Officially Speaking | November 2018

President's Column | Vice President's Column | Thanks to Our Donors! 

ALSC Strategic Activities Continue 

Jamie Campbell Naidoo, ALSC president

ALSC is buzzing with excitement as all our committees are advancing areas of our strategic plan. From advocacy work to learning and development events to diversity and inclusion efforts, we have a lot for which to be proud. If you haven’t had the chance, check out the ALSC blog where committees have been participating in “Children’s Librarian Expert” posts that tie into ALSC’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. These posts highlight work of the committee as well as some of the many roles of children’s librarians. Our competencies provide a framework for ALSC members and those serving children in libraries to be innovators in the field of children’s library services, particularly in areas of access, advocacy, outreach, inclusion, and diversity. You also can write your own “Experts” posts for the blog by contacting Mary Voors, the ALSC blog manager.

At the end of September, the ALSC Institute successfully explored all three areas of our strategic plan in keynote and breakout sessions, sparking numerous invigorating conversations and unforgettable learning opportunities. In October, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee hosted a community forum related to service to refugee and immigrant communities and solicited feedback to help in the committee’s refresh of the Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers: A Toolkit for Librarians and Library Workers. If you have suggestions on specific underserved populations that should be included or other ideas, please send them to the committee chairs, Jason Driver and Erin Lovelace.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) task force has selected ALSC’s inaugural class of Equity Fellows. Via this fellowship program, ALSC affirms its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion by engaging new generations of racially and ethnically diverse library professionals. Recipients of the EDI Fellowships are Eiyana Favers, Ayn Frazee, Evelyn Keolian, Shahrazad "Star" Khan, Sierra McKenzie, and Jocelyn Moore. In similar news, Georgina Rivas-Martinez has been selected as the 2019 ALSC-sponsored Emerging Leader. She has a strong commitment to inclusion and serving diverse communities, which will greatly benefit ALSC, ALA, and the Emerging Leaders Program. Congratulations to all these recipients! If you see our fellows or sponsored Emerging Leader at Midwinter, please take a moment to give each of them a warm ALSC welcome!

Speaking of diversity and inclusion, I am delighted  that several ALA affiliate associations will have their youth awards included in the 2019 Youth Media Awards (YMAs) announcements at Midwinter. These awards will highlight titles selected by the American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). The YMAs are generously sponsored by Baker & Taylor this year as is the Joint Youth Reception that will be held on Monday, January 28, 2019 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. If you are attending Midwinter, I hope you’ll join me in thanking our magnanimous sponsor of these two events! You can stop by their booth in the exhibits hall and thank them in person there or at the reception.

During Midwinter, ALSC is co-sponsoring and/or hosting two events related to diversity and inclusion. The first is the Leadership and ALSC meeting on Saturday, January 26, 8:30 a.m. As part of this meeting, educator and diversity advocate Debbie LeeKeenan is our keynote speaker, discussing “Anti-bias Education and Children’s Literature: Provoking Courageous Conversations.” Her talk will explore how librarians can foster anti-bias environments and spark discussions with children about equity, diversity, inclusion, race relations, etc. Any conference attendee can attend this meeting that focuses on important issues and supporting leadership within ALSC. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet with ALSC priority group consultants, committee chairs, and the board of directors. 

Another event celebrating global diversity is the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) co-sponsored meeting on Friday, January 25, 8:00-10:00 p.m., where USSBY will unveil the 2019 Outstanding International Booklist and highlight the work of author Aida Salazar. Hope to see YOU at these programs! If you aren’t able to attend the Midwinter Meeting, please follow along via the live blogging posts on the ALSC blog.

In January, ALSC staff and I will participate in a leadership forum with the Erikson Institute and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) that will establish an actionable definition of media literacy in early childhood. A practitioner forum will take place later in April. These forums are part of a collaborative partnership that ALSC has committed to with the Erikson Institute on the Building an Alliance for Media Literacy in Early Childhood Informal Learning IMLS project. This funded grant presents an exciting opportunity to convene national stakeholders and practitioners through discussion of media literacy in early childhood. These discussions will lead to the design of media literacy models for young children ages 0–5 and their families that will positively impact the work of librarians as media mentors. ALSC is proud to be a partner, stakeholder, and supporter of this timely and important project that we believe directly impacts our vision of engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children.  

Related to media mentorship, ALSC will have a News You Can Use session at ALA Midwinter on Sunday, January 27, 8:30-10:00 a.m. Panelists Claudia Haines, Liz Mills, Katie Campana, and Marianne Martens will discuss preliminary results from the 2018 Young Children, New Media, and Libraries survey of technology usage with children in libraries. I am also working with various members to plan our next community forum around the topic of digital media. Stay tuned for more information!

From this exciting aforementioned list, you can see that ALSC is moving full steam ahead on our strategic activities. But, we can’t do all these exciting things without the help of our members. I encourage you to check out Vice President Cecilia McGowan’s column below for more information on how to volunteer for the next round of committee appointments.—Jamie Campbell Naidoo, ALSC President

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Our Vital Work Depends on, and Is Possible, Because of You! 

Cecilia McGowanHappy Fall from northeast Washington state where the golden needled larches glow like candles in the midst of firs and pines.  That’s how I see each of you: a welcoming light guiding children, caregivers, and teachers into public and school libraries, as well as parks, community centers, meal sites, and childcares.  You take, and are, the library wherever you go.  

As you are most likely aware, one of the duties and honors of being the ALSC Vice President is to select and appoint ALSC members to committees.  To do this I need your help!  Our committees and task forces are comprised of hundreds of members.  Yes, hundreds.  Every committee member plays a vital role in a committee’s work—work that is accomplished through the passion, advocacy, and plain hard work of each individual.

Speaking of passion, I was fortunate in being able to attend the ALSC Institute in Cincinnati in late September and met hundreds of passionate, excited, and engaged youth-serving staff.  I sure hope some of them volunteer for committees!  Lisa Soper, Institute Planning task force chair, and members, Sam Bloom, Allison Knight, Samantha Lumetta, Amy Schardein, and Cassondra Vick, planned and facilitated a thought-provoking and meaningful array of programs and keynotes.  Many thanks to all of you.  The Institute is a perfect example of the power of ALSC members in accomplishing great things and making an impact.

I know some of you are thinking: What can I do? I don’t have much experience. I don’t know that many people. Where do I start? Good questions all!  The truth of the matter is that we need members from all backgrounds, with various levels of experience, in all types of libraries.  There is a place for you!  

Remember, separately we can accomplish little, but collectively we are a force to be reckoned with!  

Don’t know where to start? Begin at the ALSC Committees page. Listed there are all the committees, task forces, and discussions groups, arranged by priority group. Click on a committee and read the charge and the current members. Committees designated with a ‘v’ are virtual, of which there are many, meaning you can be a member and are not required to attend conferences. These committees meet virtually to accomplish their tasks. 

Another great resource for getting acclimated to ALSC’s structure and work flow is What Does That ALSC Committee Do?  

And don’t forget to talk to colleagues or members in your community who have served on committees. They, too, are a great resource. If you are attending Midwinter in Seattle, consider attending Leadership & ALSC and the All Committee Meeting. Both are great places to talk with members, chairs, and priority group consultants about committee work.  

Also, at the bottom of the Committees page, there are links to the committee volunteer form and details about the appointments process—so much great information there. You can’t be appointed to a committee if you don’t fill out a volunteer form; so read over the information and send in your form!

Before I sign off, I have some exciting Midwinter news to share.  An ALSC-sponsored News You Can Use session will take place on Sunday, January 27, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.:


And the Survey Says…: Preliminary Results from the 2018 Young Children, New Media, and Libraries Survey of Technology Use in Today’s Libraries

Claudia Haines, Homer Public Library; Liz Mills, PhD Candidate, Beverly Cleary Research Assistant, University of Washington; Kathleen Campana, Assistant Professor, Kent State University; Marianne Martens, Assistant Professor, Kent State University
ALSC’s first national survey of libraries and new media, administered in 2014, demonstrated a strong commitment among libraries to providing a range of technology for families with young children. An updated and expanded 2018 survey mined exciting results that provide compelling, widespread insights into the changes in this still largely uncharted and disparate landscape. Join us to learn about the preliminary findings and discuss how your library is using new media in programming.    


Thank you!  Let’s work together to continue ALSC’s great work.—Cecilia McGowan, ALSC Vice-President

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Thank You to Our Donors 

Friends of ALSC logoMany thanks to the following generous contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit our website.

Gold Circle

David Mowery

Notables Circle

Steven Herb
Marianne Martens
Cecilia McGowan
Ellen Riordan
Vicky Smith
Mary Voors
Caroline Ward

Friends Circle

Ramona Caponegro
Anne Dayanandan
Julie Dietzel-Glair
Elisa Gall
Africa Hands
Sujei Lugo
Beatriz Wallace

ALSC extends a hearty thank you to all of our 2018 donors whose generous contributions helped carry ALSC through another dynamic year. Look for the 2018 Friends of ALSC report coming next month, which will highlight the many projects and scholarships supported by our Friends. Find Friends reports from previous years on our website. 

We are committed to achieving even greater impact in 2019 and hope you will consider supporting ALSC on #GivingTuesday later this month on November 27. 

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