Greetings ALSC Members! As the world awakens and returns to a post-pandemic sense of normalcy, I can’t help but think about the significance of the work of children’s librarians in today’s chaotic world.
Everyone knows that change is inevitable. Today, I’d like to focus on two types of change in relation to ALSC. First, the change that happens inadvertently as the result of a sudden unexpected series of events. And then, there is the other type of change, the one that is the outcome of a concerted plan. Both, when they concur in the same time period, can have a definitive and lasting effect in the life of an organization.
April is my favorite month of the year! It is a time when we celebrate all aspects of library work, all library workers, and all types of libraries. The month is packed with proclamations, programs, and activities that sing praise to the impact libraries have in communities across the country. And on April 30th, we close this luminous month with the celebration of children and their books, Children’s Day/Book Day, also known as DIA.
During this year’s ALA/ALSC Elections (March 14-April 6), ALSC members will be casting their votes to elect the key leadership positions and well as to decide on two bylaws revisions recommended by the 2021 Nominating & Leadership Development Committee and approved by the ALSC Board to be submitted for a member vote.
Secrecy, excitement, and jubilation are three words that, in my opinion, best embody the spirit of the YMA Announcements. In-person or virtual, the event retains its spirit of secrecy and great anticipation. As the President of ALSC, I was privileged this year to be among the “keepers of the secret.” But the virtual character of the event made it a torture to have to keep “the secret” for nearly a week prior to the announcements.
The first few weeks of the New Year are re-energizing and refreshing. Like the first page of a new book, New Year’s Day feels crisp and pristine, and is filled with the anticipation of great things to come. As ALSC President, it is my hope that this year brings with it positive change and advancement in the work of transforming ALSC, transforming Children’s Librarianship, and transforming communities through libraries. Change comes only through active participation, and at ALSC it specially comes in the form of greater opportunities to serve on Process and/or Awards Committees. Active committee participants become the driving voice of change within ALSC. ALSC is a volunteer-powered organization. Our strength and our organizational effectiveness is dependent on member engagement. Together, we are able to consolidate expertise and share resources. For many ALSC members, committee participation has historically been prohibitive due to lack of financial backing from their institutions. …
Among the primary benefits of being an ALSC member have always been the opportunities to network and get involved in the work of our organizations. However, lately, those opportunities have taken on even greater importance. The recent rise of book challenges and censorship in communities across the country is a call to youth services librarians to come together as we stand up in defense of the freedom of children across our nation to access diverse books and information that represent the richness of humanity and against blatant attempts to erase our history and diversity.
Even though I live in Florida, where leaves never change and temperatures hardly ever drop, I love the fall season. Decorations are up in libraries everywhere, highlighting tones of oranges and brown. Scarecrows, cornucopias, and haystacks announce the arrival of the harvest time. After a year of planting so many seeds of innovation, and much improvisation, everyday life is now starting to stabilize, and also library services and programs. As we enter the last quarter of the year, ALSC continues to explore new ways of fulfilling its mission while seizing the moment to renovate and innovate its structure and processes.