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About Kirby McCurtis
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I am excited to serve as your President for 2020-21 and honored to join such a distinguished and dedicated list of predecessors. I wanted to serve the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) in this role to support our association moving forward, but who knew my Presidential year would turn into such an adventure!

Moving forward is key—in the midst of a cultural revolution and a global pandemic, we must face the challenge of evolving while honoring tradition, our core values, and staying true to our mission of supporting our members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. The Association has a new 2020-2023 strategic plan that will provide direction for our work forward.

Our Virtual Storytime Services guide is a perfect example of a commitment to our core values of responsiveness, leadership, and collaboration. We know that libraries everywhere are facing the challenge of adapting in person programs and services to a virtual realm due to COVID-19 and we want to be sure to support these efforts by identifying best practices. Our continuing work on Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth is more vital than ever as we connect kids and content in the digital world.

ALSC has a commitment to diversity and inclusion and acts to promote these values in all aspects of library service. As more BIPOC youth in our communities speak out about fear and injustice ALSC and ALA stand against racism. We are called to act and serve to champion the rights of all people, but especially the most vulnerable children. Outreach and community conversation is essential for this work, and our white paper “Engage, Cultivate, Provide, Assess: An Outreach Model for Service Children and Families” addresses this.

ALSC’s national research agenda explores six priority research areas to explore current needs in the field that might be addressed through research. As we learn more, we will be able to promote excellence in service to children and each other. Maintaining connections will be more challenging as we maintain physical distance for safety, but together we will find ways to reach out and collaborate.

Giving back is something each of us can do and there are many ways to do this, such as:

  • Championing children services every day
  • Volunteering to serve on a committee or task force, where the rubber meets the road in making our Strategic Plan a reality
  • Becoming a Friend of ALSC, so you can help ensure excellence in our traditional programs and services and support growth in new directions as our profession meets the exciting challenges ahead

Thank you all for the opportunity to serve as your president this year. I look forward to our journey together and invite you to reach out to me at kirbyalsc@gmail.com.

Kirby McCurtis

ALSC President, 2020-21