Spotlight on: Managing Children’s Services Committee

The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee is excited to share information about another ALSC committee with you!

Previously we have featured the School Age Programs & Services Committee, the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, and the Early and Family Literacy Committee. This month we are highlighting the Managing Children’s Services Committee. Co-chairs Krista Riggs and Mike Rogalla kindly answered our questions so you can learn more about this Priority Group VI committee!

Can you share a brief history of the committee?

The Managing Children’s Services Committee was established in 1990 at the request of the ALSC board of directors. It consists of two co-chairs, appointed in alternating years, plus eight members appointed from the ALSC membership at large, plus one CORE liaison [formerly LLAMA]. The committee functions virtually, with members serving two year terms.

What is your committee’s charge?

To identify best practices and emerging trends as they relate to management of children’s services; to determine if these ideas and issues are being addressed by other divisions or committees and to work cooperatively to initiate and further support related opportunities and professional development. Topics of interest may be referred to the committee by the ALSC Board, other ALSC committees, or by the membership.

What are the expectations for members of your committee?

Members are expected to attend monthly meetings and actively participate in group discussions and brainstorming sessions. They are also asked to take leadership in volunteering for group projects, such as writing blog posts, collaborations with mentoring projects, planning and presenting webinars, and more. 

What are some skills, experiences, or passions that would make an ALSC member an ideal candidate for your committee?

An ideal candidate will be passionate about both children’s services and leadership, and will have knowledge and experience to draw from in both areas. While management-level experience is helpful, candidates that are leaders at any level in their organization should consider applying. The group is very supportive of new leaders and managers who bring a “fresh eyes” perspective, and there are many opportunities to build your confidence as a leader through this committee. Ideal candidates want to share their experience and curiosity about children’s services management with the committee and are interested in assisting colleagues nationwide with these topics. We welcome any candidate that has delivered, or even thought about delivering, library services to children and families, including those that may not directly manage children’s services departments.

Are there any projects you are excited to tell ALSC members about?

We just finished presenting a two-part webinar series, and it was such a positive experience that the group is already planning another webinar series. Members have also worked together to write a column for an upcoming issue of Children and Libraries magazine through an invitation from our previous committee chair. We are also working on a couple of proposals to host “We are ALSC” chats.

What is something ALSC members who are not on your committee can do to support your mission?

ALSC members are invited to attend any of our meetings and join our thought-provoking discussions — everyone is welcome! We’d also love any comments and engagement on blog posts, as many blog posts aim to generate thought and discussion around current topics. We always welcome your input through meetings, comments, or by contacting a member, especially if you know of a particularly vexing problem or issue regarding children’s services management that few, if any, have addressed. The committee is happy to raise awareness of these issues and work on formulating future projects around them. And, of course, we would be delighted if you would assist in sharing the news when we have upcoming webinars to help us gather a great audience for interaction and engagement.

This blog addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and V. Outreach and Advocacy.

Diana Price is a member of the ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee. She is the Beatley Central Library Manager for Alexandria Library in Alexandria, Virginia.

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