Greetings ALSC members, and future members! It is a great pleasure and an honor for me to start this journey with you as the 2021-22 President of ALSC. Remember Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus? I want to invite all members, new and seasoned, to join me on a year-long field trip to learn about the inner workings of ALSC. Seat belts everyone! Navigating through the info-graph created by the 2021 Budget Committee provides a good starting point to learn about the intricacies of ALSC funding and where our moneys go. Then, zig-zag through the lineup of ALSC Process Committees where the volunteers of the numerous Committees implement the objectives in each area of action as delineated in the ALSC Strategic Plan: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Advocacy, and Learning and Development. Take an informational tour to learn about the opportunities available to volunteer as well as for professional development both online and in-person. Finally, zoom through the ALA Offices to wave at the staff and then move on to visit the Friends of ALSC to learn about the many educational opportunities, scholarships, and numerous other areas of support and recognition. And then, on to the Book and Media Awards Committees where all the members are secretly deliberating. And don’t forget to discover the many events and programs planned for the Newbery 100th Anniversary Celebration. As the Magic School Bus lyrics go, “strap your bones right to the seat, come on in and don’t be shy!”
This year, we will have fun as we work together to advance our organization’s core values and vision as outlined in the ALSC 2020-23 Strategic Plan striving to engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all. As the nation recovers from the Pandemic, librarians and library workers across the profession are grappling with its aftereffects while determining its temporary or lasting impact. ALSC, through the work of its many committees, task forces, discussion groups, and its supportive staff provides the national platform to share ideas, to learn from each other’s experiences, to craft new resources, to advocate, and to move forward as we uphold the value of children’s librarianship. I would like to invite children’s librarians and library workers, representatives of all communities, to join the work of ALSC and to contribute with your unique voices and expertise to the national dialog. Only together we are stronger.
I look forward to the great adventure of attending once again, in-person conferences and events such as LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience (LLX) in San Antonio, TX, January 21-24, 2022 and the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, June 23-28, 2022. I also look forward to exploring possibilities of expanding member engagement and participation through innovative hybrid models and virtual learning opportunities. We need everyone’s voice at the table. Now is the time to join ALSC in actively contributing to the ongoing national dialog. Advocacy is now more important than ever before as we experience times of rapid transformations.
I would like to conclude this letter by dedicating my year as President of ALSC to the memory and legacy of Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith (May 2, 1922 – April 21, 2021), recipient of the 2008 ALSC Distinguished Service Award and the 2011 Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in Librarianship. Dr. Smith was my professor and life-long mentor. I want to share her words that will always resonate in my work: “You should attend your professional organizations and you should offer yourself as a presenter and then present something that expands the listeners’ knowledge of your particular field of interest…You’ve got to let people know that the world is a mixed world and you have to keep growing in that sense.”
Lucia M. Gonzalez