Blogger Mary Fellows

So You (Might) Want To Be (ALSC) President

It’s June, the last month of my ALSC presidency. As my term nears its end, I think about the leaders who will come after me to carry on our work. Carolyn Brodie and Starr LaTronica will each in their turn do a fine job. Yet we need a new leader each year. Some of you reading this post may already be wondering if you might like to do this job someday, and what you might do to prepare and position yourself. In my last presidential post, I’d like to share my path and a bit of what I’ve learned along the way, as a sort of trail guide for you. I joined ALSC when I joined ALA, as a student in 1987. It seemed like a given to me then just as it does now. If you think of yourself as a professional, then you must take an interest and…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Party Like You’re 75

Like many of us, as a young professional I was fascinated by stories from members of Caldecott committees. What was it like to be part of those secret, important deliberations? How delicious was it to hug the knowledge of the winner close for hours before anyone else found out? The Caldecott Award is ALSC’s second-oldest award. (The Newbery is the grande dame by 16 years.) Anyone or anything that has thrived for 75 years deserves a celebration — and we’re having a year of Caldecott-related activities to celebrate! The anniversary web page is already up at http://www.ala.org/alsc/Caldecott75. Visit to see the clever anniversary logo created by Brain Selznick, and a list of happenings that will be updated as new events are planned. You may want to enroll in this summer’s excellent online course, The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books, taught by ALSC past president and children’s literature…

ALA Annual 2012

Need more info on serving tweens? Put this on your schedule

If you’re going to Annual Conference, put this on your schedule now: The Digital Live of Tweens and Young Teens, Monday, 6/25, 8 — 10 a.m. This program, a collaborative ALSC/YALSA presidents program, has two speakers who offer unusual perspectives. Michelle Poris’s job title alone — Quant Savant — tells you that she is not your average presenter! Michelle spends her time researching the habits of tweens and young teens for the firm Smarty Pants (love that name too!).  She has worked with top companies (like Disney) to help them target their products and services to this age group — and now she brings her expertise to us. Stephen Abram has another interesting identifier — Futurist. Stephen was listed by Library Journal as one of the top 50 people influencing the future of libraries. Stephen’s ideas are always springboards for innovation. I’m very eager to get a boost on how…

Live Blogging

Great thing about PLA #4

The people. Definitely the people. Like ALSC member Rachel Wood, who caught me as I went by and introduced herself.  We’ve exchanged email and it was a pleasure to meet her face-to-face. Like all of the folks having a whale of a good time at McGillin’s Olde Ale House last night, the site of the ALSC Meet and Greet. Like Ceclia McGowan, ALSC board member, who as usual is bursting with enthusiasm about what is happening at her library. Like all of the people who smile when we make eye contact in the convention center, just because we recognize one another as fellow librarians, glad to be in Philadelphia, glad to be in this profession, glad to be learning.

Live Blogging

Great thing #3 about PLA

Yesterday morning, great thing #3 about PLA came in the form of the ECRR presentation on spaces and the many good ideas to take back to the libraries I work with. Amanda Ellington, fellow blogger and co-presenter,  was particularly inspiring with her stories of homemade solutions and innovations, like magenti. She blogs weekly about her ideas on the ALSC blog; when I get home I’m retrieving her complete canon!

Live Blogging

Great Thing About PLA #2

Great thing about PLA #2: Reading Terminal Market. Right across from the convention center, this space beneath an old railway station has been in use for over 100 years and is now an indoor market with dozens of food stalls and take-out or eat-at-the-counter food stands. It’s a hustle-and-bustle place filled with tourists and convention-goers, old men and young mothers. It variously smells of fish, Thai food, chocolate chip cookies, or cheesesteaks depending on which of the many aisles you’re wandering. Cheese counters, fish markets, a handful of bakeries (my favorite is Metropolitan), fruit stands, delis, Amish markets, jewelry shops, and much more make it hard to know where to look. (I invite my fellow bloggers to add photos!) At conferences it’s often hard to find a close place for any food, let alone good food. The Reading Terminal Market makes conferences in Philadelphia much easier and more fun!

Live Blogging

Great Thing About PLA #1

Great thing about PLA #1: meeting ALSC members dropping by the ALSC booth, like Angela Newman, fellow ALSC PLA blogger! We’re giving away Dia buttons and member ribbons, and promoting the Great Early Elementary Reads bibliography, Dia, committee participation, ALSC online courses and webinars, the presidents’ program in Anaheim on tweens, and of course our Facebook contest. Who wouldn’t want to win a ticket to the Newbery-Caldecott banquet? Good booth traffic for the first night of the exhibits too, and fun hanging out with Dan Rude, ALSC Marketing Specialist, in between times. There’s an opening reception, so many strollers had wineglasses in hand . . . maybe that’s why we got so many customers – our booth is strategically located right across from the bar!

Blogger Mary Fellows

One Dí­a to Change the World

Children’s Day/Book Day. For those of us serving children in libraries, that’s every day. We know first-hand the power of the right book at the right time in the hands of a child. We know that reading changes lives. We just need to keep reminding everyone else! Luckily, we have Dí­a to help us. El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is one of those robust, flexible campaigns that provides resources without prescribing activities.  I first learned about Dí­a shortly after ALSC became the home for Dí­a in 2007. I had begun service on theALSCBoard and was asked to be the Board liaison to the committee developing Dí­a. It was — and is – an exciting project to learn about. Dí­a grew out of Children’s Day, a concept instituted throughout the world in 1925 with the goal of bringing attention to the importance and well-being…