ALA Midwinter 2019

A New Year of ALSC Opportunities

Illustration credit: vecteezy.com Happy New Year! Let me be among the first to wish each and everyone of you a happy, healthy, safe, productive, and peaceful 2019! The first day of the year is always a great opportunity to reflect upon the past year and look ahead to the future. We’ve had an eventful year at ALSC in 2018 and look forward to a new year with stronger involvement from our members as we work to engage communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. 2018 Highlights Many of the highlights from the past year can be found in the most recent ALSC 2017-2018 annual report published in late December 2018. The period for the report is the fiscal year September 2017 through August 2018. A few other ALSC highlights from the past year include: A bold new logo representing the continued growth of our organization A memorable 2018…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Please, Choose Kind and Welcome the Stranger at Your Door

Hate, divisiveness, and despair have become the new normal for many in our world. When there are daily news stories of abuse and murder due to someone’s gender identity, religious beliefs, skin color or other form of diversity, it is easy to become numb or perpetually live in a state of fear and/or anger. Places of worship are no longer safe nor are homes, shopping centers, recreational centers, clubs, schools, or libraries. For those privileged to fit into the approved social norms or mainstream within a particular community, perhaps life is still raging on without too many hiccups. That is, life continues as long as no one out of the ordinary enters the picture to challenge the status quo. Perpetuating Hate & Unkindness in the Library I would wager to guess that every one of us has been in a situation when we encountered someone in the children’s department of…

ALSC Board

Voting Day in Your Library: Welcoming All Today and Everyday

It is voting day! What does this mean for libraries? If your library is a polling location, then you will have the opportunity to welcome a diverse group of individuals through your doors. Folks that use the library all the time, those that may have never visited your library, or others who have not darkened the library’s doors in decades. Persons from all walks of life are sure to be in the library today! Do you have any special displays or signage to let everyone know that “All are Welcome Here?” If not, you still have time to promote diversity and inclusivity via informal displays of diverse books. This might be the one opportunity to make the difference in someone’s life – to provide a welcoming smile or friendly gesture to let the know that they belong at the library. If you need suggestions for titles to pull for informal displays,…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Words Matter: Owning and Learning from Our Mistakes

By Jamie Campbell Naidoo, 2018-2019 ALSC President with Elisa Gall, ALSC Board Member The ALSC Institute this past weekend was filled with excitement, passion, and lots of energy generated by just over 400 children’s librarians, youth services educators, children’s book creators, children’s literature researchers, and other professionals working to promote children’s literacy. The new ALSC logo was also unveiled at the Institute; check it out on the ALSC Facebook page.The conference materials for the Institute described the meeting as an intensive learning experience for attendees. With the theme of All Aboard!: Embracing Advocacy & Inclusion, many of the Big Ideas sessions, keynotes, and individual breakouts addressed equity, diversity, and inclusion work that is ongoing and needed in the field and within ALSC. Check out the ALSC Blog for #ALSC18 entries that highlight some of this exciting work. Speakers also prompted attendees to think critically about ways that they can become…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Global Children’s Libraries, Literacy, and Programs: ALSC On the Road in Athens, Greece

When Jella Lepman initiated the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), she did so for the purpose of creating a dynamic venue for the international exchange of ideas around children’s literature and literacy. Just a day ago, I returned from the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens, Greece where ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I engaged with librarians, book creators, researchers, and educators from around the globe. With a theme of “East Meets West Around Children’s Books and Fairy Tales,” the congress was an amazing opportunity to learn about numerous children’s books and literacy programs from colleagues in Asia, Europe, and beyond. Día @ IBBY During the three-day conference, we shared a poster about ALSC’s Día initiative, describing the benefits for libraries and classrooms, numerous success stories, and plethora of online programming resources and book lists. The poster, which focused on promoting diversity, inclusion, and advocacy with Día,…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

A Hive of Activity: Board Updates, Committees, and Volunteers

ALSC’s Busy Worker Bees What’s that sound? Do you hear it? Sounds like a buzz or maybe a hum. If you think it is a colony of busy bees you are 100% correct – ALSC Member Busy Worker Bees! With summer reading in full force and school (public and university) starting for others, ALSC members are hard at work engaging their communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. At the same time, hundreds of you are also serving on ALSC process and award committees, moving the association’s work forward. In July many process committee members began new appointments and these committees started examining current and future projects to prioritize their work. I have been hearing from committees about some of their work and reading with interest the blog posts of various committees. As always, I’m amazed and humbled to be working alongside all of you – our awesome…

ALA Annual 2018

Moving Full Steam Ahead: One Committee at a Time

For those of you at ALA Annual in New Orleans, you can probably relate when I say we were all moving full steam ahead. With temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, most everyone you met had a bit of a glow and varying degrees of moisture clinging to them from the steamy, long days spent running to meetings that seemed miles apart. ALSC Committee Work While the Fahrenheit was certainly high, it was the steam of ALSC’s hardworking members and their various committees that kept us moving forward. During the convention, process committees were meeting to make important decisions and plan next steps for exciting projects. Some of the children’s book and media award committees were discussing new titles under consideration for various honors. At the same time, other committees such as the 2018 Pura Belpré Award selection committee were celebrating their winning authors and illustrators. Exciting ALSC co-sponsored…

Call to Action

We LOVE Our Volunteers

Love is in the air! Can you feel it? I hope you can all feel the love that ALSC has for you. We are an association that could not function without the hard work, dedication, and passion of our volunteers. This past weekend many of our members were volunteering their time, talent, and treasures to conduct face-to-face committee work. At the same time, our virtual committees have also been hard at work sharing their same gifts to move the work of the association forward. Throughout the year, both groups are committed to the mission of ALSC. For all this work, I say thank you! Each year, I send out many Valentine’s Day cards to family and friends as an unexpected gesture to let them know I love and appreciate them. Although I can’t personally send each and every one of you a physical card, please consider this post my virtual…