Prior to ALA Midwinter 2020, Jordan Dubin joined the ALSC staff as Awards Coordinator. Here is your chance to learn a bit more about Jordan through a series of questions.
What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been the ALSC Awards Coordinator for around six months, and interned the summer before that. I’m responsible for the nuts and bolts of award committee work; working with publishers to distribute rosters, booking meeting rooms, answering procedural questions, and planning events like the Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet. Last but not least, I’m responsible for the bulk of book award submissions to the ALSC office!
What are you afraid of?
Open water, hands down. You would never catch me on a cruise ship, even before the global pandemic. As a kid, I remember reading something about humans not knowing what’s in 95% of the ocean, and that’s stuck with me ever since. Though I can swim, and I don’t mind the beach or the pool, I am wary of some megalithic creature swallowing me whole in the middle of the Atlantic.
What do you wish more people knew about you?
I did sketch comedy with Katherine Paterson’s grandson.
Do you watch TV? What is your favorite show of all time?
My favorite TV show of all time is Scrubs. You could say this J.D. loves J.D.
What is the best thing about working in the ALSC office?
Seeing all the books that come in! Especially all the great comics being published for children right now.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth S. Gannett (1949 Newbery Honor, for those of you keeping track at home). Part of the book takes place on the island of Tangerina, where tangerines grow plentifully. If I remember correctly, the main character eats 31. At one point, I ate tangerines while I read about these tangerines and felt like I was on the adventure myself. Then I got one drop of tangerine juice on the library copy and cried.
How do you advocate for children and libraries?
I’m not a trained library professional, and I came into this position with little exposure to the actual important work done by our members. So at this point, I still think that I’m advocating just by learning what ALSC and our hard-working committees and members do.
What was your favorite part of the ALA Midwinter Conference?
While everything associated with the Youth Media Awards was great, I think my favorite part was meeting so many of our members. At Midwinter, I had only been in my position for about three months, and everyone was so welcoming and excited to have me on board. Seeing the faces behind the emails helped to contextualize my work. I was even surprised with a birthday cake at one meeting!
How did you feel knowing what won the major Children’s Media Awards before almost anyone else in the world?
The thrill of knowing secret information immediately comes to mind. Still, it was more fun to see and feel the pride and excitement of the committee chairs as they snuck into the press office with their books wrapped in bags or boxes and held close to their chests.
Would you play a version of Minesweeper where the player wins as soon as they’ve revealed all logically deduced safe tiles (i.e. no 1-3 corner 50/50 chances), thereby mitigating the effects of randomness and increasing win percentages and win streaks? If you played this version, what would your win rate be?
Wow, what an oddly specific question! I would love to play this, and my win rate would be 100%. I’m always happy to talk about Minesweeper.
Thanks so much, Jordan! It’s been great to learn a bit more about you!