As the Annual Conference draws near, I invite you to the 2021 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program. This year, we are doing things a little differently as we get creative with connecting and learning together. Since we are still not able to be together in person, we are having two virtual events to celebrate and discuss the power of graphic novels. The first event is an ALSC-members-only webinar on June 1, 2021, at 1:00pm EDT, featuring panelists Angela Ocana, Deimosa Webber-Bey, and Amie Wright.
I know every state has their claims to fame–people or events that bring about pride of place and cause for celebration. When you don’t live in California or New York those local celebrities or occurrences are just a little less known to the rest of America. While every resident thinks their person/place/thing is the best, I have to say being a children’s librarian in Beverly Cleary’s city really is something to cheer about. Considered a local heroine, Beverly Cleary (April 12, 1916 – March 25, 2021) was born in McMinnville and lived in rural Yamhill before moving to Portland. Most of her books are set in Northeast Portland where she was raised, and the truly special thing about her and her work was that she was a champion of children as they really exist.
For quite some time we have been hearing about the need for our 50,000 strong member driven professional association to evolve, and what this means for us as members and our profession as a whole. The Forward Together work was again discussed at Midwinter 2021, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for our next steps.
We have survived an exhausting year, one that I can barely remember and that will also never forget. You all have been amazing finding ways to connect to your communities and with each other and I just want to say thank you so much. It is with great pride that I stand as president of this division, and with six months remaining in my term, I am committed to ensuring ALSC remains inclusive, financially stable, and in tune with the needs of library professionals serving children everywhere.
During both the Executive Committee and Board meetings last week the topic of Youth Services librarians and staff being eliminated or furloughed indefinitely came up. We talked about how much value youth services workers bring to both the library and the community and the short sightedness of removing an entire department because many of our buildings are not open to the public.
It brought me such joy to hear from and see some of you at the first ever virtual ALSC Institute. I attended some amazing sessions and appreciated connecting via the forums and chats with participants. During the Friday session, ALSC staffer Elly and I hosted a networking discussion called “How You Doin’?” The conversations were rich, and I am left still imagining solutions on a few topics.
Have you visited the “Look to Libraries in Times of Crisis” page yet? Knowing that you and the families you work with need more help during this pandemic, ALSC created this resource page. Here you’ll find tons of reading recommendations, virtual games and activities to help kids thrive at home, tip sheets for managing stress, and articles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The idea for # looktolibraries is two fold:
I live in Portland, OR. If you have been following the news, you know that things have been very tense here with federal law enforcement actively shooting tear gas and impact munitions, as well as seizing people from the streets and holding them in unmarked vans or arresting them. It is a scary time as the pandemic continues and more information is shared about the dangers of tear gas, especially for women. Personally, I have been working on different ways to support this revolution.