Journal #3: Professional Associations

I want to focus on library services for children and young adults, whether in the school system or in a public library.  The two associations I have joined and which I will write about are divisions of the American Library Association (ALA).  The first is The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the second is the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).  There is a third division within ALA that I am interested in, but have yet to join, the American Association of School Librarians.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

Mission Statement:  I couldn’t find a specific mission statement for ALSC.  The search came up with the mission statement for ALA.  But they mention innovation, continuing education and advocating for children.  I think all of those are excellent goals.

Membership Benefits:  Professional development opportunities, such as online courses, webinars and conferences.  Scholarship opportunities.  Discussion forums.  Discounts on professional products.  Subscription to ALCS’s journal and newsletter.

Publications: primary publication is Children & Libraries, which is published 3 times per year.

Activities: ALSC gives out the Newberry & Caldecott Awards as well as many other awards.

Social Media: Facebook and Twitter

The ALSC website is extensive.  There is so much to learn and explore – it’s actually a bit overwhelming!  A few of my favorite things…

  • Booklists – They have booklists in so many different subjects, genres and interests.  Some examples include books about tragedy, graphic novels and a list for reluctant readers.
  • Great Websites for Kids – ALSC sponsors a site that curates and categorizes websites.  What an amazing resource for parents, educators and children’s librarians!
  • ALSC blog – I’ve added this to my daily reading list.  The entries are typically brief but very informative.  A good way to learn about all that ALSC has to offer.  (And I think that the ALSC blog might use the same WordPress template that I use!  Fun coincidence!)
  • ALSC wiki – A wealth of information about the history, structure, resources and committees of ALSC.  A good one-stop-shop to find out background information.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

mission statement:  Unlike ALSC, YALSA has a mission statement that is distinct from the ALA’s mission statement.  Here it is, copied from their website.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens.

The Young Adult Library Services Association:

  • Advocates the young adult’s right to free and equal access to materials and services, and assists librarians in handling problems of such access.

  • Evaluates and promotes materials of interest to adolescents through special services, programs and publications, except for those materials designed specifically for curriculum use (as per ALA Council directive).

  • Identifies research needs related to young adult service and communicates those needs to the library academic community in order to activate research projects.

  • Stimulates and promotes the development of librarians and other staff working with young adults through formal and continuing education.

  • Stimulates and promotes the expansion of young adult service among professional associations and agencies at all levels.

  • Represents the interests of librarians and staff working with young adults to all relevant agencies, governmental or private, and industries that serve young adults as clients or consumers.

  • Creates and maintains communication links with other units of ALA whose developments affect service to young adults.

Membership Benefits:  Professional development opportunities, such as online courses, webinars and conferences.  Scholarship opportunities.  Discussion forums.  Discounts on professional products.  Subscription to YALSA’s journal, YALS, and a monthly e-newsletter.

Publications:  YALS is YALSA’s journal.

Activities:  YALSA gives out the Printz, Morris, Edwards and Alex awards.

Social Media: Facebook and Twitter

I actually found out about YALSA through an app.  They have one called “Teen Book Finder.”  Last summer, I started a book club & we only read YA lit so I was looking in all sorts of places for YA related stuff.

Their website, like ALSC’s, is extensive and somewhat overwhelming.  A few of my favorite YALSA things are…


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