The 2019-2020 ALSC Board began the service year working together on the Strategic Plan, which stretched over months while subgroups within the board worked on specific Areas of Strategic Action offline in order to discuss together once a month during our online Board meetings. The Board felt that a complete overhaul was not warranted, but that an update to objectives would set us on the right path for the next three years. That doesn’t mean that we are done with the plan! ALSC staff will be keeping the Board informed about the progress being made on the objectives by committees and the Board will use this information to evaluate if objectives have been met and new objectives need to be put forward. It is a living document, not a plan that we put away in a drawer and forget about for three years. I’m thrilled to report that the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan was passed by the Board during the Annual Meeting. Please take some time to see where ALSC is headed.
Didn’t it seem like business as usual after a tremendous Midwinter in Philadelphia? Oh, the plans we all had. Once the full measure of the pandemic was realized it was not business as usual. The ALSC staff began working from home and though it wasn’t ideal, they accomplished amazing work under less than ideal conditions. Because that’s how they are – they get the work done. They get it done in brilliant fashion and are patient, kind and supportive of Board and committee members and ALSC members.
I hope you were able to watch the ALA Book Award Celebration with the winning authors and illustrators! ALSC put this together virtually and provided an opportunity for all of us to celebrate together. A special thank you to Jordan Dubin who managed all the filming for the ALSC portions of the event, as well as the Pura Belpré and Odyssey. Though we weren’t able to meet in person, we still were able to celebrate. Thank you to all who made this happen.
The ALSC Board acted decisively in endorsing BCALA and ALA’s Statements condemning increased violence and racism towards Black Americans and people of color and stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, BCALA, and those working for racial justice and dismantling racial capitalism and white supremacy in all of its forms. Please read my June 5, 2020 blog post with ways we can all become involved in change.
There are many other achievements but I will mention just one more, the 2020 Charlemae Rollins President’s Program – Telling Our Authentic Story: Connecting, Sharing and Bridging Divides Through Children’s Literature. Almost 300 of us joined together with Erin Entrada Kelly, Oge Mora, Cece Bell and moderator Janet Wong to discuss how they share their authentic stories with children. If you missed the event you can sign up to watch the program on demand. Many thanks to program co-chairs Gaye Hinchliff and Paige Bentley-Flannery and staff member Sarah Polen for making the changes needed to offer the program online.
Finally, many thanks are in order. To the 2019-2020 Board: Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Julie Dietzel-Glair, Linda Ernst, Elisa Gall, Africa Hands, Sujei Lugo, Sue McLeaf Nespeca, Amy Sears, Amber Creger, April Mazza, Maggie Jacobs, and Kirby McCurtis. Working with you has been a joy. Thank you.
To the ALSC Staff: Aimee Strittmatter, Alena Rivers, Anne Michaud, Jordan Dubin, Angela Hubbard, Sarah Polen, Laura Shulte-Cooper and Elizabeth Serrano. The Board and ALSC members really couldn’t do any of our important work without you. Thank you.
I hope to see you all in the coming year. Stay safe, take care of yourselves and thank you for your work every day in support of children and families.