I am honored to serve as your ALSC president! We have an exciting year ahead of us. A year that will inevitably see changes such as expansions of award committees, additions of taskforces, opportunities to engage in training around cultural humility, and inclusion of additional awards at the Youth Media Awards (YMA) announcements in January. I hope you’ll join ALSC leadership as we continue to engage in conversations about Doing ALA Differently, and invite you to think in new ways to ensure we are creating an association that truly supports equity, diversity, and inclusion of all.
Speaking of engagement, ALSC members have been very active since ALA Annual. Below are just a few recent activities as well as a few upcoming ones that give you the opportunity to get involved with ALSC.
New Year, New Committees
Many of our committee appointments begin in July of each year (exceptions being award and media committees, Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory committee, Distinguished Service Award committee, and Arbuthnot Honor Lecture committee). At the end of ALA Annual in New Orleans, numerous ALSC members started work in their new appointments as members or chairs on process committees, as Priority Group Consultants, and as new board members. Our committees, task forces, and board are all doing exciting work. You can read more about some of this work in my recent posts on the ALSC blog: Moving Full Steam Ahead: One Committee at a Time and A Hive of Activity: Board Updates, Committees, and Volunteers.
During Annual, the ALSC Board reviewed progress on our Strategic Plan, taking note of areas that had not been met. We created a list of committees that could be asked to help us meet these areas. I have been reaching out to them over the past month and will continue with more targeted asks for help during the fall.
Graphic Novel Consideration Task Force
The ALSC Board also decided to create a Graphic Novel Consideration Task Force. The charge of the new task force is to examine the Newbery, Caldecott, and other book awards’ manuals in order to address how graphic novels should be considered within the context of each award’s terms and criteria. The task force also will write sections for the “expanded definitions and examples” sections of the Newbery and Caldecott manuals--and for other award manuals if deemed necessary--that address graphic novels. Currently I am making appointments to this task force.
ALSC Institute – Sold Out!
In late September, many of our members will join together over three days at the ALSC Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. We’ll be exploring the conference theme “All Aboard! Embracing Advocacy & Inclusion” via exciting breakout sessions, exhilarating keynotes, and unforgettable networking connections. Not able to make the Institute? You still can stay connected via social media. Check out the many ways to do this on the Institute's ALSC Connection page.
Generally, four times a year, we host an online community forum to discuss a pressing topic or issue influencing our members. The forum gives us a “deep dive” for an hour to learn how some libraries are addressing a topic in their library. The Community Forum has also been used as a way to discuss big questions within ALA.
We’ve used various software platforms for this in the past, with the last forum held via Zoom. Currently the ALSC Board is brainstorming topics to provide opportunities for us to be responsive to our member needs. Stay tuned for more information on our next community forum topic and date!
This is just a quick snapshot in the current life of our association. I am looking forward to engaging with you in this work over the next year. You can find out a bit more about me and my vision for ALSC work on the President's webpage. If you have any suggestions on ways we can be more responsive to member needs, I’d love to hear from you!—Jamie Campbell Naidoo, 2018-2019 ALSC President
A complete list of AC18 Council documents and actions are available online. In addition, below is a summary of the Council work that may be of special interest to ALSC members and library workers serving youth.
The following two resolutions, endorsed by the ALSC Board of Directors in June, were adopted by ALA Council.
Resolution to Honor African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation, which read: “Resolved, That the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:
1. Acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity of racially segregated libraries;
2. Apologizes to African Americans for wrongs committed against them in segregated public libraries;
3. Commends African Americans who risked their lives to integrate public libraries for their bravery and courage in challenging segregation in public libraries and in forcing public libraries to live up to the rhetoric of their ideals;
4. Welcomes all African Americans to libraries, recognizing in particular those who were forced to use segregated libraries;
5. Encourages libraries to defend, in their policies and in their actions, the ALA Code of Ethics principle 1 – “We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests;” and
6. Will review policy documents and internal procedures to ensure Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) principles are reflected throughout; and be it further resolved that this resolution be printed in full in American Libraries and publicized widely via all media channels.”
Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents, which read: “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1. Reaffirms the “Resolution in Support of Immigrant Rights” (2006-2007 CD #20.2);
2. Reaffirms the “Resolution on Improving Access to Spanish, Bilingual, and Books in Various Languages for Children in Detention Centers” (2015-2016 CD#38);
3. Calls on federal agencies to ensure that documentation of children and families is sufficient for the seamless reunification of families or their legal guardians;
4. Requests that the U.S. government honor the UN General Assembly resolution 429(V) of December 14, 1950, regarding the legal status of refugees; and
5. Urges its members to contact their elected officials at all levels to express their continuing concern regarding the criminalization and separation of refugee families at the border.”
Graphic Novels and Comics. Council voted to establish a Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table under Article 7 of the ALA Bylaws. The new Round Table’s aim will be “to foster critical thinking and advocacy through member engagement and collaboration across the association. Members will encourage the incorporation of comic books and graphic novels in library services, programming, and collections for libraries of all types through efforts including organizing professional development opportunities, creating resources, and promoting community outreach.”
Council Election Results. The following Council members were elected to the 2018-2019 Council Committee on Committees: Oscar Baeza, Latrice Booker, Raymond Pun, Dora T. Ho, Jack Martin, Jr., Erica S. Findley, Louis Munoz, Jr., and Jules Shore. The following were elected to the 2018-2019 Planning and Budget Assembly/Councilor-at-Large Representatives: Nicolas (Nick) H. Buron, Elissia Buell, Kyla M. Johnson, Larry P. Neal, Dorcas Hand, and Jahala D. Simuel. Elected to the 2018-2019 Planning and Budget Assembly/Chapter Representatives were: Andrew Wertheimer, Micki Dietrich, Lynda M. Kellam, and Charlotte L. Canelli.
Memorials and Tributes. Memorial resolutions were adopted in honor of Herbert (Herb) Biblo, Heather Lanier, John Byrum, Mary Lynette Larsgaard, Bernard (Bernie) A. Margolis, deg farrelly, Krista McKenzie, and Stephanie Squicciarini. Find links to more information about each individual on the Council Documents page under the Memorials subheading.
Tribute resolutions were adopted, honoring the 50th ALA anniversary of Lois Ann Gregory-Wood; honoring Pat May upon her retirement; and thanking Donald (Don) E. Wood for his service to ALA and ALA Chapters. Find links to more information about each tribute on the Council Documents page under the Tributes subheading
Resolution on Gender Inclusive Bathrooms. After much discussion in both Council Forum and during the Council III Meeting, the following resolution was adopted by ALA Council:
Resolution on Gender Inclusive Bathrooms at ALA Conferences and Meetings, which read: “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1. Requests that GLBTRT work with ALA to provide a sufficient mix of gender inclusive and gender specific bathrooms; and
2. Requires that convention center staff honor ALA policies regarding gender-inclusive facilities and requests that all attendees be treated with dignity and respect.”
ALSC sincerely thanks our Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet sponsors. We hope everyone had a memorable evening!
HarperCollins Children's Books
Penguin Young Readers Group
Simon & Schuster
Children's Plus, Inc.
Disney Book Group
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
HarperCollins Children's Books
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Random House Children's Books
Many thanks to the following generous contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit our website.