ALSC Board Member Profile

Meet Your ALSC Board: Allison Knight

Monthly, we will profile current ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. This month, we invite you to meet ALSC Board member, Allison Knight.

Photo credit: Dayton Metro Library

How did you first get involved with ALSC?

I signed up with ALSC as soon as I had gotten my first professional children’s librarian position. Before then, I knew of ALSC (primarily through the awards), but I needed to wait until I had organizational support to join. The Assistant Director for Youth Services at my system at the time was Tish Wilson, who
was a major inspiration to me and a huge cheerleader of mine, especially in my early professional life. It just so happens that one of her storytime kiddos was Andrew Medlar, who was the ALSC President when I first joined. I was soon appointed to the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, and I know that that early committee involvement is what has kept me committed to serving ALSC and tapped into the organization ever since.

How has participation in ALSC affected your career?

There was a brief window when I left youth services in order to take a management position. ALSC helped me feel connected to trends and current conversation, through following the blog, professional development opportunities, my committee work, and my fellow committee members! Ultimately, that connection brought me back to the position I am in now.

What excites you about serving on the ALSC Board?

I have found that every committee experience gives me new insight into the work of ALSC. I am so excited to serve on the Board and get to know another side of ALSC. I hope that my past experience makes me effective in this role, but I also hope that this experience makes me more effective in future opportunities to be an engaged member.

What is something you have done as a member of ALSC that you’re particularly proud of?

I think my time on the Notable Children’s Recordings committee as a member (2017 list) and as chair (2018 list) is something I’m quite proud of. First, the commitment is intense! There is so much listening to do – it is intimidating to see all the recording lengths and calculate how long it will take to get through once, let alone the time for thoughtful re-listening and note taking. This is on top of the learning curve of evaluating recording quality rather than solely literary merit! NCR is definitely not for the faint of heart. To be in the leadership position of this committee is another layer of responsibility and added intensity. Getting through the workload and leading the group was a huge accomplishment, and when I look back at our list, I remember all the recordings fondly and hold quite a sense of pride for the whole experience.

What advice would you give to an ALSC member interested in exploring more leadership or governance roles?

I think folks need to have a sense of what skills and insight they are bringing to the table. The people who have the perfect background or ideal resume are few and far between, so you just have to lean into what you do know, and be willing to approach the whole experience with curiosity and a growth mindset. That’s been my philosophy, anyway! I will let you know after my term if it works out.

What is your favorite Youth Media Award-winning book?

The Odyssey Award Winners and Honors from my years on NCR are the ones I know most deeply and felt most excited about when they won – specifically, Anna and the Swallow Man, written by Gavriel Savit and narrated by Allan Corduner and Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier, and narrated by Dion Graham.

What is your favorite ALSC memory?

I was on the ALSC National Institute Task Force in 2018. I think that Institute is already a very special conference – being around all youth-serving folks is such a friendly, happy, cozy place to be – but watching all of the Task Force’s planning come together and to see people enjoying the experience we put together, is a very special memory.

Allison Knight is the Youth Services and Programming Director at Dayton Metro Library (OH) and a member of the ALSC Board of Directors (2023-2026).

Interested in standing for election to the ALSC Board? Find out more on the ALSC election information page.

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