Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Working With Teen Parents at Your Library: Where to Begin

Teens don’t stop being teens once they become parents. Libraries around the country are finding ways to serve teen parents in their dual roles as teenagers and parents. If your library is considering programming for young parents, or you are continuing to think about how your library acts as an inclusive space, here are some things to keep in mind. Why Serve Teenage Parents Adolescence presents challenges with physical/mental health, finishing education, finding employment, and more. In addition to the struggles of growing up, young mothers are responsible for health care, child care, the material necessities for childcare, and raising their child. They struggle with isolation from their peers. Libraries are uniquely positioned to be a resource that patrons can use to help them succeed as young adults and parents. Where to Start Finding Community Partners- Reaching out to groups and organizations in your community is not only crucial to…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Top Ten Things You Should Know: Kids with an Incarcerated Parent

A lot of us will serve youth who have a parent who is or has been incarcerated. Sometimes we know, and sometimes we don’t. This list of tips from the Avery Project can help guide us toward being more appropriately responsive to these kids. With their permission, the entire post is copied here: The circumstances of a parent’s arrest are irrelevant – don’t EVER ask. Asking about why a parent is serving time in jail can make the child feel uncomfortable or judged and can even damage trust, even if this is not your intention.  When discussing family oriented situations, be respectful by letting the child lead the interaction. If a conversation does develop, focus as much as possible on the child’s emotional experience of not having mom or dad around, not the details of what happened. All kids need one-on-one attention. When a family is dealing with turmoil at home, regular one-on-one…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

What time is it? Tool time.

Yes, that’s a Home Improvement reference. But it’s also a good time to talk about tools to help kids, teens, and maybe even a few librarians (me) manage their time. Time tools. Time Management Tools Most people struggle with time management to some degree. Many people with learning differences such as ADHD have an even tougher time than neurotypical folks. And different learning styles are pretty common knowledge (visual, kinesthetic, aural, etc.), but I had never considered how those might affect our sense of time. At a workshop put on by the PACER Center, assistive technology specialists Tara Bruss and Sarah Giffen-Hunter shared a spreadsheet they created. In it, they compare over a hundred apps, devices, and software that take into account these differences. The spreadsheet includes tools for creating task lists, reminders, alarms, time tracking, and more. You can see device compatibility, prices, and descriptions, too. I mean, it’s a pretty…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Summer Reading for All!

Summer reading is almost here with all of the busy days, fantastic programs, and hours of summer learning that it brings. For almost everyone, the time for summer reading planning is over. Now, it’s all about execution. But before summer reading gets into full swing, take a step back and ask yourself: are the planned summer reading activities for everyone? Or, another way of looking at this question, are the current activities representative of the entire community? Incorporating more underserved communities into summer reading doesn’t have to mean a retooling of the entire summer reading calendar. Instead, a lot of progress can be made with relatively small efforts. One of the best ways can be to incorporate more diverse voices into SRP. This can mean subbing in a book at storytime or book club from an author whose background is typically underrepresented or making sure that diversity shows through in…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Congratulations to the 2018 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that New Carrollton Public Library is the recipient of the 2017-2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families program. Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families started in April 2017. The program was initiated during a time when the library, (located in New Carrollton, MD), was being renovated. With the encouragement of  library administration, Program Coordinator, Meisywe Cavanaugh, decided to start visiting  a community housing center about five miles from the main library. Cavanaugh found that there was a large population of refugee families and young children living in this area. Currently, families who attend the library program are from: Afghanistan, Syria, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other Arabic speaking…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Universal Design Environments for Early Learners

Introduction About four years ago I attended the Birth to Three Institute. A former program of Head Start. I went to a very informative workshop, “Adapting and Embracing the Environment: Fostering Participation for Children with Disabilities”. Th“e session was led by Linda Brault, Project Director, WestEd and Senta Greene, Executive Director of Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc. Session Information The most important information I left with from this session is that you don’t need a lot of money or anything fancy to create a universal design play space for toddlers. If you treat each child as an individual, you can create multiple possibilities for engagement. And “multiple” is the key word to keep in mind. Are there multiple ways for the child: 1) to enter and interact in the environment, 2) access materials and toys, and 3) play, among of things to consider? During this interactive session, each group received…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations

Before becoming a children’s librarian, I was an arts administrator at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. From these experiences, I learned about the power of the arts. Arts Education When you hear “arts education” you may think school, but you should also think library. Libraries are wonderful venues for promoting and exploring the arts. Libraries host live performances and offer arts experiences. Below are some resources to create programs and gain ideas for your own activities. As librarians, we believe everyone has a gift that should be encouraged and the arts promote creativity and celebrates differences. Art forms have structures, but the exploration does not have to be structured. The arts allows for a variety of entry points for everyone. For example, there are over 50 types of poems so plenty to explore but you can also use free form. VSAarts, an organization that…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Bilingual Outreach at the Doctor’s Office

One of the most formidable aspects of public library work is reaching out to community members who are not current library users. This challenge can be made more daunting when trying to reach immigrant and non-English speaking populations who may not be present at more typical outreach events like back-to-school nights. Meeting these groups where they are is important as many times they have not previously used libraries and are not sure what services we provide or if they are able to get a library card. To bridge this gap, Alexandria Library staff members have been visiting a local doctor’s office in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood for the last three years. Every Monday morning at 8:30am, Patricia Amaya and Christian Reynolds arrive wearing aprons embroidered with the library logo to engage parents and children while they wait for their appointments. Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, talks with adults about what the…