Past Conferences

2018 ALA Annual Conference
June 21 - 26, 2018 | New Orleans, LA

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: Considering All Children: A New Ideal in Evaluating and Engaging around Books for Youth

Awards, best-of-the-year lists and reviews focus on "quality" and "excellence" in literature for youth, but what do “quality” and “excellence” really mean in the canon of American literature for children? Who is deciding which books stand out? How are some critics and some children privileged in our field’s thinking? How are some dismissed or made invisible? What does “American literature for children” even mean?  A panel of educator/activists and book creators challenged attendees to confront our biases as they explored common assumptions and current discourse, and considered what it would look like if we truly considered all children as we evaluate books and single out titles for distinction both within and beyond ALSC.


2017 ALA Annual Conference
June 22 - 27, 2017 | Chicago, IL

Preconference: Perceive. Rise. Engage: Celebrate the 2017 ALSC Honor Books

Attendees joined in conversation with authors, illustrators, and publishers as we celebrated and explored the 2017 Batchelder, Caldecott, Geisel, Newbery, Pura Belpré, and Sibert Honor Books.

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: Plugging into the Digital Age: Libraries Engaging and Supporting Families with Today’s Literac

Digital technology impacts all areas of life: brain development, learning styles, and interpersonal relationships.  Experts in the field gathered to present the latest research on digital-age technology and its relationship to childhood development and childhood literacy.  This panel featured Chip Donohue from the Erikson Institute and Sarah R. Lytle from the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, who presented the latest research in this area of study.  Lisa Regalla from the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum discussed practical ways to implement this information in our libraries & services. This program provided attendees with innovative ways for librarians to enhance their professional development and grow into their role as media mentors for children and caregivers.


2016 ALA Annual Conference
June 23 - 28, 2016 | Orlando, FL

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: Libraries: The Space to Be

The 2016 ALSC President's Program focused on one of the most transformative services libraries provide children: that of place, whether size and budget allow for a single bulletin board or thousands of futuristic square feet. As places where stories and imagination come to life in an engaging environment, Orlando’s theme parks are unrivaled in the world, and the keynote address was given by Marty Sklar, former president of Walt Disney Imagineering, and the man behind the creative development of EPCOT and design supervisor for Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, among many other magical spaces. Following his inspiration, attendees heard from the Center for Childhood Creativity; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Richland Library; and Clemson University on how child development, architecture, and stories all work together to create spaces that are vital to children and the communities that support them. The program also featured an interactive show-and-tell of inspiring libraries from across the globe. 


2015 ALA Annual Conference
June 26 - 30, 2015 | San Francisco, CA

Preconference: Distinguished and Diverse: Celebrate the 2015 ALSC Honor Books

The 2015 Honor Book recipients for the Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Pura Belpré, Sibert and Geisel awards got their moment in the sun (or San Francisco fog) as we honored them, and the history and tradition of ALSC Honor Books and their creators.

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: More to the Core: From the Craft of Nonfiction to the Expertise in the Stacks

Awarding winning author and illustrator Melissa Sweet and literacy advocate Judy Cheatham, VP of Literacy Services at Reading is Fundamental, shared the stage to present an informing and inspiring look at the creation of excellent nonfiction and the matchmaking of great books and kids who need them. Libraries’ role in innovative implementation of programs and services to support the Common Core Standards is a central skill and an important contribution to the communities we serve.  Even if CCS isn’t a part of your educational landscape, great nonfiction books – how they are created and ways to connect them to children and families is central to our craft and critical to our ability to collaborate with our communities.


2014 ALA Annual Conference
June 26 - July 1, 2014 | Las Vegas, NV

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: The Ripple Effect: Library Partnerships that Positively Impact Children, Families, Communities, and Beyond

At the 2014 ALSC President's Program, attendees were inspired to create meaningful partnerships in libraries!  They learned how library and community collaborations can be the nexus of support for children and families.  Amy Dickinson, syndicated advice columnist, inspired us with the keynote address.  Shespoke about her collaboration with the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca, New York to launch the campaign "A Book in Every Bed," that then sparked a national movement. Anna McQuinn, author of Lola at the Library, brought an international perspective to our proceedings and spoke of her work in the United Kingdom with young children and their families. The program concluded with a panel of librarians from across the country discussing their innovative partnerships that support children and families.  Attendees discovered together how community collaborations can create change that ripples out to strengthen families, communities, and beyond.

2013 ALA Annual Conference
June 27 - July 2, 2013 | Chicago, IL


This exciting preconference, A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal, took attendees on a wild ride through the past, present and future of award-winning children’s book art. This stimulating program was held at the Art Institute of Chicago, and celebrated 75 years of the Randolph Caldecott Medal.  Attendees learned first hand about the creative process from an array of Caldecott winners, editors, art directors, and production managers.  The preconference also featured engaging small focus groups and interactive, critical discussions of Caldecott medal books throughout the years.

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: Think with Your Eyes!

Think with your Eyes! concluded our year-long Caldecott celebration by experiencing a powerful method of engaging with pictures—and then explored the value of using the technique with children. Whether the images are masterpieces on a museum wall, part of a picture book narrative, or photographs and charts in a science text, understanding and appreciating what we see is a skill that can be developed. In part one of the program, Oren Slozberg, Senior Trainer/Recent Executive Director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), invited audience participation as he introduced the process. This method has proven to be highly effective in public libraries and schools in developing observation skills, critical thinking, and civil discourse--powerful habits of mind across the curriculum and throughout life. 

In part two, library and museum partners demonstrated how collaboration adds up to more than the sum of its parts in supporting visual literacy. Discussions explored using VTS across the curriculum while another focused on the national movement to turn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives and funding into STEAM by adding Art!  
This program offered the latest research and replicable models supporting the value of training children’s eyes and minds to observe, think, create, and innovate. Handouts are available on the ALSC President's Program page in the ALA Conference Scheduler.




For program information and handouts from past conferences prior to 2013, please contact the ALSC office.