Guest Blogger

Staying connected across time zones, and continents

How can you build and maintain professional connections when you can’t meet up in person? Making a long-distance (or trans-Atlantic!) mentorship work across time zones is no easy task under normal circumstances, and with the additional challenges the pandemic presented, ALSC mentee Aryssa Damron and ALSC mentor Celeste Rhoads had to lay out some ground rules together for communication before beginning our partnership. The ALSC mentorship program was a great opportunity to establish good communication habits across many channels, and many of the tricks and guidelines applied to this working relationship could be used to establish professional connections and maintain relationships with fellow-professionals outside of an official mentorship program.  

Mentoring

Over 30 ALSC mentees are seeking mentors!

ALSC Mentoring Program Image. Applications Close October 11

Applications for the ALSC Mentoring Program are now open and we are in (serious) need of mentors! To date, we’ve received over 30 mentee applications. Wow! Many of them are students or early children’s career professionals, but we also have some mentees who are new to supervisory positions and are looking to connect with others who have experience in managing children’s services.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Pandemic Connections: Being an ALSC Mentor/Mentee in 2021

The ALSC Mentoring program seeks to match individuals with an interest in library service to children together to learn from each other and support ALSC’s goals. Each person comes to the program with their own hopes, ideas and experiences and the program is well structured to support both mentor and mentee in connecting productively over a fairly short period of time, January- June.

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

What ALSC Means to Me (While I’m Not Working)

Like many of my fellow librarians, I am currently not working. While I am not working by choice to care for my daughter, I know others did not make this choice and were laid off or furloughed. This is a tough time for everyone. So why do I keep my membership up to date? Frankly, ALSC is more important to me now than when I was employed. ALSC provides community, resources, and opportunities. Thus, when I go back on the job market, I know I’ll be competitive. Community ALSC provides a community that I can turn to when I’m looking for support and it keeps me connected to the field. I’ve made so many valuable friendships through ALSC and received some great mentorship that I have relied on through all the changes in my career. I found my mentor when serving on a committee. She has improved my booktalking skills…

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Get Involved in ALSC

So you’ve joined ALSC, what next? This post is for anyone looking to get involved in ALSC. There are several current and upcoming opportunities for ALSC members that I want to share with you today. Tune in to a Committee Meeting While many of the selection committees have closed meetings, did you know that all ALSC process committee meetings are open to ALSC members? Serving on a process committee is a fun way to get involved in ALSC while contributing meaningful work and getting to know fellow library workers all over the country. You can find agendas and schedules for upcoming meetings on the ALSC Community space on ALA Connect.  Sitting in on a committee meeting is a great way to find out more about the work that our organization is doing and to “try on” committees to see where you might want to get involved in ALSC. It’s also…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

An Abundance of Questions and Uncertainty

If you are like me, you are in the midst of Summer Reading planning and execution. You may also be working on plans for curbside service or well into the process of performing curbside for your patrons. Maybe your library is open to the public or will be in the near future. Or, maybe you are still working from home. No matter where you are in this stage of COVID-19, we all have a little something in common: we all have questions and feel some sense of uncertainty. What’s the next step? How do I serve my community in the midst of all these changes? What happens when virtual programming just isn’t working or kids and tweens just aren’t able to access your programs? How in the world do I put together a Summer Reading Program when I can’t have programs in the building or do outreach? What do I…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Creative Writing at the Library

As part of our ALSC mentorship, AnnMarie Hurtado from the Pasadena Public Library and I, an MLIS student at San Jose State University’s iSchool, created a survey about the use of creative writing programs, specifically for children, in public libraries. Both of us write as a passion, and I used to attend creative writing programs at my local library both as a child and teen, so we were both curious as to how public libraries encourage writing—especially now that many libraries are (rightfully) moving full STEAM ahead. Our main interest was in the kind of creative writing programs libraries held, and what the goals of those programs were—were they more educational, or designed for attendees to flex their creativity? Were they run by staff members, or did they give kids the chance to talk to real live authors? We shared our survey on three Listservs: CALIX (calix@listserv.cla-net.org), ALSC (alsccolmgt@lists.ala.org; alsc-l@lists.ala.org) and…