ALA Annual 2019

ALA Annual Has Come and Gone But ALSC is Still at Work!

Hello ALSC members and prospective members! I’m thrilled to be serving you as your new president!  What a whirlwind ALA Annual was!  So many great programs, books, author sightings and engagement with members and conference attendees.  A few of the outstanding programs were The Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet with heartfelt speeches by the winners, The Coretta Scott King 50th Anniversary Breakfast and the Charlemae Rollins President’s Program ‘Subversive Activism: Creating Social Change Through Libraries, Children’s Literature and Art featuring Dr. Nicole Cooke, Dr. Janina Fariñas and acclaimed author/illustrator Yuyi Morales.  The conference also featured Leadership & ALSC, and the Monday morning membership meeting and Awards presentation.  Your board met two times during the conference.  A few highlights of the meetings: A Task Force will be formed to look into diversifying and developing new revenue streams for ALSC. The Strategic Plan is nearing the 2020 completion and the board will be deciding soon…

ALA Annual 2019

Librarians Advocate for Detained Children on Last Day of #alaac19

”Kids need books, not cages!” “Summer camps, not prison camps!” “”Libraries are sanctuaries!” I stood in the heat and the rain on Pennsylvania Avenue, surrounded by librarians from a range of disciplines. It was my first ALA and also my first chance to visit DC and see some of its landmarks, including the White House. A group of kids in yellow shirts and their teachers gathered nearby. Small groups of tourists with cameras walked past and took selfies. Several security officers in sunglasses watched lazily from a distance. This was my taste of local color. I was seeing the city and not just the conference. A colleague of mine from the area told me that every day there is at least one group protesting one thing or another in front of the White House. It’s just what you do. Indeed, alongside our group and the others nearby, there was one…

ALA Annual 2019

Bystander Intervention at #alscmm19 #alaac19

At the ALSC Membership Meeting on Monday morning, fellow ALSC Board member Elisa Gall and I gave an introductory presentation on the topic of bystander intervention. The topic of bystander intervention is important for all library workers, both in the context of the spaces in which we work and serve our communities and also in the context of our participation in professional spaces like a conference. Elisa and I focused our content on how to apply bystander intervention principles in a professional space—a particular need given past and continued harassment of colleagues in these conference spaces. What is bystander intervention? “Bystander intervention” refers to the actions we take in order to keep spaces free from harassment and hate—something we all have a responsibility to do. Harassment is purposeful and repeated conduct that is unwanted and known to be offensive. Harassment, in the context of this introductory training, is different from…

ALA Annual 2019

C-c-changes coming for ALA Council #alaac19

If you haven’t heard yet, ALA Council has been looking at ways to reorganize and reimagine how Council works and really, how the greater organization of ALA works. Last year, a Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) formed a 19 member team alongside Tecker International consulting firm, to complete a comprehensive look at what ALA in review form and also thinking about what we want ALA to look like now and in the future. This restructuring is pretty huge and will very much change how big decisions are made in ALA. There were lots of focus group meeting this past conference to discuss what members want from ALA. We know that there are many challenges, roadblocks, and burdens (financial and otherwise) that hinder participation in ALA and at conferences, and while the plans and designs of SCOE are still in the formulation phase, it feels exciting to re-imagine an ALA…

ALA Annual 2019

#alaac19 Odyssey Award Ceremony

Audiobooks are near and dear to my heart, and even though there have been times when I had to leave on Monday, I always try to stay until Tuesday. And that is because I simply cannot miss the Odyssey Award Ceremony! This year’s ceremony was wonderful, brimming over with excitement and awe. We were treated to readings by some of the most talented narrators in the business—Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittman, Gabra Zackman, Brian Amador, Cherise Booth, and Elizabeth Acevedo (who narrated her own book!). The books that were honored today range from darling picture books to gritty teen fiction, written by authors Courtney Summers, Carson Ellis, Susan Wood, and Varian Johnson. There is something really powerful about experiencing a live reading. You watch as a shade comes down, and the narrator takes on a new persona—a troubled teen, a curious tween, a magical storyteller. They are enchanting and inspiring, and…

ALA Annual 2019

ALSC Leadership Development at #alaac19

If you couldn’t be at #alaac19, you might have missed out on the opportunity to network and meet with members face to face. If you have that privilege, it is a rewarding experience to connect with people you’ve only met over your favorite videoconferencing software, to network with new people who are waiting in line for coffee with you. However, you are not limited to in-person interactions. For this post, I want to address the third objective of ALSC’s 2017-2020 strategic plan—this topic has come up in discussion in meetings, in workshops and on the exhibit floor. Learning & Development, especially for folks not at Annual. At the ALSC and Leadership meeting on Saturday, Andrew Medlar, the 2018-2019 chair of the Nominating & Leadership Development Committee referenced this integral part of ALSC’s strategic plan. ALSC is developing stronger pathways to develop leaders in the organization at all levels. After cracking some…

ALA Annual 2019

#ALAac19 – Take a Moment to Reflect

I am currently sitting in the airport, waiting to go home. As I sit here, I am planning for time tomorrow to really reflect on the sessions I attended and even on some of the authors I heard speak. I encourage you to do the same this week. If you are anything like me (and I know you are because I saw so many of you doing the same thing), I wrote down a number of websites and other resources/quotes that I want to go back to and explore. During my years of attending conferences and other professional development opportunities, I have found that If I do not schedule time in my calendar this week to reflect, those notes are just going to sit there. So, get home, take a nap, and then really look through your notes and see what you can implement into your practice. Safe travels!

ALA Annual 2019

News You Can Use #alaac19

One of my favorite parts of ALA is hearing about all the work that has been going on in other divisions, round-tables, and groups. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the great sessions that directly apply to children’s librarianship, there’s a lot of value in attending other sessions. We, as children’s librarians, are not an island unto ourselves. By remaining aware of issues in other aspects of the library world we can be better advocates for our families we serve, effective team players in serving our library’s overall mission, and better informed research-practitioners.   A good way to stick a toe in the water and branch out is by attending one of the many fantastic “News You Can Use” sessions at Annual. These sessions “offer the latest updates from experts on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, and projects” from across…