Over 20 years ago I was new to America. Everything was new. I left behind my family and friends in India. I was fortunate that even before I learned to drive, I was introduced to the Public Library. I was not used to Public Libraries as we do not have them in India. I was used to school, college and university libraries, circulating libraries run out of garages or special libraries to which we had to purchase membership.
I had been looking forward to this year’s Summer Reading theme, Imagine Your Story, since it was announced a few years ago. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I knew the programs and displays we could have around that theme would be wonderful. Of course like most things in 2020 things are not going the way I expected.
It’s hard to believe that in an alternate timeline we would be getting ready to head to Chicago for ALA Annual this week. Unfortunately, the in-person event was cancelled this year. Thankfully, we have ALA Virtual- Community Through Connection to (at least partially) fill in that gap. There is a lot going on and the event scheduler can be overwhelming. Here are some sessions and meetings that will be of interest to youth librarians (all descriptions found on the ALA Virtual website):
If you had asked me in January what new skill I was looking forward to mastering I would not have answered Zoom! But fast forward a few months and the King County Library System’s last open day due to COVID-19 was March 13. After evaluating our options, we created a 10 person Zoom team to produce central programming. Almost 8 weeks later, here are the best practices we’ve adopted. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Shifting your programming online is an iterative process! We have one-stop where staff can find everything they need to know. Live Programming: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Live, Conference Calls Recorded Programming: YouTube and our website Best Practices Shared Central Calendar With 50 branches used to only looking at their calendar, we needed to pivot to a more central approach. We want to offer story times, but we don’t want to have similar programs competing against one another. When…
Three weeks before my library system closed and issued work-from-home edicts, I started a new position managing school-age children’s programming. It was, and is, an exciting shift after a handful of years in public service. Starting a new position, even one where you already know your colleagues or your library system, can be challenging in the best of circumstances, and starting a new position immediately before a global health crisis means trial by fire.
Last fall, ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee launched the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit. The toolkit has been a resource for children’s librarians advocating for the work they do in their communities.
ALSC has many avenues to volunteer and gain experience, some more high profile than others, but all extremely valuable to the division. There are two types of committees — process and awards — both present opportunities for growth, but very different in their roles and responsibilities.
Newbery. Caldecott. Coretta Scott King. The Siebert. Notables. Many of us dream of serving on an Award or Notable committee during our service to ALSC. But if promoting yourself and being on a ballot has you reaching for a paper bag, relax, there are other options. Have you ever considered volunteering for a process committee? It’s as easy as 1-2-3! What Does a Process Committees Do? ALSC breaks committees into 7 priority groups (PG), but we’re going to focus on the 5 Process Committees. Step 1: Pick themes that sound like a good match for your interests. Child Advocacy (PG 1) Professional Awards and Scholarships (PG 3) Organizational Support (PG 4) Partnerships (PG 6) Professional Development (PG 7) Step 2: Take a closer look at the committees in each priority group. For example, the amazing Public Awareness Committee falls under PG 1. Then look at their ALA Connect Page. The…