Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Who Are the ALSC Committees in Your Neighborhood: The Quicklists Consulting Committee

We’re all friends here, right?  I can confess things to you, yes?  Okay. Here goes.  *deep breath*  I’ve been a children’s librarian for going on seven years here and I had no idea that there was an ALSC committee out there charged with the single, solitary duty of making lists.

I endeavor to explain.

When you’re a children’s librarian list-making is either seen as great heaping helpings of fun or the bane of your very existence.  For a certain strain of the profession, there is nothing better in the entire world than getting a request like “Do you have a list of in-print picture books of myths from India?” (<—- real request).  It’s glorious.  You get to scour your collection and look at every possible online resource for the answer.  The downside is that if you like making lists it’s probably not prudent to sit around making them all day.  You have other duties, of course.  As such it would be super nice if someone could make them for you once in a while, wouldn’t it?

So yesterday I’m sitting in on an ALA/CBC joint committee when the phrase “Quicklists Consulting Committee” comes up.  Never heard of it.  This is a bit of a pity when you consider that it’s been around since 1978.  Essentially, it’s an ALSC committee charged with list making.  It describes its mission like this:

“To serve as consultants and to promote books and other resources through recommendations, compilation of lists, and related services for mass media, individuals, and institutions/organizations involved in the production of programs, films, and other materials/services for children. Requests will be made through the ALSC Office.”

So basically, if you ask them for a list they’ll whip one up for you.  Nice, right?  I’m not sure how often they make them for “individuals” but it’s a thought anyway.

Recently they came up with a list of core collection graphic novels for youth for those libraries hoping to bulk up their comic sections.  And it’s interesting. I can’t completely sign off on a list that fails to include Hereville, The Secret Science Alliance, or the Printz Award winning American Born Chinese yet finds room for The Purple Smurfs.  That said, overall I agree with I’d say 90% of it.

If you’re interested in all the available lists from the committee, check out these recommended book lists from ALSC.  Some are a touch old, but others continue to be needed.  There aren’t as many lists on there as you might expect, and they aren’t separated into age levels or anything at this point.  Maybe someday they’ll revamp the site and include more content.

If you want to serve on the committee there’s information on its site about doing so.  Someday I dream of having a website where I can just place lists of all shapes and sizes and topics.  Lists of progressive picture books and lists of middle grade novels about Mexican wrestlers.  Lists of stories about heroic mice or lists of young adult nonfiction titles about The Black Panthers.  Until then, there’s comfort in knowing that there’s a committee out there interested in doing the same thing.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I completely agree about the graphic novels list! Where was American Born Chinese, at the very least, on that list???

  2. I’m am beginning to believe we may be blood relatives. 🙂 I *love* making lists. Summer Reading? Not so much! (I know one should never admit it, but what the hey, since we’re confessing and all!)