Blogger Amy Koester

Celebrating Library Wins–Even When Times are Tough

Library work can feel really tough right now. There’s no single reason, but rather a whole slew of factors: many libraries are busier than ever, or at least busier than they have been in recent years; being fully funded and fully staffed often feels like the stuff of myths and legends; intellectual freedom is being threatened at unprecedented levels; and so many libraries are dealing with increases in mental health crises in their communities, which takes a toll on those in crisis as well as those around them (including library workers). There’s no doubt about it–times are tough.

Blogger Amy Koester

Planning Youth Library Services Like a Garden

I’ve found myself browsing through gardening guides and harvest cookbooks lately–that reading is inspired by my intention to spend more time outside and gardening this year. Springtime is full of such possibility as daffodils, crocuses, and other early flowers start to bloom, signaling the richness of what’s ahead. I’m also finding it invigorating to channel my gardening interest into thinking about my library work and to look at that work with fresh eyes–perhaps it’s the overlap of a “spring cleaning” mindset. I love a good reflection and goal-setting tool, so I am offering a reflective exercise that may be a useful way to take stock of what’s on your plate now, and what seeds it makes sense to start sowing to reap the benefits later.

ALSC Bylaws

Add Your Voice to the ALSC Chorus!

Serving as the ALSC President for 2022-2023 has been a humbling experience in many ways, not the least of which is because every day I have reminders that it is the dedicated work and input of members–all volunteers!–that allows us to set, work toward, and accomplish our goals. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the ways in which members add their talents and voices to the whole–and I want to invite YOU to add your voice to the chorus as well!

Blogger Amy Koester

Want to talk about the Newbery and Caldecott 2023 titles? Join an ALSC YMA Book Chat!

If you, like me, are still riding high on the excitement of the 2023 Youth Media Awards announcements, there’s a good chance you’re feeling an urge to talk about these terrific titles with fellow kidlit enthusiasts. I’m delighted to share that you can now indulge your desire to talk about this year’s Newbery and Caldecott winners and honorees in the company of fellow library workers in an ALSC-led group. That’s right, you can participate in an upcoming ALSC YMA Book Club!

Blogger Amy Koester

Mark Your Calendar for the Youth Media Awards Press Conference!

What’s on your calendar for the morning of Monday, January 30, 2023? If you don’t yet have it on your schedule, make sure to pencil in 8:00 a.m. Central Time that morning for one of the most exciting events of the year for children’s literature. That’s right–the 2023 Youth Media Awards Press Conference is coming! Each year, the winners of many of the oldest and most prestigious awards for literature for youth are announced at the event. The 2023 press conference will mark the first in-person announcement since January 2020–for attendees at the 2023 LibLearnX conference in New Orleans, you’ll be able to be in the room where the announcement happens and bask in the happy energy and celebration first hand! And if you can’t be there in person, fret not–the event is live-streamed globally. What awards will you hear announced during the Youth Media Awards Press Conference? This year,…

Blogger Amy Koester

Leadership, the ALSC Governance Slate for 2023, and What Every Member Can Do

Earlier today, the 2023 slate of candidates for ALSC governance positions was shared on our website. I want to offer a massive thank you to the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee who spent over nine months hard at work to put together this slate of candidates: Anna Taylor (chair), Sophie Kenney, Hanna Lee, Susan Dove Lempke, and Cecilia McGowan. The charge to select candidates for election is not an easy one to execute–identifying ALSC members who have both the interest and capacity to serve three-year governance terms has been a challenge for some years now, even before the pandemic added additional burnout and capacity challenges for many ALSC members who might otherwise be interested. This 2023 Nominating and Leadership Development Committee was able to focus all of their time on identifying and speaking with potential candidates for governance positions; as a result of the overwhelmingly member-approved bylaws changes this past…

ALSC Board

We need YOUR input for the next ALSC Strategic Plan

The ALSC Board of Directors is beginning the process of updating our strategic plan, and we need your input! A strong strategic plan is rooted in the needs of the community it’s meant to serve. In the case of ALSC, that means we need the input of folks who serve children through libraries. That definitely includes people who work directly with kids through age 14 in public and school libraries; but it also includes many other types of work that are part of the ecosystem of children and libraries–publishing, state libraries and consultants, and more. As a reader of the ALSC Blog, you probably are part of that ecosystem–and so we want to hear from you, whether or not you are currently an ALSC member. As an association, we strive to engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. You can see that is our vision as part…