rss feed

Posts by: Amy Lappin

Greetings from ALA Midwinter 2013

Hello NHLA Members,
I am happy to be reporting to you from my first ALA Council Session.

My work here began on Friday at a thorough New Council Member Orientation. For those of you who don’t know much about the work of the ALA Council, in brief, it is the policy-making body of ALA. There are 187 members, one from each state plus at large members. I think many of us from NH would feel right at home in Council meetings as they operate very much like our annual town meetings. Anyone can speak and we all have an equal vote. The Executive Board is made up of Council members and the board is elected by the Council.

Believe it or not the most entertaining part of the orientation was a speech by the official parliamentarian, Eli Mina, a delightful man who clearly loves the rules of order and made me want to love them too. Anyone who has sat through past CHILIS meetings presided over by me, knows the rules of order and I have only a passing acquaintance. That is about to change!

Sunday morning began with Council I. The majority of the meeting was a breakout into small groups re-imagining the future of the ALA organization. What do we all want to see for the future of the organization? It was a productive collective brainstorming session. Emerging themes included engaging new members, making the organization less complex, focusing on literacy, making sure all types of libraries are heard, and defending the freedom to read.

Two things stood out for me in the discussion. One was a suggestion to get members to focus not on what they “get out” of ALA, but also on what they can give to ALA. I also appreciated the sentiments of one group who asked us to not lose sight of the fact that the information profession is not just fundamentally linked to education, but to democracy. Very little actual policy decisions from this morning’s meeting, but very interesting to be a part of this discussion. I wonder, as members of ALA (or even as nonmembers), what do YOU want to see as the future of the organization. I am quite sure this morning was the beginning of an ongoing conversation among not just Council, but the entire membership.

I also attended a forum for the ALA candidates for president and treasurer on Friday evening. It was great to put faces to the names we often see in ALA communications.

It is interesting to learn about how ALA operates which is something we don’t all get to know. I’m truly thrilled to be serving as the ALA Councilor from NH. I appreciate this opportunity. I will be sending updates after Council II on Monday and Council III on Tuesday. I’ll try to keep them briefer than this first report, but I did want to give you an introduction to what goes on here at ALA Midwinter.
Thank you.


Amy Lappin
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
Deputy Director
Lebanon Libraries

CHILIS Annual Report 2011

The 2011 Spring Conference was held in March at SNHU in Manchester. We have found this to be a great place for showcasing the performers for the Kids, Books and the Arts grant. This past year, we weren’t able to work around the college’s spring break, but found we were able to successfully work around classes in session. 155 people attended the conference.

At the Spring Conference, Gail Zachariah from the Keene Public Library was named the 2011 CHILIS Librarian of the Year. In her nominating letter, Gail’s director, Nancy Vincent, wrote, “Gail is at the heart of the library….She works tirelessly fueled only by her ever present cup of coffee. She is deeply, deeply committed to the idea of intellectual freedom and especially committed to the youth of our community. She is their advocate and support. She is intuitive to their needs and concerns, she knows hundreds of our teens and children intimately and they are moved by her compassion and care for them.”

The 2012 Summer Reading Program theme is a night theme following the slogan, “Dream Big—READ!” CSLP Manuals and Upstart supply catalogs were handed out at the Fall CHILIS Conference. Ann Hoey and Amy Lappin represented NH at the CSLP business meeting in Scottsdale, AZ in April. Many items were discussed and voted on at the meeting including the slogan for the 2013 Underground children’s theme, “Dig into Reading.”

The Great Stone Face Committee has once again created a great list of 25 nominees for school year 2011-2012. The GSF Award spans grades 4-6, and maintains a standard of excellence in writing and kid appeal. The 2010-2011 GSF Award was presented to Avi for his book Murder at Midnight. A letter of appreciation from Avi can be found at

Maze Runner by James Dashner was the recipient of the 2010-2011 Isinglass Award. The Isinglass Award Committee is chaired by Amy Inglis, Barrington Public Library. The purpose of the award is to encourage middle school level students to read for enjoyment and promote a life-long love of reading.

The 2011 Fall Conference was hosted by the Keene Public Library at the Keene Marriott on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Programs included presentations by NH author Lita Judge and the musical group, Hunt and Allison who sang and encouraged us all to use music in our library programs and story times. The day ended with a charming presentation by GSF winner, Avi, who flew in from Denver, attending our conference waiving his speaking fees. The 74-year old author has written 72 books and continues to write every day.

During the morning’s business meeting the 2011-2012 slate of officers was voted in. The current President is Kathy Tracy from the Tracy Memorial Library in New London. Our new Vice President is Gail Zachariah, Keene Public Library. Nancy Lang, Dunbarton Public Library, continues to serve as the CHILIS Treasurer. Yvette Couser, Merrimack Public Library, is our secretary. Amy Lappin, Lebanon Public Libraries is the Past President. 105 people attended the meeting.

This past year, CHILIS awarded $500 scholarships to members, Lisa Houde and Patty Falconer. Both were for reimbursement of tuition and materials towards MLS degrees.

The 2012 Spring Conference and KBA Performers Showcase will be held on March 8, 2012 at SHNU. The Summer Reading Committee has chosen 10 performers for the roster.

CHILIS Membership stands at a healthy 187 with 44 new members this year.

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Lappin, CHILIS President 2010-2011, Lebanon Public Libraries