Blogger Amy Koester

Leadership, the ALSC Governance Slate for 2023, and What Every Member Can Do

Earlier today, the 2023 slate of candidates for ALSC governance positions was shared on our website. I want to offer a massive thank you to the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee who spent over nine months hard at work to put together this slate of candidates: Anna Taylor (chair), Sophie Kenney, Hanna Lee, Susan Dove Lempke, and Cecilia McGowan. The charge to select candidates for election is not an easy one to execute–identifying ALSC members who have both the interest and capacity to serve three-year governance terms has been a challenge for some years now, even before the pandemic added additional burnout and capacity challenges for many ALSC members who might otherwise be interested. This 2023 Nominating and Leadership Development Committee was able to focus all of their time on identifying and speaking with potential candidates for governance positions; as a result of the overwhelmingly member-approved bylaws changes this past…

ALSC Board

We need YOUR input for the next ALSC Strategic Plan

The ALSC Board of Directors is beginning the process of updating our strategic plan, and we need your input! A strong strategic plan is rooted in the needs of the community it’s meant to serve. In the case of ALSC, that means we need the input of folks who serve children through libraries. That definitely includes people who work directly with kids through age 14 in public and school libraries; but it also includes many other types of work that are part of the ecosystem of children and libraries–publishing, state libraries and consultants, and more. As a reader of the ALSC Blog, you probably are part of that ecosystem–and so we want to hear from you, whether or not you are currently an ALSC member. As an association, we strive to engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. You can see that is our vision as part…

Blogger Amy Koester

A Season for Learning

It doesn’t matter how far from my own schooling I get–every year as students head back to school, I feel an excitement at the prospect of learning something new myself. This autumn, there are plenty of opportunities to explore something new within the realm of library service to children, or libraries more generally. ALSC National Institute The ALSC National Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, is taking place in a few weeks, from September 29-October 1. Institute is one of my all-time favorite learning conferences–its schedule includes terrific general sessions with amazing speakers, as well as educational programs led by practitioners across the country. Some of the things I’m looking forward to: Big Ideas session with Dr. Nicole A. Cooke – Dr. Cooke’s work has touched on so many topics, all intersecting in some way with information literacy and social justice. I’m excited to hear what Dr. Cooke has to share…

- ALA Annual Conference 2022

Our Neverending Network to Serve Children through Libraries

This is my first ALSC Blog post as the 2022-2023 ALSC President, and I am so excited to kick off this year of sharing, collaboration, and communication with library folks serving youth! My library energy levels are freshly refilled after attending the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. It really “refills my cup,” so to speak, to see my place in an ongoing network of youth library folks–to see the people and work that have been here before me, the people entrenched in the work alongside me right now, and those coming up in the profession and keeping the cycle going. It is invigorating to see how wave after wave of youth-focused library workers work together, support one another, and keep the vision of better lives for all children at the center of our work, always striving to support the needs of our communities. At the conference, I was able…

ALA Annual 2019

Bystander Intervention at #alscmm19 #alaac19

At the ALSC Membership Meeting on Monday morning, fellow ALSC Board member Elisa Gall and I gave an introductory presentation on the topic of bystander intervention. The topic of bystander intervention is important for all library workers, both in the context of the spaces in which we work and serve our communities and also in the context of our participation in professional spaces like a conference. Elisa and I focused our content on how to apply bystander intervention principles in a professional space—a particular need given past and continued harassment of colleagues in these conference spaces. What is bystander intervention? “Bystander intervention” refers to the actions we take in order to keep spaces free from harassment and hate—something we all have a responsibility to do. Harassment is purposeful and repeated conduct that is unwanted and known to be offensive. Harassment, in the context of this introductory training, is different from…

Blogger Amy Koester

Collaboration for Learning: Notes from the Public Libraries & STEM Conference

I was recently able to represent ALSC at the Public Libraries & STEM Conference in Denver, CO. The conference was kept very small–around 160 people total–and thus was very concentrated, with plenty to learn from and discuss with colleagues from libraries, STEM organizations, and other institutions with missions for informal learning. And while the small size necessary means that the participant pool was limited, the takeaways weren’t. I particularly want to share with you one of my major takeaways: the library as a single element in a larger learning ecosystem. Note: I tried visual note taking at this conference. Since my handwriting isn’t always great, I’m transcribing text in the captions of images. Here’s what I learned and have been itching to share: There were several goals of the Public Libraries & STEM Conference, but one in particular resonated with me immediately: to figure out what STEM/STEAM in public libraries…

Blogger Amy Koester

What does an author think of Día?

As part of the lead-up to formal Día celebrations in April, I had the privilege of interviewing an author of multicultural and multilingual books for children–the inimitable Pat Mora herself, author and founder of Día! Ms. Mora is an outstanding advocate for youth literacy, and the books in her body of work are a joy to share with families any time of the year. It was my pleasure to ask Pat Mora a few questions. Q: You’re the founder of Día, and you’re also an author of children’s books. How do these dual roles affect how you think about Día? Pat Mora: My first published book was A Birthday Basket for Tía, 1992. I quickly became aware how many children did not have books in their homes and how many families, particularly non-English speaking families, had not embraced their literacy role. I also became aware that many book buyers of…