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ALSC Blog Manager
Mary R. Voors is the ALSC Blog Manager. She loves reading picture books, early chapter books, YA fiction & nonfiction, and the occasional book written for adults. Mary has served on a variety of ALSC committees including the Newbery committee, the ALSC International Relations committee, the Great Web Sites committee (chair), the BWI Summer Reading Program Grant committee, the Notable Children’s Books committee, the Intellectual Freedom committee, the ALSC Board of Directors, and the Oral History committee. <Photo courtesy of Mary Voors>
Elizabeth Serrano is staff liason to the ALSC blog. A Bronx, New York native, she’s a graduate of the City College of New York, where she received her B.A. in Creative Writing and Psychology. Coming to ALSC as the new Membership Marketing Specialist, Elizabeth has experience working with the YMCA of Greater New York and YMCA of Metro Chicago, holding various positions in Membership and Communications. With also a strong interest in children’s literature, she held internships with Simon & Schuster in children’s subsidiary rights and editorial with Paula Wiseman Books. She has a passion for serving underprivileged communities and believes libraries are the hearts of them all. Although a New York Mets fan at heart, you can catch her in downtown Chicago with Cubs regalia tasting all the eats Chicago has to offer!
Abby Johnson is the Collection Development Leader at the Floyd County Library in Southern Indiana. Prior to moving into a collection development role, she was the Youth Services Manager there for 8 years and every now and then they let her out of the office to do a storytime. She served on the 2015 Newbery Committee and “book” was her first word. You can find more writing from her on the web at abbythelibrarian.com.
Alyson Feldman-Piltch lives in Bucks County, PA, and formerly worked at the Boston Public Library. She received both her MLS and MIS from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2015. She loves reading early chapter books, middle grade fiction and graphic novels, but can never say no to a Roald Dahl title. When she isn’t reading, writing for ALSC, or playing with her pup, Alyson serves on a plethora of ALA committees and plays Jenga with her “to-read” pile.
Amy Koester is the Learning Experiences Manager at Skokie Public Library and the 2022-2023 President of the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC). When she first started her career as a children’s librarian, Amy got really involved in developing hands-on STEAM learning programs and activities for kids. Now in more managerial roles, both in her library and in ALSC, Amy enjoys being able to support fellow library workers of all types to have the knowledge and resources they need to realize their ideas for serving their communities. When not doing library things, you can likely find Amy walking by Lake Michigan, riffing on recipes, or weaving.
Amy Steinbauer is a Children’s Librarian at the D.C. Public Library in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was the Early Childhood Outreach Librarian in Beaumont, CA. She received her MLIS from University of Hawaii in 2013. She does weekly baby & toddler story times, and also a program of her own creation, Toddler Exploration, that seeks to let children grow and discover based on interest! She is currently serving a Councilor at Large position for ALA Council. When she is not at work, she enjoys planning dream programs and activities, thinking about mermaids, and rewatching Bob’s Burgers and Parks and Recs. Follow her on Twitter @Merbrarian
Chelsey Roos is currently a Children’s Librarian for the Santa Clara County library, where she is the local baby whisperer and process-learning advocate. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon in 2010, and her MLIS from San Jose State University in 2017. She has served on ALSC’s Advocacy and Legislation Committee, and has been both a mentee and mentor for ALSC’s mentorship program. In her spare time, she is most often found writing, making terrible art and music, and showing people pictures of her little black cat.
Emily Mroczek-Bayci is a freelance children’s librarian in the Chicago suburbs. She’s passionate about digital literacy for all ages and expanding her knowledge. Emily received her MLIS in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and loves finding ways to be a ridiculous, yet professional librarian. She enjoys trying new ideas, checking out too many library books and making noise in the library. You can find her new blog at https://thefreelancelib.
Heather Acerro is Head of Youth Services at the National Medal Award-Winning, Rochester Public Library (MN). The Youth Services Division at RPL provides welcoming and inclusive spaces to empower children, teens, and their supportive grown-ups to explore, collaborate, and connect. Heather and her staff provide a variety of materials, resources, and events with pizzazz and ka-pow. She is currently chair of the Melcher and Bound to Stay Bound Scholarships Committee and is a member of the 2019 Caldecott Committee. In her spare time she watches birds, naps, and embroiders. She lives with her family of humans, chickens, and cats in Rochester.
Jonathan Dolce works for the Lake County Library System and has been working in Central Florida libraries since 2000. He took two years out to be a mountaintop farmer in Puerto Rico, then returned to Central Florida libraries. He is now happily the Branch Supervisor at Astor and Paisley County Libraries and is having a great time. Jonathan is looking forward to rebuilding the Astor Library this year! <Photo courtesy: Elise VanCise>
Kary Henry is the School Outreach Coordinator at Deerfield (IL) Public Library. She absolutely loves offering preschool outreach storytimes and programs, preschool teacher in-services, elementary and middle school outreach, and homeschool programming.
Kirby McCurtis is a Library Manager at Multnomah County Library. A former youth services librarian, Kirby misses presenting storytime weekly but still manages to connect with families when she teaches her “Talking about Race for Preschoolers” course. Kirby is passionate about library outreach to diverse populations, and children’s and young adult literature. In addition to her work with ALSC, she is a past president of New Members Round Table (NMRT) and is also active in the Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA).
Kirsten Caldwell has master’s degrees in both chemistry and information science with a certificate in youth services. She is a youth services assistant at a public library and works with ages 0-18, though early literacy is where she wants to specialize. She is passionate about programming and best storytime practices and joined ALSC to meet and learn from other librarians around the country. You can find more from her at her website earlyliteracylibrarian.com.
Liza Purdy has been a librarian since 1999 after receiving her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently works as a children’s librarian at the Newhall branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library. Liza lives with her husband, two sons, and two toy poodles in Santa Clarita, CA. In her spare time, she plays guitar and keys in her church band and has recently begun working on a children’s program in which she will voice a librarian lizard. It’s called Fizzling’s Fun House, and should be airing on YouTube sometime this fall!
Lucia M. Gonzalez is Library Director of the City of North Miami Public Library and the immediate past President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). She is also a storyteller and puppeteer. Lucia is the author of three award-winning bilingual books, The Bossy Gallito, winner of the 1996 Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Honor Medal, Señor Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America, an Americas Award Commended Title, and The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos, winner of the 2009 Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Honor Medal for narrative, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Honor Book, and the Américas Award, Honor. She wrote The Storyteller’s Candle inspired by New York Public Library’s storytelling tradition and by the pioneering work of Pura Belpre (https://cynthialeitichsmith.com/2008/04/author-and-illustrator-interview-lucia/). She enjoys bicycling, traveling, and tasting foods from all over the world. She loves to spend time with her family and her 15 cats.
Maria Trivisonno is the Family Engagement Specialist for Cuyahoga County Public Library in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. She started paging at 16 and never completely left the library. Maria received a Laura Bush 21st Century “Youth Services, Librarians, and Museums—A New Vision of Learning” scholarship funded by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, D.C. to get her MLIS at Kent State University, graduating in 2011. She is a member of the advisory board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, serves on ALSC’s Managing Children’s Services Committee, and is co-chair of ALSC’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Maria loves being an aunt, reading and discussing kids’ books, and all things Star Wars.
Tess Prendergast was a children’s librarian for 23 years. She has a PhD in early literacy education and now teaches librarianship and children’s literature courses at The School of Information, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. She has served on many ALSC committees and is currently serving on the 2023 Geisel Award committee. You can read more about her work here and here. <Photo courtesy of Tess Prendergast>
The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Cooperation is comprised of members from all three ALA youth divisions, with divisional oversight shifting each year. Working in conjunction with the AASL, ALSC, and YALSA presidents, the chairperson helps committee members design and deliver projects that facilitate effective collaborations between library staff members serving youth in both school and public libraries. Ultimately, the committee’s goal is to help collective youth division membership build positive relationships that improve outcomes for kids and teens.
The ALSC Budget Committee was established in 1971 and is charged with advising the Executive Director in preparing the annual budget in alignment with priorities established by the ALSC Board. Other functions include submitting the budget to the ALSC board for approval; reviewing division activities for fiscal implications; preparing and submitting to the ALSC board periodic analysis of the finances of the division; reviewing annually at Midwinter Meeting the ALSC goals and objectives; reviewing ALSC’s fiscal relationship to ALA and other divisions, and acting as liaisons for the ALSC board to the planning and budget assembly. The committee membership includes one chair, five members and two ex-officio members (the Executive Director and the Vice President).
Children and Libraries (CAL) is the quarterly journal of the Association for Library Services to Children. ALSC’s Children and Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee supports the overall work of the journal editor by: providing feedback on published issues; recommending resource people for articles and review; reviewing materials for publication (upon request by editor); and suggesting topics for forthcoming issues.
The ALSC Children and Technology Committee was established in 1997. The committee consists of nine members, each serving 2-year terms, plus a committee chair. Its charge is to educate and encourage youth librarians to be leaders on technology issues in their institutions; and to identify technology issues impacting youth librarians and to disseminate information to the membership on these issues through programs, training opportunities, and publications.
The ALSC Early and Family Literacy Committee was established in 2019 and is charged to identify, synthesize, and disseminate current research findings relevant to early and family literacy issues from library schools, scholars of education, and other advocacy sources to libraries, childcare providers, and community agencies serving young children (birth through age 8). To develop in-person and virtual training workshops about early and family literacy skills, practices, and research, and to update and develop ALSC resources with early and family literacy information. To collaborate with and advise related ALSC committees and groups, and library and education associations on early and family literacy issues and concerns. To serve as a resource about ALSC early and family literacy products including those available for purchase.
The ALSC Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee was established in 1972. It is a nine member committee with eight committee members, each serving 2 year terms, led by a committee chair. Its charge is to identify and disseminate information on effective, cooperative, or innovative programs for young children to libraries serving young children (birth to 5). Recent projects include the Babies Need Words Every Day initiative, as well as developing training workshops on early childhood programs and presenting them at conferences and institutes
The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee was established in 1974, and consists of five members each serving 2-year terms, led by committee co-chairs Laura Jenkins and Bruce Farrar. The committee’s charge is to advise ALSC on matters before the office for intellectual freedom and their implication for library service to children and to make recommendations to the ALA Intellectual Freedom committee for changes in policies involving library service to children and to promote in-service and continuing education programs in the area of intellectual freedom for those who select library materials for children.
The ALSC Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee (formerly The Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers committee) is charged to speak for underserved children and their caregivers. To offer leadership in discovering, developing and disseminating information about library materials, programs and facilities for underserved children and their caregivers; to develop and maintain guidelines for selection of useful and relevant materials; and to discuss, develop and suggest ways in which library education programs can prepare librarians to serve these children and their caregivers.
The ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee was established in 1990. It consists of a chair, plus nine members appointed from the ALSC membership at large, plus one Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) liaison, all of whom function virtually, serving 2-year terms. The charge of the Managing Children’s Services Committee is to identify issues relating to the management of children’s services; to determine if these issues are being addressed by other divisions or committees; to cooperate as appropriate; and to initiate action to address these issues. The committee’s most recent project was a webinar series on management issues.
The ALSC Membership Committee was established in 1976, and consists of eleven members serving a 2-year term and led by committee chair, Alyx Campbell. The committee’s charge is to plan campaigns for recruiting and securing new members for ALSC at the national, state, regional, and local levels, and to serve as a channel for communication on membership matters between the ALA membership task force and the division. We plan and assume responsibility for conference orientation sessions and to welcome and introduce new members to ALSC purposes and procedures.
The ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee was established in 2020 by merging the Public Awareness and Advocacy and Legislation Committees. The committee’s charge is to promote awareness of the value of excellent library service for all children. To plan, execute, coordinate, and disseminate public awareness campaigns about the importance of library service for youth. To provide public awareness learning opportunities for library staff and other stakeholders. To provide tools and information to empower members in support of grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of libraries, children and families. To serve as a channel of communication on legislative matters among the ALA Legislation committee, the Division Leadership, and its members, recommending to the ALSC Board changes as necessary in federal, state and local legislation proposed by the ALA Legislation committee, and advise on ALSC interests in the proposals before ALA Council.
The ALSC School-Age Programs and Service Committee was established in 1999. It is a nine member committee with eight committee members, each serving 2 year terms, led by a committee chair. The committee is charged with identifying and disseminating information on effective, cooperative or innovative programming for school-age children to libraries, schools and community service agencies serving youth. Recent projects have included producing recommended reading lists for various age-groups of school age children, as well as disseminating information on the common core curriculum standards.