ALSC Annual Report 2011-12
by Mary Fellows, 2011-2012 ALSC President
ALSC’s 2011-2012 year was defined by innovation and manageable growth. New methods of communication between members, leaders, and staff have improved decision making and increased member commitment. Rich partnerships with other ALA divisions and congruous businesses are resulting in expanded member services and greater recognition of the essential work of library children’s services. In March, we welcomed an Awards Coordinator to the ALSC staff. Caroline Jewell has already made a positive impact through her coordination of the many awards program logistics for Annual Conference.
Although the field of librarianship continues to suffer budget problems and staffing cuts, membership within ALSC has been steady in 2012. In previous years, falls in membership were worse. This year, ALSC is less than 1% behind the total membership statistics from the 2011 financial year.
• In 2012 ALSC was in its sixth year of sponsoring an Emerging Leader. This year’s Emerging Leader is Ingrid Abrams. Ingrid holds an MLIS from Queen’s College in New York. She is the Children’s Librarian at the Greenpoint Branch of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. She has been active in Urban Librarians Unite, an advocacy group that supports libraries and library staff in metropolitan areas. The group has used activities like a 24-hour story-thon and a zombie march to protest library budget cuts in the New York area.
ALSC was also fortunate to have its project selected for completion by a group of Emerging Leaders. The project, an ALSC Mentoring Program, was selected by four Emerging Leaders. They are: Rocco DeBonis, University of Maryland – University College; Kimberly Castle-Edwards, Hudson (Ohio) Library & Historical Center; Maria Pontillas, Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library; and Debbie Zimmerman, Worthington (Ohio) Public Library. The group is currently researching examples of member mentoring programs and is tasked with writing a report that will lay out recommendations for a future ALSC mentoring program.
• In December 2011, ALSC began a program to recognize the hard-work and dedication of members with 25 years or more cumulative membership. ALSC sent out over 350 letters of commendation to acknowledge these members and created a special “long-serving” ribbon to be worn at conferences. A list of these individuals was printed in the December 2011 newsletter. Also, beginning with the December newsletter, we are featuring a profile of one of our long-term members in each issue.
• ALSC sponsors several discussion groups, facilitated through online discussion and in-person meetings at conferences, on distinct topics in library service to children. The groups provide a forum through which members can connect, share resources, and discuss issues regarding preschool services, collection management, managing children’s services, and storytelling.
Professional Awards and Scholarships
The ALSC Distinguished Service Award
This award honors an individual member who has made significant contributions to, and had an impact on, library services to children and ALSC. The 2012 winner is:
• Linda Perkins, Berkeley, Calif.
Each year the ALSC office receives almost 3,000 newly published books, videos, audiobooks, and recordings from children’s trade publishers for award and notables consideration. At the end of the year, after the awards winners have been chosen and announced, ALSC selects three libraries to receive a Bookapalooza collection of these materials. The recipients for 2012 are:
• Sarah Preliepp, Saginaw Chippewa Academy, Mount Pleasant, Mich.
• Michelle McGarry, Conley Elementary School Library, Whitman, Mass.
• Judy Card, First Regional Library, Hernando, Miss.
The ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program Grant (Donor: Follett BWI, Inc.)
This $3,000 grant provides financial assistance to a public library for developing an outstanding summer reading program for children. The 2012 winner is:
• Erin Warzala, Wichita Falls (Texas) Public Library
The Bechtel Fellowship (Donor: University of Florida’s Endowment in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin)
This fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, which contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950. The 2012 recipient is:
• Allison Angell, Benicia (Calif.) Public Library
The Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award (Donor: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
This $4,000 award was established with funding from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, in honor of Maureen Hayes, to bring together children and nationally recognized authors/illustrators by funding an author/illustrator visit to a school or public library that has not before had the opportunity to host one. The 2012 recipient is:
• Lisa McClure, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library
Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant
This $3,000 grant is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. The grant is awarded to a library with exceptional outreach to underserved populations. The 2012 recipient is:
• Mary Seratt, Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library & Information Center, Penguin Young Readers Group Award
Penguin Young Readers Group Award (Donor: Penguin Young Readers Group)
This award provides a $600 stipend, provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, for up to four winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. Applicants must have fewer than 10 years of experience as a children’s librarian and work directly with children. The 2012 recipients are:
• Donna Alvis, Ephesus (Ga.) Public Library
• Heather Schubert, Hill Country Middle School Library, Austin, Texas
• Linda Klein, Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library
• Eric Barbus, San Francisco (Calif.) Public Library-North Beach Branch
Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship (Donor: Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc.)
The Bound to Stay Bound Books (BTSB) Scholarship provides financial assistance in the form of four $7,000 annual awards for the education of men and women who intend to pursue an MLS or advanced degree and who plan to work in the area of library service to children. This work may be serving children up to and including the age of 14 in any type library. The Scholarship is made possible by ALSC through the generous contributions of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Incorporated. The four BTSB winners for 2012 are:
• Michelle Ahern, Bethpage, N.Y.
• Rebecca Baker, Frankfort, Ky.
• Micaela Sanchez, Greeley, Colo.
• Lisa Jordan, Longmont, Colo.
The Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship
The Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship provides financial assistance for the professional education of men and women who intend to pursue an MLS degree and who plan to work in children's librarianship. This work may be serving children up to and including the age of 14 in any type of library. Two $6,000 scholarships are awarded annually. The two Melcher winners for 2012 are:
• Katie Clausen, Moorhead, Minn.
• Eileen Gilbert, Concord, N.H
ALSC Spectrum Scholarship
The ALSC Spectrum Scholarship is awarded to a Spectrum applicant who expresses an interest in library service to children. Since its founding, Spectrum has provided more than 600 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program. The 2012 ALSC Spectrum Scholar is:
• Ticha Gwaradzimba, London, Ont.
Literary & Related Awards
Although ALSC is best known for our landmark awards, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, the association administers a wide array of book and media awards, including the Arbuthnot Honor Lectureship; the Batchelder Award for distinguished translated books; the Belpré Awards for books that best represent Latino culture, co-sponsored with the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA); the Carnegie Medal for outstanding children’s video; the Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers; the Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production, co-sponsored with the Young Adult Library Services Association; and the Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book. ALSC member committees also produce lists of recommended children’s media: Notable Children’s Books, Notable Children’s Recordings, Notable Children’s Videos, and Great Websites for Kids. ALSC’s award winners and notable lists are available at www.ala.org/alscawards.
• The ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference at Midwinter in Dallas was Web cast live; the archive presentation is at http://www.webcastinc.com/client/ala-webcast/. This year’s Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners are widely-known and respected. The Newbery Medalist is Jack Gantos for Dead End in Norvelt (Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2011). Gantos’s Joey Pigza Loses Control was a 2001 Newbery Honor Book. The Caldecott Medalist is Chris Raschka for A Ball for Daisy (Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 2011). Raschka also illustrated the 2006 Caldecott Medal-winning The Hello, Goodbye Window, written by Norton Juster, and Yo! Yes? a 1994 Caldecott Honor Book.
This year, we welcomed an exciting addition to the Midwinter award announcements. ALSC staff coordinated with ALA’s Public Information Office and winning publishers to present reaction videos on YouTube from award winners, including Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos, Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, Belpre Medalist Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, among others. Their personal reactions to winning an ALSC book award were heartfelt, charming, and often funny, and added a new dimension to the January announcements, which helped sustain “award buzz” long after the press conference adjourned.
• This year’s Caldecott winner was the 75th book to receive the medal. The award, established in 1938, celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2013. A year-long Caldecott Anniversary celebration officially kicks off at the 2012 Annual Conference and culminates at the 2013 Annual Conference. However, ALSC has already begun the celebration by offering a Caldecott-themed webinar, “Caldecott Uncovered: What You’ve Always Wanted to Know about the Caldecott Medal,” earlier this spring. The first session was free to all and filled up quickly. A second session is scheduled for July and is already full. Registration currently is open for a six-week online course, “The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books,” presented by Kathleen T. Horning, director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and scheduled to begin in July.
• 2008 Caldecott Medal Winner Brian Selznick created a special 75th anniversary logo that cleverly brings together characters from past Caldecott Medal-winning books -- beginning with the very first in 1938 and spanning all the way to the 21st century. The logo is at http://www.ala.org/alsc/Caldecott75, a webpage created to showcase the anniversary and its special events.
• In April, the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture was delivered by Czech-born author and illustrator Peter Sís, a three-time Caldecott Honor recipient. The lecture, hosted by Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and titled, “Reading in the Dark.” The archived webcast is available at: http://sc.lib.muohio.edu/handle/2374.MIA/4489. The 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture will be given by the UK’s Children’s Laureate, author Michael Morpurgo. The host and location of the event will be announced at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.
ALSC is home to two major national initiatives, each with a unique focus. Several ALSC committees including the Public Awareness Committee, Every Child Ready to Read Oversight Committee, and Quicklists Consulting Committee help develop and implement these initiatives, with the ALSC Board providing oversight.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) -- Children’s Day/Book Day
The Día initiative has had a very busy year. Last August, ALSC received a second grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in the amount of $75,454, which has been used to continue promotion of Día and multicultural family literacy to libraries around the country.
In September 2011, ALSC and REFORMA co-sponsored a Día education program during the REFORMA National Conference. A proposal for a Día-focused program, also to be co-sponsored by ALSC and REFORMA, was accepted for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, scheduled for September 2012. In addition, multiple sessions of three Día-themed webinars, “Making Every Day a Día Day: Incorporating Día into Current Youth Programming,” “Connecting with Many Children from Many Cultures: Cultural Literacy @ your library,” and “Día 101: Community Partnerships, Marketing and Additional Funding,” were held this past winter and spring.
On November 14, 2011, a completely redesigned and expanded Día website was launched. The new site includes a free, downloadable tool kit containing programming and outreach ideas, book lists, activity sheets, and other resources, and features a new section with resources directed at parents, caregivers, and children. In addition, parts of the website have been translated to Spanish and Chinese. For the first time, this year’s Día brochure is available in Chinese, as well as English and Spanish. Also, ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee updated the Día book list for 2012.
For Día 2012, libraries registered more than 435 Día events via the online database at dia.ala.org. On April 21, author and Día Founder, Pat Mora, participated in a Día event in Houston: Día at Discovery, sponsored by Houston Public Library, Houston PBS, Arte Publico Press, and Discovery Green (an urban park). ALSC, as in past years, distributed free stickers (English, Spanish, Chinese), bookmarks (English and Spanish), and “Ask Me about Día” buttons (English, Spanish, Chinese) to all libraries that registered events in the database.
Every Child Ready to Read
ALSC and the Public Library Association (PLA) continue to administer this early literacy initiative. Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® 2nd Edition, the new curriculum launched in June 2010, has enjoyed great success over the past year. The new edition includes a tool kit with customizable PowerPoint presentations/workshops, handouts, reading lists, brochures, posters, and bookmarks, designed to enable public libraries and other early literacy centers to present workshops that help prepare parents/caregivers for their critical role as their child's first teacher.
In mid-January, PLA, in partnership with ALSC, hosted a live, hour-long Facebook Forum with guest Saroj Ghoting, early childhood literacy consultant, on the Every Child Ready to Read Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/everychild). The forum provided a free, easy, and convenient opportunity for busy practitioners to learn more about ECRR 2nd Edition.
ALSC produced a 90-minute ECRR webinar, “Every Child Ready to Read—New Conversations on Research, Relationships, and Partnerships,” hosted by Elaine Meyers and presented three times this past spring. The presentation addressed intermixing materials from ECRR first and second editions and strategies for community partnerships. The ECRR Oversight Committee, established in 2011, presented “ECRR in Action” at the PLA National Conference in Philadelphia in March. A moderator and panel of library practitioners shared real-world experiences around the ECRR workshop “Fun with Science and Math for Parents and Children,” which is part of the tool kit, and responded to questions. More information about ECRR is available at http://www.ala.org/everychild.
Projects and Partnerships
Money as You Grow
ALSC is a partner in Money as You Grow (http://www.moneyasyougrow.org/), developed by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The initiative provides 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons—with corresponding activities. Written in down-to-earth language for children and their families, Money as You Grow helps equip kids with the knowledge needed to live fiscally fit lives. In addition to promoting the initiative, ALSC will provide a themed book list for the campaign, which is currently being compiled by the Quicklists Consulting Committee. Other partners in the initiative are the Public Library Association, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Junior Achievement USA, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Endowment for Financial Education, and Parent Teacher Association, among others.
ALSC has partnered with LEGO® DUPLO® in a campaign to celebrate children’s librarians—the community stewards of storytime. Together LEGO® DUPLO® and ALSC will work to provide inspiration for storytime in libraries and at home by offering engaging activities and creative ideas. The message of the campaign is: we are committed to creating “builders of tomorrow” and know the critical role of play in developing and reinforcing early literacy. Plans are in the early development stages and phase one activities will include a call to action inviting parents/consumers to nominate their local library for recognition and reward; a survey posed to ALSC members to garner background information about storytimes; and a micro-website providing a downloadable resource guide for ALSC members and activities for parents. The campaign will officially launch at Annual Conference in Anaheim. LEGO® DUPLO® will be exhibiting and their staff will be sharing information about the program.
JumpStart/Read for the Record
A record-breaking 2,184,155 people enjoyed “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney, on October 6, 2011, as part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign, which highlights the importance of early education and reading through a one-day challenge to get as many individuals as possible to read the same book. As in past years, ALSC helped promote the annual event with announcements on ALSC-L and in the ALSConnect newsletter.
Publications and Communications
ALSC seeks to reach members in a variety of ways, including those that increasingly allow two-way communication, such as ALA Connect, the ALSC Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and wiki. We continue to publish our traditional print journal, Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children three times a year and our quarterly, electronic newsletter, which is available to members on the ALSC website. Other publications and noteworthy communications news include:
Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2012, written by ALSC and published by ALA Editions, was released this month. The annual guidebook is a resource for quick reference, collection development, and readers’ advisory, and includes author/illustrator and title indices as well as information about visual elements and media in Caldecott¬ Medal and Honor Books. This year’s edition also features an essay by Deborah Stevenson, director of the Center for Children's Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The Newbery in the Press: The First Fifty Years” traces the path of the Newbery Award through news coverage, providing a thought-provoking and delightful look at how the award has inscribed itself in history. In this look at the award’s first fifty years, we catch glimpses of Eleanor Roosevelt, the early mavens of journalism’s book beat crowd, and John Newbery himself.
Children’s Graphic Novel Core Collection
In response to the exploding popularity of graphic novels, ALSC developed a “core” list of titles for public librarians serving elementary school-age children (kindergarten through 8th grade), to use when starting or maintaining a children's graphic novel collection. “Children’s Graphic Novel Core Collection,” compiled by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, includes classics as well as newer titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed, and books that have popular appeal as well as those that have received critical acclaim. The list is available online at http://www.ala.org/alsc//booklists/grphcnvls.
Top Titles for Tweens
In an effort to support our members who serve tweens, ALSC created a list of books of special interest to kids aged 10 to 14, compiled in February by the School-Age Programs and Services Committee from the 2012 award-winning titles and Notable Children’s Books list.
Great Early Elementary Reads
In December, ALSC released a revision of the popular bibliography “Great Early Elementary Reads,” which features recommended book titles for beginning readers. PDFs of the list are available online in full color and black and white and are free to download, copy, and distribute. The updated bibliography is organized into two categories: “Starting to Read” and “Reading on My Own” and includes books published between 2009 and 2011. The titles were selected, compiled, and annotated by members of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee.
Other Book Lists
ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee has worked on several projects and lists over the past year, including a list of books to encourage nature-based literacy for the American Camp Association, an updated Born to Read brochure, the revised Día book list mentioned earlier, and a book list for the 2012 ALSC/YALSA President’s Program in Anaheim on tweens/young teens and technology. The committee is currently finishing work on updated ALA/Children’s Book Council (CBC) Building a Home Library book lists. This collection of four bibliographies (birth to 3; 4-7; 8-11; and 12-14) provides guidance to parents, grandparents, and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home.
ALSC Website Migration
ALSC successfully migrated to Drupal 7, ALA’s new content management system, in late October. The conversion to the new system went very smoothly. The new format allows ALSC to highlight on its homepage links to the ALSC blog, ALSC on Twitter, and ALSC on ALA Connect. The new site also incorporates a live feed of ALSC news to the homepage.
Great Websites for Kids
In late December, ALSC launched a completely redesigned Great Websites for Kids (www.ala.org/greatsites), its online website directory. The updated site boasts a fresh, colorful, and kid-friendly display and interactive social media enhancements. The new design features thumbnail images to provide a visual preview of each great site represented and special sections highlighting Sites of the Week and Month, Most Popular pages, and Top Rated sites. Visitors now can actively connect with the site and further their online experience by rating sites; sharing their favorites on social media sites such as Facebook; and emailing recommendations to friends.
Facebook. In the spring of 2012, Friends of ALSC and the Membership Committee sponsored a Facebook contest for members to describe the value of membership with ALSC. The contest offered ten tickets to the 2012 Newbery-Caldecott Banquet as a part of the reward. As an engagement tool, the Facebook competition was a success: in the four weeks of the contest, the traffic to the Facebook page more than doubled the average weekly rates.
Twitter. In March 2012, the ALSC Board of Directors approved the ALSC Twitter Guidelines. These guidelines are part of a larger effort to enable discussions in the social media realm. The guidelines delineate the role of the ALSC account (@alscblog), while also providing definitions for the actions/limits of the account. These guidelines have been reviewed and approved by the ALA Social Media Working Group and were adopted as a model for the association as a whole. Insight into these guidelines was provided by the ALSC Children and Technology Committee.
ALSC Blog. The ALSC Blog has grown significantly over the course of 2011-12. The blog now averages around 11,000 visits/month. This year, ALSC Blog Manager Mary Voors coordinated live-blogging from three conferences: ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia, and the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.
Community Forums. In 2011-12, ALSC began hosting quarterly online meetings for members called Community Forums. These forums are held on ALSC's division page on ALA Connect. During the forum, participants can chat live with the ALSC President and members of the ALSC Board. Members who cannot participate in the live chat can post questions and comments on the ALA Connect discussion board. A transcript of the forum is provided after the chat is finished. ALSC held forums on:
• Friday, October 28, 2011
• Wednesday, February 22, 2012
• Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Chair Orientation Webinar
In November 2011, Priority Group Consultants Tim Wadham and Kay Weisman hosted the first-ever orientation and training webinar for process committee chairs, focusing on chair roles and responsibilities. Based on the success of this webinar, another webinar for incoming chairs will be held in July.
Member Communications Survey
Via a communications survey conducted December 5, 2011, through February 16, 2012, ALSC collected feedback from members about communications vehicles, including Children and Libraries, the ALSC website, newsletter, blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter, ALA Connect, and American Libraries/AL Direct. A total of 642 people started the survey; 595 (92.7%) completed it. Feedback garnered from the survey will be used to help shape and refine ALSC's professional resources and communication tools to better meet the needs of our members.
Newsletter Name Change
To avoid recurrent confusion with ALA Connect, the ALSC newsletter name, ALSConnect, was changed this year. As of the March 2012 issue, the new title is ALSC Matters! The newsletter’s content and frequency remains the same, therefore volume and issue numbering continues on where ALSConnect left off last year.
ALSC Events and Continuing Education
2012 ALSC National Institute
ALSC has spent much of 2011-12 planning for the National Institute in Indianapolis on September, 20-22. This event features award-winning authors Peter Brown, Denise Fleming, Kevin Henkes, Eric Rohmann, Gary Paulsen, Bryan Collier, Doreen Rappaport, and April Pulley Sayre. There are 20 educational programs spread out over two days. Programs delve into some of the most important topics in library service to children, such as using technology in programming, what’s hot in children’s spaces, working with underserved populations, putting Every Child Ready to Read into practice, and using local partnerships to improve programming. Special events include a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal during Friday morning’s Breakfast for Bill, a Friday reception at IUPUI, and an optional Saturday tour: at the infoZone and Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
ALSC Online Education
Online Courses. In 2011-12, ALSC offered 18 online courses, taught through Moodle, ALA’s online learning platform. These courses – ranging from four to six weeks in length – were offered on such topics as the Sibert Medal, graphic novels, reading instruction and children’s books, and information literacy.
Webinars. ALSC also offered over 20 hour-long webinars. These webinars focused on topics such as Día, Every Child Ready to Read, sensory storytime, mock Newbery-Caldecott elections, and easy readers. ALSC also continues to produce archived webinars that are available at a discounted price.
Student Sessions. As an engagement tool for students, the division has re-started ALSC Student Sessions. These hour-long workshops are free to students and offered quarterly. The first ALSC Student Session, entitled “Getting Your First Library Job: Showcasing Skills and Packaging Passion,” was held June 13, 2012 and featured advice from ALSC members Thom Barthelmess and Alison O’Reilly. Student sessions are administered and promoted by the ALSC Membership Committee.
ALSC and YALSA Joint President’s Program
ALSC and YALSA have teamed up to present “The Digital Lives of Tweens and Young Teens” in Anaheim on Monday, June 25, 8-10 a.m. The collaborative event features two speakers, Stephen Abram, MLS and Michelle Poris, Ph.D., followed by a video presentation. Abram was listed by Library Journal as one of the top 50 people influencing the future of libraries. He is the author of ALA Editions' bestselling “Out Front with Stephen Abram.” Poris has nearly 20 years of research experience with youth and families, including over 12 years of designing and executing business building research for many of the world’s largest corporations. She is currently the Quant Savant at Smarty Pants, a full-service market research and strategic consulting firm. The program includes a video presentation, consisting of videos submitted by librarians through a special contest, documenting experiences and projects dealing with tweens/young teens and technology at the library.
National Library Legislative Day
On April 22-24, ALSC leaders participated in the 2012 National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. The division was represented by ALSC President Mary Fellows, Vice-President Carolyn Brodie, and Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter. ALSC leaders met with key members of the House and Senate committees charged with education and library issues to impress upon them the critical role that children’s librarians and public libraries play in early learning development. They also attended the signing ceremony with Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Information Memorandum on Public Libraries and Head Start. The group also met with the bipartisan advocacy organization First Focus to discuss commonalities and initiate a relationship that may result in future collaboration.
Board actions this year included routine items, such as approving the budget and changes to several committee membership and function statements. In addition, the Board approved the use of Friends of ALSC funds to: finance ten free tickets to the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet for a membership drawing; sponsor two individuals to attend the ALSC Institute this coming fall; develop a new Friends logo and marketing materials; and purchase two “Nook and a Book” drawing giveaways. The Board also approved Twitter guidelines and support of the Franklin Institute’s NSF implementation grant proposal, “LEAP into Science: Understanding and Building Partnerships for Informal Science and Literacy,” by providing a representative to the grant advisory board.
ALSC is currently in a strong financial position thanks to diverse revenue sources, managed expenses and keen fiscal oversight on the part of the ALSC Board, Executive Director and Budget Committee. Endowment interest income, Friends of ALSC support, and salary savings from an open staff position mingle with sales of products, dues revenue, grants, and sponsorships to populate our revenue stream this year. On the expense side, we are closely monitoring increased costs not offset by higher than expected revenues. Consistently effective fiscal management should enable us to accommodate any unforeseen deficits. We continue to appreciate the work that our endowments and the Friends of ALSC help us to undertake: the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, the Morris Seminar, and Institute scholarships, among others.
Moving into the Future
ALSC’s greatest strengths lie in its energetic, committed members and its savvy and mission-driven staff. During this exciting yet challenging time for libraries, ALSC is leading our members into transformation. We’re communicating in multiple modalities, and offering members incentive and opportunity to try out new social media tools. We’re also shifting more division work to virtual operation, which allows a greater number of members engagement in our mission. We’re promoting learning through nontraditional avenues, and we’re poised to launch a new advocacy effort that will help our members find their voices and communicate the value of children, libraries, and the importance of literacy.
Just as we anticipate and embrace the innovations of the future, ALSC also nurtures the initiatives that have helped to define us and continue to express our quality and core values – our awards. As we begin our yearlong celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award, we remember those whose vision and generosity still serve as our inspiration.
ALSC is a strong, vibrant organization with a solid base supporting vigorous growth. Our achievements this year are built on the vision, commitment to excellence, and hard work of members and staff – and those same essential resources will lead us into a bright and interesting future. I eagerly anticipate it, and thank you for the opportunity to lead ALSC on this part of our path.
2011-2012 Board of Directors
Mary Fellows, President
Carolyn S. Brodie, Vice President/President-Elect
Julie Corsaro, Immediate Past-President
Rhonda Putney, Division Councilor
Tali Balas, Fiscal Officer
Lisa Von Drasek
Jan S. Watkins
Aimee Strittmatter, Executive Director
Marsha Burgess, Program Coordinator
Caroline Jewell, Awards Coordinator
Jennifer Najduch, Program Officer, Continuing Education
Dan Rude, Marketing Specialist, Membership
Laura Schulte-Cooper, Program Officer, Communications & Website
Allison Payne, Awards Intern