Tag Archives: conferences

Response to Anne Ursu’s Piece on “Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry”

12 Feb

Last week, children and young adult author, Anne Ursu, published a piece on Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry and it’s had people talking all weekend long about what can be done, what should be done and a call to action from authors, illustrators, bloggers and librarians to make it known that this type of behavior is unwelcome, unwanted, and unequivocally wrong in our industry.

I’m not a confrontational blogger, for the most part, I try to promote the books I like and be respectful of books that weren’t my favorite or didn’t work for me. But, in the past year or so, I’ve been thinking more and more about the platform I have and where I stand. And although it’s never going to get crazy here, it is going to get real and my posts will reflect the world we live in today, whether that’s creating a booklist for kids who have immigrated to the U.S., a list of books that show diversity in its’ many forms, or standing up for what I believe in, while being conscientious and respectful.

After reading the piece, I have to say that it’s not surprising, which in and of itself is a sad statement – that I expected that this happened, and that I just didn’t know the details. But, what makes me more sad, angry, upset, and frustrated is for all the people who have been sexually harassed who feel helpless. What a horrible feeling to have and then realizing that even if you did say something, nothing might come of it.

So where do we, the children’s book industry, and we as a nation go from here? This behavior, sadly, is not going to change overnight and I think, as many have pointed out, that it is time for the innocent bystander to take a stand and become an ally – to speak up when a casually sexual comment is made and say outright, that the type of talk/behavior is not acceptable. If someone is doing or saying something that you don’t like or is unwanted attention, speak up – be straightforward and make sure the other person understands that “no means no.” We need conferences, workshops, and conventions to have a strict sexual harassment policy in place and that when a complaint is filed, it follows procedure every time – no matter who it’s against. People in power need to learn that this is not the way they stay in power, that this is far from unacceptable and that there will be consequences.

If you want to learn more about the conversation happening, check out Gwenda Bond‘s tweets as well as Shannon Hale‘s, among so many others ready to stand up for what is right and just and good. The children’s book industry, although we want to believe is all sunshines, rainbows, and unicorns, is just like other industries and I think it’s important to remember to be realistic, but to also be hopeful that we have the power to make a change.

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ALA Annual Conference (and what you can do when you’re stuck at home!)

24 Jun

This week Chicago hosts the ALA Annual Conference where librarians from across the country will come together for networking, continuing education and the chance to meet authors and illustrators while learning about upcoming new releases. And as much as I love traveling to the ALA Annual Conference sometimes it’s just not feasible. So what can you do if you’re #ALALeftBeind?

There are amazing continuing education opportunities that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to participate in.  Check out WebJunction – a website built specifically for library training including self-paced courses as well as webinars across a wide-range of topics that librarians face.

If you can’t make it to the Annual Conference, check out ALA Online Learning many of ALA’s divisions host online learning on a variety of topics that interest librarians in all fields.

You can also check out state associations and local chapters who often have day-long workshops or conference based around a specific topic. These are most often more affordable and easier to get to.

And don’t forget to check out universities who often have continuing education opportunities. I’ve taken a class from the School of Library & Information Studies through the University of Wisconsin-Madison which I really enjoyed and they have a number of online courses they offer each semester at a low cost.

So even if you can’t make it to the ALA Annual Conference, don’t despair – there are plenty of other places to go to continue your education. It’s also important to attend continuing education opportunities for the networking aspect. Although I’m an introvert, it’s always refreshing to be around other librarians where I can bounce ideas off them and talk about library issues without having explaining it – they just get it. And that’s what I like most about this career, I am continually learning something new and it’s amazing.

Why I Attend Conferences

6 Oct

I love to learn. That’s the simple answer, I love learning about what other librarians are doing in programming, about new books, and new library trends. The deeper answer is that I enjoy being around people that have the same passion I do. Librarians, and I think, specifically children’s librarians really enjoy their work. They have a passion for children, children’s literature and helping children grow up. I was at dinner with a bunch of librarians tonight and it’s refreshing not having to explain what I do, how much I love it and how great the families are this I serve. Ythe people at dinner just got it and it wa s such a fun time.

So that’s why I attend conferences,to learn and network. And I think in other fields, networking sometimes carries the connotation that it’s all about making connections to benefit yourself whereas in my field, networking is being around people who share my passion for what we do.

Not So Alone

25 Jan

Library conferences (across the board) always make me so happy. And for one very particular reason – during those few short days at the conference, I’m surrounded by people who have a passion as strong as mine for reading, literacy, and books. I LOVE being around my colleagues, coworkers, friends, and strangers as we get to hear from amazing speakers, learn about great programs being offered at libraries around the country, and connect with people I wouldn’t normally get a chance to.

I’ve finally found a way to connect with these same passionate people through blogs, Twitter, Imstagram, and Facebook. I’m being re-energized on an almost daily basis through these means, but it’s always great when you get a chance to interact face-to-face. And that what I love about conferences! If your at ALA Midwinter… Say hi, I’d love to meet you in person!

ALA Midwinter Conference

20 Jan

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I am so excited about the conference this year! It’s in my backyard, making it very easy for me to get to and as part of the Emerging Leaders program, I’ll be very busy with workshops, programs, and parties. I’ll also be live blogging from the event for the ALSC blog, hopefully bringing you some great information if you aren’t able to make it to the City of Brotherly Love this weekend. And next Monday, the Youth Media Awards will be announced and I’ll definitely be there to see the presentation live! This weekend will be filled with information, education, fun, and friends and I can’t wait!

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