Blogger Jonda C. McNair

Thanks for Allowing Me to Serve as Your President!

Dear Members, I recall sitting in my office one day in April 2022 and receiving a phone call from ALSC Executive Director Alena Rivers, who told me that I had been elected ALSC vice president. I was excited, nervous, and surprised that people voted for me even though I am a former elementary school teacher and professor of literacy education, and now a professor of children’s literature. Although I have not worked as a librarian, I am determinedly committed to literacy and putting books in the hands of children, and over the years, I have had close relationships with many librarians who have supported me in my work. In particular, these librarians include Mrs. Suzy McCullough, who worked at my neighborhood public library in Macon, Georgia, for 30 years and has supported me in my path since my youth; and the late, dearly missed Mrs. Margaret Chew, a librarian at…

Blogger Jonda C. McNair

Thank You, Mrs. McCullough!

Dear ALSC Members,  Many of us probably have fond memories of our favorite librarians who helped us choose books to read and use for school-related projects, delighted us with read-alouds and performances during storytime and puppet shows, and enrolled us in fun-themed summer reading programs. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s in Macon, Georgia, a small town about an hour south of Atlanta. My local library was the Shurling Branch about a mile from my home. Mama took me and my sister, Jada, to the library on numerous occasions and especially made sure to take us when school had ended each year so we could participate in summer reading programs. One of the librarians who stood out to me and my sister was Mrs. Suzy McCullough. We still talk about her to this day, and we are both now in our 50s!

Blogger Jonda C. McNair

What a BIG Day! The 2024 ALA Youth Media Awards

There is something special about attending the ALA Youth Media Awards Ceremony in person. January 22 in Baltimore, Maryland, was indeed a BIG day for those of us who love children’s literature! I have been attending the ceremony for approximately 15 years, and it never gets old for me. There are always the surprises (“Who knew that one would win?!”) and the affirmations (“I knew it! This one had gotten so much buzz!”). I love both but especially the surprises, which make me go back and give the award-winning books a second chance (or a first chance) and reread carefully to see what I missed.

ALSC Board

2024 Slate of ALSC Candidates

Dear ALSC Members, today the 2024 Slate of Candidates for ALSC governance positions was posted to our website. First, I would like to thank the co-chairs of the Nominating Committee, Susan Dove Lempke and Elisa Gall, along with the rest of the committee members (Jessica Agudelo, Joanna K. Fabicon, Sophie Kenney, Rachel Godwin Payne, and Susan H. Polos) for their diligence and hard work on behalf of our association. I believe that we have a strong slate of highly qualified candidates who will serve well and with distinction. Immediate Past President Amy Koester, when presenting last year’s slate, noted the challenge of finding members with strong leadership experience who are willing to serve in long-term leadership roles—particularly the role of Vice-President/President-Elect which is for 3 years. After considering a number of potential candidates, Dr. Claudette McLinn was chosen to be on the ballot this year.

Blogger Jonda C. McNair

2025 ALSC Award Committee Appointments

Dear ALSC Members, I hope to see many of you at the 2024 LibLearnX Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, January19–22. For those attending the conference, please also join us for the Youth Media AwardsCeremony on January 22. At that event, the winners of prestigious ALSC awards, such as theBatchelder, Caldecott, Geisel, Newbery, and Sibert, will be announced—in addition to thewinners of other awards, such as the Coretta Scott King and the YALSA Award for Excellence inNonfiction for Young Adults.

ALSC Board

Thank You, Amy!

For my first ALSC Blog post as the new president of our organization, I am pleased to acknowledge the hard work of Immediate Past President Amy Koester. She is truly an exceptional, competent, smart, and generous leader, and I have learned so much this past year serving alongside her as vice president. Amy played a pivotal role in the creation of the 2023–2024 work plan for process committees, shared many templates with me, and created detailed instructions about how to do the work of presidency. Her efforts were supportive of me and, more importantly, of the overall health and well-being of ALSC. She worked diligently—as did many others—on what I believe is an excellent new strategic plan (Introducing the 2023-2026 ALSC Strategic Plan!).