ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Rapidly Changing Libraries for the Better

As a first time attendee to any ALA meeting, I’m pretty sure that Midwinter 2021 will spoil me for future in-person events. Sitting in my apartment in front of my laptop, wrapped up in blankets with my nice warm mug of coffee as I magically click from panel to panel is not how I expected my first library conference to go, so I’m definitely enjoying the coziness of it all while I can!

ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

We Are Each Other’s Harvest #alamw21

Natalie Baszile, author of We Are Each Other’s Harvest, was a featured speaker at the Diversity in Publishing stage. Baszile’s non-fiction book focuses on Black farmers, and the idea of the importance of land ownership. She stated that most people’s image of a farmer is that of a white man. She wanted to “offer up more than just a history lesson”, and, instead, have readers focus on how land is a part of our identities, and link this to contemporary issues. There were about one million Black farmers in the 1920s, going to about 45,000 today. Why has there been such a decline? To explore this, the book features a series of essays from historians with knowledge in this area. A collection of poems will also be included in the book, interspersed between the other pieces. Baszile stated that this will help the book feel like a celebration. She offered…

ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Stan Sakai & Usagi Yojimbo at #alamw21

This morning’s Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage featured the renowned cartoonist and storyteller, Stan Sakai. The creator of the famed fantasy comic book series Usagi Yojimbo, Sakai presented a compelling introduction to his artistic process and the sources of inspiration that brought about this epic anthropomorphic saga. Sakai relates memories of visiting his local library in Hawaii to return books and the joy it brought him to see his book on top of the pile. He explains the Italian origins of the term “cartoonist” and how this profession started with poking holes in cardboard to create an outline. Stan Sakai absolutely loves comic books! They brought him his lifelong love of reading! A favorite was delving into the Lord of the Rings books, which became an annual adventure due their exciting plots.

ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Putting the “v” in #alamw21 / ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

I have mixed feelings about attending the conference virtually. After registering for the conference through limited professional development funds at my library, I learned that the sessions I most wanted to attend are freely available by zoom pre-registration. Also, sitting in front of a staff computer in the back workroom or tuning into a zoom room from my mobile device is not the same as roaming the conference hall – encountering librarians from all over the world, vendors and a new city. But like so much of the past year, I’m trying to refocus on the positive – and let that pave over a subtle sense of loss toward brighter future days. I wonder if ALA may decide to host Midwinter virtually from now on depending on the outcome of this virtual conference event. This will enable the organization to focus their in-person conference planning on the Annual event. Please…

Children & Technology

Tell Us About Great New Digital Media!

Hello from the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Committee! Have you come across any new digital media you think all kids and parents should know about? Our committee is reviewing digital media released in 2020 in the U.S. for early learners (2-8) and their caregivers, and we’d love to see your recommendations! Please use this simple form to share your feedback with us. Deadline for submissions is January 1, 2021.

Guest Blogger

Global Reading with World Kid Lit: A Look Back at World Kid Lit Month 2020

Have you heard? September is World Kid Lit Month, and 2020 was the most successful so far, with record numbers sharing reading suggestions and shelfies with the hashtag #WorldKidLitMonth. Launched as a grassroots social media initiative in 2016, World Kid Lit Month is a time to celebrate world literature for children and teens, especially fiction, nonfiction and poetry translated to English from other languages. It creates a space to discuss why we should look beyond the books published in our own country and also how to find books first published elsewhere. There are countless reasons to explore world literature, and this year the following four themes prompted lots of engagement. Armchair travel Books are a discount ticket to everywhere,* and this reason for global reading was more compelling than ever during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown when physical travel grinded to a halt. #WorldKidLitMonth aims to open up the world to…

Administrative and Management Skills

A Blog Post About ALSC Budget – No seriously! Read it!

I’ve been a member of the Association of Library Service to Children for over fifteen years.  Well, I think; since they stopped sending out membership cards, I can’t keep track.  However long it’s been – it was at least a decade before the question of money ever occurred to me:  Is ALSC solvent?  Does it have money?  Who pays for all the ribbon tags people wear at conference?  On the great range between Donald and Scrooge, where does this organization actually fall?   I asked these questions for the first time a few years ago because I had just joined the Budget Committee, and suddenly the idea of finances was front-and-center in my committee work.  It was a two year appointment, and after bouncing around ALSC for a few years, I’m back once again.  Yes, it really is that much fun!  No, that’s not sarcasm.  I’m here again, aren’t I?   The…