Blogger Andrew Medlar

#IBBYcongress 2016: Literature in a Multi-Literate World

Kia ora!* My jet lag is still in full gear as I’ve just returned from New Zealand where I joined Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter in representing ALSC at the International Board on Books for Young People‘s (IBBY) 35th Congress in Auckland. Congress delegates came together from dozens of countries and whether they hailed from Iceland, India, Indonesia, or Iran they were impressed to hear what we had to tell them about ALSC.

ALA Annual 2016

Onward! (To #ALAAC16 and Beyond!)

“All was well.” –J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Unfathomably, it’s now time for my final monthly presidential blog post (otherwise known as POTA Blog #12). As we look ahead to ALA Annual Conference in Orlando in just about two weeks it is also, of course, a time to look back over the past year. While the 2015-16 Annual Report will be coming soon and will do an excellent job of more thoroughly documenting ALSC’s incredible achievements over the past twelve months, I would like to highlight here three things I said that I would do when I asked for your vote for the honor of serving as ALSC President and which we’ve successfully done together. 1. Reaching Out Over the past year, the ALSC team has engaged in productive conversations with such groups as: Food Research and Action Center Institute of Museum and Library Services The Joan…

Blogger Andrew Medlar

An April-full of ALSC Adventures

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina I kicked off last month at the Illinois Youth Services Institute, in Normal, presenting on Media Mentorship with one of the co-authors of our white paper on the topic and newly elected “New to ALSC” Board member, Amy Koester, encouraging everybody in the audience (and you, too!) to tweet “I am a #mediamentor”. Congratulations to my fellow Prairie state children’s librarians who imagined and delivered a wonderful inaugural event. Then I headed up several thousand feet to Denver, for the Public Library Association conference, the theme of which was “Be Extraordinary.” The week was absolutely that, and more, and you can discover some of the experiences there by looking back at the live blogging that several ALSC members did, including pictures from the awesome ALSC Happy Hour and from my invigorating visit, along with our Executive Director, Aimee…

ALSC Board

Update on the #ALSC16 Institute

Thank you to everyone for the robust and respectful discussion regarding the status of the 2016 ALSC National Institute following North Carolina’s passage of HB2 one month ago. I’m incredibly grateful to my Board colleagues for their careful consideration and knowledge-based decision making. We heard very loudly and consistently from ALSC members on this issue and while I very much share in the disappointment that we won’t be gathering together in Charlotte this September, I’m proud of how all of us in the ALSC community have handled this challenging, important, and very real issue that led to its cancellation. Throughout this process, the work of ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and of Kristen Figliulo, Program Officer for Continuing Education, has been nothing short of extraordinary, as has that of their office colleagues Laura Schulte-Cooper, Dan Bostrom, Angela Hubbard, Marsha Burgess, and Courtney Jones. Vice President Betsy Orsburn, Fiscal Officer Diane…

Blogger Andrew Medlar

A Great Day @ #PLA2016

What a great day here in Denver! I was excited to begin #PLA2016 by following in Lisa Mulvenna’s footsteps and paying a visit to the beautiful Koelbel Library of the Arapahoe Library District, in Centennial, Colorado. ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I were welcomed by Betsy Brainerd and the incredible team there. I was so inspired by everybody’s enthusiasm, warmth, and good spirits, and especially appreciated learning about their early literacy work, new spaces for all ages of kids, and willingness to try new ideas, learn from them, and try more new ideas. Very fun! Then on to the Colorado Convention Center! Mary Kuehner mentioned in her post earlier today about Anderson Cooper’s “excellent opening session talk” (hear, hear, Mary!) this afternoon, and the opening to the opening was pretty fabulous, too, as PLA President Vailey Oehlke entered from the back of the room and danced all the way across the auditorium and onto the…

Blogger Andrew Medlar

Share Your Thoughts on the Institute and HB2

I’m reaching out today, International Transgender Day of Visibility, to share information regarding the 2016 ALSC National Institute and last week’s passing of North Carolina’s HB2 legislation, with the objective of gathering more member feedback within the next few days. Thank you to everyone who has already expressed thoughts, concerns, support, and questions regarding this extremely important situation. This is not an abstract issue. In addition to this law’s conflict with ALSC’s core values, purpose, and diversity work, in the past week ALSC leadership has heard from members who are personally affected by it in a very real way. During this time we have been consulting with ALA management and President Sari Feldman; ALA Conference Services; the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT); the ALA Public Awareness Office; the Institute Planning Task Force; the North Carolina Library Association; the Charlotte Marriott City Center; and, most importantly, as I mentioned, ALSC members on ALSC-L…

Blogger Andrew Medlar

Wrapping Up #SXSWedu

A lot of great things happened at SXSWedu since my last post! On Tuesday, ALSC hosted a booth at the SXSWedu Expo, which was free and open to the public. Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I had the opportunity to speak to the thousands of attendees of all ages from all over the world about the transformative power of libraries. Many were drawn in by our cool magnetic building tools, which we brought to show, as our 2012 White Paper shares, “The Importance of Play, Particularly Constructive Play, in Public Library Programming” and of the awesome STEAM learning opportunities libraries provide. While advocating for the essential role of all libraries in every community, we were delighted to be able to specifically highlight the amazing work being done right there in central Texas as Aimee as I were joined in our booth by Kathleen Houlihan from Austin Public Library and Sally Miculek from Georgetown Public Library who were able…