ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

We Are Each Other’s Harvest #alamw21

Natalie Baszile, author of We Are Each Other’s Harvest, was a featured speaker at the Diversity in Publishing stage. Baszile’s non-fiction book focuses on Black farmers, and the idea of the importance of land ownership. She stated that most people’s image of a farmer is that of a white man. She wanted to “offer up more than just a history lesson”, and, instead, have readers focus on how land is a part of our identities, and link this to contemporary issues. There were about one million Black farmers in the 1920s, going to about 45,000 today. Why has there been such a decline? To explore this, the book features a series of essays from historians with knowledge in this area. A collection of poems will also be included in the book, interspersed between the other pieces. Baszile stated that this will help the book feel like a celebration. She offered…

Guest Blogger

Librarians Working through Trauma

2020 brought a lot of unexpected changes and challenges to people all over the country. The session on “Children’s Librarianship in Communities Experiencing Trauma” was a great reminder of how libraries are often the hearts of their communities. Anita Montoya and Beth Patin explained how they responded to traumas in their communities that were caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Coronavirus, and the death of George Floyd. Services had to be adapted in a way that still gave their libraries a strong presence. Montoya’s public library expanded its outreach to public outdoor areas, which including bringing information about food availability and children’s books to their patrons. Patin worked with her school to find ways to still engage and educate their students, including setting up a library in a trailer, and borrowing space from another school that was still able to function. Librarians are resilient problem solvers. The stories shared during this…

Guest Blogger

We are Water Protectors

We are Water Protectors is a new picture book by Carole Lindstrom, with illustrations from Michaela Goade. This book was the discussed during a session at Friday’s ALSC Virtual Institute. When I was a child, there were not many books that touched upon the importance of nurturing the environment. As the daughter of two environmentalists, this was disappointing. Right away, I was intrigued by the book’s inspiration. Lindstrom included some great visuals in her talk, including maps and photos from North Dakota and the Dakota Access Pipeline. She also shared how she attended some peaceful protest events with her son, describing the winter 2016 events as “emotional”, and stating that “it really affected me in so many ways”. This lead her to meet many new people and form everlasting friendships. This idea promotes another positive aspect of storytelling. Stories have the power to cause people to form new friendships, especially…

Guest Blogger

1st Time Attendee

I am a 1st time attendee to the ALSC institute. I am a professional development junkie. I try to take opportunity that I can take to learn more in the fields of librarianship and children’s literacy. Usually, high registration, travel, and hotel fees stop me from attending certain events that I would love to attend. However, this year things are different due to Covid-19. While there have been so many negative impacts of this pandemic, one positive is that many events are now virtual, allowing people to bypass many of the normal fees associated with attending these important events. This weekend’s event is a great opportunity to connect with people all over the country who are devoted to enhancing children and family reading experiences. I am looking forward to two days of meaningful learning.