Have you ever had the opportunity to take your dream job but then turned it down? I did recently. I turned down an opportunity to be our system’s Early Literacy Librarian, and I’ve been grappling with that choice ever since (hence the above photo). The short story is that I’m switching gears on this blog to focus on school-age programming. Read on for the long version.
Even though I broke my suitcase and got lost way more times than I’d like to admit, I made it safely back to Eugene! Last weekend was full of so many surprises—including some hard truths. Rather than delve too deeply into it all, I’m going to suggest that you take a look at my and other contributors’ guest posts on the ALSC Blog. There was so much coverage of the conference that you’ll almost feel like you were there.
Greetings from Chicago! This is the second time I’ve visited the Windy City for one of the American Library Association’s conferences and I’m really excited because this is the first time I’ve attended as a bonafide librarian. Huzzah! I’m also on two committees this year: the 2017-2018 Rainbow Book List Committee and the 2017-2019 Notable Children’s Digital Media Committee. And, if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I’ve also volunteered to document my conference experience over at the ALSC Blog. Be sure to pop on over there if you’re feeling #alaleftbehind.
Each year since grad school, I’ve tried to take one ALSC/YALSA e-course to keep my librarian skills sharp. This year I’m taking “Building Reflective Collections…Always Teens First” with Julie Stivers (@BespokeLib). I’ve loved the course so far, and I wanted to take a second to share a bit about what we did for one of the assignments.
I co-facilitated a training last Saturday called “Promoting Diversity and Equity Through Children’s Literature.” Representatives from Child Care Resource Network, SMART, and SOESD Early Childhood Services (where I was stationed as an AmeriCorps volunteer 2015-2016) developed this training last June. This was our second time presenting it in Medford, OR. I can’t share everything we talked about, but I’m happy to share my part—which mostly consisted of booktalking some of my favorite diverse reads for the 0-6 audience.
As you should have heard by now—come on, even Cosmo is reporting on it—the current President’s proposed budget cuts include eliminating all funding for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS). I don’t need to tell you what this means. I don’t need to tell you that libraries aren’t dead. I don’t need to tell you to call your representative, or post on social media in resistance. YALSA is already doing that, along with ALSC and ALA. I am so proud to be a member of each of them.
By now, many of you will probably have read the WSJ article about school librarians. Correction: white male school librarians. You’ve probably also seen—and hopefully participated in—book Twitter’s rage about the deliberate erasure of female voices (not to mention voices of color). If so, good. If not, you have work to do.* I’m angry, too. Me, a cis white male, who has been called a “rock star,” “amazing,” or (my favorite) “brave” because I am male in a female-dominated profession. Yes, I’m privileged. But I’m still angry.