So you’ve joined ALSC, what next? This post is for anyone looking to get involved in ALSC. There are several current and upcoming opportunities for ALSC members that I want to share with you today.
Tune in to a Committee Meeting
While many of the selection committees have closed meetings, did you know that all ALSC process committee meetings are open to ALSC members? Serving on a process committee is a fun way to get involved in ALSC while contributing meaningful work and getting to know fellow library workers all over the country. You can find agendas and schedules for upcoming meetings on the ALSC Community space on ALA Connect.
Sitting in on a committee meeting is a great way to find out more about the work that our organization is doing and to “try on” committees to see where you might want to get involved in ALSC. It’s also a wonderful way to meet more ALSC members. The ALSC Membership Committee had a couple of guests at our most recent meeting and it was really nice to meet them. But even if you don’t want to sit in on a live meeting, you can also follow the ALSC Community space to access meeting agendas and minutes. That way you can stay on top of what’s going on in ALSC. Check out a list of ALSC committees here to see what committee work might interest you.
Apply for a Mentor or to BE a Mentor
If you’re new to working with children in a library, getting connected with a mentor can be an amazing way to build your skills, start your Personal Learning Network, and grow in your profession. If you’re more experienced, being a mentor can be an amazing way to give back to the profession and pass on your knowledge to someone who’s just starting out. Either way, volunteering for the ALSC mentoring program is a great way to get involved in ALSC.
You don’t have to be a total expert or even feel like you have everything figured out to be an awesome mentor. If you think you might have knowledge to give, you probably do. And, really, we’re all of us figuring out some new stuff right now in this unprecedented time, so it’s a great time to get connected with another library worker or student who can provide a different perspective.
Find out more about the ALSC mentoring program here. Applications for the Fall 2020-2021 mentoring program will open soon and if you’re interested, you can fill out this RSVP form to get more information once they open.
Apply for a Libraries Transform Communities Grant
Applications are now open for the Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grants. ALA will be distributing nearly $2 million to help small and rural libraries address the concerns of their communities. If your library serves a population of 25,000 or less or is located five miles or more from an urbanized area, you may be eligible for a grant.
Coming Soon: Relief Renewals for BIPOC Members
We know that many ALSC members have been laid off, furloughed, or otherwise find themselves unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To honor our active BIPOC members who find themselves in this position, ALSC will soon be introducing applications for assistive memberships subsidized by Friends of ALSC. If you are an active ALSC member who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color and are currently unemployed, please look out for the application coming October 9. We want to honor your service and encourage you to continue to get involved with ALSC and retain your membership.
And if you have the means to do so, Friends of ALSC are currently accepting donations toward this program. Find out more about Friends of ALSC and how to donate here.
Abby Johnson is serving her second year on the ALSC Membership Committee. She is the Collection Development Leader at the Floyd County Library in New Albany, IN and you can find her on the web at abbythelibrarian.com.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.