Professionalism and Professional Development

Making the Most of Your Membership

Now more than ever, we are looking to make connections and feel inspired. Personally, I’m feeling this way in regards to my own connections with families at work and in my own relationships with colleagues and friends. As my work setting feels smaller, the more I look to ALSC and the greater library world to inspire me in my work. Committees and conferences are a great way to build community but I have found there are many other ways to make the most of your membership. No matter if you are doing committee work now, taking a break, or haven’t had the chance to serve, there are many other ways to grow and connect.      ALSC workshops and webinars: Is there a topic you would like to learn more about? Maybe advocacy, programming, community outreach, or collection development? Check out upcoming workshops (including a course called “The Library in the Middle:…

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Introducing Recipients of the BIPOC New Member Funding Program

This spring, the Membership Committee undertook a project to intentionally recruit new ALSC members, specifically those who are paraprofessionals or students who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). In alignment with ALSC’s strategic objective of increasing the intentional recruitment and retention of a diverse membership while reducing barriers to participation, 10 BIPOC library students and 10 paraprofessionals/library support staff members were selected to receive one year ALA and ALSC memberships, along with opportunities for meaningful engagement including: regular virtual meetings with other recipients, activities and discussions, mentorship, shadowing committees, and more.  We, as the Membership Committee, know that for many potential members, there’s a lack of institutional support, financial or otherwise. For those new to the profession, they may not be aware of all the amazing opportunities our professional organization provides. We want to seek diverse voices and ensure they have the opportunity to become more involved with…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Notable Notables

Beginning this year’s ALA Annual with the Notable Children’s Books Committee discussions was the perfect prelude to a well-rounded conference experience!  As the conference continued, I was able to apply the framework used for high-quality children’s book evaluations to view the subsequent sessions through a lens of relevancy to children’s publishing.  And it was a delightful highlight for me to recognize authors and illustrators during the conference whose work had been discussed in the Notables! 

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Making a Connection: How Serving on a Process Committee Helped Me Get Through a Global Pandemic

I know that everyone is always interested in what it’s like to serve on the Newbery or Caldecott or other selection committees. I’ve served on the Newbery Committee and it is certainly an amazing experience. But don’t discount the strong connections you can make serving on process committees. 

Administrative and Management Skills

Memoirs of a Process Committee Member: How ALSC Has Helped Me Strengthen Skills

As I try to write my final blog post as a member of the Membership Committee, I have found myself reflecting quite a bit about my two years with this fun and engaging process committee. I recall getting my committee appointment from past president Cecilia McGowan and the excitement of being appointed to my first ALSC committee. I had been involved in ALSC as part of the Peer Mentoring Program in 2016 and served as an Emerging Leader in 2018 but committee work was different. I also had a vague understanding of what serving on Membership would be like and the reality far exceeded my expectations. Here of some highlights of skills I got to strengthen while being a part of this fantastic committee. 

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The Self-Care I Needed to Survive the Pandemic

As I reflect on this past year, one thing that kept me motivated was the routine of meeting with my ALSC committee members. Though we were working on shared interests and committee charges, the act of being a part of a team gave me the self care I needed to survive the pandemic.  Each of us takes care of ourselves in unique ways. There are some days when we just need to survive and do nothing. There are other days when we want to take action and unleash our sense of ambition. I have my share of both of these mental capacities but overall, I know that I thrive knowing that I am a part of something bigger and that I can make a real impact with my work. Working on committees kept me balanced between personal self-care and connecting to the value of Children’s Services. Seeing how our colleagues…

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ALSC’s Professional Tools

If you’re reading the ALSC blog, you know that ALSC is an organization that supports professional development of all kinds- this lovely blog, of course, but also an Institute, publications, webinars, conference sessions, and more. Part of the “more” is something you may not have looked at lately: Professional Tools for Librarians Serving Youth. The toolkit is a selection of resources, some of the items are created by ALSC and its members, some by outside organizations. In addition to sharing formal information, there are also several ALSC blog roundups to be found within, allowing readers to find posts related by topic.