President's Column | 2022 ALSC Election |Congrats to Our Silver Anniversary Members! | Thank You to Our Friends
A Refreshing Mindset: The Show Will Go On!
As I write this column, plans for the in-person 2022 ALA Annual Conference are churning away. I can almost feel the excitement of spotting in the distance the familiar faces of colleagues from across the country, the joy of catching up with friends I haven’t seen in years, and the simple pleasure of attending a program and giving the presenters my undivided attention, because I can’t mute them or turn off my camera and disappear from their sight. While plans for in-person events take momentum and shape, we can’t ignore the barriers to access that the shift to virtual format helped break down, so strategies for virtual access will continue to play a key role as we plan for this year’s conference and for future events.
Throughout the past two years, since the start of the pandemic, ALSC staff have demonstrated great flexibility and creativity for transitioning events and organizational business to virtual format. The virtual Youth Media Awards announcements, for example, were brilliantly orchestrated to convey the excitement and relevance of the occasion. The mindset has been and continues to be that, in-person or virtually, “the show will go on.”
The virtual format of programs and meetings has transformed the organization by making participation more accessible and inclusive. It makes it possible for those who don’t have the financial backing of their institutions for traveling to get involved in committee work, to attend programs and trainings, and to network with children’s professionals from all over the country.
Now that most ALSC committees conduct their meetings virtually, the financial burden of the cost of travel is one less roadblock to access and participation. As a result, I expect to see an expansion in the number of volunteers and the backgrounds and communities they represent. Greater diversity in the volunteer base is crucial in order to make sure ALSC committees are truly a reflection of the many cultural and ethnic backgrounds our libraries serve.
ALSC is volunteer powered, and volunteers are the face and the soul of ALSC. There are many ways to be engaged, lots of fronts to cover, numerous opportunities to network, to influence, to mentor, or to be a mentee. I encourage all of you to become a change effecter by volunteering to serve on one of ALSC’s nearly 60 committees, task forces, and discussion groups.
Here is how it works: The Vice-President/President-Elect begins making process committee appointments in February/March. In August/September, after being seated as President, they will then begin filling fall appointments that are most of the ALSC Awards Committees. It is a long and very involved process that, in my opinion, represents the life-line of the organization, because volunteers are the ones moving the organization forward and making things happen.
One other important way to effect change is to participate in the upcoming ALA elections. Check out the ALSC Ballot, elect your candidates, and vote on the proposed measures including changes to the ALSC Bylaws intended to simplify processes and focus on leadership development.
In person or virtually, I hope to meet and greet everyone this summer at the 2022 Annual Conference of ALA in Washington DC and in the fall at the 2022 ALSC National Institute in Kansas City. Whether our conversations are face-to-face or through a screen, I look forward to learning directly from our incredible members, hearing your ideas, and finding new ways to improve library services for children throughout the nation.—Lucia M. Gonzalez, 2021-22 ALSC President
Voting Opens March 14
Voting is a vital benefit of ALSC membership. The 2022 election will determine four key leadership positions within ALSC: president, fiscal officer, new-to-ALSC board member, and one general board member. The full slate is available on the website. For more information on the election in general, please see the ALSC 2022 election page.
The ALSC ballot also will include two proposed bylaws amendments for member consideration. For complete information regarding the proposed changes, please visit the ALSC elections webpage.
Honoring Our Silver Anniversary Members
Congratulations to the following individuals who reached 25 years of ALSC membership in 2021. We appreciate your commitment to the association and profession. A silver anniversary member is recognized in the ALSC Voices section of each issue of ALSC Matters.
Zahra M. Baird
Catherine H. Chesher
Peg W. Ciszek
Marian L. Creamer
Veronica De Fazio
Christina H. Dorr
Nancy A. Eames
Doris J. Gebel
Robin L. Gibson - Meet Robin in the ALSC Voices section!
Carol R. Goldman
Susan C. Griffith
Jos N. Holman
Donna J. Hughes
Laura M. Jenkins
Jennifer S. Knisely
Lisa M. LaQuay
Dennis J. LeLoup
Susan Dove Lempke
Katherine M. Nafz
Maren C. Ostergard
Martha V. Parravano
Molly O'Donoghue Schaaf
Stan F. Steiner
Thank You to Our Friends
Many thanks to the following generous contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit our website.
Gold Circle - $500 - $999
Silver Circle - $250 to $499
Notables Circle - $100 to $249
Tori Ann Ogawa
Friends Circle - up to $99
Miriam Lang Budin