Introducing: American Library Association’s Student Chapter (ALASC)

Career Blog

Published: September 30, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding

Today I’d like to introduce you to SJSU’s student chapter of the American Library Association (ALA). If you’re a student interested in libraries, your fellow classmates want to connect!

What’s your name, and what role do you play in the organization? 
Allison Randall Gatt, Newsletter (the Descriptor) editor

Can you tell us a little bit about the organization? 
The ALASC is a student chapter of the American Library Association. We put together fun and informative events meant to strengthen the community of librarianship and to generate new ideas and encourage professional development.

What do you like best about being a part of this organization? (or, what’s your best argument for persuading students to join?) 
Join because it’s fun! Take a break from all that researching and article analyzing and hang out online to discuss important issues with other students, read about the happenings at the recent ALA Conference in Orlando, FL and maybe even decorate a cake and share your creative genius.

For me personally, being the editor gives me the chance to develop a newsletter for students, giving them information on how to be more involved with the library community at-large. Students, alumni, faculty and ALA members and officers all contribute to the content to give us a well-rounded view of a variety of current and important topics.

All students are welcome to contribute, and the article needn’t be long– short and sweet is best. Just email your submission to and be sure to read the submission guidelines and schedule of topics first. Thanks!

How can students get involved? 
We are putting together local in-person meet-ups for Banned Books Week 9/25-10/1 where students can get together and discuss their favorites as well as debate the need for diversity and intellectual freedom. Our Local Events Coordinator is setting up a Twitter feed and if you can’t make it in person, we can even Skype with you!

Are there any upcoming events you’d like to tell us about? 
Definitely! We have a New Member meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 20 at 6pm PDT. We would love for you to join! If you can’t make it, contact us and we’ll keep you posted on upcoming events. Be sure to check back with the calendar on the ALASC website where we’ll be posting upcoming events as we put them together.

  • Jody Gray of the ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services is presenting in early October.
  • We’ve also got a contest planned for a Library-themed cake decorating contest on National Cake Decorating Day (Oct.15th) when people can submit images of cakes and members will vote on their favorites.
  • Also, the Fall issue of the Descriptor went live late last week, with a focus on the ALA Conference back in June. Lots of great information and pictures, too. 

Tell us where to find your organization on the interwebs! 

Photo of the Library of Congress courtesy Carol M. Highsmith


Recording available yet?


I thoroughly enjoyed the ALASC: Librarians Leading Change: Insights and Inspiration session with Ruth Barefoot. I'm wondering if the recording will be available soon?

Thank you,

Karen Quest

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