I am delighted to be the new Chair for IFLA’s Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section. If you are not familiar with the Section, I encourage you to learn more! I joined this Section as the ALSC representative to IFLA in 2017 and became Secretary of the Section in 2019.
With members from around the world, our dynamic Section is engaged in global library projects including Sister Libraries, Best Practices, Safer Internet Day, the World Through Picture Books and more. You can read all about our projects here.
In non-pandemic years, we host a Mid-Year conference in locations around the world (I attended Mid-Year meetings in Italy and Japan), and a Satellite conference prior to the annual WLIC (I attended Satellites in Poland, Singapore, and Serbia). Since the pandemic, we have held virtual Mid-Year conferences. The last one was led by Section Member Søren Dahl Mortensen, and was supposed to be held in Odense, Denmark. While we were sad not to be physically together in the city known as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the silver-lining of the pandemic is that it has created many more opportunities—large and small—to connect online. For example, the organization’s 2021 World Library and Information Congress, affectionately known as the “WLIC,” was held 100% online. And in Spring 2021, our Section partnered with ALSC and Kent State’s ALA Student Group for a session on international librarianship, which was attended by nearly 400 people! We’re especially proud that our Section was just awarded a Special Mention for Facilitating Effective Communication at the 2021 WLIC.
We encourage you to get involved. Even as a non-member, you can join our mailing list, follow us on Facebook, and you can even become involved in our many projects by serving on a working group. Come join a quarterly meeting as an observer to learn more about our Section, and perhaps you’ll be a future Section member yourself!
Today’s guest blogger is Marianne Martens. Marianne is an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Information, where she teaches classes and researches and writes about topics related to young people, reading in print and digital formats, international children’s literature, social justice, and more. Before earning first an MLIS and then a PhD, she worked in International Children’s Publishing at North-South Books in New York City. You can read more about her on her website.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.