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Three Reasons I’m Excited for the ALSC Institute

It’s finally September, and you know what that means: the ALSC Institute is this month! I joined ALSC as I finished graduate school in 2019, and then 2020 happened, so this will be my first Institute as a career librarian. There are so many aspects of the event I’m looking forward to, but since there’s still time to register if you haven’t yet, I thought I’d give you my top 3 reasons I’m excited for Institute this September. 

  1. ALSC 101

No Institute would be complete without the rip-roaring fun that is ALSC 101. The Membership Committee hopes you’ll join us on Friday from 5:00 – 5:30 PM for a lightning round of trivia, networking, and an opportunity to ask questions about ALSC and how you can make the most of your membership. This is a great way to meet people to walk over to the Cultivating Creativity Reception with and a great way to take home some cool prizes. 

  1. Intimate Networking Opportunities

If you’re like me, ALA Annual in DC was amazing, and overwhelming! With thousands of people, it can be hard to start meaningful conversations about anything other than the weather. At ALSC Institute, there is a smaller, more intentional space for making organic and long-lasting conversations. Whether it’s over continental breakfast, running into the same people across multiple education sessions, or seeing familiar faces more than once in the hallway, Institute is a unique chance for connection in our profession. The week will be full of learning opportunities, but you won’t be learning alone. You might even remember the name of the person sitting next to you. 

  1. Education Sessions Specific to My Work

I am an Ideas Guy, so I love to go to conferences and take copious notes and come back to my library with a hundred program ideas, twenty-seven books to read, and new organizations to do outreach with. However, because I am a children’s librarian, I often find myself going to non-children’s specific sessions at huge conferences out of necessity. There just aren’t enough sessions that are specific to my work to fill up my day. At Institute, every education session will be specific to my work and interesting to me. Whether it’s yoga or music in story time or camping programs or author talks about the books my patrons are clamoring to read, ALSC Institute is full of programs and information geared towards my career. 

The ALSC Membership Committee looks forward to seeing you at Institute this month. Stop by ALSC 101 on Friday at 5:00 PM and say hello!


Aryssa Damron is a children’s librarian with the District of Columbia Public Library System and the co-chair of the 2022-2023 ALSC Membership Committee. 


This blog post relates to ALSC Core Competencies of: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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