Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Libraries Rock: Between Summer READing ‘n’ Hard Places

Summer READing is upon us! So, you’ve got everything lined up for summer.  Performers – check!  Special storytimes – check!  Crafts – check!  Libraries rock! But what about the unexpected?  It’s all happened to us – a performer cancels at the last minute, or a crucial staff member calls in sick.  Will you be ready? Here’s some quick and easy hands-on activities that can be turned into full-blown, hour long programs!  All on the turn of a dime and just as affordable!  Rock – I mean – read on! Libraries Rock – Literally! Zen or Sharpie Stones What could be easier?  Take some rocks, get some Sharpies and create simply patterns all over them! These can be as simple or as complex as you want: Mini Rock Garden Easy mode: Get a shoe box lid, add some sand and rocks and create patterns with a plastic fork. Source: Pinterest Tip: Put…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

CSK Every Day – Peace, Non-Violent Social Change + Brotherhood

Coretta Scott King April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006 Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.  — Coretta Today, we celebrate one of the greatest civil rights leaders who ever lived.  While Coretta Scott King was the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, her works, efforts, and message resonate powerfully through history.  Her works continued almost four decades beyond her husband’s death.  Think on what you can do to keep her legacy alive. As public librarians serving tomorrow’s leaders, it is essential that we bring Coretta’s message to our youngest library patrons.  Weave her message into the fabric of our programming.  Committing to the path of the children’s librarian is not an act that we can carry out once and for all, but an act that must be renewed every day. Peace, Non-Violent Social Change…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

We’ve Got the Power! – Bridging Last Summer with This Summer

The Children Of Fear Are Not Alone Last year’s summer reading theme was Build a Better World.  Its message must not be lost. I have been actively involved in Central Florida public libraries since 1993, and it had to have been one of the most rewarding themes – ever. Recent events are showing us that children are growing up in an increasingly frightening world.  And they must not bear this alone. Last summer, my co-workers and I took our show on the road with a message of hope, and I’d like to share how you can couple Libraries Rock with real social impact. Before that, though, let’s review a couple of things.   Power and Truth In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote the poem Desiderata in which he wrote: “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.” And, yet…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Active Shooter – Run, Hide, Fight

Dedicated to the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On August 7, 2004, I sat down for a staff meeting at my library, and was completely caught off guard by some of the most shocking news of my entire life: one of my teen advisory board members had been involved in what would come to be known as the Deltona Massacre.  I was instantly crushed.  Between gasps, all I could say was, “He was just here”.  All I could think was what could I have done to prevent the senseless death of six teens. Walter Dean Myers’ book, Shooter had been out for three months.  Despite being a fantastic work of fiction by one of my favorite authors, I didn’t really find any answers there. I turned to the author Chris Crutcher via email, as I knew he was also a child psychologist.  He wasn’t happy…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Celebrating Pura Belpré’s Birthday!

Celebrating Pura Belpré’s Birthday! February 2nd is Pura Belpré’s birthday – for those of you playing along at home, she’d have 119 candles on the cake!  Continuing my unofficial, non-sequential series of how to incorporate multicultural offerings in every program, we’re going to see how we can make Pura’s award winners come to life!  But first… Who was Pura Belpré? For those of you just joining us, Pura Belpré was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico.  By serendipitous circumstances, she ended up in New York City for her sister’s wedding and was hired by a public library.  Huge emphasis on this, folks: it was 1920 and they were looking to hire young women from ethnically diverse backgrounds!  Imagine that!  Almost 100 years ago! Her career took her from the Bronx to the Lower East Side, where she spread the love of stories in English and Spanish – which had never been done before.  As…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Teaching Children Banned Words

Enlightening & Teaching 2017 was a whirlwind year, with many, many unprecedented changes, challenges and fear.  To help our youngest patrons, it is critically important that we aid in their enlightenment, making them more socially aware, teaching them new concepts, and making them more culturally competent. For 2018, I encourage you to explore these terms through your youth programming.  This will aid not only the children, but their parents as well.  So, let’s go!  Following each term will be suggestions for aiding you deliver these important concepts: Diversity My wife – Marianne Dolce, a highly successful school media specialist  – showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week. Read up on ALA’s “Importance of Diversity” Entitlement These quick “fables” help teach children all…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

2018 And Life to Go: Resolutions Anyone?!

Not Another New Year’s Resolution Article I promise.  No eye candy.  No videos strung by html with care.  But it is Elf themed, which you need to watch if you haven’t already. You’ve got just six weeks and four days before the new year makes you keep writing 2017 for a few weeks.  Resolution lists anyone?  Please tell me you aren’t recycling last years, or even lamely “upcycling” them, just to sound trendy or get your friends off your back.  Let’s get real, and let’s apply it to our professional world.  Here we go… Mentoring For the love of candy canes, you have a story to tell, and believe it or not, you could totally help out an up and coming mentee.  No, really.  And it’s easy to get matched. For example, Florida Library Association has a mentoring program every year, that officially only runs one year at a time,…