It is my great pleasure to serve as the ALSC President for 2022-23. Through all of my various involvements with ALSC since I began my career, I have seen over and over again two main things: one, how absolutely dedicated ALSC members are to doing work for the benefit of the kids libraries serve; and two, how the work of ALSC really does engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children.
After more than two years of ongoing change, uncertainty, and collective grief, we continue to figure out what it means and looks like to do library work now, and to serve children and families in communities across the continent and beyond. It is my intention to work diligently with fellow member leaders (that’s each and every one of you!) and the dedicated staff at the ALSC Office to ensure libraries and library staff serving children have the resources and support they need to continue their vital work in still-evolving conditions. Whether it’s through dynamic resources like those through ALSC’s #LookToLibraries page, or the recently released toolkit “Learning Beyond: 21st Century Summer and Out of School Time Programs for Youth,” or the ALSC “Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Libraries,” there are tools available for whatever is in front of us.
One of our greatest strengths as an organization comes through connection–all of the ways that members get involved in the work of the association, build relationships with one another, and share what they learn with their home communities. For anyone looking to get more involved in ALSC, there are plenty of opportunities:
- Volunteer for a committee–process committee appointments tend to happen in the spring (with mid-term vacancies filled as they arise), and award committee appointments in the autumn
- Join the Mentorship Program–applications for both mentees and mentors typically open in the autumn, and I personally invite fellow members who’ve had even just a few years in the profession, or just one or two committee appointments, to pay forward your experience and apply to be a mentor
- Engage in learning with ALSC–whether that means seeking support to attend an in-person conference (I’m excited that my presidential year coincides with a National Institute!), registering for an online course, watching a new or archived webinar, or taking in resources from ALSC at your own pace (like the ALSC Blog!), there’s plenty of opportunity to grow knowledge
- Stay in the loop via ALA Connect–lots of messages are shared on the ALSC community space on Connect (log in to access), including notices of upcoming committee virtual meetings (which are generally open to observers!)
A particular tasks for all of us, including the full ALSC Board, during this year of service is updating ALSC’s Strategic Plan. Our plan is a guiding document that helps us to understand the road ahead of us and the opportunities we have to make the most impact for our members, our profession, and our communities. A strong strategic plan is, in a way, like a piece of choral or orchestral music–it includes many voices, many instruments. I look forward to involving as many members as possible in the process of mapping out our journey for the next several years.
I am grateful to have the privilege of serving as your president this year. I look forward to working alongside each of you, and I invite you to reach out to me at email@example.com if ever I can be of support.
(Amy Koester Photo Credit: Meghan White)