I think the phrase “small act of kindness” is interesting. How can any act of kindness be considered small? What does “small” mean? Small to whom?
In a recent blog post, I highlighted the ways ALSC, as an organization, has delivered on our core values. I’ve also highlighted some of the ways in which I’ve seen members of our ALSC community share with one another this year. Now, similarly, through an ALSC lens, I’d like to list some of the big acts of kindness I’ve seen:
- Being the staff member tasked with monitoring the @wearealsc Twitter is sometimes challenging, but it’s so worth it when I see our community exchange ideas and encourage one another in and outside of #librarylife. From a “good luck” tweet on an upcoming job interview to a “that looks amazing” tweet when someone bakes a yummy looking pie– these are big acts of kindness to me.
- As staff liaison to some of ALSC committees, I witness acts of kindness often. From virtual high-fives, to warmhearted smiles, to members asking, “how are you doing?” — these are big acts of kindness to me.
- Of course, I cannot talk about kindness without mentioning the Friends of ALSC. I love working on Friends of ALSC funded projects because, often, these projects acknowledge and support an immediate need for our members and/or the communities they serve (Relief Renewals for BIPOC Members, Institute registration scholarships, $5,000 donation to REFORMA’s Children in Crisis Fund  etc.) We’re not able to carry out any of these projects without the big acts of kindness and generosity exemplified by our donors. Later this month, a Friends of ALSC report will be made available that details how we’ve used Friends of ALSC funds last fiscal year (September 2019 – August 2020). To our 2020 and 2021 donors, thank you.
Here are ways we can continue to show acts of kindness:
- Nominate a friend or colleague for ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award. This award honors an individual member of ALSC who has had a significant impact on library service to children and/or our association. Remember, our Professional Recognition and Scholarships committee reviews a new set of applications each year, so if you’ve nominated someone in the past who was not selected, nominate them again! The deadline for nominations has been extended through this Monday, December 7th.
- Vice-President, Lucia Gonzalez, explained in her recent ALSC Matters! column: It is important to learn from one another, to speak on behalf of the communities we serve, to work together to create opportunities for training and leadership development. Get in on this “ALSC goodness” (I love this phrase coined by Past President, Jamie Naidoo) by volunteering for an ALSC committee. Get first-hand experience of that kindness I highlighted in my second point above. If you’re not sure which committee would be a right fit for you or if you’re unsure about the process, please reach out to me!
- Have you recently used an ALSC resource? Or maybe you’ve taken part in a webinar and want to thank those who contributed to the project/event? Make use of the ALA member directory on ALA Connect (login required) and send that person a thank you message!
- Gift an ALA/ALSC membership or donate to the Friends of ALSC, if you are able to. A gift membership application can be found on the ALA website, you can fill it out and send it in via email or call ALA Member Relations and Services to activate it over phone for that person. Gifts will need to be received by December 14th to be processed this year, so send your gift soon!
While we wrap up a challenging 2020 and head into a new year, I will keep kindness and patience at the front of everything I do. I hope all ALSC members and our community at-large continue to join me in this.
Elizabeth Serrano (aka Elly) is ALSC’s Membership and Marketing Specialist. She can be reached at email@example.com. Please feel free to reach out to her to say hello, ask your ALSC questions, or just to talk about shows like Ozark, Breaking Bad, or Money Heist.