Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

All Are Welcome Here: Celebrating Global Diversity and Getting Involved with ALSC

All are welcome here! I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before. We seem to be using it more and more in an attempt to indicate that our library spaces are inclusive. Some recent children’s books proclaim “all are welcome here,” and feature a mosaic of diverse children and families. There is a song that goes one step further stating, “all are welcome here, as we are.” Lofty goals for any children’s librarian; but do we put those words into action in our services and programs? Do we REALLY mean that everyone is welcome as they are? Do we embrace one type of diversity in the library but overtly (or covertly) shun other types of diversity by using the excuse that X type of diversity cannot be understood by children or Y type of diversity is only in the name of being politically correct? In addition to thinking about welcoming all…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

“E” is for Engagement: How can YOU be engaged in ALSC?

In the past, I’ve mentioned some of the great work that ALSC committees and taskforces are doing – from choosing the next award-winning media to creating toolkits and webinars that help library workers better serve all children to sharing advocacy resources and tips that can help librarians advocate for funding. The work of all our process and media and professional award committees (supported by our amazing ALSC staff) keeps our association moving strategically forward. Activities can be conducted virtually, in-person, or both depending on the specific committee, taskforce, or working group. By participating in association work, ALSC members engage in activities that strengthen both the soft and hard skills that they use daily in their multifaceted jobs as educators, social activists, book enthusiasts, media mentors, literacy experts, outreach specialists, diversity advocates, and/or library staff serving children (which includes the aforementioned “hats” and more!). Engagement in ALSC benefits not only our…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Unpacking Midwinter: Updates from the Midwinter ALSC Board Meetings & Other Meetings

Hello everyone! I hope that you are staying safe and warm wherever this post may find you. I also trust that those who attended Midwinter have finally all made it back home without further incident, particularly those of you who were stranded at airports waiting for flights, any flights, that would get you home. Since midwinter there has been considerable unpacking – literally and metaphorically. Some of you are unpacking suitcases full of books, posters, and other exciting finds from the exhibits, along with meeting notes and your conference clothes. Many people have also been unpacking all those thoughts swirling around in your head from networking, engaging sessions and keynotes, committee meetings, encounters with colleagues, and the barrage of online conversations related to the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) and the much needed conversations about walking the walk to ensure everyone is treated equitably and humanely. The latter stemming from multiple…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Being an Engaged and Informed ALSC Member During Midwinter

Greetings everyone! I’m super excited to see those traveling to Midwinter in just a few days. In case you missed it, here and here are links to ALSC Blog posts from last week to help you navigate (and enjoy) Seattle. And, here is a link to my previous blog post highlighting various ALSC engagement opportunities at Midwinter. In this post, I’m sharing a few more opportunities for you to participate in ALA information and feedback sessions, and providing a few last minute reminders about various ALSC related meetings. For those of you unable to attend Midwinter, you can keep up with happenings here via our live ALSC bloggers or follow #alamw19 on social media. ALA Projects & Information Sessions ALA has numerous projects in the works to build the capacity to support the profession’s transforming needs.  During Midwinter, there will be several opportunities for members to contribute feedback to draft…

ALA Midwinter 2019

A New Year of ALSC Opportunities

Illustration credit: vecteezy.com Happy New Year! Let me be among the first to wish each and everyone of you a happy, healthy, safe, productive, and peaceful 2019! The first day of the year is always a great opportunity to reflect upon the past year and look ahead to the future. We’ve had an eventful year at ALSC in 2018 and look forward to a new year with stronger involvement from our members as we work to engage communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. 2018 Highlights Many of the highlights from the past year can be found in the most recent ALSC 2017-2018 annual report published in late December 2018. The period for the report is the fiscal year September 2017 through August 2018. A few other ALSC highlights from the past year include: A bold new logo representing the continued growth of our organization A memorable 2018…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Please, Choose Kind and Welcome the Stranger at Your Door

Hate, divisiveness, and despair have become the new normal for many in our world. When there are daily news stories of abuse and murder due to someone’s gender identity, religious beliefs, skin color or other form of diversity, it is easy to become numb or perpetually live in a state of fear and/or anger. Places of worship are no longer safe nor are homes, shopping centers, recreational centers, clubs, schools, or libraries. For those privileged to fit into the approved social norms or mainstream within a particular community, perhaps life is still raging on without too many hiccups. That is, life continues as long as no one out of the ordinary enters the picture to challenge the status quo. Perpetuating Hate & Unkindness in the Library I would wager to guess that every one of us has been in a situation when we encountered someone in the children’s department of…

ALSC Board

Voting Day in Your Library: Welcoming All Today and Everyday

It is voting day! What does this mean for libraries? If your library is a polling location, then you will have the opportunity to welcome a diverse group of individuals through your doors. Folks that use the library all the time, those that may have never visited your library, or others who have not darkened the library’s doors in decades. Persons from all walks of life are sure to be in the library today! Do you have any special displays or signage to let everyone know that “All are Welcome Here?” If not, you still have time to promote diversity and inclusivity via informal displays of diverse books. This might be the one opportunity to make the difference in someone’s life – to provide a welcoming smile or friendly gesture to let the know that they belong at the library. If you need suggestions for titles to pull for informal displays,…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Words Matter: Owning and Learning from Our Mistakes

By Jamie Campbell Naidoo, 2018-2019 ALSC President with Elisa Gall, ALSC Board Member The ALSC Institute this past weekend was filled with excitement, passion, and lots of energy generated by just over 400 children’s librarians, youth services educators, children’s book creators, children’s literature researchers, and other professionals working to promote children’s literacy. The new ALSC logo was also unveiled at the Institute; check it out on the ALSC Facebook page.The conference materials for the Institute described the meeting as an intensive learning experience for attendees. With the theme of All Aboard!: Embracing Advocacy & Inclusion, many of the Big Ideas sessions, keynotes, and individual breakouts addressed equity, diversity, and inclusion work that is ongoing and needed in the field and within ALSC. Check out the ALSC Blog for #ALSC18 entries that highlight some of this exciting work. Speakers also prompted attendees to think critically about ways that they can become…