Blogger Mary Fellows

Chat With Your People

We’re two weeks past Midwinter Conference, and I am still energized by the many interactions I had with ALSC members.  A piece of advice I’ve given to students choosing their library specialty is to go to different groups’ events, look around at the people there, and ask themselves: “Are these my people?” I’m happy to say that ALSC members are my people! I hope to hear from many of my people during the Community Forum on February 22, 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Eastern. This is our second ALSC live chat. Our discussion topic, after time for Midwinter board updates and Q & A, is revitalizing the ALSC membership meeting.  ALSC’s by-laws currently require a  membership meeting at Annual Conference. Our Community Forum — and space on ALAConnect afterwards — will be a time frame for brainstorming about making our membership meeting more convenient and more valuable. Please mark your…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Resolutions and parties

Happy new year! The champagne is quaffed, the hors d’oeuvres consumed in large quantities, and it’s now time to get down to the serious business of . . . new year’s resolutions! Are you a resolution-maker? I find that resolutions (goals) are useful tools to move me forward and help eradicate bad habits. (Although the bad habit resolutions somehow end up being renewed each year!). If you make resolutions or set new year goals, I have some ideas to offer. I don’t know how you could eat more healthfully, fit in more exercise, or remember to clean out the litter box regularly. But I do have some ideas about how to make your 2012 work life more satisfying! Make work more fun. I believe that work should be fun, most days if not every day. Think about what makes work fun for you, and incorporate it. Dressing in costume for…

Blogger Mary Fellows

ALSC Friends of the Heart

Many years ago I read a distinction between “friends of the road” — people in our lives briefly, drawn to us by common circumstances — and “friends of the heart” — people with whom we have a true and lasting connection. I’ve found that a useful distinction as I’ve moved around to pursue my career. The best memento from each stop is a friendship that transcends separation. Organizations, too, have friends of the heart. Beginning in the next newsletter, ALSC will recognize individuals who have been faithful members of ALSC for 25 or more years. You will get to meet some of these folks through member profiles. But that notoriety is only the icing on the cake. The real benefit for these ALSC friends of the heart has been the rich experiences and nurturing relationships enjoyed through their years with ALSC. ALSC also has Friends with a capital “F.” Just…

ALA Midwinter 2012

A Midwinter state of mind

We had a grundle of snow here last Saturday night — fortunately it’s already gone — but it put me in a Midwinter state of mind. Are you attending ALA Midwinter Conference? Dallas will be the place to be January 20-24 as thousands of ALA members gather to conduct our association’s business. A major highlight for ALSC is the Youth Media Awards (@alayma on Twitter), at which we announce winners for the Newbery, Caldecott, Carnegie, Arbuthnot Lecture, Sibert, Geisel, Batchelder, Odyssey (with YALSA), Belpré (with REFORMA). You can attend in person and enjoy the energy and excitement in the room. Or you can watch the live webcast on your computer. Either way, you’ll be among the first to know which books and media are our committees’ choices for the best of the best. As the announcer for ALSC, I’m excited to get to share the much anticipated news, and hoping…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Indiana Wants Me

And you, too! Next September we’ll be gathering in its capital city of Indianapolis for the ALSC Institute. If you attended or heard about the terrific and fun learning experience last year at the Institute in Atlanta, this is already on your calendar. If not, mark it now: September 20 — 22, 2012 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel right in the heart of downtown Indy. Joining us will be the talented Peter Brown, author/illustrator of The Curious Garden as well as the Chowder books, among others. You might also remember The Curious Garden as the 2011 Andrew Carnegie Medal winner for excellence in children’s video. In addition to the many sessions and networking opportunities, we’ll also be able to tour the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and check out the Library’s infoZone. Learn more about this children’s library inside a museum here. Institute Task Force Chair Joyce Welkie and her…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Nourish Yourself

Here’s something I’m really excited about: the ALSC Connecting with Tween Readers online course. And the Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children online course. And the Reading Instruction and Children’s Books online course. All right, I confess — I’m excited about all of the ALSC online courses! I’m excited because I believe in the value of continual learning. We *need* to keep honing our skills and gaining new ones to give youth the best possible library service. But continuing education is fun, too — what’s not to like about exploring fresh ideas? Many of us are librarians in part because we love variety! I’m also excited because this is one of the essential roles of ALSC, in my view — offering our members a convenient, cost-effective way to expand our expertise and improve our service. I especially love that we can take these courses from our own desks, in our…

ALSC Board

So many ways of connecting

One of the challenges of leading an association is maintaining connections with members. Back in the “olden days,” ALSC presidents were limited to in-person interactions, phone calls, and paper. No more! I’m delighted to have so many ways to be in touch with our ALSC members. Just as libraries are alert to offering diverse nonprint options for people who don’t enjoy reading printed pages, so ALSC is expanding our avenues for sharing information. In the coming months, you will see invigorated social media connections between members and ALSC leadership. Regular ALSC blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets, ALA Connect discussions, and live chats will keep you informed and involved. Of course, we’ll also still be using good old-fashioned email, phone calls, newsletters, Children and Libraries, and actual face-to-face conversation! Here, at present, is my communications plan: Blog: look for my posts on the first Sunday of every month Facebook: posts as…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Getting Appointed to an ALSC Committee

Whew! I’m just back from ALA Annual Conference and taking office as your new ALSC president. There were many great things about this conference — the location (chargrilled oysters, anyone?), the exhibits, and the stellar programs presented or planned by ALSC members. But best for me were the ALSC members I met, at ALSC 101, at a party, or in a committee meeting. So many of you asked questions and expressed interest in getting involved in ALSC committees. So here’s the scoop on how to get appointed: Fill out a volunteer form — on the ALSC website under Members. Fill it out completely. Note your background. Note if you require a virtual assignment. Note which committees you prefer, but if at all possible, check “I will serve wherever needed!” Fill it out at any time of year, and send it in. A great time to send in your form is…