading/Learning is always on the top of not only our minds, but the minds of our partners in the community who share the pleasures of working with children when the regular school year is not in session. It seems we’re always in the midst of planning, conducting, and evaluating summer programs.
Attending the conference gave me an opportunity to attend sessions with organizations that might not think of the library as a natural partner – a golden opportunity for me to showcase the tremendous work of children’s librarians and ALSC! NSLA is partnering with ALSC to celebrate Summer Learning Week for the next several years, which in 2019 was July 8-13. My first day began was a daylong preconference created and produced by Liz McChesney, ALSC’s Summer Reading Out of School Time Task Force Chair. Librarians from around the country shared their summer experiences and brainstormed ideas about collaborating with partners in their communities. There was even time in the afternoon for the group to crowd source ideas and strategies for the Task Force. Liz was joined in the preconference by two TF members: Sue Abrahamson of the Waupaca Area Public Library, Wisconsin and Liesl Jacobson of Salt Lake City Library, Utah – thank you all for representing what magnificent work ALSC is doing! The Board and I look forward to hearing what comes out of this force-to-be reckoned with Task Force.
Attending conferences such as this reminds me that even though at times it can feel like we are the only ones who care about out of school time, the summer slide and keeping kids engaged, reading and learning through the summer, there are partners in our communities that can help us in our endeavors. As NSLA exhorts us: Summer Changes Everything!
Until next time, I wish you the best in your own Summer Reading and Learning planning!
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This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, III. Programming Skills, IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials, V. Outreach and Advocacy, VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.