In this regular feature, we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet 2019-22 ALSC Board Member, April Mazza.
Why did you join ALSC? How long have you been a member? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
I believe I first joined ALSC as an MLS student at Simmons College (let’s hear it for the student membership rate!) back in 1999. I did not become a continuous member of ALSC until 2008 when I was part of the inaugural Bill Morris Seminar. This seminar introduced me to the real work of ALSC as opposed to just being a dues-paying member. Since then I have served on two grant committees, the Sibert and Newbery book award committees, the Digital Award Implementation task force and now the Board of Directors. I enjoy being an active member of ALSC because I feel the work is important and it’s imperative that it be done by members. I have also made such strong and long-lasting connections with other members. I think my personal and professional life would not be so joyous and rich if it weren’t for the friends I have made through my involvement with ALSC.
In addition to ALSC, I’ve been member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) for several years and a previous member of The Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA). While I haven’t been as active in these divisions, being a member in these organizations helps support me in the work I do as a consultant for a statewide non-profit that supports libraries of all types in Massachusetts.
Just recently I joined the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) because I realized that if I want to work towards positive outcomes regarding diversity and inclusion in the library field, I need to be a part of groups that support this as well. I look forward to learning more about EMIERT and the work the round table does when I attend ALA midwinter in 2020.
What strengths do you bring to the ALSC Board of Directors? What have you learned while serving on the Board?
I think I bring a good mix of experience and openness to the board. I am able to reflect on my past committee and board experiences but also bring a curiousness and openness to learn that I think is beneficial to any organization run by members. I have already learned so much about the operation of the board. We are in constant communication with ALSC staff, committees, and task forces. There is so much work going on from finances to appointments to strategic planning and it all comes together at the board level.
What do you wish ALSC members knew about ALSC or about the ALSC Board of Directors?
The ALSC staff are the backbone of the organization! I am amazed at all that they do and how nimble they are in their work. They are so supportive of members at all levels within ALSC but they also field questions and concerns from the public as well. If you ever meet a staff member, please give them a big “thank you”!
ALSC members should reach out to me if…
… you want to learn more about being on the ALSC board or other ways you can get more involved in ALSC (or other divisions and associations you belong to). I firmly believe in association and committee work as a way to really effect change in our profession. It’s a way to give back but to also foster relationships. I’m also happy to chat about other ways you can develop your career.
Outside of library life I am mildly obsessed with my little black cat, Johnny Macaroni. If you ever want to talk way too long about the joys of living with a black cat my door is always open!
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: Administrative and Management Skills