Blogger Mary Fellows

So You (Might) Want To Be (ALSC) President

It’s June, the last month of my ALSC presidency. As my term nears its end, I think about the leaders who will come after me to carry on our work. Carolyn Brodie and Starr LaTronica will each in their turn do a fine job. Yet we need a new leader each year. Some of you reading this post may already be wondering if you might like to do this job someday, and what you might do to prepare and position yourself. In my last presidential post, I’d like to share my path and a bit of what I’ve learned along the way, as a sort of trail guide for you. I joined ALSC when I joined ALA, as a student in 1987. It seemed like a given to me then just as it does now. If you think of yourself as a professional, then you must take an interest and…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Party Like You’re 75

Like many of us, as a young professional I was fascinated by stories from members of Caldecott committees. What was it like to be part of those secret, important deliberations? How delicious was it to hug the knowledge of the winner close for hours before anyone else found out? The Caldecott Award is ALSC’s second-oldest award. (The Newbery is the grande dame by 16 years.) Anyone or anything that has thrived for 75 years deserves a celebration — and we’re having a year of Caldecott-related activities to celebrate! The anniversary web page is already up at http://www.ala.org/alsc/Caldecott75. Visit to see the clever anniversary logo created by Brain Selznick, and a list of happenings that will be updated as new events are planned. You may want to enroll in this summer’s excellent online course, The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books, taught by ALSC past president and children’s literature…

ALA Annual 2012

Need more info on serving tweens? Put this on your schedule

If you’re going to Annual Conference, put this on your schedule now: The Digital Live of Tweens and Young Teens, Monday, 6/25, 8 — 10 a.m. This program, a collaborative ALSC/YALSA presidents program, has two speakers who offer unusual perspectives. Michelle Poris’s job title alone — Quant Savant — tells you that she is not your average presenter! Michelle spends her time researching the habits of tweens and young teens for the firm Smarty Pants (love that name too!).  She has worked with top companies (like Disney) to help them target their products and services to this age group — and now she brings her expertise to us. Stephen Abram has another interesting identifier — Futurist. Stephen was listed by Library Journal as one of the top 50 people influencing the future of libraries. Stephen’s ideas are always springboards for innovation. I’m very eager to get a boost on how…

Blogger Mary Fellows

One Dí­a to Change the World

Children’s Day/Book Day. For those of us serving children in libraries, that’s every day. We know first-hand the power of the right book at the right time in the hands of a child. We know that reading changes lives. We just need to keep reminding everyone else! Luckily, we have Dí­a to help us. El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is one of those robust, flexible campaigns that provides resources without prescribing activities.  I first learned about Dí­a shortly after ALSC became the home for Dí­a in 2007. I had begun service on theALSCBoard and was asked to be the Board liaison to the committee developing Dí­a. It was — and is – an exciting project to learn about. Dí­a grew out of Children’s Day, a concept instituted throughout the world in 1925 with the goal of bringing attention to the importance and well-being…

Awards & Scholarships

Tween Award Booklist

Over the past few years, we’ve had useful discussions in ALSC about how our association supports library service to tweens. ALSC has made some forward strides in supporting our members who serve this fun and sometimes elusive group — online courses, webinars, discussions – and we have more in the works: the joint ALSC/YALSA presidents program at Annual Conference, more articles about tweens in Children and Libraries and more blog posts about tweens. Today we present Top Titles for Tweens, a list of the ALSC award winners most of interest to tweens, ages 10-14. This list was created by our active School Age Programs and Services Committee, chaired by Tami Chumbley Finley. (Many thanks to Tami and the ALSC members who assessed the winners and created this list!) Let ALSC help you bring your tween readers the best of the best – use this list to assist with collection development,…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Chat With Your People

We’re two weeks past Midwinter Conference, and I am still energized by the many interactions I had with ALSC members.  A piece of advice I’ve given to students choosing their library specialty is to go to different groups’ events, look around at the people there, and ask themselves: “Are these my people?” I’m happy to say that ALSC members are my people! I hope to hear from many of my people during the Community Forum on February 22, 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Eastern. This is our second ALSC live chat. Our discussion topic, after time for Midwinter board updates and Q & A, is revitalizing the ALSC membership meeting.  ALSC’s by-laws currently require a  membership meeting at Annual Conference. Our Community Forum — and space on ALAConnect afterwards — will be a time frame for brainstorming about making our membership meeting more convenient and more valuable. Please mark your…

Blogger Mary Fellows

Resolutions and parties

Happy new year! The champagne is quaffed, the hors d’oeuvres consumed in large quantities, and it’s now time to get down to the serious business of . . . new year’s resolutions! Are you a resolution-maker? I find that resolutions (goals) are useful tools to move me forward and help eradicate bad habits. (Although the bad habit resolutions somehow end up being renewed each year!). If you make resolutions or set new year goals, I have some ideas to offer. I don’t know how you could eat more healthfully, fit in more exercise, or remember to clean out the litter box regularly. But I do have some ideas about how to make your 2012 work life more satisfying! Make work more fun. I believe that work should be fun, most days if not every day. Think about what makes work fun for you, and incorporate it. Dressing in costume for…

Blogger Mary Fellows

ALSC Friends of the Heart

Many years ago I read a distinction between “friends of the road” — people in our lives briefly, drawn to us by common circumstances — and “friends of the heart” — people with whom we have a true and lasting connection. I’ve found that a useful distinction as I’ve moved around to pursue my career. The best memento from each stop is a friendship that transcends separation. Organizations, too, have friends of the heart. Beginning in the next newsletter, ALSC will recognize individuals who have been faithful members of ALSC for 25 or more years. You will get to meet some of these folks through member profiles. But that notoriety is only the icing on the cake. The real benefit for these ALSC friends of the heart has been the rich experiences and nurturing relationships enjoyed through their years with ALSC. ALSC also has Friends with a capital “F.” Just…