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Back to School? Back to ALSC

Seated people working on project together

As students around the country prepare to go back to school, it’s time to think about beginning our new ALSC year together. Most appointments are made, new officers and board members have been elected, and a new strategic plan is here to guide our work.  The Membership Committee is hard at work preparing for a great year of exciting prospective, new, and tenured members–including planning virtual events, thinking about the importance of mentorship, and looking forward to LibLearnX! 

What’s a new school year and a new ALSC year without some preparation though—-here are your three must do’s to be as ready as possible for this coming ALSC year. 

Meet the Teacher(s)

Before you head into the year, meet the teachers! While ALSC is blessed to have many people to learn from, you’ll want to make sure you meet our President, Dr. Jonda McNair as well as the Board

If you’re interested in a particular field, find the correlating ALSC committee and learn who the chairs are. Reach out, introduce yourself, or plan to attend a meeting and learn about their goals for the year. 

Who is someone doing something cool in ALSC this year that you may know from another avenue–from coffee at a conference, or a friend of a friend, or an old coworker? Reach out to them and hear about how they’re approaching their ALSC year–what tips do they have for new members? 

Build Your Resource List

ALSC may not require a backpack full of school supplies, but if you use ALSC properly, you’ll have more than a backpack full of resources at your disposal.  From reading lists to program ideas, research studies and journal articles, author interviews to management tips, ALSC has resources to help you tackle this year. Need help fighting an attempted book ban? We’ve got you. Need book recommendations for a voracious 5 year old? We’ve got you. Want to share more information on serving unhoused populations with your coworkers? We’ve got you. 

The resource I’m adding to my backpack first this ALSC year is the new Toolkit from the ALSC Summer-Out of School Time Task Force. I’ve been looking for new ways to engage my upper elementary school students after school, and this 36 page document is the place to start! 

The ALSC blog is a great resource to have in the most accessible pocket of your backpack—save it to your desktop or bookmarks tab and visit frequently to find out what the different committees are up to, get ideas for programs, and find unique opportunities for professional development. 

Don’t forget to explore the new strategic plan–an extremely valuable resource for everyone in ALSC. 

Many of these resources are available to nonmembers as well as members, but many events, unique webinars, and journals are only available to members. Be sure to renew your membership for the year for maximum access. 

Fill Out Your Volunteer Form

The last part of preparing for your ALSC year is filling out your volunteer form! This is integral in making ALSC a healthy, functioning organization with leaders who are engaged and ready to serve. Filling out the volunteer can be daunting though—even if you’ve done it a dozen times! The ALSC Membership invites you to kick off the ALSC year with us at our August 24th virtual gathering, where we’ll be focusing on the volunteer form. Use it as a dedicated time to fill out the form, ask questions, learn about how to advocate for yourself through your previous work,  and share your tips and tricks for navigating the volunteer process. We’ll be there to facilitate, answer questions about the timeline for volunteering and appointments, and more! 

We hope you’ll join us on August 24th @ 4PM Eastern via Zoom for this kickoff to our ALSC year and consider the Membership Committee as one of your favorite Back to ALSC resources. Be sure to register for reminders!

Aryssa Damron is a children’s librarian with the District of Columbia Public Library System, and the co-chair of the 2023-2024 ALSC Membership Committee. 

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

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