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.
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.
Alexa Newman is a Youth Services Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library in Illinois, where she focuses on community programming. Besides her regularly scheduled duties, Alexa created and runs the library’s annual drama camp, storytelling festival, and teaching garden. In her spare time she loves to read, dabble in the arts, and putter in as many gardens as possible. Alexa is currently serving on the School-Age Programs and Service Committee and on the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation.
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 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
Cecilia McGowan is the immediate past President of the Association for Library Service to Children. She lives in rural north-east Washington state on 24 acres, complete with chickens, gardens, deer and dogs. She has been active in ALSC for 25+ years and credits her involvement with her advocacy of all children inside and outside the library. She deeply believes in the power of story, and that the sharing of our authentic stories can help bridge differences and create a deeper understanding of each other.
Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla is the Collection Development Coordinator at Darien Library (CT). As a child she was fond of climbing dangerously high trees, reading, and acting out scenes from her favorite stories, often simultaneously. Now she leads storytimes for pre-walkers, teaches a Little Clickers technology class for 3-5 year olds, and restrains herself from purchasing every new fantasy series that’s published. She spends her days weeding books no one wants to read and writing reviews of books she thinks everyone should read for her library’s website. In her spare time you can usually find her at brunch or the movie theater. She is a strong subscriber to the belief that “the book is always better than the movie.” She can be found on twitter @LiswithanS.
Emily Mroczek-Bayci is a Children’s Services Librarian at the Naperville Public Library. She gets paid to sing, dance and do magic tricks “professionally,” as she puts on programming, manages a collection and works on desk and outreach for children ages 0-12 and their caregivers. She received her MLIS in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and loves finding ways to be a ridiculous, yet awesome 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://majorleaguelibrarian.wordpress.com/ and follow her on Twitter @emilyrmroczek.
Gretchen Schulz is the Tween Librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. She leads baby storytime, the Lab (an interactive STEAM space for grades 3-6), the summer volunteer squad, and programming for Tweens. She is an avid reader, and loves lattes. She is currently serving on the Illinois Library Association’s iRead Committee (2019-2021) as the Showcase Coordinator, and is the Co-Chair of the Chicagoland based networking group, Recharge Committee, where she and the committee plan free continuing education events for library leaders of all levels. Gretchen cannot believe her luck–she gets to go to work every day and form authentic relationships with the families in her community. You can find her online at https://brazenbibliosoph.
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.
Jamie Campbell Naidoo is the Foster-EBSCO Professor at the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies and the immediate past President of the Association for Library Service to Children. A former elementary school librarian and children’s librarian, Dr. Naidoo teaches courses in storytelling, youth programming, public librarianship, library outreach to diverse populations, and children’s and young adult literature. His research focuses on the diversity in children’s literature and library services to diverse children and their families. In addition to his work with ALSC, he is also active in the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY).
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 County Library and is having a great time. Jonathan just returned from a five-workshop tour of Central Florida aiding fellow librarians in implementing the 2016 summer reading program. <Photo courtesy: Elise VanCise>
Kaitlin Frick is a Senior Children’s Librarian with New York Public Library’s 53rd Street branch. Aside from her regular programming, Kaitlin plans and implements monthly author programs focused on booktalking diverse titles for children and teens, conducts sensory storytime outreach, and reads non-stop. She was a member of the 2018 ALA Emerging Leaders class. Kaitlin can be found on Twitter @UnheardMelodies or reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirby McCurtis is a Library Manager at Multnomah County Library and the current President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). 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).
She has previously worked at Nevada County Community Library (in California), Darien Library, and Head-Royce school library.
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!
Maria Trivisonno is a Children’s Librarian at the Warrensville Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library. 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. Maria has recently completed serving in a leadership capacity in the Children’s Services Division of the Ohio Library Council. She is a new member of the advisory board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth. Maria loves being an aunt, reading and discussing kids’ books, and all things Star Wars.
Meg Smith is Branch Manager of the Hope Mills Branch of the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC. In addition to her work supervising a talented staff at a busy community library, Meg reviews children’s books for School Library Journal. Involved with the Youth Services Section Board of the North Carolina Library Association, Meg also works with librarians across her state as a Youth Services Mentor with the State Library of North Carolina. Besides the library, her favorite place to spend her time is Disney World (she was even married there with Mickey and Minnie Mouse as honored guests at her reception), and she and her husband now love to share that magical experience with their young daughter. You can read updates about her library system at www.cumberland.lib.nc.us.
Pamela Groseclose is a teen librarian for Wichita Public Library. She received her MLIS from Valdosta State University with an emphasis in children’s services in 2017. She works with all ages but especially enjoys creating programming and delivering reader’s advisory for tweens. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys yoga, rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals, and writing for her blog: http://tweenlibrarian.blogspot.com/.
Sarah Bean Thompson is a Youth Services Manager for Springfield-Greene County (MO) Library. She leads toddler and preschool storytime, elementary school book clubs, as well as programs for tweens and teens. Sarah was born to be a librarian-her first word was “book!” She is passionate about reader’s advisory and loves sharing books with the readers, and turning non-readers into readers, at her library. She served on the 2013 Printz Committee with YALSA and blogs regularly at http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.
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 Advocacy and Legislation Committee addresses advocacy issues central to the ALSC Strategic Plan. Our charge is to provide tools and information to empower members in support of grassroots efforts on behalf of libraries, children and families. We serve as a channel of communication on legislative and advocacy matters among the ALA Legislation Committee, Division Leadership and its members. Our goal is to inform, educate, motivate and empower!
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 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.
Have you heard the phrase, “Two heads are better than one?” The Building Partnerships Committee (formerly Liaison to National Organizations) believes that to be true. Established in 1968, Building Partnerships has a new charge of helping ALSC members build effective, cooperative and innovative partnerships with organizations whose resources complement or support youth services. The committee, consisting of 14 members and led by co-chairs Jackie Cassidy and Soraya Silverman-Montano, is building a list of local, state and national organizations that have established or potential relationships with libraries. Suggestions of new organizations are welcome.
The 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 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 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 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 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 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.