ALA Midwinter 2020

Embracing Change #alamw20

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to attend this afternoon’s Leadership & ALSC meeting! Many of you have heard that ALA is planning on restructuring the midwinter meeting. While we don’t know what all of the changes will entail, we do know that these changes will necessitate reworking some of the ways that many of ALSC’s committees conduct their business. Some changes may include realigning committees, transitioning into hybrid or even fully virtual committees, and eliminating process committee meetings during the winter meeting. These possibilities are still being discussed, but it’s safe to say that change is in the air!

Change can be hard, for sure, and it can be challenging to embrace new and different models. What I heard during today’s meeting, however, reminded me of how positive and creative ALSC members can be. Again and again, I heard ALSC members recognize the difficulties ahead while also reminding us of how much good these changes could bring. I heard people talking about equity and diversity, about making it possible for more librarians to fully participate in ALSC. More hybrid and virtual committees would reduce all kinds of barriers—time, finances, family commitments—and would allow more people to share in the work. It’s possible that virtual meetings could take place more often than physical ones, thus increasing networking opportunities and strengthening relationships between committee members. There are many positives ahead, and I am really excited to see how it all turns out. Most of all, I’m heartened to know that we have so many people who are willing to think creatively and come up with solutions that will be as inclusive as possible.

Sarah Hashimoto is serving a third year on ALSC’s Membership Committee. She is a Community Engagement Manager for Jackson District Library in Jackson, Michigan.

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