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How to Avoid Being #ALALeftBehind

In the past, if you were one of those poor, unfortunate souls watching on social media as friends enjoyed an ALA conference in some exotic locale (not counting the times Midwinter was in Boston, Chicago, or Philadelphia), you may have lamented being #ALALeftBehind. As someone who suffers greatly from FOMO, I have felt the sting myself. How many books did I miss out on getting signed in the exhibits? How many conversations while waiting in an obscenely long line for coffee? How many amazing sessions? It can be pretty discouraging!

Luckily, the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation is working to “create an online networking and resource space for the three Youth Divisions to engage around EDI-related topics” (quote taken from committee charge). So while we can’t send you signed books, and you will have to provide your own caffeinated beverage of choice, we will soon have an online place to share with, and learn from, colleagues near and far. Right now this is a work-in-progress, and we are looking for ideas of what to include. I took many great ideas and resources from #ALAMW21 to include in our finished product. What would you include? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned!

Today’s post was written by Sam Bloom (he/him/his), a Youth Services Librarian in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Chair of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Sam can be reached at sibloom24@gmail.com.

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