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Sara Johns's picture

Our work this year--please read and respond

Hi, All, 


I hope you have not forgotten that you are on the Literacy Committee this year! Getting started for the year has been delayed until Barb Stripling and I could talk about her vision for what we do as a committee this year and that has morphed quite a bit since she took office in June. But I know this awesome group can get busy right away--and do significant work; the literacy resolution written by last year's committee and adopted by ALA Council at Annual proves that. 


Barbara feels that literacy needs to belong to libraries and thus ALA in the public eye and that we as a committee, with the able assistance of OLOS staff, can make great strides to make ALA a portal, a go-to place online, for literacy, all literacies. She and I also feel that there are already a lot of resources that are not visible to members and the public.


After discussion with Michelle Washington and John Amundsen from the OLOS office, I have a direction for our work this year to meet that goal. How?


1. Michelle and John will work on gathering links to existing resources and coordinating with the Web Advisory Committee to get more visibility for the Literacy page on the ALA site. (Did you know there is an existing Literacy page just waiting for our attention? http://ala.org/advocacy/literacy


2. John will post what he finds on ALA Connect. I will poll the members of our Committee to find out who is not yet familiar with connect; it will be our workspace. 


3. The Committee will scrutinize what he lists and suggest what is missing and how to emphasize what is already available, with the lens of both ALA members and the public. We will look at how a portal approach might be arranged. This will be accomplished before Midwinter and the Literacy Assembly. 


4. The agenda of the Literacy Assembly will be to look at the Committee's work and collectively make recommendations of resources and areas to develop. 


5. Between Midwinter and Annual, we will collectively refine the web page to be meaningful and important to libraries of all types and to communitites. 


5. We (Committee and staff together) will promote our work via such ALA initiatives as http://www.ilovelibraries.org/ and http://atyourlibrary.org/ as well as social media channels, press releases and, hopefully, more visibility on the ALA front web page. 

An example from Barbara Stripling that is our focus needs to be avigating the literacy stakes that different divisions have planted.  Our work needs to be a way to highlight what is going on throughout the organization on literacy, not perceived as a threat to divisions or other units who might think big ALA is intruding on their turf.  Michelle and John can be the connection with the staffs of those units once we have identified everything that’s going on throughout the organization. We can develop a portal that pops the ALSC awards, AASL awards, YALSA awards, for example without the public having to know who “owns” these awards, what “ALSC” means, for instance This should be a win-win, a very positive situation.

I WELCOME your thoughts about our initial plan and look forward to working with you.  PLEASE post your reaction or just “I read this” so that I know we are communicating through ALA Connect.



Blane Dessy (non-member)'s picture

I think that all of this sounds great and is a good start.  In a similar vein, is there any way to plan a really bang-up Literacy Assembly meeting at the annual conference so that we can get people excited about the work to be done? Also, is it too late to plan programs, etc for the coming year?  I'm terrible when it comes to professional associations and deadlines and I know that ALA Midwinter is around the corner, but what about Las Vegas…Betting on Literacy? Don't gamble with Illiteracy?  Literacy is a safe bet…oh well, it's Friday afternoon.



Hilda Weisburg's picture

I have read this and think you are on track.  I like the combined approach and don't feel ALA is invading my "turf." Hilda


Hadi Dudley's picture

Great, Sara!  I agree w/ this direction for our committee – to work w/ Barb and ALA’s website advisory committee to feature literacy. 

I also agree w/ Blane – we need to get our partner divisions, round tables, committees, etc… involved in the Literacy Assembly.  I would suggest reaching out
to those groups now w/ invitations/reminders for the Literacy Assembly.

I was recently contacted by Jacquie Welsh.  She attended our meetings in Chicago and is very interested in the Literacy Committee
and/or subcommittee work.  Can we tap her as a young, interested support/resource for our group?

Jacquie Welsh, MA-IRLS

Librarian in Residence
Los Angeles Public Library

Innovation Leadership Program

Current Rotation: Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library


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Hadi S. Dudley

Library Director

Bentonville Public Library

479-271-3194 ph

om: ALA Connect [mailto:connect@ala.org]

Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 11:40 AM

To: Hadi Dudley

Subject: [ALA Connect] ALA Committee on Literacy - Our work this year--please read and respond (new)

((( Rep

Hadi S. Dudley, ALA Chapter Councilor | Arkansas Library Association

ALA Committee on Literacy | Intern | OLOS

Director | Bentonville Public Library



Cynthia Czesak's picture

Hi, Sara

    Looks like we will get to work together again!  This sounds like a busy year - I'm ready.


Cindy Czesak

Paterson Free Public Library

Paterson, NJ

Megan Threats (non-member)'s picture



I read it and I think this sounds great! I look forward to working with the committee this year. 



Hilda Weisburg's picture

As chair of the AASL Committe on Advocacy I serve also on the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Committee.  On our last call (this past Wednesday) we discussed addressing core issues that are the same for all divisions, units, etc. and working together with one  voice on this.  Our literacy page is already under Advocacy.  It would seem, particularly with Barbara Stripling's focus, that we should also be working closely with the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Comittee.

Hilda Weisburg's picture

I read this and it seems we are organized to move forward.