Officially Speaking | September 2013
- Children and Libraries and ALSC Matters! publish features on research and practical application for enhancing service to children and families.
- The division’s general electronic discussion list, ALSC-L, provides an opportunity to seek timely input from colleagues around the country for programming ideas, advice on equipment purchases, assistance in putting a specific author or title to a vague description or detail of a book from a patron’s past, or any other issue that requires quick but thoughtful consultation with colleagues. To delve deeper, specialized lists on a multitude of subjects such as advocacy, storytelling, board activity, and public/school library cooperation are listed at http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/alsc20/alscdisclist.
- The ALSC Blog, available at http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/, is a virtual space for fellow professionals to contribute and consume information and ideas related to the field. Topics that range from “Subversive Storytimes” to censorship, to reorganizing the collection—and the comments generated can be as substantive as the posts.
- Community Forums encourage members to interact in real time around an issue, often hosted in concert with Board members and an ALSC committee. In August, we explored ways to assess and curate apps for children, with discussion questions posed by the Children and Technology Committee. The Liaisons with National Organizations will co-host sessions on pursuing productive partnerships later this fall. Please join us, and it’s okay to just “listen.”
- Live Twitter chats with a predetermined focus occur monthly on subjects that span from Common Core to legal issues surrounding children’s libraries. Watch ALSC-L for announcements of upcoming topics
- Everyday Advocacy is a recent addition to the ALSC communication collection, http://www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy/. This dynamic website offers tips on advocating for children and libraries, with an option for adding your success stories to inspire others.
Council Report - 2013 Annual Conference
Greetings, everyone! I’m happy to share with you the following information from the ALA Council meetings held during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, where I was proud, as always, to represent ALSC.
- Attendance at Annual Conference was 26,362, an impressive 23% increase over the previous two annuals in Anaheim and New Orleans.
- Outgoing ALA Treasurer Jim Neal reported a projected deficit of $1.9 million in the overall ALA General Fund, with Fiscal Year 2013 revenues (as of 5/31) 12.2% under budget and expenses reduced by 11.3% . However, ALA divisions, such as ALSC, are in a “good financial state” and, in fact, ALSC President Starr LaTronica reported during our August Community Forums that ALSC finances are “robust and secure.” (Divisions will see an effect from the General Fund deficit, though, because we do receive support from many General Fund offices, such as the Public Information Office, ALA Publishing, and others.)
- Council received an update from the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, the fine folks who are continuing their work on the e-book front, who reported that all Big 6 (which have subsequently become Big 5) publishers are now lending to libraries in at least some way, which means the industry’s e-book status is “improved, [but] not yet good.”
- Council heard reports from the very active ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Committee on Legislation, and the Freedom to Read Foundation (which was commended for defending the right to videogames in libraries), all of which are continually working to support the work of ALA and its members. Patron privacy is a key belief in new text approved as ALA Policy urging “all libraries that implement self-service holds to protect patron identity” (ALA Policy Manual B.18.104.22.168).
- Council passed resolutions supporting “Library Service to the Community in a Disaster” and also called on “libraries of all types to make basic literacy a high priority by incorporating literacy initiatives into programs and services for all users.” A resolution stating that ALA “refrains from having public prayers during its meetings” was adopted and another calling on ALA’s endowment trustees to “begin divesting in the fossil fuel industry” was defeated.
- The complete list of 2013 ALA Annual Conference Council actions is available online.
Thank You to Our Latest Friends
Many thanks to the following contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support the association and its work, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.
Cynthia K. Richey