ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Webinars You Don’t Want to Miss!

Working at the reference desk has become very unpredictable. Stories of unusual, stressful, or unprecedented events are much more frequent. Over this past year, challenges to materials in the collection have grown exponentially. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom reported a 38% increase in the number of titles challenged in 2022 from the previous year. Often the children’s collection is the target of these demands for censorship. Addressing the challenges can be difficult and stressful. It is even harder in a library without collection development policies and procedures. More than ever before, libraries need to have collection development policies, have procedures in place, and have staff trained to address challenges. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee have prepared a two-part webinar to support librarians to effectively and less stressfully address book challenges. 

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Reading with Our Ears

June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, so this format of reading is on my mind even more than usual. I had wanted to share something highlighting audiobooks, but was lacking inspiration until recently when I was cleaning out old email messages (because Outlook keeps “yelling” at me that my inbox is too large) and came across an article I emailed to myself back in 2014. It sparked an idea for this blog post. Audiobooks have been consistently increasing in popularity for several years. For the 11th year in a row, the Audio Publishers Association has reported that audiobook revenue percentage in the American market has grown double digits. It’s been estimated that the North American children’s audiobook market will rise from nearly $100 million to over $650 million by 2028. It’s safe to say – this is a growing market. The popularity of podcasts and the lack of available CD players,…

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Aspiring to Build Antiracist Children’s Library Collections

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. Over the past decade, diversity in children’s book publishing has expanded exponentially. Now, in 2023, it is clear to see that publishers have begun to value diversity, and most children’s librarians are on board. Organizations like We Need Diverse Books provide resources & programs to support diversity in the kidlit world. Representation is important for children of all backgrounds & identities, but it is time to move beyond representation in our collections and begin to work toward Antiracist children’s collections in our libraries. I use the term Antiracist because because fighting against…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

How to Plan Future Programming With Uncertain Staffing Amounts

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Children’s Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation. We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. A large part of managing a children’s department is keeping the department staffed and the programming going. How does one plan programming for Summer Reading when you aren’t sure who will be working in your department? How do you plan if you aren’t sure you will be fully staffed? Early this year, I had two staff notify me that they will be moving out of state in spring. Years ago, I would be sad to see great employees leave but focus on filling the openings  and continuing with our plans. Now, I…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Bullet Journaling

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. There are so many things on a Youth Services Librarian’s to-do list. Add managing a department and the to-do list gets longer and complex. Attempting to keep to the deadlines efficiently can be stressful. It is helpful to have a good planner system in helping accomplish long to-do lists.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Training Storytime 101

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. In public libraries, storytime is the bread and butter of children’s programming (and arguably, of all library programming). Much has been written on best practices for providing storytime, both on this blog and elsewhere. There are innumerable resources for those learning how to develop their storytime skills. But are there best practices for training others on how to present storytime?  As a supervisor, part of my responsibility is training new staff on planning and presenting youth programs, and storytime is both the most basic and yet also one of the most complex…

Everyday Advocacy

Supporting Staff Well-being

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. *Disclaimer* I am not a healthcare professional. I am a reader and a hard-working mental health advocate, both personally and professionally. Self-care and wellness are frequent buzzwords in articles discussing the workplace. Why? What’s changed (other than the obvious) to warrant an uptick in administrative discussions surrounding mental health and career? And why should we as managers devote time and space to discussions on well-being? There are a myriad of reasons why we should all be focused on mental health, but for brevity and deliverability, I will focus on three. I’m sure…