Dear ALSC Members and Friends, I’m thinking of you today and every day and wondering how you are doing and hoping that you, your family and friends are safe and healthy. It seems so long since I last communicated. So much has changed, yet it seems in some ways we are in the same place. An online news commentator a few days ago said that March was the longest year we had ever had in a month. I’m sure it seems that way for many of you as well.
Dear ALSC Members and Friends, The ALSC staff and board would like you to know that we are thinking of all you as you work in your libraries, schools, and communities. Children, families and caregivers look to you in your role as knowledge dispensers, not keepers, for up-to-date information about how to deal with many challenges in their lives, not just the COVID-19 outbreak. You have personal connections to millions of library users and I want to thank you for your tireless work each and every day in helping make their lives better through information, connection and services.
Happy March ALSC friends! I just returned from the extraordinary Public Library Association conference in Nashville! It was great to see so many ALSC members in attendance. Explore the programs and materials. ALSC Committee Realignment I want to thank all of you who offered feedback about the proposed realignment changes to ALSC committees. The Board used the comments submitted during and after Midwinter as well as those submitted during the February 18, 2020 Community Forum as the basis for approving the changes at their February 20, 2020 online meeting.
University of Central Florida staff members Kristine Shrauger, Amy Dovydaitis and Emma Gisclair have created a database in order to provide access to diverse books that are ‘hidden’ in the library stacks. Hidden because the formal subject headings assigned to them do not reflect the details within the books that families are looking for: diversity in race, culture, sexuality, family relationships, health and disability. Using an intake form to categorize books they are building their Diverse Families Bookshelf database. They take a ‘picture walk’ through picture books as well as deeply reading and categorizing books for kids up to age 18. The PowerPoint of the program is here. They welcome your assistance on this important project that benefits all families.
Oh, how I love informational books and what a stellar line-up of authors at PLA presenting their new books. I knew Bob Garfield’s voice, but had never seen a photo of him, which is unusual for someone so well known; Bob is the longtime co-host of On the Media. Bob’s new book is American Manifesto: Saving Democracy From Villains, Vandals and Ourselves. He believes we should all become ‘bulwarks against the post-truth barrage.’ He has a established We the Purple: a nonpartisan coalition, campaign and movement. As an aside and as we were in Nashville, Bob invited us to listen to two stories on his webpage: Tag You’re It, Part I & II, where he details how he is resolved to become a country music legend.
Gosh, so much for ‘live’ blogging! So many great programs and so little time to write about them. The conference ended a few hours ago and I want to share some notes I took while I’m still flying high with happiness and inspiration. This is the first of several posts. I’ll add to Abby Johnson’s great post about Haben Girma: Steer Around the Sharks. Before Ms. Girma was born, her mother traveled from Eritrea to Sudan, where she spent 10 months before arriving in the US. She thought the US would offer the justice she was looking for, but she realized that geography doesn’t create justice, people create justice.
Stacey Abrams got everyone excited and and ready to take up the mantle of protecting voting. She also called the public library the perfect place for people to fill out the census form, especially if they fear being tracked. As she says: ‘if you’re not counted, you don’t count.’
A rousing start to #PLA2020 this morning with Book Buzz: Presented by Booklist, featuring editors from Penguin Random, W.W. Norton, Workman, Macmillan and HarperCollins. Dynamic speakers, exciting books – can’t wait to read all of the books they featured. With a little time before the opening session with Stacey Abrams (insert heart here), I headed out for some lunch. When in Nashville, one must have Southern food. Nothing more Southern than meat + 2.