Guest Blogger

Networking at a Table Full of Beads

I am here to attest to the absolute joy and calm that the Boulder Public Library’s Library Lodge brought to so many #pla2024 attendees, particularly the Friendship Bracelet area. A huge thank you goes to the staff who came to Columbus, and to their colleagues back home who kept the library running. Three days of sessions and exhibits is a lot to take in, and knowing this space was here as a respite helped many an attendee regroup and process the ideas and information heard, whether inside our own heads or more often, in conversation with others at the table.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

“I Have Glitter in My Hair, and You’re Telling Me I Have to ‘Network?'”

When I started my first full-time youth services position back in the beginning of 2019, a word came up in those first conversations with my new coworkers that completely terrified me: networking. I had come from the world of teaching, and networking seemed like a very intimidating, corporate concept that seemed to have little to do with my job of planning story time themes and creating fun children’s area displays. I wasn’t even quite sure how the process worked– my mind could only conjure up images of a fancy cocktail party where everyone tried to get the ear of the “big guy” (whoever that was). Fast forward almost five years, and my idea of networking in the library is very, very different from what it was. While in 2019 I had thought about it as an unquantifiable ability that I would need in order to “get ahead,” today I think…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Networking at Your Library…and Beyond!

A colleague—and friend—once told me that I was the best “natural networker” she had ever met. I was stunned, because the idea of going to a networking social and trying to make small talk throughout the evening and to sell myself sounds completely and utterly miserable.  I’ve never even attended a networking event.  The idea of doing so makes me break out in hives!

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed By: Professional Connections

Bulletin board with sticky notes

Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at any level can do it with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on building professional connections.


How to Avoid Being #ALALeftBehind

In the past, if you were one of those poor, unfortunate souls watching on social media as friends enjoyed an ALA conference in some exotic locale (not counting the times Midwinter was in Boston, Chicago, or Philadelphia), you may have lamented being #ALALeftBehind. As someone who suffers greatly from FOMO, I have felt the sting myself. How many books did I miss out on getting signed in the exhibits? How many conversations while waiting in an obscenely long line for coffee? How many amazing sessions? It can be pretty discouraging! Luckily, the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation is working to “create an online networking and resource space for the three Youth Divisions to engage around EDI-related topics” (quote taken from committee charge). So while we can’t send you signed books, and you will have to provide your own caffeinated beverage of choice, we will soon have an online…


ALSC & You: Staying Connected

alsc and you graphic

I hope you and your loved ones are taking the best care possible during this time. From the beginning of shelter-in-place orders, ALSC committee members, staff and leadership has been thinking of ways ALSC can support those in the profession during this time. We know one thing is certain: remaining connected is a bit difficult, but so much more important now than ever before. How can we continue to network? How can we continue to share ideas? How can we continue to build on our passions in healthy ways during this time? Using ALSC channels and platforms, I want to share just a few ways we can stay connected: Join a We Are ALSC Chat (WAAC): The ALSC Membership Committee hosted a first WAAC at the end of April to connect with others and share some initial thoughts on the impact of this pandemic in an informal setting. ALSC’s School…

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Finding Your People

Starting in a new role can be hard, especially if you’re the only one doing what you do in your building or your system. About two years ago, I switched positions from Youth Services Manager to Collection Development Leader and it’s been a big change. I’m now selecting and managing all our materials (youth and adult), cataloging, and working with vendors in a much more involved way than before. And one big challenge for me has been building my personal learning network (PLN) in this new-to-me area of library service. It has made me really appreciate the youth services PLN that I had built over the years and I want to make sure you have one, too.