Looking for a Mentor? Want to Be a Mentor?

ALA has launched MentorConnect in ALA Connect so you can find or become a mentor.

MentorConnect (”MC”) allows ALA members to create mentoring profiles that highlight their expertise and experience. After they’ve joined MC, ALA members can search for a mentor using a variety of criteria (gender, type of library, ethnicity, etc.) and request mentorship. Once created, the mentorship is tracked within MC, with a space for providing and archiving feedback. The system will prompt mentors and mentorees every few months to ensure they are staying in touch.

To learn all about this new service, see Mentoring Starter Questions and Mentoring and MentorConnect FAQ at (http://www.students.ala.org/studentmemberblog/?p=344)

Don Wood
Program Officer
Chapter Relations Office
American Libraries Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 2429

Grants for Book Clubs Serving Underserved Teens

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are now accepting applications for the next round of Great Stories CLUB grants. Electronic applications for the reading and discussion series will be accepted through Nov. 2 at www.ala.org/greatstories. Funding was provided for this program by Oprah’s Angel Network.

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Nominations open for 2009 I Love My Librarian Award

From the American Library Association:

Nominations open for 2009 Carnegie Corporation Of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award

NEW YORK – Nominations open today for the 2009 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

The award invites library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations will run through October 9 and are being accepted online at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.

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Final Day Chicago

Hello from the final day of ALA. We are finishing up our last council meeting. I am pleased to report that the universal health care resolution which I introduced passed. It was amended from the floor twice. The first amendment took out the single-payer wording and the reference to specific bills. The second amendment added the single payer option back in as an option. I am pleased and was very impressed by my fellow councilors who spent time carefully considering the resolution and crafting good amendments. Seeing resolutions crafted from the floor is exciting! The entire resolution should be up on the ALA website soon.

Other business taken up by council included memorials, some committee reports, resolutions focusing on accessibility, budget, and expansion of electronic participation.

Another successful conference has concluded and I am very happy to have represented Vermont. I am also excited about continuing to be your councilor for another three years.

You ALA Councilor,

Nancy Wilson

Day 3 Chicago

Day three at ALA is winding down. I attended my second council meeting this morning. We accepted the budget, heard the treasurer’s report, passed a resolution supporting civil marriage, and defeated an anti-Afghanistan and Iraq war resolution.

Following the council meeting the state chapter councilors met to discuss state business. Many states are struggling financially. We shared how our association websites work and I found out that many operate as the VLA site does, with members doing the posts. We also heard that the governor of Michigan had just said that he was going to eliminate the state library.

I am waiting for the second council forum to begin. I have introduced a resolution asking ALA to support legislative proposals for single-payer, universal health care. Thanks to Trina Magi for drafting the resolutions, sharing research to support it, and holding my hand in general as I have gone through the resolution process. Council members will discuss it informally at this meeting and then vote on it in council three tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued support, and, as always, please contact me with questions and concerns.

Nancy Wilson

Day 2 Chicago

I am sitting in the ALA membership meeting and following the discussion of libraries in hard times.  Times are hard; libraries are busy…like any of us don’t know that!

Following this meeting I will be attending a Human Resource Development and Recruitment Committee meeting and will hear the latest news from the HRDR office in Chicago. I serve on the advisory committee. Following that meeting I will hear Cokie Roberts speak and attend a PLA reception. This evening I will be speaking about a resolution on single-payer, universal health care that I have introduced with Rob Banks, Kansas chapter councilor at our council forum.

I will not have internet access for the remainder of the day. If you have any comments or feedback please send a message and I will receive it tomorrow morning.

Your ALA Councilor,

Nancy Wilson

ALA in Chicago

Hello from Chicago! I am happy to share my first report from the ALA annual conference with you all. We received the news today that, despite the economic downturn, registrations for this conference have broken attendance records.

Our first council meeting is about to begin. On the agenda are a number of resolutions and reports. The ALA executive director reported on efforts to increase broadband throughout the country and to help libraries to claim some of the stimulus money available. One piece of news that Vermont librarians might find interesting is that the Washington Office will not be holding a library legislation day in Washington in 2010. Instead, because the ALA annual conference is in Washington, DC, there will be a rally on the mall with banners from each state on Tuesday. Vermont needs to decide what should be  on their banner and let the ALA Washington Office know.

A traveling display that Vermont libraries might be interested in is “Harry Potter’s World”– information is at www.ala.org/harrypotter. A new publication available through PLA might also be on interest. 100 Best Books to Read in Kindergarten is available at www.store.ala.org. YA librarians may want to check out the Teens Top Ten List at www.ala.org/teenstopten.

Tonight I attend the 40th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read Gala at the Art Institute of Chicago. More tomorrow!

Your ALA Councilor,

Nancy Wilson

ALA Washington Office Webinar: Cracking the Congressional Code

Join us for an ALA Washington Office Webinar where Kristin Murphy (ALA Washington Office) and Stephanie Vance (Advocacy Guru), both survivors of Capitol Hill, explain many of the mysterious workings of Congress. Don’t know your appropriation from your authorization? Aren’t sure what a subcommittee markup is (or why you should care)? Wondering if a Continuing Resolution really is as boring as it sounds? This session will bring you up to speed on key Congressional activities, how they might impact libraries in the near future and, most important, what you can do about it. Come prepared to learn more about “Dear Colleagues,” “Cloture” and “Floor Proceedings” than you ever thought you would.