A rousing start to #PLA2020 this morning with Book Buzz: Presented by Booklist, featuring editors from Penguin Random, W.W. Norton, Workman, Macmillan and HarperCollins. Dynamic speakers, exciting books – can’t wait to read all of the books they featured. With a little time before the opening session with Stacey Abrams (insert heart here), I headed out for some lunch. When in Nashville, one must have Southern food. Nothing more Southern than meat + 2.
Over the past month, ALA has signaled challenges to its financial standing through ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell’s column in the January/February issue of American Libraries, through an update in the ALA Midwinter 2020 Executive Board document 12.39, “Budget Update – Financial Planning 2020 and Beyond,” and most recently in a statement by ALA President Wanda K. Brown. In short, ALA is well positioned in regards to total assets, but due to unplanned overspending on top of the planned three-year investment (deficit) budget, the overall liquid assets in ALA’s short-term investment fund have been reduced from $14 million to under $2 million. In essence, the Divisions’ net asset balances are being used to meet ALA’s operating needs, which impacts ALSC’s ability to support our strategic priorities and financial strategies in an unhindered way (i.e. transfer funds to long-term endowments). ALSC, nor any division, should not be in competition with another division…
I’m still flying high after the announcement January 27 of ALSC’s amazing 2020 winner, honor and notable books and media! I rushed to place reserves on all the books I haven’t read and media I haven’t listened to or viewed and I’m going to be blissfully busy for quite some time! I am struck by the creativity, passion and respect for young people this year’s group exhibits. I hope you are able to spend some time immersed in them as well. Your ALSC Board of Directors held two meetings during the Midwinter Meeting and I’d like to catch you up on a few items we covered. We went over Strategic Plan updates and are well on our way to having a final plan in place to be voted on by Annual conference. I want to commend all the Board Directors on working so diligently, carefully and passionately on all the…
Happy New Year ALSC members and Friends! Here in the inland Northwest the weather can’t decide whether to snow or rain so it’s doing both at the same time! Weather can be unpredictable for Philadelphia as well, so best to pack an umbrella and boots. So many ALSC choices to look forward to in just a few short weeks, so start planning your schedule now. I like to use the ALA online conference scheduler to build my list of meeting, programs, and special events. You can find a link to it from the Midwinter conference page.
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) conference in Atlanta. It was a great reminder that Summer Reading/Learning is always on the top of not only our minds, but the minds of our partners in the community who share the pleasures of working with children when the regular school year is not in session. It seems we’re always in the midst of planning, conducting, and evaluating summer programs.
In 2016 the ALSC Board of Directors began work on a new 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. As many of you know, Strategic Plans are generally for 5 years, but ALSC decided that a 3 year plan gave our organization the opportunity to review, refresh and revise in a shorter time frame. This is not to say that we haven’t been doing this during the 3 year period – we have! The Strategic Plan is not a document we put together and put away; it’s a living document. A Strategic Plan Implementation Progress Report is written four times a year, updating the Board and membership where we are in achieving our goals.
Today I would like to highlight the work of several committees whose work is used on a daily basis by ALSC members, parents, teachers, librarians, and many others looking for excellent book recommendations. ALSC booklists help fulfill our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion by highlighting books that feature children in our communities and our lives.
I love August. Nice and hot so that dip in the pool or lake feels refreshing and invigorating, not cold once we slip into September. Not a whiff of the melancholy I feel once the hot weather leaves for another year. I hope you are enjoying August as well and looking forward to the conclusion of another successful Summer Reading/Learning. In case you think ALSC sits back and relaxes in August, I wanted to be sure to tell you about some exciting news and upcoming events.