Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Spotlight On: School Age Programs & Services

Once again, the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee is excited to share another exciting ALSC committee with you! Again, why are process committees cool? They create valuable programs, publications, and resources for youth librarians. After all, while we love our book awards, we also love our toolkits, webinars, best practices, and networking opportunities… and all of this value is for members, by members!  Previously, we spotlighted the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee. Here is another exciting committee to keep an eye on (and maybe consider volunteering for next year). The co-chairs of the School Age Programs & Services committee, shared some insight into what it’s like to serve on this committee. Can you share a brief history of the committee?  Because of the rotating nature of committees, it can be hard to pin down when and how a specific process committee was formed. Sierra, who is…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Helping Libraries Affected by Natural Disasters

When my small coastal town of Orange Beach, Alabama was hit by Hurricane Sally in September, we were all a little surprised by the magnitude. Surely after everything 2020 has thrown us, we won’t get a hurricane too?! Luckily, our library suffered little damage and we were able to open back up quickly with the help of generators (we didn’t have power for several days). Dealing with a hurricane got me thinking: what can other communities do to help libraries that have been affected by natural disasters? This year alone we have seen wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and earthquakes. How can libraries help their communities and help libraries recover from natural disasters? The first stop is the American Red Cross. They have the disaster relief infrastructure that allows for quick and easy assistance. Donating time and money can go a long way to help those affected. ALA has resources through…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Spotlight On: The Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers

  ALSC has several process committees and task forces that members have the opportunity to serve on.  The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee is shining a light on all of these groups to let membership know why these groups were formed, what they are doing now, and how our members can join or show support for the work each group is doing.  This month, the co-chairs of The Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, Joe Prince of Bowling Green State University and Jaime Eastman of the Plano Public Library, were kind enough to respond to some questions about their committee’s work.   Can you share a brief history of the committee?  Although established in 1964, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee had, until recently, been tasked with administering Candlewick Press’ Light the Way Grant. This commitment required a lot of our time and focus, though…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Libraries Make Communities More Resilient in Times of Adversity

In times of crisis, when budgets are tight, often public libraries are seen as expendable. While our advocates know the value of libraries, it can be hard to convey their importance as an essential service, especially to government officials who are not library users and only see libraries as repositories for things. However, libraries’ greatest strengths are in the connections we make with the people we serve. We are a critical part of the social infrastructure of our communities, and our role in this infrastructure helps our communities be more resilient through hardships and adversity. Social infrastructure is a term that refers to the spaces and organizations that support and grow social connections. These can be parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, schools, churches, daycares, and, of course, libraries – places where people can meet up with their friends and create new ones, learn, share ideas, and feel connected to their neighbors…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Connecting with Library Voters During COVID-19

In an attempt to find out more information and how I could make a positive impact, I attended the Library Advocacy and Funding Conference (LAFCON), hosted by EveryLibrary. LAFCON was extended from September 14 – 16, to the entire week, and there were still too many interesting presentations to take them all in. What made this conference unique was that all the presenters were from outside organizations. Their unique perspectives help frame advocacy in a larger context and deepen my understanding. Let me share some of my favorite take-aways from LAFCON. They Like Us, They Really Do! 

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Faith Restored: Sometimes It Helps to Go Old School

“Scramble” is the best verb to describe what doing my work has felt like for the last six months; one scramble after another, responding to community needs and challenges. That scrambling took its toll and wore me out this summer. Last week, on the precipice of a new, uniquely chaotic school year, I was desperate for inspiration. What even is children’s librarianship now, amidst the multiple pandemics in which we find ourselves and our communities embroiled in today?  I decided to start where I always start when I’m feeling overwhelmed — with cleaning my workspace. Sifting through old files, I found a folder labeled “Librarianship – History”. I’d apparently tucked away several articles on the history of children’s librarianship.  Nowhere in this modest collection were there any articles specifically on librarianship during viral pandemics or social upheaval. But there was one that drew my eye. In 1999, Drs. Betsy Hearne…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Introducing ALSC’s New Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

For those of you who may be less familiar with ALSC’s internal committee structure, it may come as a surprise that, beyond award committees, it takes a lot to run the children’s division of ALA. ALSC relies on volunteers and ALSC leaders to develop research, make toolkits, provide professional development opportunities, award grants, plan conferences, recruit and retain membership–and write blog posts here!