Officially Speaking | June 2013
When I graduated from England (Arkansas) High School in 1976 as a bicentennial graduate, our class motto was the phrase that follows the colon in the title above. That year, I was president of my senior class of 66 students as we wore regalia depicting the red, white, and blue of our country’s anniversary celebration and carried the peppermint carnation as our class flower. That motto has remained special over the years and I have it in calligraphy in my office.
This past year is certainly one that I will always look back on with pride of all that ALSC has accomplished. What we have all accomplished together. And, I certainly look forward to what is to come as we continue the good work of creating a better future for children through libraries.
To reflect back with lots of detail(!), I would like to draw your attention to an annual occurrence--in the final weeks of service as ALSC president, the president submits an annual report to the American Library Association that highlights the division’s special activities and accomplishments that have occurred over the past year. This report is shared with the ALA Executive Board and distributed to ALA Council at Annual Conference. The report is largely prepared for our organization by the skillful and savvy members of the ALSC staff. The 2012-2013 report is a lengthy document that will be available to you online at http://www.ala.org/alsc/aboutalsc/governance/presannualrpt shortly before the annual conference in Chicago begins.
Our report will include information on many key areas of accomplishment and steadfastness including: Membership, Professional Awards and Scholarships, Literary & Related Awards, Initiatives, Projects and Partnerships, Publications and Communications, ALSC Events and Continuing Education, Board Actions, ALSC Finances, and Moving into the Future.
As my final President’s column in ALSC Matters!, I thought I would share with you the final section of our ALSC annual report titled Moving into the Future.
Moving into the Future
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is dedicated to creating a better future for children through libraries. The focus on excellence in library service to children, tweens, their families, and caregivers can provide the catalyst to change young people’s lives as they strive to achieve their very best.
Together as professionals we are the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to young people, which is comprised of children's and youth librarians, youth literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and others who are dedicated to better library services and resources for all children. Our membership is vibrant, energetic, knowledgeable, and dedicated.
We will work together to move the association forward by meeting the goals and objectives of our 2012-2017 ALSC Strategic Plan (http://www.ala.org/alsc/aboutalsc/stratplan). At the same time, we will maintain constant focus on our core values of collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity and respect, leadership, and responsiveness. With the assistance of our highly professional ALSC staff we have the support and association expertise to help move our initiatives forward.
We will continue to strengthen our connections with communities by providing our ALSC membership with creative ideas that enhance children’s learning and reading experiences; encourage the use of innovative technologies and creative applications by library professionals and the families we serve; foster cutting-edge ways to learn, participate, and network as advocates for children; and develop mentoring arenas so that current, dedicated leaders can help our forthcoming professionals.
We will plan to continue enhancement of member communication, engagement, and transparency through community forums, print and electronic publications, and social network venues. Engagement with members through virtual committee work and continuing education endeavors will continue to offer new opportunities and new learning experiences. ALSC launched a new website in May of this year titled “Everyday Advocacy” (http://www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy/), a “go-to” site with advocacy information and tips for youth services librarians and others who seek to advocate for children and libraries. We plan to continue to enhance and develop this site as a place for members and advocates to share library and community stories and to read the inspirational stories of others.
We will honor, through awards and celebrations, the successes of others. Our book, media, and professional awards recognize and celebrate excellence--an important aspect of our association’s efforts. For example, this past year we celebrated the Caldecott Medal’s 75th anniversary through many special events and activities that culminate with the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27-July 2, 2013.
ALSC has an historic tradition and commitment of building diverse communities of service and practice for children and their families through the library, in the home, out into the world, and into the future. We look forward to a future where libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them.
I hope that you will turn to the 2012-2013 ALSC President’s report and read of the accomplishments of so many. I thank you for your support this past year, while I served as your ALSC President; it was truly an honor to hold this office and have the opportunity to meet and work with so many of you. We accomplished much this past year and it was truly memorable in so many ways.—Carolyn S. Brodie, ALSC President
Working Together: The Power of Partnerships
Where would Frog be without Toad? George without Martha? Elephant without Piggie? That ponderous polar bear without the gregarious goose? Harry, Hermione, and Ron without one another?* And where would we youth services librarians be without support and inspiration from our colleagues and collaborators pursuing exemplary service to children and families?
Just as interaction in the literary relationships cited above adds richness and texture to character and story line, professional partnerships form a multi-layered foundation for fully serving children and families. Collaboration is a cornerstone of ALSC. It is the first item listed in the core values of our strategic plan, and there is an entire priority group of committees assigned to partnerships. We recognize that working together with others who serve children increases our effectiveness exponentially.
To demonstrate the dynamic power of partnerships, Brigid Hubberman, executive director of the Family Reading Partnership (FRP) of Tompkins County, will present at the Leadership & ALSC session at the Annual Conference in Chicago. The FRP is a grassroots organization that has partnered with schools, the business community, health care providers, social service agencies, and others to create a culture of literacy, “one book, one child, one family at a time” for the past 15 years. Their efforts have been an inspiration to communities around the country and have been heralded as a model by experts in the field. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting on Saturday, June 29, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Sheraton, Sheraton Ballrooms 2 & 3.
ALSC 101 is another fine forum for meeting up with fellow collaborators. Learn the ins and outs of ALSC, how to get the most out of conference, meet members and mentors, and (possibly) win fabulous prizes. I look forward to seeing you there Saturday, June 29, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at McCormick Place, Hall A, Meeting Room A. If you still have questions about which committee to join, drop by the All-Committee meeting Sunday, June 30, 8:30-11:30 a.m., at the Sheraton in Sheraton Ballroom 5 and Chicago Ballroom 6. Members are welcome to sit in on any committee there and discover the fine work these collaborations accomplish. Finally, be sure to attend the ALSC Membership Meeting, Monday, July 1, 10:30-11:30 a.m, McCormick Place-S502, for the latest updates regarding the work of the organization and recognition of new members.
As we continue our time-honored collaborations with our natural partners in AASL, PLA, and YALSA, we have expanded our external relationships to embrace productive partnerships with other groups detailed at http://www.ala.org/alsc/externalrelationships to provide additional resources to our members and their clientele.
The most effective partnership of all, however, is comprised of ALSC members. As an ALSC member, you know that the collective expertise, energy, and commitment of the membership achieve the greatest accomplishments, from awards to Quicklists. Together we all contribute through committee work, online discussion, social networks, and community forums. For those who are not able to attend conference, ALSC has expanded opportunities through which they can communicate and collaborate, via our online communities, in mutual support of our common goal of creating a better future for children through libraries. Please subscribe to an electronic discussion list, beginning with ALSC-L, which provides an opportunity to converse among your peers, and both give and receive advice and recommendations. Instructions for subscription and a list of other EDLs are available at http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/alsc20/alscdisclist. Webinars provide quality professional development opportunities, while community forums offer real-time interaction with colleagues across the country and are archived for those who are engaged elsewhere during that time. Notices of both are publicized on ALSC-L. The ALSC Blog at http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/ features fascinating guest posts on a vast range of topics by front-line librarians and other experts. Please consider becoming an author as well as regular reader. Additional links to ALSC social networks are found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/alsc20.
I hope to see you, my splendid friends and fellow collaborators, in Chicago. Please look for me and say “Howdy, Partner”. And if you aren’t at conference, feel free to drop me a line via email with your thoughts and wishes for the coming year. I’m looking forward to working with you.—Starr LaTronica, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect
Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors
Many thanks to the following contributors to ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.
Friends of ALSC