ALSC Bloggers

If you are an ALSC member and are interested in joining our team of Regular Bloggers, please visit our ALSC Blog Policy page and submit an interest form!

ALSC Blog Manager

Photo courtesy of Mary Voors

Mary R. Voors (she/her) 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.

ALSC Staff Liaison

Photo credit: Joan Walsh

Laura Schulte-Cooper is Senior Program Officer for Communications in the ALSC office where she has enjoyed working with the awesome ALSC membership and staff since 2000. Laura manages the ALSC website, is managing editor of Children and Libraries, and edited The Newbery Practitioner’s Guide: Making the Most of the Award in Your Work. She began her career at the American Library Association in 1989 in the Office for Research and spent six years on the Conference Services staff.


Photo credit: Meagan White

Amy Koester is the Learning Experiences Manager at Skokie Public Library and the immediate past-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.

Headshot of blogger Amy Steinbauer
Photo credit: Amy Steinbauer

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.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Barreras

Ariel Barreras is the Children’s Librarian at the Ridgefield Park Public Library in New Jersey. She is passionate about storytime, collection development, and serving diverse communities. She enjoys spending time with her family and checking out the latest buzz-worthy films at the movies.

Dr. Erika Hogan is a Youth Services Librarian at Heights Libraries in Northeast Ohio who is passionate about developing programs that feed creative and critical thinking skills for children of all ages. Dedicated to creating inclusive and welcoming spaces in the library for play, learning, and exploration, Hogan also loves creating outdoor engagement programs that connect children and caregivers to nature. Dr. Hogan is a past member of Ohio Library Council’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee and a current member of the ALSC Education Committee. When not at a library or thinking about library things, Hogan is often found reading something shivery and spine tingling.

Photo credit: Plano Public Library

Jaime Eastman (she/her) is a senior Public Services Librarian and Family Place Coordinator at the Harrington Library, one of the Plano (Texas) Public Library locations. She’s currently serving as a member of the ALSC Board of Directors. Jaime is also working on at least two ambitious cross stitch projects, dreaming of future travel plans, and reading far too many books at once. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be an author. Writing for the ALSC Blog and publishing with Children and Libraries feel like a good start, and she regrets nothing about her adult decision to be a librarian doing storytimes who didn’t have to grow up too much.

Photo credit: Jennifer Pryor

Dr. Jonda C. McNair is the Charlotte S. Huck Endowed Professor of Children’s Literature at The Ohio State University and the 2023-24  President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). She specializes in children’s literature with an emphasis on books written by and about African Americans. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Young Children, and Children’s Literature in Education. She is a former elementary school teacher of students in grades K-2. 

Photo credit: Zoe Garden

Kary Henry (she/her) is the School Outreach Coordinator at Deerfield (IL) Public Library. She absolutely loves serving the early childhood community in Deerfield, through outreach storytimes and programs, teacher in-services, and parent workshops. She is equally passionate about elementary school outreach and homeschool programming! Kary was honored to serve on the 2023 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee. Her motto is “I believe that reading is reading, so read what you want!”

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Caldwell

Kirsten Caldwell has master’s degrees in both chemistry and information science with a certificate in youth services. She is a youth services librarian at a public library in Wisconsin 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. She has served on the ALSC Notable Children’s Digital Media Committee, has been chair of the YALSA Social Media and Marketing Committee, and starting in 2024, will be co-chair of the ALSC Early Childhood Services and Programs Committee. You can find more from her at her website

Headshot of Maria Trivisonno
Photo courtesy of Maria Trivisonno

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, served on ALSC’s Managing Children’s Services Committee, and is currently co-chair of ALSC’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Maria loves being an aunt, reading and discussing kids’ books, and all things Star Wars.

Photo courtesy of Suzi Wackerbarth

Suzi Wackerbarth is a Children’s Librarian for DC Public Library, where she has worked since 2019. Since becoming a librarian in 2002, she has worked in many types of libraries, both in Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC. She loves researching historical librarians and the history of children’s books. In 2013, she was a recipient of the ALSC sponsored Bechtel Fellowship. You can find her article, “In a Nutshell: Bechtel Scholar Studies Chapbooks, Sendak” at Swampish, a University of Florida blog. Suzi is known on social media for giving out virtual cupcakes. 

Photo courtesy of Tess Prendergast

Dr. Tess Prendergast worked as a children’s librarian in Vancouver, BC for 23 years. Her doctoral research explored inclusive early literacy and she now teaches librarianship and children’s literature courses at The School of Information at the University of British Columbia. She has served on many ALSC committees and is currently the facilitator of the Preschool Services Discussion Group that takes place at each ALA Annual Conference. You can read more about her work here and here. 


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 Professional Recognition and Scholarship Committee administers the Bechtel Fellowship and Distinguished Service Award. They also select the librarians who receive the Penguin Random House Award to attend their first ALA Annual Conference and the recipients of the ALSC scholarships, Frederic G. Melcher and Bound to Stay Bound, for those seeking their MLIS and who plan to work in libraries serving children.

The ALSC Program Coordinating Committee reviews proposals and chooses a variety of diverse programs that take place at conferences such as ALA Annual and ALSC Institute. The committee also provides support during the planning phase and implementation for the chosen programs. The Program Coordinating Committee listens to and evaluates member needs for continuing education.

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. The committee’s charge is to identify and disseminate information on effective, cooperative or innovative programming for school-age children to libraries, schools, and community agencies serving youth. The committee develops training workshops on school-age programs and services and presents them at conferences, institutes and for other institutions serving youth. We also collaborate with other ALSC committees and other associations working with the school-age child to initiate activities and projects. 


  1. Sarah Kostin

    I am the head of the Youth Services Department of a public library and am interested in starting a blog. I was doing some research about writing a blog when I stumbled onto your site — what a fantastic resource! I was wondering if I could write a blog on your site or if I need to start one on my own library’s website first. My writing interests would be mostly with reviewing great kids books and sharing great ideas for children’s programming. One article I’d really like to write is about a program I’ve done for two years in a row now where kids who read over 50 hours in the summer are rewarded with a sleepover inside the library. It’s been a great success and I think other librarians may be interested. Please let me know how I can get started.
    Thanks so much for your time.
    Sarah Kostin

  2. Mary Voors Post author

    Sarah –

    I’m glad you found the ALSC Blog! We often have guest bloggers… if you are interested in writing a guest post, simply contact us at We’ll see what we can set up!

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  7. Arnelle

    I have a question for Amanda Ellington…in addition to your Master’s in Educational Leadership, did you also get your MLIS? If not, how were you able to transition into the Library field? Thank you in advance.

    1. Amanda Ellington

      Hello Arnelle– I do not have a MLIS. I work for a great Library Director who valued my background in education and took a chance on me when the Youth Services Supervisor position came available at my local library and boy am I sure glad she did! I have learned from some great mentors in my system and state since being hired in 2009. I have also graduated from Maryland’s Library Associate Training and Library Leadership Institute. Please feel free to email me if you have more questions!

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  11. Pat Gracey

    Your section on bloggers has an incorrect URL for Abby Johnson’s own blog in her blurb.
    It’s (Emphasis mine)

    1. Dan Bostrom

      Thanks Pat. I’ve corrected the URL. I appreciate you letting us know.

  12. Pat Gracey

    Thanks for fixing so fast!
    Also ALSC blog is an excellent resource!

  13. amanda yuan

    I am a ready from China, and I’m really astonished to find that you have such a program Babies Need Words Every Day initiative, I want to know the exact time that ALA initiated this program.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Dan Bostrom

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for your question. The Babies Need Words Every Day campaign began at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. Thanks for your interest in the program!


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