Blogger Cecilia McGowan

#PLA 2020 Wrap-up 1: Haben Girma

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.

ALSC Board

#PLA2020 #WYWH (Wish You Were Here)

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.

ALSC Board

ALSC Board of Directors Responds to ALA Financial Situation

Over the past month, ALA has signaled challenges to its financial standing through ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell’s column in the January/February issue of American Libraries, through an update in the ALA Midwinter 2020 Executive Board document 12.39, “Budget Update – Financial Planning 2020 and Beyond,” and most recently in a statement by ALA President Wanda K. Brown. In short, ALA is well positioned in regards to total assets, but due to unplanned overspending on top of the planned three-year investment (deficit) budget, the overall liquid assets in ALA’s short-term investment fund have been reduced from $14 million to under $2 million. In essence, the Divisions’ net asset balances are being used to meet ALA’s operating needs, which impacts ALSC’s ability to support our strategic priorities and financial strategies in an unhindered way (i.e. transfer funds to long-term endowments).  ALSC, nor any division, should not be in competition with another division…

ALSC Board

ALSC Midwinter Meeting News and Updates

I’m still flying high after the announcement January 27 of ALSC’s amazing 2020 winner, honor and notable books and media!  I rushed to place reserves on all the books I haven’t read and media I haven’t listened to or viewed and I’m going to be blissfully busy for quite some time!  I am struck by the creativity, passion and respect for young people this year’s group exhibits. I hope you are able to spend some time immersed in them as well. Your ALSC Board of Directors held two meetings during the Midwinter Meeting and I’d like to catch you up on a few items we covered.  We went over Strategic Plan updates and are well on our way to having a final plan in place to be voted on by Annual conference.  I want to commend all the Board Directors on working so diligently, carefully and passionately on all the…

ALSC Board

ALSC and Midwinter Excitement Just Around the Corner!

Happy New Year ALSC members and Friends!  Here in the inland Northwest the weather can’t decide whether to snow or rain so it’s doing both at the same time!  Weather can be unpredictable for Philadelphia as well, so best to pack an umbrella and boots.  So many ALSC choices to look forward to in just a few short weeks, so start planning your schedule now.  I like to use the ALA online conference scheduler to build my list of meeting, programs, and special events. You can find a link to it from the Midwinter conference page.


ALSC Information Roundup and Giving Tuesday!

Welcome to December ALSC Members and Friends!  Doesn’t Washington DC and annual conference seem a distant memory, especially the heat, with many of us now gripped in the icy cold of early winter weather? It’s Giving Tuesday, and thanks to a generous anonymous donor ALSC will receive a matching gift of up to $10,000!  For every gift up to $1,000 to Friends of ALSC and Melcher Scholarship Fund, your gift will be matched – that’s double the impact for our members!   Not just impact, but significant impact!  Two members were fully funded to attend the ALSC Institute, two-year ALSC and ALA memberships were awarded to 100 students, two annual scholarships of $8,000 each, to name just a few.  Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference. Your Board and committees have been busy over the past months and I’d like to bring you up to date on a few…

ALSC Board

Summer Reading and Learning is a Year-Round Community Effort

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) conference in Atlanta.  It was a great reminder that Summer Reading/Learning is always on the top of not only our minds, but the minds of our partners in the community who share the pleasures of working with children when the regular school year is not in session.  It seems we’re always in the midst of planning, conducting, and evaluating summer programs.