Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

#LookToLibraries: How ALSC Continue to Help Us Navigate in the New Year

The Membership Committee does a lot of interesting work for ALSC in the background – we make sure that we are recruiting new members through diverse channels, that we are supporting existing members with meaningful engagement opportunities like Virtual ALSC 101 or helping members volunteer for the committees that best align with their interests, and that we are retaining members even through times of hardship and uncertainty, by supporting initiatives like the Relief Renewals for BIPOC Members (funded by Friends of ALSC). To meet our goal of supporting members in their meaningful engagement, what I would like to do today is to highlight some other important work being done by member-volunteers of ALSC. Maybe this will inspire you, our reader, to make Getting Involved with ALSC one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

#LookToLibraries is a recent initiative rolled out by ALSC. We know that our organization connects children’s and youth librarians with the most up-to-date research on emerging trends and technologies, as well as tools to deliver relevant programs and services to their communities, especially during times of crisis. If you need to spend a few minutes getting weepy over the work we do (in a good way, like when you cry while you’re reading The Fault in Our Stars or Five Feet Apart), just watch that embedded video and keep the tissues handy.

One of the biggest outcomes of (one of) the crises this year, the COVID-19 pandemic, is a shift to digital spaces: for working, for socializing and recreation, and for learning. Screen time has long been a hotly debated topic in child development, and this new normal seems contradictory to the most recent advice that parents have received – that too much screen time is unhealthy. This is the perfect time for youth services library workers to step in and offer guidance as Media Mentors. ALSC has recently collaborated with New America on a forum tackling just this topic. The forum took place over three days in December, so each day’s video is approximately 90 minutes long. Each day was divided into several sessions, and the sessions are brief, so they can easily fit around the rest of your busy workday.

Thank you to the member-volunteers who create so much content to help us navigate these unprecedented times! The work that has been done to create a Notable Children’s Digital Media list and to start the conversation and offer early guidance on Media Mentorship really set the foundation for ALSC’s responses to this pandemic, in the form of tools like the Virtual Storytime Services Guide, professional development like December’s Media Mentorship Forum, and networking like virtual ALSC 101.

Allison Knight is a branch manager at MidPointe Library System in southwestern Ohio. She is currently reading “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” listening to “The Only Black Girls in Town” (for herself), and singing “Clap Your Hands” on repeat (for her boss baby). 

This post meets the following ALSC Core Competencies: IV. Collection Knowledge and Management and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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