ALSC President's page

About Ellen Riordan
ALSC Past Presidents
ALSC Annual Report to ALA Council - 2013-14 [Word doc - 164 kb]

Greetings, and welcome to ALSC!

It is a great honor to serve as ALSC President for 2014-2015. In my term I hope to expand on the good work of my predecessors, Carolyn Brodie (2012-2013), who led us in “Connecting Communities” and Starr LaTronica (2013-2014) who showed us the “Power of Partnership” by focusing on our ability to “Align and Conquer” the challenges we face in our ever changing and evolving world.

To me alignment means connecting ideas that are in incubation or implementation to shape and form actionable steps for change. To conquer is to channel differences in opinions, values and methods into collective understanding that furthers our philosophy of service.

Our philosophy of service is reflected in the goals and objectives of our Strategic Plan, and is underscored by our core values of collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity and respect, leadership and responsiveness. We take great pride in these values and in the work that they inspire in all of us. My hope is that our members become empowered to see how their ideas, interests and passions can move our organization forward in service to children and their families through libraries.

Advocacy, education and access are the three broad goals of our plan and have a myriad of implications for our work. We want to advocate not only for libraries but for children and families and for our profession. Making our case is even more critical in these times when our relevance is questioned.

The role of libraries in education is often measured by our support of formal education. Service to schools is a vital function of public libraries but we also serve families by fueling their desire to pursue their own passions and interests. We want to support the passions of our members too and seek new ways to provide opportunities for librarians to learn what they need to know to better serve children and families of the future.

Access is a key aspect of all our work. We strive to provide library service to those in need, to make sure the right books are in the right hands, to enable our communities to communicate with us and with each other. We open our doors to all and remain committed to upholding the right of all citizens to express ideas and opinions.

Our membership is the backbone of our organization and through our collective efforts we make a difference to the lives of children and families. The landscape of libraries is changing and we are challenged by new formats of information, ways in which ideas are created and disseminated, how and what we are required to learn and who we are as a profession.

I believe we can align our ideas and conquer these challenges and I hope to encourage more collaboration and cooperation between us, to give more clarity to our processes and purpose committees to further our goals. When we come together, not just at conference but in all the ways our new world affords, we are stronger. As members we can do our part by using our Everyday Advocacy website, to share ideas on the ALSC Blog, and participate in the quarterly online community forums.

I hope you will join me in this journey into uncharted waters of change and possibility. Our course is set but we must seek connection to succeed. We continue to need encouragement, support, and communication to achieve the desired future outlined in our Strategic Plan: Libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them.

Please feel free to contact me at ellenmalsc@gmailcom

Ellen Riordan
ALSC President 2014-2015