ALSC has many avenues to volunteer and gain experience, some more high profile than others, but all extremely valuable to the division. There are two types of committees — process and awards — both present opportunities for growth, but very different in their roles and responsibilities.
The awards committees receive the most attention, namely the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott awards, and their work recognizes the most distinguished books in children’s literature. These face-to-face committees consist of varying sizes, and members can be elected by ALSC members-at-large or appointed by the sitting ALSC president. Award committees also pose a significant time obligation over the 2-year term and should be seriously considered by anyone looking to join one. Members may not serve on the Batchelder Award, Caldecott Award, Geisel Award, Newbery Award, Sibert Award, Wilder Award, or Notable Children’s Books Committees more than once every four years. The exceptions to this are the co-administered awards and some Notable committees. The path to getting on an awards committee varies, but proving yourself with work on process committees goes a long way!
Process Committees and Task Forces
Process committees are tasked with the core work that keeps ALSC forging ahead. These appointments are made by the ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect between February and May. Committees fall in a handful of Priority Groups–lookout for our next “Nuts & Bolts” piece to find out more about what a Priority Group Consultant does–that each has a specific function. Although these committees don’t receive the adoration that award committees do, they allow more ALSC members to offer their insight and experience through virtual communications such as email, conference calls, and document-sharing platforms. Learn more about the work each committee is tasked with here and find the right one for you. Task forces are formed out of a specific need and only last until their charge is complete. These groups develop throughout the year, and members come from a special call for volunteers. No matter which type of committee you end up on, you’ll reap the benefits of meeting new people, gaining leadership skills, and contributing to work that makes a difference in the lives of children we serve.
Appointments are happening now so if you haven’t already filled out your volunteer form, or need to update information, now’s the time! Remember, the more details you put in the application, the better your chances of receiving an appointment. More information can be found here.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.
Sierra McKenzie, Library Services Floater at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati, Ohio, is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org