I was really moved by Keary’s blog post earlier this week on what an ALSC membership means to her. It was personal and got to the heart of the value of ALSC.
I think the main question I have tried to ask and answer this year is: How can we ensure our members will continue to lean on ALSC even during these challenging times?
One answer I came up with is: Building trust and community.
Follow-up question: So, how do we continue to build trust and community?
Answer: Doing things, however big or small, which strongly affirm our core values.
In case you didn’t know, ALSC’s core values are: collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity and respect, leadership, and responsiveness.
I want to highlight some of my personal favorite things we’ve done this year, big and small, which affirm our core values.
1. Back in March (I think it was March…what month are we even in right now?) we opened some of our member only content to the public. For over 3 months, webinar recordings and Children & Libraries online articles were open to the community to absorb and learn from. Core values reflected: excellence, inclusiveness, leadership, and responsiveness.
2. The creation of the Virtual Storytime Services Guide was (and continues to be) a huge project and I wont stop talking about it! We collaborated with the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy to develop this encyclopedia of suggested practices and resources to help children’s library professionals in their work of successfully executing virtual storytime. Core values reflected: collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, leadership, and responsiveness.
3. I was extremely proud when we published our endorsement of BCALA and ALA statements on Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color. Core values reflected: collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity and respect, leadership, and responsiveness.
4. Creating our Social Justice Reading List with BCALA. Core values reflected: collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity and respect, leadership, and responsiveness.
5. Continuing to support MLS/MLIS students with academic scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year. Core values reflected: collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and leadership.
6. The ALSC National Institute (#alsc20) going virtual! More than doubling our usual registration capacity, we brought the Institute right to you! I was truly blown away by the success and engagement we experienced both during sessions and on social media. Core values reflected: all of them!
7. The ALSC Board acknowledged that COVID-19 disproportionately and negatively impacts communities of color and acted on approving the Relief Renewal for BIPOC membership opportunity funded by the Friends of ALSC. Acquiring new, diverse members is important, but retaining and engaging the ones we already have is just as important. Thank you to our Friends, your generosity continues to keep us moving forward. Core values reflected: all of them!
“7” is my favorite number, so I’ll stop there, but there are so many other ways we’ve embodied our core values this year (partnership with Netflix, supporting a second round of Equity Fellowships, #LooktoLibraries, and more). You can stay updated on our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan implementation by reviewing our progress reports.
Your membership allows us to continue doing this good work, your membership and involvement makes this possible.