ALSC Board

Black Lives Matter: ALSC’s Call to Action and Endorsement of BCALA and ALA Recent Statements

Dear ALSC Members and Friends, I am writing to you today on behalf of the ALSC Board of Directors.  Along with the ALA Executive Board, the ALSC Board endorses BCALA’s statement condemning increased violence and racism towards Black Americans and people of color and stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, BCALA, and those working for racial justice and dismantling racial capitalism and white supremacy in all of its forms.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Back to Basics?

I originally planned to write a blogpost for the ALSC Early and Family Literacy Committee on all the exciting things happening at ALA Annual around our charge. Not happening. My second thought was to discuss how to do things virtually around Early and Family Literacy. Now that some states are beginning to take a few steps away from complete stay-at-home orders, That seems less relevant too. 

ALSC Board

ALSC News Roundup: Keeping You Informed!

Dear ALSC Members and Friends, Welcome to May!  We’ve all had some dark days in the past few months.  I’m hoping life is getting better for all of you as some of us transition to open workplaces and businesses and some of us must wait for at least another month.  No matter what, ALSC is here for you. May Community Forum: Impact of Covid-19 on the Library: Present and Future Speaking of opening up, the next ALSC Community Forum will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 12 noon CST. Join fellow members and leaders for this upcoming Community Forum to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on your work and your libraries. What will library life look like once we reopen them? What do we need to consider in meeting the needs of our communities? Register now by logging into your ALA account.  I hope to see you there!

ALSC Board

We’re Here for You ALSC Members

Dear ALSC Members and Friends, I’m thinking of you today and every day and wondering how you are doing and hoping that you, your family and friends are safe and healthy. It seems so long since I last communicated.  So much has changed, yet it seems in some ways we are in the same place.  An online news commentator a few days ago said that March was the longest year we had ever had in a month.  I’m sure it seems that way for many of you as well.

ALSC Board

ALSC is Thinking of You and Asking for Your Strategies in Coping with COVID-19

Dear ALSC Members and Friends, The ALSC staff and board would like you to know that we are thinking of all you as you work in your libraries, schools, and communities.  Children, families and caregivers look to you in your role as knowledge dispensers, not keepers, for up-to-date information about how to deal with many challenges in their lives, not just the COVID-19 outbreak.  You have personal connections to millions of library users and I want to thank you for your tireless work each and every day in helping make their lives better through information, connection and services.

Guest Blogger

Soledad O’Brien loves libraries! #PLA2020

The award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien loves libraries and librarians! Some inspirational takeaways for me: She feels a strong sense of kinship with our industry—“we both woke up one day and realized ‘omg! we are in the social justice business!’ “ She shared many statistics showing the number of people who trust public libraries has actually gone up at a time when trust in other institutions is declining. When nobody in America seems to agree on anything, 90%! of people describe the library as a welcoming place. Libraries invest in knowledge, in serving all people where they are, which gives those people power—power that can never be taken away. Who defines representing people, all people, better than libraries? Nobody, she concludes. And finally, she feels that libraries are great unifiers in a divided world. The Big Ideas talks have been educational, inspiring, and a great way to start each conference day. As a…

Call to Action

Tackling racism in children’s books #PLA2020

How did Nashville Public Library tackle racism in classic children’s literature? What they didn’t do… They did not take books like The Story of Little Black Sambo, Little House on the Prairie, Five Chinese Brothers and The Thanksgiving Story off the shelves and throw them in the trash, which was Lindsey Patrick’s (Regional Manager) first impulse. Acknowledging the issues that her lens as a white woman would bring to the work, she invited Klem-Mari Cajigas (the Family Literacy Coordinator and a Puerto Rican woman) to help her take some steps. They didn’t want to censor these and other problematic books, essentially shoving our racist and sexist history under the rug. And they knew that the crucial starting point was to listen to and respect the opinions of people from marginalized communities. They created a Racist Children’s Book Task Force with a diverse group of people from different library departments. There was…

Diversity

Civil Rights #PLA2020

I visited the somber and stunning Civil Rights space at Nashville PL, a tribute to the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960. 60 years ago this month, lunch counter sit-ins began in Greensboro, NC, here in Nashville, TN, and in other cities which still practiced legally sanctioned, overt segregation. The participants were mostly Black university students. Photos, arrest warrants and newspaper clippings line the walls, and a series of videos plays in a corner of the room. The central lunch counter installation has the nonviolent principles of conduct etched into the glass panels including “Do not strike back or curse if abused.“ After visiting the room, my colleague/friend and I walked over to the nearby restored Woolworths restaurant for lunch. We gratefully accepted a fact sheet about the site and its history in the sit-ins as we were seated at a table, a white-presenting woman and Asian-presenting woman. As we looked around at…